Friday, June 15, 2007

"This Land is Mine"

David Horowitz creates a slide show describing the history of the Middle East from one point of view. But are there many points of view? Is there not one account of the past? I leave that to reader to decide. What seems incontrovertible is that the current conflict is rooted not only in the region's past, but in Europe's too. Whatever Ahmedinejad may or may not be planning to do, the genocidal efforts of Central and Eastern Europe regimes are a matter of sad record. The Jews desire survival. Hitler showed that it may not be possible in the West. Time will tell whether it will be possible in the historical homeland.

Whether or not the Arabs and Israelis could have reached a lasting settlement before the departure of the British is now one of history's might-have-beens. The apparent reality is that now the Jews are existentially committed to the retention of their homeland and the Arabs -- and perhaps even non-Arab Muslims -- have defined their identity in terms of a land free from the Jew. It is a terrible clash because the Jews have no physical recourse and the Arabs no psychological alternative but to keep butting heads. One side fights for the survival of its life and the other for the core of its self-respect, as defined. Which way out? Not Oslo's. Not for now.

But history, some entangled quantum particle, reflects the action at a distance. Recently the BBC apologized for calling Jerusalem the capital of Israel and promised not to repeat "the mistake," following a complaint by four British organizations.


Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

Well if it's a choice between israeli survival and arab self respect, I vote for Jewish/israeli survival, if the arabs dont like it, let's discuss arab survival..

6/15/2007 05:35:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Although we don't remember them as clearly, the years immediately after the Second World War were as dramatic as anything we know today. Two examples suffice: the Partition in India and the Palestinian Mandate. Let's not mention the falling of the Iron Curtain or Korea.

I am always surprised when people think that the current state of the world was caused by George Bush. But I guess it is what comes of watching the Pirates of the Carribbean and thinking of it has history.

6/15/2007 05:43:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

let's not forget that the USA was in part created by the need of a national navy to fight the barbary islamic nations...

this fight started on ole george washington's watch..

6/15/2007 06:04:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

A friend of mine was one of the British officers in Palestine after WWII. After flying Wellington bombers in combat and Dakota transports in Operation Market Garden, he found the postwar duty by far the less desirable. The suicide rate among the British forces in Palestine was horrific; they felt guilty about trying to keep the Jewish people out. Aside from that, many aspects of the job resembled what our troops are going through in Iraq right now – late night raids to uncover arms caches and so forth. Not what he signed up for in any sense.

I recall reading that at least one of the Arab kings in the area welcomed the Jewish immigrants as people who would “make the desert bloom.” And they did. Whether this translated into a willingness to allow the creation of a Jewish state I have no idea, but I rather doubt it.

What is clear today is that the Jewish people in Israel have no illusions about getting rid of all of the Arabs – not even the ones inside their country. The fact that many of the Arabs do hold this illusion speaks volumes in itself.

6/15/2007 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

the British forces in Palestine...felt guilty about trying to keep the Jewish people out.

That's a little hard to believe. They are known to have turned over their armories to the Arabs when they left in 1948 and the term Arabist was invented for them. Perhaps not all were Arabists.

I recall reading that at least one of the Arab kings in the area welcomed the Jewish immigrants as people who would “make the desert bloom.”

That was probably Feisal Husseini, who fought with TE Lawrence against the Turks. See Faisal-Weizmann Agreement and Faisal I of Iraq

I guess times have changed.

6/15/2007 08:03:00 PM  
Blogger Curt said...

Horowitz gets to the essence of the conflict.

I would only add that there are very strong historical parallels between the founding of America and the founding of Israel. The narrative is much the same in both stories. People yearning for a better life build a great, prosperous and free nation out of nothing other than hard work, a commitment to freedom, democracy and capitalism. The seedy side of this story is that both countries had to deal with violent opposition to their dreams, in America it was the American Indians, In Israel it was the Arabs.

I think this narrative also explains why the left hates both America and Israel.

It also explains why those on the left hate both

6/16/2007 11:25:00 AM  

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