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Israel must shape its future before the future is out of its hands

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Israel must control its destiny

Israel must control its destiny

There are three possible paths for Israel to take, and two outcomes.

The paths are as follows;  First, a two-state solution, in which Israel and Palestine sit side by side and Palestine becomes a client state of Israel.  Second, a one state solution in which Israel falls under the demographic hammer and loses its identity after a monumental all-consuming war. Third , resistance to any solution in which Israel falls under the demographic hammer, and loses its identity after a monumental all-consuming war.

Clearly, the only path that is remotely feasible is the first, and yet there is a very good chance that the next prime minister of Israel will be a man for whom all but the third option are complete anathema. Netanyahu speaks the language of pragmatism, but with Avigdor Lieberman breathing down his neck, it’s unlikely to go anywhere. This is a problem, a very, very big problem. And it’s made worse by the fact that in a few years the demographic future of Israel will become very obvious to the Palestinians who will quite simply wait Israel out, until they outnumber the Jews in Israel proper. That possibility makes the two-state option all the more important to pursue now. To do it, Israel needs to both assert its power, and make powerful and strategic concessions.

Until Israel realizes that peace is a powerful and unbeatable weapon against its enemies it will remain on a very shaky trajectory. The irony is that peace in the Middle East is fast becoming a misnomer. The issue isn’t peace anymore, it’s what’s acceptable for Israel. Peace is a weapon in Israel’s arsenal.  The Palestinians, usually outsmarted by Israel realize this and don’t want to let it take hold. Hence the constant war. Not surprisingly, for a Western democracy, the Israeli population doesn’t take too kindly to the rabid anti-semitism of Hezbollah to the North of Hamas to the South. Which of course is pretty much why rockets are lobbed at Sderot on a daily basis. It’s not that they do any serious physical damage but they enrage the Israeli population enough for them to do the wrong thing when it comes time to vote. Hamas and Hezbollah use Israeli’s fertile democracy as a weapon against it. It’s the most powerful weapon they have. And it works well.

How does America combat that weapon? How does the US  “out-influence” Israeli policy? The answer is we make Israel realize that its future lies in a direction directly opposed to that which Hamas and Hezbollah encourage with their rocket fire. Like the terrorists we influence Israeli democracy in the purest possible way.  America is Israel’s only serious ally. It’s a bond that must not break, but in order to make Israel realize that no solution now will be a disaster for the nation in the future we have to be cruel to be kind. In short, we have to cut Israel off from military and economic aid unless they give up the territories and Gaza to a new Palestinian state, whether run by Hamas or Fatah. That might sound insane, but there’s method to this madness.

In the medium term, a Palestinian state has no place to turn but Israel, because the dirty little secret of the Middle East is that Palestinians are pariahs to the Arabs. They are pawns, pure and simple, and the moment they are empowered is the moment they become an enemy of Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia and just about everyone else. No more aid, no more support, nothing.  And the more Israel helps them, the more attractive a Palestinian state becomes and the less likely that the demographic hammer will fall on the State of Israel. This is the new reality, and there is no escaping it.

Israel must not be railroaded by Iranian nukes, or Hamas’ Qassams, or Hezbollah’s threats. It has to respond to the existential threat on its future with a wily realization that history is not on its side unless it attempts to manipulate the future to insure its own peaceful continuance and therefore success as a nation.

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Written by coolrebel

February 20, 2009 at 9:00 pm

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