The Return of Tweedledum and Tweedledee

“Westerners habitually and ignorantly misconceive the responses they are likely to encounter from the Arabs, unsuitably and even laughably projecting their own political and moral attitudes where these cannot apply.” [ David Pryce-Jones: ‘The Closed Circle – An interpretation of the Arabs’]

As noted by the famed historian and author Barbara Tuchman, history is the record of human behavior, crammed with an unlimited number of variables and thus does not lend itself to scientific analysis. However, she does recognize its value in recurring circumstances. This is most certainly the case in the Arab-Israel Conflict, cleverly renamed the Palestinian-Israel Conflict in contemporary times by the Wiley Oriental Gentlemen for propaganda purposes.

In contemporary times, we have moved from what was once termed, “Land for Peace” to the so-called, “Two State Solution.” In fact the latter is simply the same “yenta” in new clothing as if this will resuscitate a failed process. Thos of us who are old enough recall the brilliant cartoon which featured a North American Indian sitting in front of his teepee and saying, “If they want to talk about land for peace, let them talk to me.”

On May, 25 2017, David Horovitz, Editor-in-Chief of the Times of Israel, penned a useful piece, “For Now, Trump’s peacemaking approach is all unfounded optimism.” Indeed, little has changed. He correctly observed that Trump was no expert on “matters of Middle East political maneuvering”, nor had he “surrounded himself with Middle East sophisticates”. This is all too true.

However, to refer to the former individuals assigned to the given task as experts and the “—best brains the US think tanks can produce” falls rather short of reality. They almost all could be described as political hacks given to the pursuit of prejudices and biases rather than the engagement of history. The most recent of the group, John Kerry was nothing but a buffoon filled with arrogance and a distorted vision of himself. One can attribute to him and most of the others, the lack of sanity in doing the same thing over and over again, while expecting a different result.

The remarkable Rabbi Berel Wein in his “Why History” dated January 19, 2001, is troubled by the abysmal lack of knowledge of history which is ever present. He is particularly disturbed with the lack of knowledge of the history of our people, regrettably prevalent in all sections of our society. Those—-“without knowledge, and a sense of history are doomed to be poor citizens; and shortsighted in their political and national assessments and decisions.” He says further that if we are , unaware of our past, of who we truly are, of our historic rights to or land and our lives as Jews; “then the false accusations of our enemies that we are conquerors and interlopers will eventually ring true in our own ears.” His punch line, “The denial of the past to fit the present is truly dangerous for our future.”

History is the record of human behavior, says master historian Barbara Tuchman. Even more so, she informs us that to feel itself a nation, a people must have not only independence and territory, but also a history. In this, we observe the Arabs denial of Israel’s very existence. But, there is more, there is the issue of religion.

David Pryce-Jones, yet another notable historian, writing in the National Review of January 23, 2017, “The Maligning of Israel”, focuses on both of these issues. He notes that the ejection of Israel from Palestine is a religious obligation for the Arabs of the here and now,. He confirms further; What hides behind it ,[the distorted arguments over settlements] however, “is the historic and deeply emotional ordinance that has always driven Muslim conquest and possession, namely that land once possessed by the House of Islam must be possessed by it forever.”

The Jerusalem Post on March 29, 2017 published Eric R. Mandel’s brilliant, “The West’s Refusal to recognize the Religious Basis for the Israeli – Palestinian Conflict.” Nothing could be stated so clearly about the core issue. In summarized format he asserts the following:

[a] For over 100 years the strategy has been one of many Americans thinking that Jews and Arabs are simply fighting over territory, so the logical answer is simply to divide the land. But this approach ignores the fact that this dispute, like so many others in the middle East, is primarily a war of Islamic religious supremacy.

[b] Quoting Anshel Pfeiffer of the Guardian; “Accepting the Israel-Palestine conflict is also a bitter religious war runs counter to the international community’s preferred solutions—-which is also a bitter religious war, runs counter to the international community’s preferred solutions—-which is a central reason that none of these solutions have worked.”

[c] Trump refers to “a great estate deal” between Israel and the Palestinians. However, you cannot have an “ultimate deal” if you do not factor in the primary Islamic roots of the conflict, which animate Palestinian choices.

[d] In 1979, the Iranian revolution demonstrated to both Sunnis and Shiites that Islamism, not secular Muslim nationalism, is the winning formula.

[e] A future Palestinian state will have Islam as the dominant aspect of its governing system, despite Western wishful thinking to the contrary.

[f] To the Palestinians, Israel is considered to be Islamic land which must be liberated for Allah——-The tragic conclusion is that the Palestinian Authority has adopted and is teaching its people the messages of radical Islam.

Eric Mandel has clearly identified the problem which has eluded the Western world for too long, while not engaging in several alternative solutions.

