Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Doomed to repeat history? Listening to James Woolsey

Doomed to repeat history? Listening to James Woolsey, `Speaker of Truth`

Center for Security Policy | May 18, 2009
By Frank Gaffney, Jr.

This is a lousy time to have a president in the White House who is, apparently, contemptuous of Winston Churchill. At this writing, Mr. Obama is poised to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the latest in a series of efforts aimed at weakening Israel an d otherwise bending it to the U.S. administration`s will - a practice against which an historian/statesman like Churchill would have strenuously warned. In his extraordinary memoir, The Gathering Storm, the future British prime minister recalled how he had publicly pronounced in the run-up to World War II that he could not "imagine a more dangerous policy" than one then being practiced by Her Majesty`s Government. It involved trying to appease Adolf Hitler by encouraging Britain`s principal continental ally, France, to disarm - even as Nazi Germany was remilitarizing in increasingly offensive ways.

This practice was subsequently applied by both the British and French as they compelled another powerful ally, Czechoslovakia, to surrender its formidable western defenses and military-industrial capabilities to the Nazis. The results of these misbegotten initiatives produced not peace, but an unprecedented conflagration. Extreme care should be exercised to avoid a repetition of this tragic history.

Yet, every indication is that Barack Obama is determined to weaken Israel, America`s most important and reliable ally in the Middle East, by forcing the Jewish State to surrender territory and make other strategic concessions in order to create a Palestinian state. As in the past, this weaken-your-friend approach to achieving the so-called "two-state solution" will not work. It will encourage, not eliminate, the abiding ambition of other nations in the region and their terrorist proxies to "wipe Israel off the map." It w ill actually exacerbate regional instability, not alleviate it.

Fortunately, another thoughtful student of history and accomplished statesman has come forth in Churchill`s footsteps (and following his example) by laying out a markedly different approach to the idea of creating a second state out of the 22% of the original Mandate Palestine west of the Jordan river that was not given to the Arabs" in 1922. (The other 78% became "Transjordan," known today simply as Jordan.)

At a Washington dinner hosted on May 6th by the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), R. James Woolsey was recognized as a "Speaker of the Truth." In his brief acceptance address, a man who has served presidents of both parties as Under Secretary of the Navy, conventional arms control negotiator and Director of Central Intelligence laid out pre-conditions that must apply before there is any likelihood of a Palestinian polity with whom Israel might actually be able to live "side by side in peace."

Mr. Woolsey`s analysis is informed by the status Israeli Arabs enjoy in the Jewish state today. They make up roughly one-fifth of the population of Israel. They are able to have their own places of worship and schools. They are free to own and publish their own newspapers.

Israel`s Arab citizens are also entitled to vote for real representation in a real legislature. Currently, they have 10 of the 120 seats in the Israeli Knesset. There is an Arab justice on the Israeli Supreme Court. And an ethnically Arab Druze hol ds a seat in Mr. Netanyahu`s cabinet.

Most importantly, as Mr. Woolsey notes, law-abiding Arab citizens of Israel "can go to sleep at night without having to worry that their door will be kicked down and they will be killed" by agents of the Israeli government or others among the majority Jewish population. In short, they enjoy real security as well as opportunities in a society in which Israeli Arabs are a distinct minority.

Regrettably, as Director Woolsey notes, the world has a tendency to "define deviancy down for non-Jews." As a result, governments around the world, including the Obama administration, never even mention the possibility that Jews should be able to enjoy the same rights and privileges in any future Palestinian polity that Israeli Arabs exercise today in the Jewish state.

So, instead of what amounts to a Hitlerian program of Judenrein in any prospective Palestinian state - meaning, as a practical matter, if not a de jure one, that no Jews can reside or work there, there could be approximately twice the number of Israeli Jews as currently reside in so-called "settlements" on the West Bank. They should be free to build synagogues and Jewish schools. And newspapers that serve the Jewish population in any future state of "Palestine" should be permitted to flourish there.

Jews should also have a chance to elect representatives to a future Palestinian legislature. They should be able to expect to have representation as well in other governing institutions, like the executive and judicial branches.

In order for the foregoing to operate, Jews in the Palestinian state must be able to live without fearing every day for their lives. In Mr. Woolsey`s view, "Once Palestinians are behaving that way, they deserve a state."

By establishing full reciprocity as the prerequisite basis for a two-state "solution" President Obama might just be able to make useful progress toward peace in the Middle East. If, however, he persists in distancing the United States from Israel and otherwise weakening the Jewish State, he will likely get war, not a durable end to hostilities. As Messrs. Churchill and Woolsey might attest, no good will come of President Obama`s ignoring of history and his efforts to euchre Israel into doing the same.

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. is President of the Center for Security Policy and a columnist for the Washington Times.

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Anonymous said...

Do the Palestinians specifically state that no Jews will be allowed in a Palestinian state, or do they just oppose Jewish settlements, because these most of these settlements are likely to become part of the Israeli State in any future peace deal?

GS Don Morris, Ph.D./Chana Givon said...

They oppose the "settlements" because they believe they are on the their land. If they were to have a state, Jews would not be allowed to live there-this as of today's date.This is contrary to Arabs who not only live in Israel but are also citizens with all the requisite rights-including the right to practice Islam. This is not reciprocated in any Arab state.

Anonymous said...

Ok, can you provide any links to quotes from senior PA/PLO/Fatah Palestinian officials (historic or recent), or documents that says specifically that no Jews will be allowed in or to be citizens in a Palestinian state.
I'm not saying your wrong, but while I’m aware of the strong opposition to settlements, I haven't seen the above.

GS Don Morris, Ph.D./Chana Givon said...

Let me begin with this:The PA generally respects freedom of religion, though no law exists protecting religious expression. The basic law declares Islam the official religion of Palestine and also states that "respect and sanctity of all other heavenly religions [that is, Judaism and Christianity] shall be maintained." The PA requires all Palestinians to be affiliated with a religion, which must be displayed on identification cards. Personal status law, which governs marriage and divorce, is based on religious law; for Muslims, it is derived from Sharia (Islamic law)

Now, this reality and the daily culture of life (preaching of Jewish hatred in schools, on television, in newspapers and on their television) is a reason why Jews "cannot live in a Palestinian state.
There is more-now, you are trying to make a point and I understand thi-however, if you live here you also know the reality-all the best-doc