Peter Chester Arnold
Peter Chester Arnold

Some problems cannot be solved

‘Solutions’ to the Arab-Israeli clash have been around for more than a century since the Balfour Declaration. Behind the thinking is the thought: “There must be a solution.”

Why must there be a solution?

More than a century ago, HL Mencken wrote The Cult of Hope, from which I quote: “The trouble with them (the notions which go floating about the country) is not only that they won’t and don’t work; the trouble with them, more importantly, is that the thing they propose to accomplish is intrinsically, or at all events most probably, beyond accomplishment. That is to say, the problem they are ostensibly designed to solve is a problem that is insoluble. …. Unluckily, it is difficult for a certain type of mind to grasp the concept of insolubility.”

In anticipation of the responses which this blog might attract, I ask readers to consider another Jewish situation which is insoluble. Not only is it another Jewish situation, but it is the Jewish situation, and has been so for millennia.

Three thousand five hundred years ago, our monotheistic ancestors were rejected and despised by the polytheistic Egyptians amongst whom they lived. This attitude continued under Greek and Roman rule in Egypt, as one pantheon of gods replaced another. (Nirenberg AntiJudaism: The Western Tradition)

Two thousand years ago, Saul of Tarsus, to be known as Paul, initiated the worship of Jesus as the son of God and kick-started antisemitism. (Wistrich: Antisemitism: The Longest Hatred)

Seven hundred years ago, Mohammed wrote words which still inspire Muslims to persecute, hate and kill Jews. (Sahih Muslim, 41:6985; Sahih al-Bukhari, 4:54:524)

We have endured three waves of antagonism and hatred, to which there have been no solutions.

My question to those who live in hope of an Arab-Israeli solution is simple:

Why, when you have lived your lives in the insoluble world of thrice-rooted antisemitism, can you not see the insolubility of this modern Jewish problem?

As Mencken wrote, “Unluckily, it is difficult for a certain type of mind to grasp the concept of insolubility.”

About the Author
Retired medical practitioner, Dr Peter Chester Arnold OAM, fled 1960s apartheid South Africa for Australia. He has since graduated in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, and has been a professional editor for more than 30 years on politics, sociology, medicine, history and Holocaust studies.
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