A right to exist: a racist concept which ignores reality?

Some of Israel’s ultra orthodox Jews seem to have two main things in common with the Arab masses…the separation of men and women and the belief that Israel has no right to exist…But, for the Haredim this is only until the Messiah arrives.

Yet does the very term “a right to exist” smack of past European racist actions? Before and during WW2 Hitler’s maniacal cabal maintained the Slavic races were sub-human and the Jews were the ultimate evil and thereby had no right to exist. As we know, the Nazis did their best to destroy their existence.

This is partly why one of the basic hard rock conditions of all American sponsored Arab-Israeli peace negotiations has been an Arab acceptance of Israel’s “right to exist.” Such a term is almost an oxymoron since Israel fulfils the prime criteria for existence just by being there. “I think, therefore I am.”

But this criteria for nationhood, a right to exist, if carried further than Israel sets up some even more glaring examples and the realities they present in the world power game of pick and choose.


Israel bases its legal right to exist on world history and the history of the Jewish people. That if it weren’t for the Italians they would have never lost their homeland in the First and again in 11th Century AD. And subsequently they wouldn’t have had to fight to re establish it since the early 20th Century.

So, they have shown both a priori and posteriori evidence for a right to exist. Still, Israel’s actual right to exist is simply because it’s there? By this reasoning the Palestinians also have proven a right to exist in their own state based on the facts that their Arab brothers don’t want them and Israel certainly doesn’t want them. Any large group of people existing as outcasts has a right to form their own socio-political unit…providing they can obtain and hold it.

Of course, in the case of the Israel-Palestine issue, the big stumbling block has been a widespread denial by Palestinians of Israel’s right of existence. This now has been amended to existence as a Jewish state.  So, for any new state to be formed a state of peace and acceptance will have to be established for war to end and civilized behaviour to take its place. But this is complex matter based on religion and tribalism that may never be solved.


Yet what about other much larger nations? What right do the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand have to exist? None of these nations were founded by people with any racial or ethnic ties to the indigenous populations of the lands. These lands were actually taken, often by force and bloodshed, from their native inhabitants. And, to make matters worse, the defeated and depleted indigenous populations were frequently persecuted and even destroyed by the settlers.

In America, for example, European diseases such as smallpox devastated entire native tribes. Over in Jamaica the native Arawaks of that island nation were totally wiped out by such diseases.

So, what qualifies all these nations for the right to exist? In the cases of America, Canada and Australia, their sizes, power and the fact no one is strong enough to dispute ownership. In South Africa there was no dispute about its right to exist, just about who should run it and how it should be run.

Simply put: Land belongs to those who can hold it. This was as true for the American homesteader as it was for the Spanish conquistador. Things might have been quite different in America if the native tribes were united in an effort to expel the invading white men. But they weren’t and had the nation been a lot smaller, might have gone the way of Jamaica’s Arawaks.

The case of Israel, although far more complex, has the same bottom line: Land belongs to those who can hold it. Through ancient history the Hebrews who eventually became the Jews held and lost their land over and over again. Yet, unlike scores of other decimated ancient people, the Jews wouldn’t disappear into history. This has presented a dilemma for the modern world.

In the late 19th and early 20th Century Europe’s persecuted Jews began legally buying beachfront property in Palestine from the Turks. After WW1 the Arabs became alarmed at the gradually increasing Jewish presence and staged bloody attacks on them, actions that gradually transformed a pacifist people into warriors.

The Jews of Palestine at a basic pre statehood level had to prove they had a right to exist right then and there…It was almost like the Hollywood western movie scenario of the settlers being attacked by Indians. Yet these settlers were natives returning home 1,000 years after the first Crusade began ethnic cleansing the second time around.

I suppose today, one could compare Israel to the legendary Troy, a culturally and militarily advanced nation holding hordes of barbaric Greeks. Let’s hope there’s no large wooden horse as a future Hanakkah gift from Hamas.


One can argue the mere proposition of a so-called right to exist or worse, challenging a specific people’s right to exist is out and out racism. Yet, for the sake of political expediency or liberal faddism, Israel is the only place on earth where this proposition is posed, but not just by Arabs, also by western people who have grown tired, bored and increasingly ignorant about this endless conflict.

I have said in the past one of the main problems liberals have is little care or concept of how their actions will impact the future. They see a perceived injustice and they want to attack it now without a thought for tomorrow.

After WW2 American and European guilt over the Nazi Holocaust spurred liberals into pressing for the creation of Israel. They had no thoughts then of the endless conflict it would create in the world’s main oil region. Besides, most smart money was on the Arabs finishing off the Jews in short order.

Now, generations later, some lefties, who hate winners (they must have an underdog to champion), have changed their tune.  The Palestinians are their new underdogs, people who now offer a better fit for the Left. Since most Arabs are not upwardly mobile they may always remain the eternal downtrodden proletariat much loved by the Left, a spot formerly held by the Jews of Europe. But now Jews as Israelis, on the other hand, are upwardly mobile, become successful, part of the establishment and therefore have no right to exist.

What should exist is an independent Palestinian state created in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. On the surface this seems logical, although not very practical. And, it could be another Western disaster in waiting. Any such state created now would almost certainly entice an attempt by Hamas to topple the Fatah lead government, which probably would result in a bloody war that could be a natural entrée for ISIL forces. Israel, geographically between the West Bank and Gaza is the main reason this hasn’t already happened.

“Ooops we did it again,” might well be the western establishments cry as the two-state solution evolves into another blood soaked Middle East war rooted in western desire which would bring Israel back in as a peacemaker and occupier.

I have long found that people of all political complexions, for example, in America are quick to condemn other nations or run off to help the starving in Africa, while forgetting about the injustices and poverty among native tribes in their own country…a nation with the largest rich-poor gap in the developed world, a country that has no right, other than its numbers and military might, to exist. But as I said, land belongs to those who can hold it.

About the Author
A London based American journalist with a long wide ranging career spanning print, radio TV and online news.