The world hosts many oppressions — Royhingya in Myanmar, ethnic groups in both North and South Sudan, Shi’a communities in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are just a few examples. Although a large part of the international community sympathizes with the oppressed groups, petitions world bodies to relieve the oppressions, and provides some relief and support, substantial action is not taken to alleviate the suffering and reverse the destructions. The complacency bewilders those who labor for equality and justice.
Inaction occurs when nations adjacent to the oppression are not affected or cannot adequately respond, when the oppressed group is insufficiently represented in other nations and is unable to rally support, and when the mayhem does not greatly affect other nations around the world. The Royhingya dilemma generates television melodrama, a tug on the heart, a few gentle tears, but gathers no relief to their suffering and pain.
The crisis for the Palestinian people is different and unique; their suffering and pain under extreme oppression does not contain limitations to action. Adjacent nations react aggressively, partisans of Israel and Palestine exist in force in western nations, especially the United States, and struggle to advance positions, and the oppression of the Palestinians alerts almost the entire world. The crisis that attends the Palestinian people is unique and moves much of the world to demand an equitable solution.
The only equitable solution to the Palestinian crisis exerts pressure on Israel — to have Middle East peace, Israel must have a makeover. This salutary demand needs explanation, an explanation that answers four questions:
- Why must Israel change?
- What will happen if Israel does not change?
- Can Israel change?
- What will be the new Israel?
Why must Israel change?
From the day that UN Resolution 181, Partition Plan, squeaked through the General Assembly by one vote, Israeli forces embarked on an expansionist campaign that features ethnic cleansing, constant wars, unlawful land seizures, illegal settlements, and criminal acts against the Palestinian people. Israel governments have pursued the implementation of the proposals made by the World Zionist Organization at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, whose claims to Palestine are shown in the figure below. Note their Greater Israel extends close to Beirut in Lebanon, Damascus in Syria, and Amman in Jordan. The boundary captures all the aquifers and facilitates use of a previous Hedjaz railway.
In 1948 Israel extended its UN awarded territory to double its size.
In 1956 Israel seized the entire Sinai Peninsula until United States (US) President David Eisenhower forced its withdrawal.
In 1984, after a protracted war in Lebanon, Israel established a 5-15 mile security zone in southern Lebanon. In 2003, Israel, after suffering military losses, vacated the security zone.
In 1967, after the 6-day war, Israel occupied the Golan Heights, all of Jerusalem. the West Bank, Gaza, and the Sinai Peninsula.
From 1967-present, Israel established settlements in the Golan Heights, West Bank, and East Jerusalem. Settlements were also established in the Sinai and Gaza, but Israel vacated these settlements and all of the Sinai in later years.
Israel also seized the entire Lake Kinneret aquifer from Syria, control of the Mountain aquifer in the West Bank and control of flow of the Jordan River.
At the Paris Peace Conference, the Zionists stated their mission, and Israel has intended to fulfill that mission — incorporate all of former Palestine, and maybe more, into one Jewish state, an all or nothing proposition that no Israeli Prime Minister has dared to contradict. Israel has never abided by resolutions from the International community that condemned its policies, and never will. It continues its oppressive policies, regardless of world opinion, damage to other Middle East nations, and total destruction to the Palestinian community. Forget the two-states, one-state, bi-national state; Israel will determine its own fate, which may be a “no-state,” a nation without borders. If Israel does not change and achieves its mission of an expanded nation without borders, it will initiate catastrophes that will engulf the entire Middle East region
What will happen if Israel does not change?
Similar to Napoleonic France and Nazi Germany, Israel has and will always face enemies, and the last of those to stand — Iran, Shi’a militias in a revitalized Iraq, and Hezbollah — seem willing to fight aggressively. These foes might be temporarily contained, but Israel cannot subdue them forever. If faced with possible defeat, Israel will exercise the Sampson option, and a nuclear holocaust will destroy the Middle East. Unrestrained and continuous warfare is the major reason that Israel must change.
