The Elusive Goal by Noa Bursie…See note please and please read
no url here…Noa Bursie is an African-American convert to Judaism
The False Premise
Peace. The word itself is a two-edged sword, conveying a powerful spirit of tranquility while simultaneously evoking a strange, inescapable anxiety. It is the quintessential dichotomy of humanity to so passionately crave the very thing we so effectively repel by bowing to the baser elements of our nature. So much painstaking effort, so many resources, studies conducted, books written, futile negotiations – over decades, centuries – and lasting peace between men continues to elude us. The near daily headlines about one more failed attempt by U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry to bring Israelis and Palestinians “back” to negotiations would be outright hilarious were they not so tragically predictable and transparent.
The dilemma that fuels frustration over getting the parties to the negotiating table is driven by the assumption that peace is a thing to be desired by all. One would think the prospect of having in place those essentials that make life worth living – health, family, community, sustenance, love – are universal aspirations. This is, sadly, an illusion. Peace eludes humanity because there are people who do not want to live in peace. There is no conundrum in determining why our species has endured millennia of genocide and oppression unabated. Warring ideologies and clashing civilizations are the norm, not an aberration. But why, we must ask. Rather than talking in circles and chasing rationales around mountains of excuses and justifications, better to state the case without equivocation. Peace is possible only through mutual agreement or, if agreement fails, enforced maintenance.
This position is certain to cause many ideologues to bristle. Indignant, they would contend that peaceful co-existence cannot be enforced because of its very nature. It is a state, they will suggest, that must be achieved through the active will of all parties involved. No degree of force could ever ensure or maintain a tranquil co-existence between former enemies. Again, this is a fallacy. A dreamy, ‘feel-good’ fallacy, to be sure, but a fallacy, nonetheless. If history has taught us nothing, it is that certain behaviors must be enforced through compulsory triggers and the threat of retribution.
The truth is often acute and reality disconcerting. In an ideal world, we would all have shared values and want equally good things and wish equally good thoughts for all humanity. Our world is far from ideal, however. Defying reason, we often appear to be driven by those things that damage our lives, violate relationships, and destroy our environment. Consequently, in the absence of mutual good-will, those behaviors that have proven to be productive and beneficial to the human community may need to be achieved through compulsory measures. Dare we posit the notion that peace be a state that ultimately must be imposed upon the will of others? If so, how might such a state of peace be realized and what means would need to be taken to maintain and ensure its standing?
With precedent from two world wars and other conflicts across the globe over the expanse of history, the lesson of how peace must be achieved is painfully evident. Peace is a by-product of acquiescence. Unless someone makes the clear choice to live rather than die, to stop killing and begin building again, to concede rather than be destroyed altogether, war prevails. An ultimate reality of war is that someone has to surrender – either surrender or be destroyed. And someone has to exert control in order to ensure the aggression that ended in surrender remains so. This is the inexorable reality politically correct arguments attempt to obscure. In war, there are those who prevail and those who must concede to defeat. Negotiations merely determine the terms under which each side must proceed.
For the U.S. or any other foreign body to regard the Israeli-Islamic World conflict [For such it truly is.] as a phenomenon where two aggrieved parties require conflict resolution and mutual concessions is to ignore the fact that Israel has been attacked by its neighbors repeatedly over the decades since it was established and has in turn thwarted each attempt to destroy it. The parties are erroneously regarded by the international community as equally culpable combatants, seeking redress for injustices supposedly perpetrated by both parties equally. This is not the case, however. Rarely in history have we ever seen a nation victorious against its foes required by international law to “sue for peace” from the aggressor or an aggressor who not only gets to set pre-conditions, but is not required to end continued violence and engages in inciting its population against the other party. It borders on laughable to see the U.S. waxing paternalistic as it treats Israel like a naughty child who needs to be forced to make up with a sibling. Perhaps Secretary Kerry is reading the wrong rule book.
Such is the reality in the current state of affairs in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The language and machinations of politics transform a very fundamental truth into the lie this millennia-old conflict has become. Why is the prospect for a lasting peace between Jews and the Muslim world so monumentally difficult to achieve? The answer is not complicated in the least and the problem is not at all as intractable as we have been led to believe. Muslims have preached death to Jews long before May 19th, 1948 and have allied themselves with the greatest enemies of the Jewish people centuries before the demarcation of the “Green Line” or the establishment of a single “settlement”. To proceed, a fundamental truth must be established. There can be no co-existence when one party denies the legitimacy of the other or regards the other as subservient or subhuman. Islam teaches that Jews are not equal to Muslims – plain and simple. This is the reality political correctness attempts to obscure, the Islamic practice of taqqiyah perpetuates, and the reason why negotiations to resolve this conflict by traditional rationales have never succeeded and never will.
Exposing Intent and The Manipulation of Sensibilities
The notion of the two state solution, in this instance, is a perversion of justice. It plays on our seemingly innate sense of fair-play, on a call for “equality” – two equal states for two peoples, two cultures. There are a number of false assumptions here. First is that the Muslim world is willing to accept Jews as equals, and more importantly, that Muslims believe Judaism is equal to Islam. They do not. Period. Second, that there is no equality or self-determination for Arabs within Israeli society. Also, not true. In order for a true Jeffersonian democracy to exist, they conjecture, this supposed inequity must be rectified by removing the distinctly Jewish character of the nation in favor of a more homogenized entity that affords equal voice to Muslim/Arab Israelis and negotiates an autonomous Palestinian state in the West Bank which would then encompass Gaza as well. On the face of it, this seems not only reasonable, but enlightened and eminently just. It would be so were it not for the reality that Islam forbids treating non-Muslims as equals. Indeed, should the tables be turned, an Islamocentric Israel would never afford equal rights to Jews, non-Muslims, or women, for such is the state of affairs in every Islamic nation, those whose laws are based on Sharia Law as well as the more secular societies.
Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, Jeffersonian or otherwise, and not a single national entity in the entire Islamic world practices democracy or mandates equal rights for women and non-Muslims or pleads the cause of minority rights with the same furor it demands from the Jewish state. This reality alone underscores why seeking to resolve the impasse between Israel and its Islamic neighbors is an exercise in futility when approached through traditional strategies. Other fallacies exist, [stolen land, ethnic cleansing] but are secondary to these fundamental untruths and are easily debunked. Exposing the fallacies inherent in these assumptions is the first and most powerful exercise in understanding the source of this conflict. Only then will we understand why all traditional attempts at peace between Israel and the Muslim world have failed, and how, if peace is to be achieved, it must be maintained.
Preserving the uniquely Jewish character of Israel, the Jewish State, is not ‘racist’ in the least. It is an acknowledgement of identity and the embracing of a culture and history unique to its founders. A Jewish character would be impossible if the nation were to adopt the norms of a non-Jewish minority under the guise of democracy. As the only Jewish nation in a very rough neighborhood where Islam unquestionably dominates, Israel needs no justification for maintaining traditions, laws, policies, and any other devices that identify it as uniquely Jewish other than the fact that it is the only such haven on the planet for self-determination for Jews. Hence, the fair-play and ‘racist’ fallacies are debunked. To divest the Jewish State of its Jewishness would be to effectively destroy what makes it the only haven in the world where one may be a Jew, proud, unafraid, and unapologetic.
On the other hand, to be a Muslim, or of Arab descent, one may live, worship, gather, eat, marry, commune, in short, engage in practices that are unique to this culture, in the Jewish State. If for whatever reason a Muslim/Arab feels imposed upon by the uniquely Jewish character of the Jewish homeland, the individual has the freedom to choose to live in a place that is uniquely Muslim/Arab in any of the surrounding Muslim/Arab nations that dominate the region. Conflict solved? Not yet. But of course, the problem isn’t “equality” or “justice” or “self-determination” for Palestinians at all. The true issue and source of the millennia-old conflict is the prospect that a Muslim must co-exist with people their doctrine and traditions teach are beneath them, dhimmi. There is no desire for co-existence with Jews on the part of the Muslim world – in Israel or elsewhere. Therefore, the quest for peace achieved through the ‘active, mutual will’ paradigm is ludicrous. The idea of partners engaged in negotiation for mutually agreed upon freedoms is dead at the root.
Recently, there has been discussion in the Israeli media of either changing the lyrics to the national anthem, HaTikvah, or introducing a different, more ‘inclusive’ and culturally sensitive national anthem. It has been suggested that the current lyrics are ‘racist’, undemocratic, excluding Israeli Arabs due to its focus on “…the Jewish soul…”. Such assertions expose the true sentiments of those who might object to the words of the anthem as a more benign, humane expression of nationalistic pride has never been written – for any nation on earth. Acknowledging the intent behind any action is the bedrock of a good prosecutor’s case. Expose the intent behind the behavior, deconstruct the rhetoric, and the truth begins to surface. The controversy over the Israeli national anthem is relevant because it pulls back the curtain that hides the intent and sensibilities of those who hate Israel and equate Zionism with racism. To be a Jew who is proud of his history, his heritage and traditions in a world that has attempted to annihilate him is survival, not racism. Zion is the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people and is home for men, women, and children of virtually every culture and tongue who have flocked to the Jewish State in droves precisely because of the freedoms they may enjoy within her borders.
Peace between Jews both within and outside of the State of Israel cannot exist unless there is a virtually cataclysmic reversal of the animus against Jews that is taught to Muslims from birth to the grave. How such a dramatic revision of Islamic doctrine and sensibilities could ever take place in a belief system that requires death for criticism of its tenets and in a world that bows in deference to and in fear of Islam is anybody’s guess.
How then, must such a conflict be resolved? Again, in the absence of a willing partner for peace, the only way forward is unilateral action that ensures the safety and prosperity of the party that is willing to at least entertain mutual co-existence. A strong Israel empowered and protected, fueled by technology, innovation, its natural resources, and the democratic principles of the Torah and its forefathers, will push forward as a people into whatever the future holds. With the fortitude of the Maccabees and the tenacity of Masada, the nation will prosper. In the Torah, G-d promises His people; ” No weapon formed against you shall prosper and every tongue that rises against you in judgement you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.” [Yeshiahu 54:17] This verse has served as the foundation, as the Hope for countless battles, literal and metaphorical, throughout the ages. None so relevant as the battle the Jewish people and the Nation of Israel face on numerous fronts today.
Israel should not and must not dilute its Jewish character in an attempt to appease those who wish to destroy her from within. Such attempts to utilize devices that appear, at face value, to promote equality and the most cherished attributes of a free society, must not be hijacked to achieve the ultimate, fatal designs of Israel’s enemies. Peace is a blessing, greatly to be desired, but impossible to achieve in the absence of willing partners. Consequently, where the will proves inadequate to the task, security through strength and strength of conviction is the only option.
May Israel and the Jewish people persevere as we have for thousands of years, in the words of our national anthem, “…to be a free people in our homeland…Eretz Zion, Yerushalim.”
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