Friday, July 21, 2006

New Balfour Declaration

I didn't know that there still is a Lord Balfour in England.

Below is his letter from the London Times.

Notice how he suggests we put up with "some pain".

Sir, While many would say that a central tenet of the Balfour Declaration demanding mutual tolerance between Arabs and Jews was always unattainable, the current situation imperils the region as never before and it is surprising that Israel’s normally astute Government has reacted as it has.

From Palestine, an attack by Hamas on Israel is seen as an attack by the elected Government. In the case of Lebanon one reads of no such suggestion, even if Hezbollah forms a small part of that Government. When Hezbollah fired the first shots, Israel should perhaps have demanded that the Lebanese Government control its citizens or face consequences. This would have bought time and allowed Lebanon to ask for international help to weed out the miscreants. Such a stance would have given Israel the high ground. Hezbollah would have been undermined without Lebanon being razed or fostering yet more anti-Israel hate.

Israel is now surrounded by governments and factions which, as never before, are determined to remove it from the map. This Middle East desire for annihilation is not just by Muslims for Jews but, as we see in Iraq, among Muslims.

Governments which allow sections of their society to wage unauthorised war must deal with this cancer or call for help to do so, or face retaliation. These embedded fanatical minorities cannot be given the satisfaction of seeing their actions spawn so much destruction and division which the wider world then has to repair.

If Israel is to help put an end to this and soften attitudes towards it, perhaps it should put up with some pain without always fighting back instantly. This would allow a better background for forceful diplomacy involving Tehran, Damascus and others in the region. Israel is not going to disappear and nor is Arabia. They had better train their peoples to live with the fact.

London SW3

But what the Lord doesn't seem to grasp is that, despite his rational background, the Arab world simply doesn't think like he does.

Painful, I'd say, rather.

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