Analysis of Israeli Action

January 8th, 2009

Time magazine published an interesting article today about the Israeli assault on Gaza and broader issues Israel faces, to include inevitable demographic pressures.  Time’s analysis isn’t pro-Israel, but it’s more objective than might be expected. 

The article includes one statement that I strongly agree with:

…there’s something tragic, too, in Israel’s predicament: in any confrontation with its enemies, it is damned if it does and doomed if it doesn’t.

And it includes another statement that I find incredibly naive:

Israel eventually will have to pull back to the 1967 borders and dismantle many of the settlements on the Palestinian side, no matter how loudly its ultra-religious parties protest. Only then will the Palestinians and the other Arab states agree to a durable peace. It’s as simple as that. But for 60 years, in the Holy Land, there has been a yawning gap between what was simple and what could be achieved.

It isn’t as simple as that.  This conclusion is based on the assumption that all the Arabs want is for Israel to exist within certain borders (which are nothing more than old, insecure armistice lines) and dismantle certain settlements.  As evidenced by statements over many years by Arab political leaders, religious figures, academics, and people in the street, their ultimate goal is to destroy the state of Israel and render the region judenrein.  If they couldn’t transparently mask this goal behind issues of borders and settlements, then they would find other issues.  That’s how simple it really is.


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5 Responses to “Analysis of Israeli Action”



  1. doris |

    Why,simply,Why? do they want to destroy Israel,is it religious based? I never really understood the true reason they all hate Israel,if they all do? Explain it to me ,Tom,maybe someone else is as uninformed as I am.


  2. cube |

    Where were the magazine articles when year after year Hamas was lobbing rockets into Israel?


  3. Jan |

    Arab/Muslim and Israeli public opinion is much more complex than simply supporting duking it out yet again, with many people across the Middle East supporting UN enforcement of a peace agreement and a two-state solution. For another view of the current battle in Gaza, see former President Jimmy Carter’s essay in the Washington Post: http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/07/AR2009010702645.html


  4. Brian |

    Tom’s correct. There’s a whole lot more to this than most Americans realize. Palestinians are not Arabs, and this whole thing is simply a red herring by the Arabs to try and get rid of Israel. The Arabs have tried direct confrontation and bullying 3 different times, and have ended up being smoked – badly.

    Go all the way back to the Balfour Agreement of 1918, and you will find that about 2/3 of “Palestine” actually lies within the territiorial boundaries of modern-day Jordan. The Jordanians wearied of the Palestinians in the late 60s and sent them packing. Most of them ended up in Lebanon and, no big surprise, by 1970, the jewel of the eastern med was at the beginning of a civil war that didn’t end until 1995.

    I’ve been to the ME, and with few exceptions, Arabs have as low of an opinion of them as those of us from Texas to California have of the illegals streaming across our southern border. In fact, I’d say the Arabs have an even lower opinion of the Palestinians. Find a single Arab nation that will permit a Palestinian to obtain citizenship.


  5. Tom |

    Jan, I read President Carter’s column. He’s a decent and honorable man. I admire him, and I voted for him for president twice. But I’ve been disappointed to see him become more and more pro-Palestinian.

    The problem for Israel is, to paraphrase the quote above, they’re damned by the world if they fight, and they’re doomed if they don’t. Peace talks, ceasefires, and hopes for a two-state solution are fine, but history shows that the Palestinians and their supporters are never going to be satisified until they achieve their ultimate goal.


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