DANGEROUS MYTHS THAT REMAIN
by David Basch
Freeman Center For Strategic Studies
April 27, 2011
"How anyone can conclude that carving out an Arab nation
from the unalloted lands of the Mandate of Palestine that Israel
today controls is a recipe for peace is every bit as nonsensical
as the other theory that Palestine is the core problem of the
Middle East region...."
"Who in his right mind thinks that surrendering nationhood to the
Palestinian Arabs would end the many decades of Arab strife? "
"I do not know what Dr. Asa Kasher smokes but, if we analyze his
view, he has no basis for concluding that the Arabs that Israel
confronted in 1948 have a right to a state...."
The Wall Street Journal featured an article by Joseph Joffe that poo-
poohed the theory that "Palestine" is the "core" regional issue. After
reviewing numerous commentators that had erroneously made Palestine the
"root cause of unrest and conflict in the region," including with Iran,
Mr. Joffe concluded that the so-called "Arab Spring" had shown that
"Arab peoples aren't obsessed with anti-Americanism and anti-Zionism.
It's their rulers who are." He asserted that the real core of problems
in the region is that of "the oppressed vs. their oppressors." It was the
dictators who were asserting that Israel is the problem in order
to divert their people from the reality of their oppression by their
Unfortunately, Mr. Joffe then launches into another untouched myth,
namely, that "the Palestinian [Arab]s do deserve their own state." Where
Joffe gets that idea -- that myth -- remains a serious question. For how
anyone can conclude that carving out an Arab nation from the
un-alloted lands of the Mandate of Palestine, controlled today by Israel,
would be a recipe for peace is every bit as nonsensical as the other theory
of Palestine as the core problem of the Middle East region.
Such a new Arab entity from its very first day would be irredentist and,
despite scraps of paper promising peace, would be at Israel's throat.
After all, the Arab people have fought upwards of five wars with
Israel, and, considering the location of this Arab state adjacent to
Israeli population centers, it would have every chance of bringing
down Israel. Why the Arabs "deserve" to be given such a situation,
Mr. Joffe does not explain.
And, yet, like the other bogus theory of an Israel as central to Mideast
regional peace, supposed deep thinkers think that such an arrangement
is not only possible but is the way to go. Many Israelis think so --
actually, too many for comfort. They think that this is the way to
bring "moral relief" to their perceived reprehensible plight of
ruling over the Arabs of the territories -- strangely, the very
condition that the government of Detroit faces daily ruling over
its Arab population with no strain at all. But these Israelis think that
such rule is unacceptable and that, by separating the Arabs of the
territories from Israel, Arab favor would be won and this would relieve
Israel from a "crushing moral burden."
But who in his right mind thinks that surrendering nationhood to the
Palestinian Arabs would end the many decades of Arab strife? The
evidence is that the only way to satisfy the Arabs, all of whom believe
that all of Israel belongs to them, is nothing less than the end of the
Jewish state. Serious people must look closely at the myth that
granting a new state to the Arabs is a means of achieving peace.
Let us examine the view on these matters of Asa Kasher, an
Israeli alleged expert on ethical behavior, as expressed in a recent
interview (4.23.11) with David Horovitz, editor of The Jerusalem Post.
Dr. Kasher, examining the moral obligations of Israeli soldiers
in confronting the Arab enemy that uses its civilians as shields,
gratuitously offered the following view:
... most important, we do have to work on the question of
Palestinian statehood. With more alacrity than we are doing.
I don't need to wait for a Bar-Ilan speech by Prime Minister
Netanyahu, and for all kinds of interesting observations from
prime minister Sharon, to recognize that it is essential that
there be a Palestinian state. The State of Israel, in its
Proclamation of Independence, recognized the Palestinian
state. It declared that "the right of the Jewish people to
establish their state is irrevocable. This right is the
natural right of the Jewish people to be masters of their own
fate, like all other nations, in their own sovereign state."
Like all other nations! The Zionist mainstream supported the
Partition decision, which provided for a state for the Jews
and a state for the Palestinians. We recognized a Palestinian
state from the very start.
