The Palestinian Problem
The chief problem in the Mideast, as far as the world is concerned, is that Israel refuses to disappear. The chief problem in the Mideast, as far as Israel and the United States is concerned, is that the Palestinians refuse to disappear. Since they both demand the very same piece of land -- motivated by history, and fueled by uncompromising religion claims -- the futility of sending American diplomats to the Mideast to negotiate a peace should be obvious to everyone, except the news media and the State Department.
Washington dreads the appearance of doing nothing. The consequences of a failed peace process are so enormous that dishonest pretense is preferred to honest failure. However, pretense is far worse.
Let's give the Arabs their due. They have parlayed a weak hand masterfully. Crippling defeats in 1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973 would have dissuaded a lesser opponent.
The Arab focus has been singular. To that end, the 1965 Casablanca Protocols forbade any Arab nation from awarding nationality to any Palestinian refugee, thus keeping them in a permanent condition of statelessness. Palestinian rights were trampled on. The purpose was to let the Palestinian situation fester.
Ever determined, the Arab's new slogan is: "From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free," which is a thinly veiled catchy jingle for genocide of the Jews.
The Israelis for their part are just as stubborn -- or tenacious, if you prefer to avoid vicious fights over adjectives. They also kept the Palestinians in a position of statelessness, because while they wanted to annex Judea and Samaria, they did not want to enfranchise the Palestinians on it. Instead, the Israelis kept the area and the Palestinians under a twilight zone of military (martial) law, with a myriad of discriminatory regulations that even a calmer, more rational, people would never have tolerated without rebellion.
Israeli pioneers (settlers) have made it clear that they do not want to surrender one single inch of Judea and Samaria. Many of them have the aim of destroying the peace process. Some have talked about ethnically cleansing the whole land of Arabs, including pre-1967 Israel.
Now, when Israel has finally started to talk about annexation -- only because no one will accept the status quo anymore, and many Israelis want to prevent a two-state solution -- Israeli politicians are inventing schemes to deny enfranchisement to the Arabs on the land, by creating Bantustans which are independent in name only. Maybe this is wise; but is it honest? They seem to think this will fool people.
Both sides pretty it up with floral descriptions, and hopeful desires for peace; but never explain that their vision of peace leaves little or no room for the other's existence as a free and independent people.
Not merely geography is fought over, but battles are now waged over descriptive adjectives in news reports. People are charged with anti-Semitism, or Islamophobia for not hewing to politically correct nouns. I myself have been recently reduced to avoiding the objectively neutral term "settler," in favor of "pioneer," for fear of being labeled a sellout to Arab propaganda. This is total war.
Israel and the West have avoided the real issue.
What is to be done with the Palestinians, particularly in Judea and Samaria?
Until this issue is settled, nothing else matters.
The Arabs have shown no intention of helping the Palestinians, except to kill Israeli Jews, through terrorism. Arab Muslim states will try to sabotage any solution which does not involve the destruction of Israel.
Sadly, Israel can be cruel in its application of laws against Palestinians Arabs; using every trick to make their lives miserable; and to persuade them to leave. Israel wants the land but not the Arabs on it.
Israel stripped more than 100,000 residents of Gaza and some 140,000 residents of the West Bank of their residency rights -- Ha'aretz
Did the Israelis think they could keep the Arabs under military (martial) law forever with no blowback?! Were they expecting the Arabs to evaporate if they waited long enough?
One could say, let the foes duke it out; but frankly, it would get very bad, very fast. A swift Israeli victory on the field would be met with large-scale attacks on Jews throughout the planet. The Arabs have gas and chemical weapons, and would use them. A sympathetic Pakistan might provide nukes. Unlike Israel, the Muslim states could absorb large-scale losses, and are crazy enough to consider such losses acceptable. Israeli Jews have no such options.
The West will have to decide if it wants to offer citizenship and passports to those Palestinians willing to leave and assimilate into the West. They could be pre-screened to keep out radicals, with an eye to preferring those willing to Christianize. I still recommend South America -- which has a history of assimilating Arabs well -- but that option may be passing by, if it is not taken up soon, as the Latins are being propagandized against Israel with Iranian and Saudi money.
Instead of paying $4 billion dollars for the Palestinians to negotiate, Kerry could have offered 40,000 young Palestinians $100,000 each to move to the West. The loss of 3% of its young population would have scared the PA out of its obstinacy. We could have brought home the point by publically withdrawing immigration approval for an equal number of Arabs, as punishment for abandoning their brothers.
That would have been a sane offer that would have produced some real results.
44% of young Palestinians are willing to [e]migrate if given the opportunity. - Jpost
"Are you mad to let the Palestinians into the West?"
I know the Palestinians are troublemakers; but weren't Jews in the early 20th century considered trouble making revolutionaries? Although it's politically incorrect to mention it now, Jews had a high rate of participation in radical causes. A few decades of equality, and now they are conservatives. Are we making a mistake in labeling all Palestinians as innate Radical Islamists, when, historically, Palestinians have a high rate of secularism for Arabs?
Since governments will refuse to do anything, individuals and organizations should act. I had hoped that many Jews would have shown a willingness to contribute, since Israel would benefit by it; but from the responses I have gotten to my suggestions, it is clear that many Jews do not want to pay a cent.
Sadly, the World Jewish Community will pay -- either in money or blood.
Though the Arabs are much more guilty than Israel, no one is innocent. If this problem is not solved, tens of millions of people will die. Count on it.
The 20th century gave us the Jewish problem. The West could easily have absorbed the Jews of Europe in the 1930s, and prevented the Holocaust. A million Jews would have been less than 1% of the U.S. population. Australia needed white immigrants. So did New Zealand. South America was an open field. Canada was famous for seeking immigrants; but rejected Jews. No one wanted them. Likewise, helping Palestinians is not popular in the West, except by those methods which would hurt Israel, rather than by allowing immigration of reasonable Palestinians into the West, which would help everyone.
The 21st century has started with the Palestinian problem. Failure to solve it will result in another World War.
Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who is neither Jewish, Latin, nor Arab. He runs a website, http://latinarabia.com/where he discusses the subculture of Arabs in Latin America. He wishes his Spanish were better.