Why I support Israel

My blog, lately, has hosted a really interesting discussion about both Israel’s legal rights in the disputed territories and the Palestinians’ lack of legal rights. Those two statements (Israel’s rights vs. Palestinian non-rights) are not mirror-like redundancies. It’s entirely possible to argue (although I wouldn’t), that while Israel has no right to the disputed territories, neither do the Palestinians. That is, for Israel’s sake, advancing one argument is just as important as advancing the other.

The problem with the argument about rights to the disputed territories is that these arguments often boil down to something like the lawsuit from Hell. The various disputants point to events in 3,000 B.C., 2,000 B.C., 1,000 B.C., the 19th Century, the 1910s, the 1920s, the 1930s, the 1940s, and so on, ad nauseum, right up until events taking place yesterday. Throw in the sagging Ottoman Empire, the British Empire, the British Mandate, the League of Nations, the United Nations, five wars, the fact that Arabs routinely lost on the battlefield but were rescued at the UN, endless border battles, strategic missteps by the Israelis, and the rhetorical hijacking of purely legal, territorial arguments by Islamists and radical Leftists — face it, you’re not going to create any easily comprehensible arguments.

Then, layer over this whole factual and rhetorical swirl of words the fact that Israel, in her endless quest for some sort of meaningful ceasefire from the Palestinians, has soft pedaled her own indisputable rights. Israel’s tentative approach, from the 1940s onward, to asserting her legal and post-war rights creates a situation where, to either the uninformed eye or the eye looking for Israel’s faults and failures, it appears that Israel doesn’t believe in her indisputable rights. Then, consider that Israel is a truly pluralist country hampered by a coalition style government imported from Europe. This last point explains why Israeli policy wobbles from strong to weak, and why Israel is exceptionally bad at setting out a coherent statement of her case before a hostile world.

These problems, where fact and law intersect, where arguments became muddy, and where Israel sometimes appears terrified of asserting her own case, are also easily exploited by those who have Israel and Jews in their cross hairs. Indeed, a point of exploitation, right now, is the publication of a revamped Walt and Mearshimer book, which AFP is pushing hard as the ultimate truth regarding Israel’s alleged evil control over world debate and American foreign policy.

At times like this, it sometimes helps to pull back and look at larger issues. Throwing around legal arguments dating back either 4,000 years or 1 day can be fun, just as playing an endless game of Monopoly can be fun. Still, there’s no doubt that these arguments, while satisfying their makers, don’t necessarily shine light on the situation.

For me, the larger issue is the nature of the two cultures currently at war, and my own moral decision about the culture I believe deserves my support.

On the one hand (that would be the Israel hand), we have a representative Democracy that gives equal legal and political rights to women, gays, Arabs, Christians, Hindus — hey, to all citizens within its borders. It is so desperate for peace that it routinely compromises its own security in the hope of obtaining that peace. Recently, rather than mowing down entirely a neighboring community devoted to killing its citizens, Israel built a wall, immuring its own people to help prevent their deaths. It’s also a country with free speech and a thriving marketplace of ideas, one that adds quality to the day-to-day life of people around the world.

On the other hand (that would be the Palestinian hand), you have two lawless communities that subjugate and brutalize women, murder and harass gays, murder and expel Christians, and refuse to allow anyone else within their territories (including, of late, even grovelingly friend journalists). For generations, these people’s sole goal, and the value they’ve passed to their children, is to murder the Israelis — every last one of them — that live next door. While Israel tries to prevent its own citizens from dying, these people put their children in the front line of battle, not even because they actually aid fighting, but because their inevitable deaths help this culture look pathetic, giving it a leg up in international opinion.

Given these two different cultures, I say law is useful, but not determinative. I have no truck with moral relativism, and I’m therefore able, with a clear conscience, to place my support behind Israel, the country of (sometimes flawed) Western humanism, and not behind Hamas or Fatah, territories of animalistic immorality and violence.

