Wednesday, August 26, 2009
The Two-State Potemkin Peace
in the heading - I am getting senile and meant them to be in BCC
Two-State Solution - Or Potemkin Peace?
By: Steven Plaut
Date: Wednesday, August 26 2009
The creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel would be a major step
in the escalation of the Arab war against Israel even if the resumption of
that war is delayed for a brief time while the world celebrates the
outbreak of a Potemkin peace in the Middle East, produced by the end of
Israeli "occupation" of Palestinians.
Like the famous Potemkin villages that were all faade with no substance,
the two-state solution would prove to be nothing more than the signal of
the commencement of the next Middle East war.
Human beings seem to have a basic impatience with hearing the truth
repeated over long periods of time. In an era in which technology,
politics, and science change so rapidly, many consider it implausible that
a statement that was true years ago can still be true today.
Surely, they insist, explanations from the past, such as those pertaining
to the Middle East conflict, must be obsolete by now, replaced with new
updated theories and contemporary perceptions of reality.
No subject has fallen victim to quite so much pseudo-historic revisionism
and denial of "out-of date" truths as the Middle East. George Orwell said
the first duty of intelligent men is to restate the obvious. Obvious
truths about the Middle East need to be restated because they are under
assault by so many dishonest men.
We hear so often that the Middle East conflict is mind-numbingly complex.
This is a false notion. Actually, the Middle East conflict is
extraordinarily simple to understand. Its causes and issues have not
changed at all in 60 years. That which produced the first Arab-Israeli war
in 1948 is exactly the same thing that stands in the way of any real peace
There is one - and only one - cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict, even if
that single cause is buried beneath an avalanche of media mud designed to
obfuscate and confuse. That single cause is the refusal of the Arab world
to come to terms with Israel's existence within any set of borders
* * *
The Middle East conflict is not about the right of self-determination of
Palestinian Arabs, but rather about the total Arab rejection of
self-determination for Israeli Jews.
The Arabs today control 22 countries and territory nearly twice the size
of the United States (including Alaska), whereas Israel cannot even be
seen on most globes or maps. Arabs as an ethnic group control more
territory than any other ethnic group on earth. And they refuse to share
even a fraction of one percent of the Middle East with the Jews, in a
territory smaller than New Jersey.
Without the West Bank, Israel at its narrowest is not even 10 miles wide,
about the length of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. The main reason the Arab
world demands that Israel relinquish the West Bank is so that it can be
used to attack Israel.
The Arab world controls such vast amounts of territory and such vast
amounts of wealth (thanks to petroleum) that it could have created a
homeland for Palestinian Arabs anywhere within its territories at any
From 1948 until 1967 the West Bank and the Gaza Strip were both under the
rule of Arab states (Jordan and Egypt, respectively). They could easily
have set up a Palestinian homeland in those areas. They did not.
The fact is, no Palestinians before 1967 demanded any "homeland," though
they did demand that the Jews be stripped of theirs. This is because
Palestinians are not a "people" at all, at least as far as the term has
been understood throughout human history.
Until relatively recent times, Palestinians never had any real interest in
their own state, and in fact rioted violently in 1920 when the
geographical entity called Palestine was detached from Syria by the
Indeed, the term "nakba" ("catastrophe" in Arabic and in leftist
newspeak), used exclusively now to refer to the creation of Israel,
actually was coined to refer to the outrage expressed by Palestinians
separated from their Syrian homeland.
* * *
Immediately after the Six-Day War, a sudden need for a Palestinian state
was fabricated by the Arab world as a gimmick to force Israel back to its
pre-1967 borders. The Arab world began agitating for a Palestinian state
so that the Palestinians could serve the same role the Sudeten Germans did
in the late 1930s. That role was to provide a pretense of legitimacy for
the war aims and aggression of a large fascist power.
The term "self-determination" has been repeated as a rhetorical
inalienable right for so long that few people recall now that pursuing
self-determination can also serve as a tool of aggression on the part of
barbarous aggressors and totalitarian powers.
