Monday, November 15, 2010

Dennis Prager on the Middle East Problem

As is typical, Dennis Prager does an exemplary job in getting to the heart of the matter when it comes to defining the problems between Israel and the Palestinian people in the Middle East.  As he says, the problem is simple to define.  Indeed, Prager asks an interesting hypothetical question: What would the result be if the Israeli's were to announce that they were unilaterally disarming themselves and wished only for peace?  The same question is then asked what the result would be should the Palestinians make the same declaration.  It is fairly evident in the former case that the complete annihilation of Israel would result at the hands of her enemies.  In the latter case, it is safe to deduct that there would finally be peace in this section of the Middle East.  Evidently the solution is far more difficult to enact than it is to define the problem.

3 comments:

S.W. Anderson said...

Prager makes an interesting presentation, but it's a little too facile and one sided. His assertion that unilateral disarmament by the Palestinians would ensure peace doesn't square with considerable evidence to the contrary.

It's unfortunately true that on more than a few occasions, the IDF has gone way beyond pushing Palestinians back or even playing tit for tat. I recall a couple of episodes in the 90s when the IDF invaded Palestinian territory and pounded villages and camps for days after Palestinian fighters were able to mount no more than weak, sporadic resistence. IOW it was overkill, with a heavy toll on Palestinian civilians and property.

Maybe the worst was the Sabra and Shatilah massacres. They were carried out by Christian militias in Lebanon, but the Israelis did everything they could to facilitate those barbaric attacks.

The problem, as we've seen going back to the 1970's, is that there are fanatical factions within Palestinian ranks and within Israel. Every time it appears serious progress toward peace is being made, these factions on one or both sides ratchet up the violence, and peace talks are aborted.

If I had to pick a more civilized, less culpable side, it would be the Israelis. But clearly, they are not without a share of the blame for the endless hostilities, and not without blood on their hands.

Just this fall, under great encouragement and considerable diplomatic pressure from the U.S., a fresh round of peace talks got under way. They had barely begun when Israel announced more housing will be built in the Palestinian territories. That was like waving the proverbial red flag in front of a bull — a perfect way to abort the peace talks — as the Israelis knew very well. Sure enough, the talks have been stalled ever since.

Prager keeps things simple, though. You got your good guys in the white hats, and your bad guys in black hoods. That's all you need to know.

Well, no, that's not all you need to know. We all need to understand there are good and bad guys among Palestinians and among Israelis. The bad guys have had their way for decades, at great cost in lives and suffering on both sides.

Only by understanding the real root of the problem is there any hope for ever solving the problem.

free0352 said...

Every time it appears serious progress toward peace is being made, these factions on one or both sides ratchet up the violence

There is some truth to that. I would also note that interfearance from countries like Syria and Iran create further problems on the side of Palestinians. Hezbullah does a lot to ratchet up that violence- and that is really Iran doing the Palestinians more harm than good. I've said for a long time if the Arabs in Israel really wanted to get rid of the IDF they'd stop shooting rockets into Israeli schools and instead adopt a stratagy like Nelson Mandella or MLK. A few years of video of Palistenians singing "we shall overcome" in front of IDF tanks would create international pressure to a point that Israel would have no choice to give in.

However, on the whole while Israel isn't "innocent" the Palenstinian side is far more "guilty." Prager is correct in his assessment that while Israel is willing to coexist with the Arabs the Arabs do not feel likewise and until that changes there will be no peace.

And I don't see them ever changing.

T. Paine said...

"I've said for a long time if the Arabs in Israel really wanted to get rid of the IDF they'd stop shooting rockets into Israeli schools and instead adopt a stratagy like Nelson Mandella or MLK. A few years of video of Palistenians singing "we shall overcome" in front of IDF tanks would create international pressure to a point that Israel would have no choice to give in."


That is a great point Free. And it is also a strategy that will never be used by the Palestinians or proxies in their name.