With continued seizure of Palestinian lands, expanded settlement activity, and purposed denial of the Palestinians to agriculture, water rights, fishing rights, livelihood, and employment, Israel’s actions forecast the destruction of the Palestinian people. Israel has shown no sympathy with the Palestinian plight, and the international community has shown itself incapable of reversing the negative trend. The severe Israeli repression assures that the Palestinians lack what they most need — ontological security — a stable mental state derived from a sense of continuity in regard to the events in one’s life. The absence of ontological security accelerates deterioration of a community, and, therefore, propels the destruction of Palestinian life to an eventual outcome, a genocide. Because it is not a genocide until the vicious act is completed, few will realize the trajectory of the destruction. Recently, the US Congress voted to recognize the genocide of the Armenian people, 100 years too late after the happening, but refuses to recognize and halt the potential genocide of the Palestinian people while it is happening. Present Israel activities assure the demise of the Palestinian community, and to prevent it, Israel must change.
The ISIS Caliphate has been defeated and reduced, but what is not reduced are two causes of international terrorism — Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people and Israel’s conflict with the Muslim world in Jerusalem. Osama bin-Laden clarified those positions in an interview with CBS reporter Joel Arak, October 30, 2004, who related that Osama bin Laden said he was first inspired to attack the United States by the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon in which towers and buildings in Beirut were destroyed in the siege of the capital. “While I was looking at these destroyed towers in Lebanon, it sparked in my mind that the tyrant should be punished with the same and that we should destroy towers in America, so that it tastes what we taste and would be deterred from killing our children and women.” In the biography, Growing Up bin Laden, St. Martin’s Press, Omar bin Laden, Osama bin Laden’s son, relates that his father told him, “In reality, America and Israel are one country, not two.” Granted that Osama bin Laden had paranoid and schizophrenic conditions, but why were his views sustained and not contradicted by U.S. government policies? Why did Americans have to suffer because their government condones oppressive actions by Israel?
International support for actions that provoke extremists tend to increase their motives for international terrorism. Included in this terrorism are increasing attacks on Jewish and Muslim persons, victims of the hate that propels the terrorists. Until these situations are satisfactorily resolved, one driver of international terrorism will remain and create innocent victims for decades. A major factor for deterring terrorism is for Israel to change
The trajectories to war, community destruction, terrorism, and devastation are clearly marked. Nevertheless, the world and regional institutions, which have the power to prevent the gloom and doom, react with a combination of confusion and complacency, which hastens the ultimate to occur. Time has become essential; ponderous steps by the world community to redo fall behind Israel’s rapid measures of doing. Much can be done but not without consideration to the mechanisms that prevent complete understanding of the crisis, which is sadly lacking. Israel’s deceptive practices that confuse the issues, dupe the public, and muzzle attempts to resolve the Middle East crisis are the principal ingredients that give it clout and voice much above its fighting weight. Never in history have so many been fooled by an extensive, calculated, and ingenious plan to subvert minds and rearrange positions. External forces can assist in resolving the Middle East crisis by pushing Israel to accomplish that task, by convincing its leaders that Israel must change.
Can Israel change?
In the film, Valmont, the Casanova look-alike asks his soul-mate friend, “Can a seducer of women, a wastrel, and completely self-centered person change?” She replies, “Of course, he can become worse.” A valid description of Israel.
Each year, Israel becomes more self-centered in its attitude, more deceptive in its approach, and more oppressive in its operations. The drift of the electorate has been toward political Parties that urge more theft of Palestinian lands, more constraints on Palestinian life, and more movement to a Greater Israel. As one example, David Elhayani, mayor of the Jordan Valley Regional Council Arvot Hayarden settlement (ED; an illegal organization), says simply that, “Any unity government must include a commitment to annex the Jordan Valley to Israel.”
In an article, Welcomed, Then Attacked by Yitzhar, by Max Buchdahl, November 5, 2019, Max Buchdahl relates the viciousness of settler extremes, and their disregard for fellow Jews.
