Maxwell Adelstein

The Collective Victim Complex of The Israeli Palestinian Conflict

Let us start this narrative in an Uber ride home last night. I get picked up by a very nice gentleman who told me he was from Uganda originally, and had recently moved to United States. He says he can’t believe how polarized politics have become here and he said that he wished their was a viable third party in this upcoming election. I echo those sentiments, in some respects, however I recognize the nature and history of the political infrastructure of the United States, and the notion that comes with needing both parties to come together for cathartic compromise on policy. So myself and the uber driver kept on talking, and eventually the subject of Israel came up. He was very curious about how the Knesset functioned, and I informed him that if he thinks it’s hard to get compromise in government to transpire in the states, it’s even more of a non starter in Israel. Now, this writer realizes that is no one persons fault, it is just the nature of the Democracy that is Israel and the plethora of opinions that must be heard. In any event, the topic of the conflict came up, and I felt the need to walk the usual tight rope when talking about the (slim) prospects for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. The funny thing was, my driver who quickly became a friend told me that he doesn’t see how any reasonable person could not see the impossible situation Israel has been put in. Surrounded by fragile friends, and more enemies than not, how can the world expect Israel to act any differently when belligerents on the Palestinian side routinely attack civilians. He said it was absurd to think that Israel should shoulder the blame for protecting her people. I agreed in full.

So this gets me to the meat of this specific posting. I don’t believe at all that Israeli settlements are the “worst” or most “egregious” obstacle to peace between Israel and the Palestinian people. To me, I believe the victim complex on the Palestinian side, and hiding behind their international sponsors throughout the Arab World and Europe, is the major obstacle to peace that perpetuates this conflict. I need to be careful here, because I realize that there needs to be nuance in anything relating to the current turmoil in the Middle-East and Israel. There is no place for absolutes. I firmly believe in the remarks that were made by both MK Michael Oren, and MK Merav Michaeli that the only prospects for peace between Israel and the Palestinians will come from internal willingness to cooperate, and not from external pressure. In the heated exchange between these two members of the Knesset last week at The Washington Institute, I saw something that the Kulanu frontman, the brilliant Mr. Oren, and the deft negotiator, Ms. Michaeli, both agreed that external forces could never understand all of the moving pieces of the conflict. The Quarter report that came out recently was flawed at best, and the best hope on the table right now is a framework being put together by Sisi, in Egypt. I’m almost positive the Palestinian leadership will shoot down any proposal made by Egypt, and I think it is insanity for any negotiation on how to solve the conflict to not include the two feuding parties. From someone who is studying diplomacy and the long drawn out process of getting anything sorted out, I see no benefit to leaving the Israelis and Palestinians out of their own peace talks!

I truly believe that when the Palestinians go to the UN sealing redress of grievances for “Israeli crimes against humanity,” that they are only moving further and further away of achieving their stated goal of seeing a sovereign Palestine. By playing the victim constantly, the PA proves its ineptitudes to the very constituents it is supposed to be governing. By justifying the murder and slaughter of innocent Israelis with the “occupation,” making the Palestinian youth “desperate,” the blame falls on their shoulders for perpetuating the blood shed on both sides. Abbas must be removed. He is the modern embodiment of autocratic hypocrisy, and any Palestinian shape under him or his parties leadership would be doomed to be a terror state. The truth hurts for some, mostly on American college campuses where this new age cosmopolitan form or liberal bias and de facto bigotry makes Israel a pariah. This will be covered at length in my next posting.

Look, I will never fully exonerate Israel and her policies in every witch way. There are several domestic policies that need MAJOR reforms. To be a true advocate I have been told that I need to recognize the totality of a state and the conflict within said state. I also think there are issues with the rabbinate exerting so much force on the Israeli populace. I am a proud Jew, but the religion is fluid and to have a truly Jewish state, it’s government must be accepting and permissive of all forms of Judaism, as our holy texts call for.

In the end though, I firmly stick to the narrative the Palestinian victim complex is the real defining obstacle to peace these days. It has led to the violence. It has led to the terror. It has led to the indoctrination of Palestinian youth that murder is a justifiable response to “occupation.” The calls for reform in the PA and PLO of course fall on death ears. I stand with the current Israeli government and the notion that there really is no partner for peace on the Palestinian side.

For my part, I will continue to fight for a strong and continued partnership between the United States and Israel. In this way, Israel can rest assured her body is protected by the most powerful nation on the planet, while she deals with the domestic issues complicating the soul searching process of a very young democracy.

As it says in my byline, I am unapologetic Zionist who loves the Jewish State with all my heart and soul. I want to see my brothers and sisters in Israel be able to live in peace, not having to fight every single day to legitimize their existence.

Am Yisrael Chai!!

About the Author
Maxwell Adelstein is the Grants Administrator for Jewish Community Services of South Florida. A political and policy wonk both when it comes to the US political landscape and Israel's. Max muses on politics, political structures, scant legal analysis, and the occasional advocates rant here and there. Max is the prototypical ardent Zionist who wants to see Israel flourish past 80 years of Jewish sovereignty for the first time in recorded history!