UPDATE: A little more on the perverted lessons taught to Palestinian children.

UPDATE II: Today’s example of free speech (NOT) amongst the Palestinians.

UPDATE III: And this is where the UN falls on the moral question of backing either a free Democracy or a nihilistic, murderous, semi-theocracy.

UPDATE IV: Yet another recent story about Israeli innovation that makes a difference — this time for American soldiers.

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments

  1. says

    Hello Bookworm,

    In this muddled, shabby thinking world, people forget a few key facts about Israel. One: They bought every square inch of territory they now hold. Before Israel became a state, before there were enough Jews there to even hope to become a state, the land there was blighted by generations Arab misuse. It was a desert in every way and barely anyone lived there.

    The Hebrews incrementally returned to the Holy Land by buying what many believed to be useless barren land and tilling it back to life, a feat that Middle Eastern Arabs have not yet do. If I remember correctly, the Jews bought the land from the former British Empire. Note that NOT EVEN THE PALESTINIANS LIVED THERE.

    As time progressed, after World War II and the approximately 12 million Jews that were murdered (NOT the reduced number of 6 million nor the further reduced number of 3 million, but at least 12 million. SS officials insisted that in the oblivious malignant narcissism that the number was much more than 12.), there was a mass migration of Jews back into the Holy Land. Somewhere during this time, Arab Palestinians also began immigrating into the Holy Land because the Hebrews brought the desert back to life. Parts of Israel was becoming green once more.

    From my reading of history, and events concerning Israel, the entire idea of a Palestinian state is a TOTAL concocted fiction. “Palestine” as the Arab Muslims conceived it never really existed.

    After the various wars asserting Israeli independence NONE OF THE ARABS STATES wanted to take in Palestinians. To do so would to negate the Arab Muslim claim on Israel. To this day, there are Palestinian refugees in Israel and in neighboring Syria because no one would take them in.

    If people are talking about legality and the legal right of Israel to exist, people have got to get a real grasp of history and excise Palestinian propaganda fictions from their thinking and try to view history objectively.

    When you come right down to it, it is Israel’s right to exist that they challenge. Any discussions of any sort along these lines must be predicated on understanding this one truth. Israel must have the simple right to exist for any meaningful discussions to occur. In my view, if Israel were to make major concessions, such as the unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip two or three years ago, must have a concomitant major concession from their Arab enemies.

    And enemies they are. For any group or country actively seeking your destruction no matter the rhetoric, they are the enemy. God bless them, but they are objectively the enemies of Israel…

  2. says

    Hello Bookworm,

    Allow me to phrase this whole debate in another way. If you are arguing about Israel’s right to exist on legal and historical grounds, then Israel would have more claim to the Holy Land than the Arabs. Israel was there for thousands of years before the Arab conquest of the region. Arabs are called Arabs because they came from the Arabian Peninsula, right? I.E. they were not indigenous to the region.

    Also, if it is legitimate for Palestinians and Arabs to re-conquer Israel by conquest and war, evidenced by their willingness to use terrorism and mass armies, then why isn’t it legitimate for Israel to use the same means to secure their homeland? No one has yet to adequately explained that one to me…

    As an aside, my friend told me once how he’s known some Arabs to went red-faced when someone accused them of being “anti-Semitic”. How could they be anti-Semitic? they said. They ARE Semitic!

    In a very real way, the antagonism between the Arabs and the Israelis is a family fight. People forget that Arabs view the father of their race as Abraham, the same Abraham that is the father of all Hebrews.

    Abraham had a son through his wife’s maid, Hagar. The son’s name was Ishmael, and both he and Hagar was driven from Abraham’s tent into the wilderness when Isaac was born. So, Ishmael’s descendants became the nations of Arabia, and Isaac’s descendants eventually became the nations of Israel. So technically speaking, both would be called Semitic.

    After all these thousands of years, Ishmael’s descendants are still resentful against the children of Israel. Isn’t ironic that that resentment, nursed for thousands of years, could spell the deathknell of us all?