I do not know what Dr. Kasher smokes but, if we analyze his
view, he has no basis for concluding that the Arabs that Israel
confronted in 1948 have a right to a state. While the UN offered a
two-state solution, the Arabs rejected it and sought to destroy the
state that the Jews established. By what magical incantation does
a UN offer that the Arabs rejected continue to be viable, especially
when the Arabs went to war to destroy the Jewish state?
And where does Dr. Kasher get his idea that Israel recognized a
state that never came into being? While, as Dr. Kasher alleges, Israel
declared its own right to a state as irrevocable -- this based on Jewish
history -- by what ethical law, except the one that Kasher arbitrarily
dredges up from his hip, does he confer such an irrevocable right to
Arab residents of the Mandate lands that had embarked on an
illegal aggression to snuff out the Jewish nation authorized by the
League of Nations and the UN?
Dr. Kasher grossly errs when he concludes that Israel recognized a state
that never was. What Israel did at the time was offer such recognition
assuming an Arab side that had accepted the proposed UN resolution --
a resolution the Arabs rejected and replaced by a resort to
the force of arms. Does anyone imagine, including Dr. Kasher, that if
Israel had lost that war there would be any thought on earth of the
right for a Jewish state?
I think our good doctor indulges in one of the grievous flaws of the
Jewish character, warned against by Ecclesiastes of being both
"over-righteous and ... over wise." Wishing to practice a personal,
super standard of ethical behavior -- not at all ethical since it would
confer on evil doers a reward for their evil, illegal aggression --
Dr. Kasher would jeopardize the existence of Israel by enabling a
deadly enemy to realize his ambitions to destroy Israel.
When last I consulted a history book, the League of Nations set aside
the lands of Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people, not as a
homeland for its Arab residents. Are the generations of Arab residents
in Detroit deserving of a state on lands in which they cluster?
What Dr. Kasher would do is apply some questionable "rule" of national
self- determination that may have application under some circumstances
to other circumstances wide of the mark. This is the typical behavior of the
over-righteous moralist, seeking to make a universal out of something
most particular in application. This questionable self-determination rule
was used by Hitler to lay claim to portions of Czechoslovakia, which
Hitler's success led him into World War II.
Kasher obviously feels this self-determination non-rule applies to residents
of Israel's territories, the vast number of whom more recently immigrated
to the area from outside and never exercised sovereignty over the
area. These people were unmentioned as a nationality under the Mandate of
Palestine nor in the more recent UN Resolution 242 in 1967, which did
not mention any Arab nationality, but only referred to "refugees." Do
these Arab residents have claim to historic Jerusalem or to the
monuments of the two ancient Jewish kingdoms in the area -- the
history the League used in restoring national rights to the Jewish
people? What is more, would it make sense to honor specious Arab
claims of nationality even in the face of the fact that it would be
purposely put to use to destroy Israel?
Incompetent moralists like Dr. Kasher care little for the consequences
of their beliefs but only seek to realize what they imagine are supposed
universals of morality that they make up on the run and which have no
So if we approve of Mr. Joffe's attack on dangerous myths, it is time
that the myth of Arab national claim to parts of the lands of Israel
were also jettisoned, especially now when it is more obvious than ever
that it is a ploy to roll back the existence of Israel. If Israel
fails to head this off before the nation is strategically compromised
beyond repair, the Jewish nation, courtesy of Dr. Kasher's mishigas,
may deliver itself to the dustbin of history.
Finally, we must not neglect mention of PM Netanyahu's pet myth about
how economic progress will change Arab hearts, leading them from
devotion to Islam to peace with Israel. This is another dangerous myth
that needs exploding. Many of the Arabs that flew into the World Trade
Towers were the children of great economic privilege, adhering to
their Islam to the end, as they sought to deal a fatal blow to the
American infidels. This is the kind of fact that flies in the face of
the idea of the redeeming power of economics that is an obsession of
liberals, of whom PM Netanyahu may be one. (I hope I am wrong here.)
Yes. There are a lot of myths that must be confronted by sage Israelis
if Israel is to be preserved.