Friday, November 19, 2010

Goldberg's Goldblog Goes Gone

Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic takes on Rabbi Reuven Spolter of Elkana who opposes Goldberg's "contention often made on [my] blog, that it is in Israel's best interest to help birth a Palestinian state on the West Bank".

He quotes Spolter:

Why is it always up to us? Why does the Israeli Prime Minister need to travel to Ramallah to provide a vision? Has he ever heard of Hamas? Does he really think that the larger Palestinian goal is two live peacefully, side-by-side? And even if he does, would he bet his life on it, much less mine?

and attempts briefly to answer his questions. His answers follow - with my comments:

1) It is not up to Israel entirely, of course, but it is Israel that occupies the land in question, not the Palestinians;

Since the reason that Israel administers that portion of its homeland that was to be established as "the Jewish national home" with "the interests of the Jewish population in Palestine" taken into consideration (whereas the word "Arabs" does not appear at all but rather "non-Jews") as a result of a defensive response to Arab aggression in 1967 that was preceded by 19 years of terror attacks on its civilian population by fedayeen and Fatah, a territory that was not to "be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of the Government of any foreign Power" the administration of which, "while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co­operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes", all of this guaranteed by the League of Nations as international law, I would suggest to Goldberg that Israel has the better right to administer the area of Judea and Samaria and is in no way obliged to be the first to yield on its rights which foremost belong to the Jewish people which, of course, introduces another interpretation as to Israel, Jews and the Land of Israel.

2) Ramallah would be a good place to challenge the Palestinians to grapple with a generous vision of the future, because it is their de facto capital; Paris would be a nice place, too, but it is less relevant to the issue at hand; 

I'd go for Hebron since it the de facto capital of Hamas in Judea and Samaria (Hamas already has a statelet in Gaza) and most probably, as it did in Gaza, will seek and most probably succeed overthrow the PLO's Fatah in Ramallah.  All of which, of course, indicates that Goldberg is flogging am almost-dead horse.

3) Hamas is that chickpea spread you put on pita, right?

Golldberg fails at being funny or facetious and pundits should never attempt to be witty if thet are wrong - see #3 above.

4) I'm not sure what the larger Palestinian goal is. I believe there are many Palestinians who would see a Palestinian state as a launching pad from which they could begin the final assault on Israel; I also believe there are Palestinians who, in their hearts, have reconciled themselves to their Jewish neighbor. Israelis have a profoundly important stake in empowering that latter group; 

I would suggest that 'empowering', or whatever, should come before surrendering territory and subjecting Israelis to intolerable security threats.  Moreover, why can't CBMs (confidence building measures) be provided by the Pals. in the form of cessation of incitement, halt to those military-style summer camps, using maps in school that include Israel, accept that a supposed 'right of return' is not acceptable, agree not only to the concept of a Jewish state but accept Jews as residents no less than Arabs are citizens of Israel (12 Arabe MKs, et al.) and more?

In addition, if he is interested in knowing what Pals. think, let Goldberg try this and this, as a small, as it were, sampling.

5) Let me reverse this question on Reuven Spolter: Does he believe that his country will survive if it continues to dominate another ethnic group that resists domination? Because that, in essence, is what he is arguing for.

Despite my desire to be cynical about Golberg's audacious hubris, let me just say that (a) there are many such countries - and if believes they are immoral in their actions, well, let him go after them first and when he's finished, we can re-discuss Israel; (b) perhaps it may be that Arabs are illegally occupying Jewish territory; (c) I would suggest that Israel's survival is best served by retaining Judea and Samaria - even if we did not, as a people, possess rights to that land; (d) since Israel has done so for 43 years, with 325,000 Jews resident in Judea and Samaria and 250,000 in the new neighborhoods in Jerusalem, it is obvious that this is the trend that, to use Goldberg's word, dominates the politics of the situation.

One more thing: if American Jews would only be willing to accept what they know is true - and the above is only part - and promote that agenda, reject J Street and the subversion of Hillel, stand up to the Obama Administration and a few other matters, all of us, Jews in America and we Jews in Israel, would be part of a New Coalition - JUSTIS, Just Israel.

And JUSTIS, which has already taken its first steps will be seeking a greater impact on US-Israel relations. Stay tuned.


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