Thomas Friedman is on his high horse again about the Israeli's need to be reasonable in dealing with the Arabs, and how we Neocons ought to be supporting Israeli concessions to the pals so we can have the peace of Friedman. I listened to him on Fresh Air yesterday which made me even madder than today's column.
He was talking about mistakes made by both the Israelis and by the palestinians.... it bothers me he makes them out to be different from the Arabs, but I'll come back to that thought... His main point was that ambivalence of the Israeli masses, in other words: the Israeli silent majority, allowed the extremist settlers, to drive policy and move into the West Bank... which the Arabs didn't want... Yes, he did point out that the Arabs didn't really want to manage the West Bank. But, he opined, the bad, bad Israelis still made the palestinians feel bad by their ambivalence. So, according to the Friedman guide for peace, Jewish magnanimity should be the rule and the disputed territories should be given back to the Arabs to make them feel better.
He made one statement to Ms. Gross that had me in awe. He spoke about how stupid it was for a few thousand Israelis to be living in the middle of a millions hostile Arabs. Of course Mr. Friedman was speaking about Gaza, yet he ignores the parallel of a few million Jews in Israel living in the middle of millions of hostile Arabs. Friedman's answer for peace in the occupied territories is for the Jews to move out. No wonder the Arabs love him.... it's the Arab plan too! The only difference is how they define "occupied territory." Does he think there might be another reason for the Arabs to officially deny that Israel even exists. For the Arabs, the West Bank includes Tel Aviv and Haifa.
Which brings me back to the earlier point. There will be no peace in the Middle East until the Arabs accept Israel. The palestinians are not players in the big peace equation, they are simply game pieces for the rest of the Arab world to toy with. Does Friedman think for a minute that Arabs will stop hating Jews, that Arabs will stop teaching their children to hate Jews just because a tiny bit of land is handed over to make another Arab state, a second palestinian state?
The major problem, the central problem is that the Arabs deny Israel’s right to exist. The Arabs have fought, unsuccessfully but they have fought, since 1917 to keep the Jews out of the region. They lost. To avoid facing the humiliation of that loss, the brave Arab leaders have created a wretched group of Arab refugees that are not allowed to live anywhere except the nasty refugee camps that they refuse to make livable.
The Arabs have had since 1917... or 1920 ...or 1948... or 1967... or 1973, to take care of the displaced population. They could have built cities, infrastructure, schools, trade... they could have built a paradise in the west bank, Gaza and Jordan. But they haven’t. Look at Germany, look at Japan, look at any country decimated by war in 1948 and compare them, today, to the wretched state of the palestinians. Whose fault is it that palestinians are living in squalor?
I’m sorry; I think it’s way beyond time for the Arabs to own up to their own failures and for them to do something about their palestinian brothers. Friedman and others want to tell us the palestinian issue must be solved and only at Israel's expense. Yet, on the other hand, he tells us how the palestinian issue “resonates” universally in the Arab world. Well let the Arabs DO somethign about it. To use Friedmans' words... "If you want to get married, you have to buy the engagement ring." But why must the Israelis buy the ring with full knowledge they'll be jilted by the Arab wolrd that resounds with such astounding hatred of the Jews and Israel.
The palestinians are an Arab problem and we should look to the Arab world for a solution before we ask Israel to concede a single point, we should DEMAND it. As long as Friedman, the Arabists at State , and the Eunuchs continue to swallow the Arab mantra that it is only a problem between Israel and the pals, then the real source of the problem will continue to fester. The Arabs hate Jews and want Israel to disappear. Until that is changed there will never be peace.