When Hitler decided to embark on a war of conquest in the late 1930s, he
dressed up his intentions in the cloak of legitimacy, claiming he was
merely interested in "helping disenfranchised and oppressed people attain
self-determination." He distorted the plight of ethnic Germans living in
the Czech Sudetenland and elsewhere in Eastern Europe, inventing tales of
their oppression and mistreatment.
In reality, of course, these ethnic Germans already had the option of
self-determination within the neighboring sovereign German nation-states,
and in fact enjoyed far more freedom and rights than did Germans inside
Germany's invasion of Czechoslovakia was prepared through postured
indignity over the mistreatment of Germans by Germany's neighbors. Hitler
insisted he was simply seeking to relieve the "misery of mistreated ethnic
Germans," supposedly suffering inside democratic Czechoslovakia.
"Self-determination" was also the pretense when Germany attacked Poland
and other countries.
Like Germany before World War II, the Arab world used the method of the
Big Lie, with its infinite and mindless repetitions, to invent a fairy
tale about Palestinians being mistreated and oppressed by Israel.
The reality is that Arabs living under Israeli rule have always been
treated considerably better than Arabs living under Arab regimes, and
infinitely better than non-Arab minorities living under Arab regimes.
Jimmy Carter has it completely backward: Israel is the only country in the
Middle East that is not an apartheid regime.
Arabs living under Israeli rule are the only Arabs in the Middle East who
enjoy freedom of speech and press; free access to courts operating with
due process; legal protection for property rights; and the right to vote.
And Israeli Arabs have higher standards of education and health than any
other group of Arabs in the Middle East.
But then, the Sudeten Germans were never really oppressed either. Israeli
Arabs are quite simply the best-treated political minority in the Middle
East and are in some ways better treated than minority groups in many
Israel is the only country in the Middle East that does not deal with
Islamist terror through wholesale massacres of the people in whose midst
the terrorists operate. The number of innocent Palestinian civilians
intentionally killed by Israel is exactly zero. The number of civilians
injured in Israeli anti-terror operations is tiny when compared with NATO
and Allied military operations in Serbia, Bosnia, Afghanistan, or Iraq.
* * *
The world media, which know even less about the Middle East than they do
about other parts of the globe, swallow the anti-Israel disinformation
with gusto. And so, as was the case in the late 1930s, a campaign of
genocidal aggression enjoys near-universal political support among those
who have been snookered into thinking that the Middle East conflict has
something to do with "self-determination" and statehood for mistreated
The real goal of the Arab aggressors, as they readily concede to anyone
willing to listen, is nothing less than Israel's extermination. And those
who think the state of Israel can be eliminated without a second Holocaust
taking place are deluding themselves.
The endless complaints about "human rights violations" by Israel against
the Palestinians are a rhetorical part of the broader campaign of
aggression against Israeli survival. Arabs living under Israeli rule are
the world's foremost illustration of "Moynihan's Law," which holds: "The
amount of violations of human rights in a country is always an inverse
function of the amount of complaints about human rights violations heard
from there. The greater the number of complaints being aired, the better
protected are human rights in that country."
Given the wide support among Palestinians for terrorist atrocities against
Jews, the self-restraint and moderation used by Israel in dealing with the
threat has no precedent in the world. Israel's own Arabs make little
attempt to hide their open identification with the genocidal enemies of
their own country and they by and large support the annihilation of the
state in which they hold citizenship.
No other democratic country facing such open sedition and identification
with the enemy in time of war ever responded with anywhere near the
restraint shown by Israel.
In World War II, when faced with a far less dangerous problem, the United
States locked up its ethnic Japanese population in internment camps.
Democratic Spain set up teams of death squads to deal with its separatist
terrorists. Democracies in war have junked habeas corpus and treated their
internal fifth columns as the enemy, with no hesitation or squeamishness.
Democratic Czechoslovakia and India (as well as non-democratic countries
throughout Eastern Europe) undertook wholesale expulsions of millions of
members of their internal ethnic minorities who had sided with the enemy.