At the beginning of September, I began a nine-month program at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem.The same friend who suggested the settlement tour also suggested that I volunteer with Rabbis for Human Rights, an organization which recruits folks every year to assist Palestinian olive farmers during the harvest
Then, suddenly, Mohammed, whose farm we were on, started running towards us and telling us to run. We thought he must have seen settlers coming, but we had no idea what would come next. We quickly retrieved our backpacks and began running. When we turned around, a group of 15-20 masked settlers were behind us. Many of them had iron crowbars in their hands. Others started picking up stones and throwing them towards us.
A friend of mine was pushed to the ground and hit in the knee with a crowbar. Another, after being bludgeoned by crowbars, was hit in the back of the head by a stone as we were running away. As he started bleeding, we wrapped a scarf around his head and kept going. As we were chased out, the settlers started fires next to the grove.
That was all the time it took to make it clear that there is no “both sides” when it comes to the brutalizers of Yitzhar and the nearby Palestinian villagers who are brutalized by them.
Although, settlers gain nothing more than what they could have by living in Israel, except to fulfill an imaginary and neurotic concept of being a “Chosen People’ who are reclaiming their chosen land, they eagerly displace themselves to live in the West Bank territory, and, without compunction, cause harm to the Palestinians.
In the year 2019, the speeding train that is Israel has a momentum that seems unstoppable, and a trajectory that is unimpeded. However, the single track does not lead to a final destination — regardless of where Israel extends, it will meet an enemy; no matter how it meets hostility, the hostility will grow faster, and as it increases the oppression, external opposition will also increase. Somewhere, sometime, an Israeli leader will gain power who recognizes that Israel is on a suicide mission and his/her nation must change. Similar happenings occurred when Charles deGaulle gained power in France and ended a 100 year occupation of Algeria, which eventually prompted removal of all French settlers, when Frederik Willem de Klerk, white South Africa’s last head of state, disolved the apartheid system, introduced universal suffrage, and ended the era of white-minority rule, and when Boris Yeltsin dismantled the Soviet Union. Despite protests, these transitions occurred without incidents.
Of course, it will not be that simple — Israel has extremists that rival those of the Radical Islamists and a mindset that has an “all or nothing” philosophy. So, where do we begin?
Jews migrated to Israel for three principal reasons:
- Economic improvement characterized by the East Europeans and Russians,
- Removing the hindrance of minority status, characterized by the North African and Middle East Jews, and
- Fulfilling Biblical prophecies, characterized by some American, and European orthodox Jews.
The two former reasons no longer exist; Jews are welcome and able to compete successfully, with a few exceptions, in most western nations. If they feel threatened, physically or by an economic downfall, they will be able to emigrate to other nations. As Israel drifted away from Political, Labor, and Cultural Zionism, and Revisionist, Revolutionary, and Religious Zionism received impetus, emigration became a constant feature, with estimates of more than one million Israelis living abroad. Unfortunately, the emigration has weakened the more moral, social, conciliatory, and peaceful elements of Israeli society and strengthened the racist, aggressive, and expansionist elements.
Israel’s increased oppressive tactics and a large body of its dissidents residing in foreign nations have prompted a more open discussion on the Middle East crisis, and led to a growing awareness of the legitimacy of the Palestinian cause. These phenomena are reflected in the comments by many Democratic Party principals, in university campus activities, increased numbers of Jewish people involved in reforming Israel, and in direct confrontations, such as the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The more that Israel gains on the ground, by theft of Palestinian lands, the more it loses in the court of public opinion. Israel is in a no-win position. The rapid growth of a worldwide movement that recognizes Palestinian rights and Israeli wrongs will coalesce into a realization of the more cogent reasons for containing and changing Israel:
- The present trajectory of the Middle East crisis is to enhanced violence that will affect the western nations.
- International terrorism will never abate until the Palestinian issue is fairly resolved,
- Israel is a criminal nation that has seized Palestinian lands and brutalized Palestinian life, and
- Resettlement of Israel is based on fabrication and led by religious extremists from both the Jewish and Christian communities.
