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Columns and Articles by Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman

January 07, 2017

Israel and Its Changing Neighborhood

Nothing is more divisive than discussions of the Israeli/Palestinian century old conflict. The problem with this dispute is that conditions have finally changed in Israel?s neighborhood and in America?s new government.

On one side of the issue is the notion that "International Law" is against Israel?s occupation of "Palestinian lands," a position that pretends that there is really such a thing as "international law." For something to be law, it not only must be agreed by the governed, and must be enforceable. In addition, "Palestinian lands" are not those of a real country, a country with recognized borders and a government that controls its population through law and/or force.

Palestinians rejected having a country recognized by the world?s great powers in 1947, when rather than begin governing as the Israelis did, they opted to gather the neighborhood and invade and try to exterminate their new neighbor, Israel. They lost that one, and six other wars instead, never accepting that they could have a country any time that they recognized the rights of their Israeli neighbors.

How odd, regarding "international law," that comparable situations around the world are neither judged, nor challenged. China rules over Tibet without a peep from the "international community." Russia has recently seized a piece of Ukraine, and is clandestinely continued guerilla attacks to take the rest of it, without challenge from the Security Council. How can there be a challenge to either Russia or China when they each have a veto?

Also odd are the "Palestinian displaced people camps," paid for by the UN for half a century. No other refugees of conflict in the world have been in camps for more than a few years. All the Jewish refugees who survived the Holocaust or were driven out of Arab countries where they had lived for millennia remained in camps for at most five years before all were resettled. The Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees fleeing the horrors of war remained in camps for less than a decade before being resettled. Would Palestinians still be living in UN camps had they not been paid by the head by the UN and Muslim charities? Have Muslim countries welcomed Palestinian immigrants? Absolutely not.

In history, countries are born out of warfare. There is a winner and a loser. What is different today is the emergence of conscience, those of us who would like to see a world society that is lawful, generous, sensitive, and "multicultural." This is not how the world works.

Israel?s Arab neighbors have suddenly discovered that they have two enemies far worse than Israel: Iran and a militant and poisonous sect of their own religion. Suddenly, after a century of anti-Jewish propaganda, the Saudis and Gulf States are finding that they have a new and powerful Best Friend. As Israel?s relations warm to their Arab neighbors, the money keeping the Palestinian fantasy alive is starting to melt. European liberals, generous supporters of the "Palestinian cause," are fighting to the death the invasion of Muslim immigrants and refugees who will be difficult to acculturate to European values.

President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry abstained from the UN condemnation of Israel?s settlement program because they wanted to make one last try at getting a "peace process" going that would give the Palestinians a state. They believe that the settlements are the obstacle to peace between the two. They do care that Israel be saved from having to become a permanent occupier of a downtrodden people and that only a two-state solution can do that. But I believe that events have made this issue moot.

The fantasy of a two-state solution is a dead issue. How many times have the Palestinians come close to having a country only to withdraw? Each Palestinian leader (one man, one vote, one time) has known that to recognize Israel?s right to exist would invite assassination. They believe that they can outlast the Israelis, just as long as money pours in to sustain them. The money is running out. They are the long-term losers of a needless war of their own making.

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Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman is a historian, lecturer, and author of God's Law or Man's Law. You may contact her at Lfarhat102@aol.com or www.globalthink.net.