S. Daniel Abraham’s Blog Post, “This Election is on Whether the Jewish State will stay Jewish”, continues the theme I have written about before: that almost all Jews want peace with the Palestinians, but none have an actual plan for achieving it. The right acknowledges this and does its best with a bad hand, while the left tries to bluff its way to peace without really getting into the details of how the peace process will be different this time. Ironically, the so-called idealistic right has become the realists, and the so-called pragmatic left has become the messianic idealists.
Mr. Abraham, who is an American billionaire, is on the left, suffering from the ailment of Oslectacy, the failure to move one’s beliefs from the ecstasy of the hope of peace during Oslo to the reality that the Palestinians do not, and will not, make peace with a Jewish state in the land of Israel.
Mr. Abraham purports to love Israel – and yet, like others who “love” Israel (and need to “save it” from Bibi), advocates a path that would clearly lead to the loss of more Jewish life. And his “love” cannot stop him from his disgraceful use of the South African example, not to directly label Israel as an apartheid state, but to insinuate that it is or will become one.
I will point out fallacies in three of his major arguments:
1) The demographic bogeyman. Leftists’ favorite fear tactic to push their version of peace is the demographic argument. In this argument, Jews will soon become a minority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea and therefore peace is urgently necessary. I ask those like Mr. Abraham: what do you think will happen if there is a Palestinian State? So-called refugees from all over will immigrate to the West Bank, bringing in millions of radicalized Palestinians to Israel’s borders. In this case, Jews will not only be a minority, but a minority faced by hundreds of thousands of new people that despise us. I would rather have security control and no Palestinian State, than a Palestinian State with millions of new citizens.
The other reason the demographic bogeyman is a “straw man” argument is that Israel will never, ever, make the Arabs of Gaza and most of the West Bank its citizens. And no one will force Israel to do that either.
Mr. Abraham strangely insinuates that the Arabs in Gaza are under Israel’s control and ergo some kind of peace deal is needed to preserve the Jewishness of Israel. This is basically a non-sensical argument.
Having established that the Arabs and Gaza will never be part of Israel, according to the left’s argument, what difference does it make how many Palestinians live under the rule of the Palestinian Authority?
2. Bibi is working to see negotiations fail. Since Tzipi Livni herself has selectively misremembered that she was the one conducting negotiations with the Palestinians, it should not come as a surprise that Mr. Abraham seems to forget this as well. I pose the question to Mr. Abraham I have posed to others blaming Bibi for the failure of the peace negotiations: name one concession, just one, made by Abbas during the peace talks. Cat got your tongue? That’s because there wasn’t one. He refuses to even recognize Israel as a Jewish state, which, for all the leftist apologists out there, is not merely semantics, but critical as a basis for the Palestinians relinquishing their claim for the “right of return”, which they still have not done. When people like Mr. Abraham can point out compromise by the Palestinians, they then can come and talk about why the negotiations failed.
3. Israel is strong enough to make concessions. Talk about deja vu. We heard this argument during Oslo – the result: thousands dead. We heard this argument during the Gaza withdrawal – the result: perpetual war with Gaza and rockets flying at our cities. Time and time again Israel takes risks on the belief that it is “strong enough” to deal with them. Do you want to know how to stay strong? Don’t take stupid risks. Don’t give weapons to your enemies. And don’t abandon your cities to them.
This election, like all elections, is important. But the future Jewishness of Israel is not dependent on it. I, and others on the right like me, part idealistic/ part pragmatic, value life more than esoteric concepts of democracy. We want Jews safe and secure, even if that means limits on Palestinian civil rights to the extent necessary to achieve that. To Mr. Abraham I say that the only catastrophic direction was that of Oslo; the direction of Bibi and Bennett is one of strength, security and pride in Israel’s Jewishness. I will take that direction every time.