Although authored on August 4, 2017, Melanie Phillips, a principal columnist for The Times [UK]’s “An Open letter to Jared Kushner”, could not be more current. Given his actions since then is suggestive of either not having read this worthy article or exhibiting utter stupidity in ignoring it.

Apparently, in his address to a group of congressional interns, Kushner had said , “We don’t want a history lesson. We’ve read enough books.” Pomposity is not sufficient a word to react to this ignoramus. However, the professional that she is, Phillips was not deterred. She was quick to point out that by not considering history, Kushner denied a commencement to the given subject which was all about history.

After all, she asserts, the Jewish people’s unique claim to the land is rooted in the history of this land. And without reference to that history, it is not possible to counter the big lie told by the Arab and Muslim world which fuels their attempt to destroy the State of Israel: that the Jews have no entitlement to the land.

Melanie Phillips astutely explains that from history, one learns that what it is – is a war of aggression by the Arab and Muslim world against the Jews. As such, it matters to discern who is the aggressor and who is the victim. This is not as the world thinks, a conflict between two warring sides. Rather, it is an attempt to annihilate a country that is defending itself against the onslaught.

During these days when we are given to believe that the Trump Team will reveal the contents of the long awaited Mideast Peace Plan, they would be well advised to consider Amir Taheri’s, “Trump the Deal-maker and the Middle East”, published by the Gatestone Institute on March 4, 2018. He makes several outstanding observations:

[1] In the past deal-makers often failed because they did not realize that peace was never negotiated and always imposed “by the side that wins a war.” There is no evidence in which an outsider has imposed peace on unwilling belligerents.”

[2] Outside deal-makers have their interests and agendas which can influence their decisions. An example of this is the desire by the western powers not to antagonize the Arabs where there is a dependence for oil or the need to trade arms.

[3 ] In the past, those who were involved in the negotiations failed to reach a resolution simply because they did not adequately define the problem.

Taheri recognizes Trump’s claims to deal-making and desire to pursue a resolution to a conflict where so many did not succeed. However, he states categorically that the “chances of him succeeding ” are “nil” and not a reflection on his skills.

Khaled Abu Toameh is a well established Israeli Muslim Arab journalist. The trump Team could gain much insight through a viewing of the video produced on David Horowitz’s Restoration Weekend 2017 Palm Beach, Florida, where Toameh addressed the audience for well over an hour. It can be viewed on https://vimeo.com/2454744074, entitled “Israel—–as viewed by an Arab.”Primarily, he explains why no Arab leader can sign away rights on the stated core issues without risking their lives to assassination as did Jordan’s King Abdullah 1 on July 20, 1951 and President Sadat on October 6, 1981.

Toameh also stressed how what is needed before any serious attempt at resolution to the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli Conflict is a very necessary peace education for the respective Arab communities. Even recently there are reliable reports on Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas hosting a party for the family of the terrorist who murdered an Israeli father of six in a fully furnished apartment, while praising the terrorist as a national hero.

Toameh points to the common practice of Arab leaders and spokespersons who give the opposite views to Arab audiences in Arabic as opposed to that given in English to English speaking audiences. This practice has added to the ongoing hatred that has infested the Palestinian Arabs throughout countries where they reside in addition to Gaza and the West Bank.

A report by Arutz 7, as recently as March 11, 2018 labeled, ANALYSIS : How Saudi Crown Prince is Working on PA-Israel Conflict was authored by Yochanan Visser. Apparently, Crown Prince Salman, Egypt’s el-Sisi and Israel, plan a mega city connecting Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Trump’s Peace Plan, although secretive, was also on the table. It represents further confirmation that Saudi Arabia is opening a new page in its relations with the Palestinian Arabs and Israel. We learn the following from the report:

Envisaged is Egyptian rule over Gaza while Jordan would again be governing parts of the West Bank, historic Judea and Samaria , the biblical heartland of Israel. The latter would grant Israeli citizenship to Palestinian Arabs living in Area C of the West Bank, under Israeli jurisdiction according to Oslo Agreements and where all the Jewish residents and only about 4% of PA Arabs live.

Israel would retain control over the Jordan valley and would not be required to dismantle any “settlement” in Judea and Samaria. The Jerusalem suburb of Abu Dis could become the Palestinian capital according to the Saudi-American Plan. Abbas has called the deal “the slap of the century” and cursed President Trump. It does not take much imagination to envisage massive riots throughout the ME if the stated plans are implemented without the consideration of Khaled Abu Toameh’s advice.

About the Author
Alex Rose was born in South Africa in 1935 and lived there until departing for the US in 1977 where he spent 26 years. He is an engineering consultant. For 18 years he was employed by Westinghouse until age 60 whereupon he became self-employed. He was also formerly on the Executive of Americans for a Safe Israel and a founding member of CAMERA, New York (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America and today one of the largest media monitoring organizations concerned with accuracy and balanced reporting on Israel). In 2003 he and his wife made Aliyah to Israel and presently reside in Ashkelon.
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