Friday, May 30, 2008


Israel as an Arab-Jewish state

by Larry Geller

We get an awful lot of crap in the guise of analysis of mid-east politics, if we get any analysis at all, in Honolulu's daily papers. Both of them seem to favor typically right-wing commentaries, which, since right-wing policy is a shambles in the region, are not terribly enlightening.

By "analysis" I don't mean claims that the USA or Israel is winning or losing. That's a common deceit, to limit discussion to describing tactics in a horserace. Why not have some more scholarly discussion? Dear Advertiser, Dear Star-Bulletin, we can handle it.

Let's not even talk about television. No need.

So (sigh) we go to the web for our analysis and food for thought.

Here's a tasty article, Israel’s Self-Destruction as a Jewish State, on It's not some tome saying Israel has self-destructed. Read that again. It says "as a Jewish state."

There's a description of Hezbollah's clever diplomacy in Lebanon. Reading it, you may discard the right-wing image of them as thuggish terrorists (they may still be terrorists, but anyway, please read the article). They not only have been widely viewed as the victors in Israel's 2006 war against them, but they have achieved some significant goals in Lebanon.

More interesting to me, because it resonates with yet unformed and imperfect thoughts of my own, is the author's discussion of the outcome of Israel's actions in Palestine. I'll try a paraphrase, but only to encourage you to read the article.

By taking over the West Bank, Israel has made a "two-state" solution impossible. There is no Palestinian government (the Israeli army rounded them up, you'll remember). So what we have, de facto, is a "single-state solution." Yes, Israel is now an Arab-Jewish state. Half free, half occupied, but a single state nevertheless.

Israel now finds itself a single amalgamated political entity with a huge Palestinian minority, which before long will become a majority, living in quasi-apartheid conditions. The defense of such a state can scarcely be described as a Western strategic interest.

Defend it against what? No Arab government has any interest in attacking it. The only threat to it is the hypothetical one of Iran’s as-yet-hypothetical nuclear weapons. But why should Iran attack it, as Israel undoes itself as a Jewish state?

It will have serious continuing problems of internal unrest and control, if Hamas and other groups function as domestic resistance movements. But no foreign country can do anything about that, nor would want to.

The Zionist movement, by insisting on keeping possession of Palestine, and the Palestinian population conquered in 1967, has destroyed the Jewish state it was its dream to create. This only now is being recognized.

It's worth putting down the newspaper for awhile and firing up your web browser. Check out some articles that the newspapers wouldn't dream of bringing you. At any rate, see if this one helps put the mid-east in a slightly different perspective.


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