‘And then you can ground him?’ Yossarian asked.
‘No. Then I can’t ground him.’
‘You mean there’s a catch?’
‘Sure there’s a catch’, Doc Daneeka replied. ‘Catch-22. Anyone who wants to get out of combat duty isn’t really crazy.’
From Joseph Heller’s classic novel, ‘Catch-22’, the paradoxical term catch-22 was coined.
Well, what is a catch-22 you might ask?
A catch-22 is a dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.
Today, the state of Israel, in all her glory, is facing this exact dilemma.
The newly appointed US Secretary of State, John Kerry (you know that new Hillary Clinton, with the Ronald Reagan hairdo) announced that he would be travelling fortnightly between Jerusalem and Ramallah in order to revive peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians.
I have great respect for Mr. Kerry. Not only is he a decorated Vietnam War hero and peace activist, but also his gallant efforts to revive the stale peace talks, show how the US still holds peace within Israel as one of its highest priorities, which I think is great. However, Kerry is a dreamy-optimist and he is putting Israel in a difficult dilemma.
Let’s just face reality; the 20 years of the peace process have achieved basically nothing, but more bloodshed and hate. Great men like Yitzhak Rabin and Bill Clinton have all valiantly tried to broker a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine, but have only fanned the flames of hated which have led to the deaths of thousands and some nice photos of Barak and Arafat, but essentially nothing more.
Furthermore, Kerry should look what Israel has to deal with! Israel’s Foreign Minister, the Moldavian, ex-bouncer Avigdor Leiberman and the brazen Economy Minister Naftali Bennet may not be easy to deal with regarding an establishment of a Palestinian state. But the supposed leader of the PA, Mahmoud Abbas, hasn’t held ‘elections’ since 2005, allegedly embezzles $1,000,000 a month and constantly attempts to amend ties, not with Israel but rather with her sworn enemy, Hamas.
Kerry is placing Israel in a catch-22.
Let’s hypothetically say that Israel does reach a ‘peace solution’ with the Palestinians and an independent Palestinian state is established ‘based on the 1967 Green Line.’ Israel would have virtually indefensible borders; borders not even the majestic Iron Dome missile defence system could protect.
All that would be needed is a teenager from Jenin who thinks the anti-Semitic ranting’s of Hamas’s Khaled Mashal or Ismail Haniyeh are divine and fire a Katyusha rocket at an international airplane leaving Ben-Gurion, and Israel’s got pandemonium, chaos.
On the other hand, if Israel refuses to discuss peace with the Palestinians, mass international condemnation and even a potential boycott would ensue.
Israel has no way out of this situation; it’s a lose-lose, a catch-22.
It must be understood that many of those that applauded on the White House lawn for the Oslo Accords and those that opened celebratory bottles of champagne over the unilateral engagement from Gaza, lived thousands of miles away from where the rockets landed and the suicide bombers went off.
Israel must strive and yearn for peace. Peace is the message of our religion, the bane of what mankind truly desires.
However, let us face the reality.
Israel must not endanger its civilians; Israel must do what is beneficial for herself and not what the international community deems right.
We are a people of a rich and vibrant history. A history, which Israel cannot afford to ignore.
There is no way of ‘solving’ this conflict, rather only managing it.