The more the arguments against Israel’s oppressive actions grow, the more oppressive and anxious will Israel behave in an effort to fulfill its chosen destiny. At some time in the future, the arguments against Israel’s oppressive tactics will force concrete actions – reduction in tourism, arming of its antagonists, possible sanctions, and trade embargos. Already in internal chaos, a divided Israeli constituency does not allow formation of a viable government. Economic pressure upon the political pressure will make rational Israelis think, act, and seek control.
The third reason is based on falsehoods, which is that Jews of today are directly related to the Hebrews, that the Hebrews had a vital and unique civilization in the Levant, that Jerusalem was a consistent capital of the Jewish people, and that the Jews are a unique people who deserve a unique nation, regardless of the harm that gathering may inflict upon others.
Combating the Religious Right in the United States, which stirs the oppression by fostering the concept of a Chosen People and a valid return to their ancient lands, and the Israel ultra-orthodox extremists, who are no different than other fundamentalist extremists, should be done in the same manner as done to contain the radical Islamic extremists — they are a danger to others, a danger to themselves, and a danger to civilization, and must be subdued. Anyone uttering the phrase that “God gave us this land,” should be treated similarly to someone who stands in Times Square, New York and exclaims. “God sent me to rule over all of you.”
A society that exists on false justifications cannot continually validate its existence. Israel society will break down on the weight of its criminal actions, which they cannot indefinitely excuse by reciting mendacious remarks of reclaiming a land they never owned and inheriting a mantle from deceased they never knew. A sharp difference of opinion between rigid and non-compromising sectors of society as to Israel’s future has led to political stalemate and increasing anarchy. Israel is a state without borders and a state with enclaves — orthodox, ultra-orthodox, Russian, Falasha, hostile settlements, secular, dissidents, and intertwined communities of struggling Palestinians. The citizens are engaged in a Civil War, that appears entirely civil, with few harmful actions toward one another, but is becoming more overtly hostile with attacks by settlers against security forces, arrests of human rights activists, and refusals to serve in the Israel military.
In order for its citizens to survive and not take much of the Middle East into an otherwise accompanied destruction, Israel must change and will change – into what?
The new Israel
The world has two choices — destruction of the Middle East or a new Israel. Israelis have two choices — their partial destruction or a new israel. By it’s “all or nothing” strategy, Israel, has decided its fate; it can never obtain all and must settle for nothing; Israelis will survive but not the present Israel state.
Survival of all — Jews, Palestinians, and Middle East Arabs means an Israel for all — Jews and Palestinians. The process to peace and reconciliation starts with recognition by Israel’s defenders that supporting criminal activities makes one guilty of aiding and abetting criminals. It means righting the wrongs of the past. It means open borders between Gaza, West Bank, Jerusalem, and present day Israel. It means Right of Return for all Palestinian refugees. How this will come to fruition is not determined; assuredly it will be a slow and carefully planned process. Undoubtedly, preparations will be made for the more socially and politically aware Jews to gain authority and then invite compatible Palestinians into a formation of forces that can maintain control of their communities. From that point, a mass exodus of Israeli Jews to other lands and a retreat of ultra-orthodox settlers to less controversial enclaves will occur. Harsh measures against those who impede the process to a final and just resolution of the Middle East crisis will be made.
Finally, falteringly, and with some strife, the new Israel will be a democratic and just state, composed of Palestinians and Jews sharing control of the government and infrastructure. Syria will regain the Golan, Hezbollah will no longer care, and Hamas will become just another political Party. There is no other way to resolve the Middle East crisis. All this will happen one day in the future; so, why wait and cause misery to tens of millions before the final act of this human drama?
Dan Lieberman edits Alternative Insight, a commentary on foreign policy, economics, and politics. He is author of the book A Third Party Can Succeed in America, a Kindle: The Artistry of a Dog, and a novel: The Victory (under a pen name). Dan can be reached at email@example.com