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Posted in: Anti-Semitism, Israel

Published on May 04, 2010 by Phyllis Chesler

Written for Pajamas Media

Naivete Can Be Deadly: J Street in Europe and the Two State Solution


Fiamma Nirenstein is a member of the Italian Parliament and a journalist. She is a tireless champion of democracy and freedom and therefore of Israel. Some French intellectuals, including Bernard-Henri Levy (of the famously bared chest, tousled mane, and starlet wives), and Alain Finkelkraut (who should know better), have launched a petition which they plan to present to the European Parliament. The petition, (which, so far, has 5000 signatures), is more naive than pernicious but may still lead to an unfortunate outcome; further confirmation of the view that both Israel and the Palestinians are to blame for the stalemate and that both must be forced to come to the table. It is, as Nirenstein says, a very "Obama-like" kind of document. The desire for a two state solution has, historically, been an Israel-only desire; the Palestinians have rejected every single opportunity for statehood and have consistently rejected a Jewish state.

Fiamma Nirenstein

If you don't believe me, please read Daniel Pipes' review of Ephraim Karsh's excellent new book Palestine Betrayed. Karsh definitively and brilliantly lays out the case for the historical Palestinian rejection of both a state and of a second, separate Jewish sovereign state. Pipes writes: "Palestine Betrayed reframes today's Arab–Israeli debate by putting it into its proper historical context. Proving that for 90 years the Palestinian political elite has opted to reject 'the Jewish national revival and [insisted on] the need for its violent destruction,' Karsh correctly concludes that the conflict will end only when the Palestinians give up on their 'genocidal hopes.'"

Thus, how does it help to continue to appear "evenhanded" when the only people who need to be convinced are the Palestinians who, even as I write, are engaged in a series of simultaneous and deadly civil wars: Hamas against Fatah and the Palestinian Authority, the leadership against the people, the men against the girls and women.

Last night I had an off-the-record conversation with a gentleman from an Arab country. In his view, the only thing that will save or simply preserve Israel is "one definitive military victory after the other." He believes, sadly but strongly, that the Arab world will never give up its envy, hatred, and desire to exterminate the Jewish state. All that Israel can do—is win. And win again. Miraculously if necessary.

Thus, with all due respect to the naive longings of my European intellectual brethren, I urge you to sign Nirenstein's counter-petition, which will appear online tomorrow. In the meantime, you can send your signatures to me and I will forward them to Fiamma. The petition reads as follows:

The attack against Israel by the Jcall document is inspired by a short-sighted view of the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. In fact, the signatories of this appeal do not have the clear perception of the global physical and moral threat to which Israel is currently exposed. It is indeed incredible that intelligent and cultivated people like Alain Finkelkraut and Bernard-Henri Levy – instead of dealing with Iran that will soon keep the whole world under the threat of the range of its atomic bomb – play with the idea that Benjamin Netanyahu is the true hindrance to peace, that the essential obstacle to a resolution of the conflict is a reproachable attitude of Israel. The intellectuals who have signed the French document ignore history and don't care about the help that it will give and is already giving to the unprecedented delegitimization threatening the life of Israel.

Pushing Israel to concessions without rewards, simply means to surrender the enemy without any guarantee: the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza has produced disastrous consequences, the land Gush Katif inhabitants has been kicked out from is since then a launching pad for missiles and terrorists; Ehud Barak's concessions in Camp David, designed to give Arafat practically everything he was asking for, led to the horror of the second Intifada, with its two-thousand people killed by suicide attacks; the evacuation of Southern Lebanon in 2000 strengthened the Hezbollah, supplied them with 40,000 missiles and led to the 2006 war.

Finkelkraut, Henri Levy and their friends claim that they are concerned about the future and the security of Israel. But they actually ignore the basic element that has prevented success of any peace process, i.e. the Arab and Palestinian refusal to recognize the very existence of the State of Israel as a permanent member in the Middle East. The Palestinian and Arab press shows this refusal every morning.

The attack against Netanyahu aims at breaking up his right wing coalition. But it actually never mattered whether an Israeli government was right or left: anyhow the Palestinians refused any proposal of peace.

The territorial concessions the French intellectuals push for, will never guarantee peace. Only a cultural revolution in the Arab world can achieve it, but nobody asks for that, not even Obama, who devotes US great strength to pressure only Israel. This is the current fashion.

But it will not help peace if Israel becomes smaller and smaller. What will help a real peace process is when Abu Mazen stops naming his squares after the infamous terrorist Yehiya Ayash, when the Palestinians avoid distributing sweets when a Jewish family is killed in a restaurant, when they accept Netanyahu's minimal request to recognize the State of Israel as the State of the Jewish people.

This reality is ignored also by the Israeli intellectuals who have signed a document against the Nobel Prize laureate Elie Wiesel, who wrote a very noble letter to support Jerusalem as the moral and historical homeland of the Jewish people.

This sadly politically correct epidemic is probably designed to give some oxygen to the defeated pacifist movements that is actually able only to fail against the rock of the Islamist hatred culture and to defame Israel. But in this approach there is no contribution to any better future for the Middle East: the world must find the courage to face the new Islamist frenzy that springs from Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas and points to the destruction of Israel. Iran and its friends are all increasingly equipped with lethal weapons and not with vain words, like those who signed "The Appeal to Reason". But even words can kill and destroy.

The signatories show a blatant ignorance of the extended hand policy adopted by Netanyahu since his Bar Ilan speech, the ten-months settlements freeze, the lifting of many check points and the adoption of important measures to ease the Palestinian economy. And you can clearly see that the "Finkelkraut document" has an Obama flavour, a prissy and respectable trendy attitude intellectuals are often unable to say no. This makes possible nowadays to the increasing number of Israel's enemies to delegitimize the Jewish State rejoicing "even the Jews are with us". If this was the signatories aim, they have indeed achieved it.


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