Greece and Turkey and the two sections of Cyprus simply expelled their
minority populations altogether.
Israel, in contrast, operates affirmative action programs that benefit
Arabs; finances Arabic-language schools in which Israeli Arabs preserve
and develop their culture; funds Arab municipalities; and turns a blind
eye to massive Arab sedition and lawbreaking, including illegal squatting
on publicly owned lands.
It is hard to come up with the words needed to mock the ludicrous nature
of the complaints about Israeli mistreatment of Arabs. These complaints
come from the very people who are apologists for genocidal Islamofascist
terrorist movements and for Arab fascist states, regimes that are among
the most barbarous and oppressive on earth.
Israel even agreed in principle, foolishly as it turns out, to recognize
the legitimacy of Palestinian national ambitions and to relinquish lands
to the Palestinian Authority. What it got in exchange was a genocidal
fascist Hamastan on its borders, with other terrorist militias operating
in the suburbs of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Since the Oslo "peace process" began in the early 1990s, the working
hypothesis endorsed by nearly everyone on the planet (including large
numbers of IQ-challenged Israeli politicians) has been that the most
urgent task at hand is to end the Israeli "occupation" of Palestinian
The problem is that any Palestinian state, regardless of who rules it,
will produce nothing but escalated violence, terror and warfare in the
Middle East, certainly not stability or peaceful relations. It will seek
war with Israel and will attempt to draw the entire Muslim world into that
war. It will be indifferent to the economic and social problems of its own
The Israeli left and its amen chorus in the international media have been
repeating for so many years that the ultimate cause of Palestinian
terrorism and Arab grievances is the "occupation" of "Palestinian lands"
by Israel that few are capable any longer of thinking about that assertion
critically. But the assertion is wrong. The main cause of anti-Israel
terrorism today is the removal of Israeli occupation from Palestinian
This is so obvious that it is a major intellectual challenge to explain
why so few people understand it, but here are the facts:
Israel ended its occupation of the Gaza Strip in its entirety in 2005 and
evicted all the Jews who had been living there. The Israeli withdrawal
produced a barrage of many thousands of rockets aimed at Israeli civilians
inside Israel (not the "occupied territories" that, we are told, are at
the heart of Arab anger with Israel) - a barrage that eventually forced
Israel's reluctant leaders to carry out a full-scale operation against
Gaza terrorism earlier this year.
The Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon was unilaterally ended in 2000
by then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. The direct result of that
fiasco was the launching of 4,000 Katyusha rockets from Lebanon against
northern Israel in the summer of 2006 - and several times that number now
poised to strike Israel.
The worst waves of Palestinian suicide attacks were directly triggered by
the early Oslo withdrawals - before which there had been no suicide
There can be no doubt that a complete Israeli withdrawal from the West
Bank and a return to pre-1967 borders in order to make way for a
Palestinian state would trigger a massive rocket and terror assault
against the remaining areas of Israel, launched from the "liberated" West
Bank. The same thing would result from Israel relinquishing the Golan
Heights to Syria.
The promotion of a "two states for two peoples" solution has radicalized
most Israeli Arabs, who now identify with and openly support Arab parties
and politicians calling for violence against Jews and the destruction of
Israel. Even the "moderate" factions within the PLO keep insisting that
after such a plan is implemented they will never recognize the right of
Jews to have their own state anywhere in the Middle East.
The Arabs still condition any two-state solution on Israel agreeing to
being flooded with Arab immigrants purporting to be Palestinians, so that
it will morph demographically into the 24th Arab state.
That such a two-state Potemkin solution will not end the conflict, but
only signal the commencement of its next stage, has long been the
quasi-official position of virtually all Palestinian groups.
The Palestinians tell each other, in their newspapers, their mosques and
their internal political debates, that any two-state solution is but a
stage in a "plan of stages," after which will come additional steps
ultimately aimed at ending Israel's existence as a Jewish state.
Why shouldn't we believe them?