  3. says

    I support Israel, meaning as an ally, for two reasons.

    One, there is nobody better to support there.

    Two, because if Israel has any flaws then their flaw is being too compassionate and talkative towards peace. A flaw that is something I may abhor, yet is no reason for me to withdraw my support.

  4. swampacreage says

    You support Israel because that is where your bread is buttered.Smart but whether it is right or not is another story. Figure which way the parade is going and get out there and bang those drums(bring up business).Smart but I don’t if it is right.
    Parades are losing popularity !

  5. says

    Israel has more rights to exist that many nations of the world. All of the reasons cited are valid. The only one that counts is that Israel is willing to defend its right to exist.

    All the other sophistry is just a waste of energy and time. The Palestinians could have stayed. They could have fought for rights and reached a compromise.

    They did not choose to compromise. They have demonstrated that they are not to be trusted at the bargaining table. Without trust there can be no relationship.

  6. says

    First, let me note that I wholeheartedly support Israel and am the son of a Machalnik. But I take issue with two of Thomas’ assertions:

    They bought every square inch of territory they now hold. and As time progressed, after World War II and the approximately 12 million Jews that were murdered (NOT the reduced number of 6 million nor the further reduced number of 3 million, but at least 12 million. SS officials insisted that in the oblivious malignant narcissism that the number was much more than 12.

    For you to state that you “agree wholeheartedly with both (of Thomas’) comments” serves to undermine what is otherwise excellent commentary by you on the subject.

    I would like to see Thomas’ sources on both of these points.

    While Israel did pay, and dearly, for land that she holds, it is a fallacy to state that she paid for all of that land. It is a fact that Israel holds much territory that was NOT purchased. It was won in wars between 1948 and the present. I take no issue with this. They are wars she did not start. But it is important to educate people on the history of the founding of Israel without gilding the lily.

    As to the second, Yad Vashem is the premier authority in the world on the Holocaust. Yad Vashem asserts that approximately 6 million Jews annihilated in the Holocaust. It is generally accepted that twelve million persons perished as a direct result of the Holocaust. Six million were Jews, six million were others deemed undesirable: gypsies, blacks, homosexuals, political prisoners, the handicapped, the insane – you name it.

    It is important for the facts to be presented honestly ion the argument about Israel’s right to exist. To do otherwise gives ammunition to those who insist that Israel and her supporters are guilty of the same propaganda tactics her enemies use with careless abandon.

  7. Ariella Jerushalmi says

    I do not dispute the right of Israel to exist.But we have to remember the peoplw who live in the country. To ignor the right of the Palestinians for their counry is just a promise to have a counrt ,Israel, under seige and at war. I want my children ang grand children to be huminiterian abd not opressure. I do not care about the historian legitimation I live in 2007 and surrounding by so many counties who do not agree with the Israely’s occupation of the west bank.
    To lough at the UN deciesion and regard The european counties as Antishemit is the easy flight when you are part of a Mass. But when you look at your sleeping Babies and you dream about their future Tell me again about the Israel right for a country on bouth side of the Jordan River.

  8. says

    Ariella Jerushalmi: How do you respond to Israeli desires for their children to be able to attend school in Sderot without suffering Hamas rocket attacks, or for Israeli women and children to be able to take a bus in Jerusalem without being blown to pieces? That is also happening in 2007.

    The Palestinians would have a shot at a country if they decided to negotiate instead of resorting to terror against innocent civilians.

  9. says

    I would like to tell you about a new (and free!) way to help Israel. IHelpIsrael.com allows you to support Israeli charities and worthy causes with a percentage of your online shopping. It’s totally free for you and your chosen charity. All it needs from you, supporter of Israel, is to pass through I Help Israel’s Merchant Directory on your way to the online shops that you know and love (like Barnes and Noble, Gap, Office Depot, etc). More details are available at http://www.IHelpIsrael.com. Shop online, help Israel, it’s free.

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply