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One very good reason most Israelis are wary of further territorial concessions


H/T Sderot Media CenterYsrael Medad and Elder of Ziyon

While assimilating the daily commentary about the Middle East and Israeli-Islamist Conflict, and the incessant drum beat of political analysts who insist, despite the considerable historical evidence to the contrary, that additional Israeli territorial compromise will undoubtedly lead to peace and security, I’m reminded of a quote in Alexandre Solzhenitsyn’s classic, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, a story set in a Soviet Gulag in the 1950s, describing a single day of an ordinary prisoner, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov.

“How can you expect a man who’s warm to understand a man who’s cold?”

It’s not that there aren’t many two-state solution proponents who truly have Israel’s best interest in mind, it’s that in the political abstraction that Israel has become – this increasing tendency by Jew and non-Jew alike to see Israel, and Israelis, as the proverbial “other” – they often lack the capacity to feel the empathy (in the generic sense, meaning the capacity to recognize and share the concerns that are being experienced by another) afforded to those whose identity aren’t obscured by such cognitive distance.

While there are, without question, many who are callously indifferent to Israel’s security concerns, and many who are motivated by nothing but malice, it certainly seems reasonable to expect those who aren’t hostile or indifferent to consider the considerable risks associated with drawing new national boundaries which would render our entire country vulnerable to (increasingly sophisticated and accurate) enemy rocket fire – a quite likely scenario in the event that radical elements maintain significant political presence in a nascent Palestinian state.

I used to live in a prosperous country whose neighbors included Canada and Mexico, and fully understand the political assumptions which can be nurtured by such a bubble.

As such, we merely ask those currently living in peace and without fear (free of the the existential threats that my new national family is forced to face daily) to expand their considerable political imagination to include the very real-world concerns of those whose very moral legitimacy and, indeed, mere existence is cruelly and relentlessly challenged – a reasonable, sober and, it seems, quite modest proposal.

10 replies »

  1. “I used to live in a prosperous country whose neighbors included Canada and Mexico,…”

    There is a perception that more than a few of the newer West Bank residents are also US citizens – any truth to this?

  2. @Outraged, I really don’t know the answer to that question. If anyone does, I’d like to know.

  3. @ Adam. My son (not Jewish) returned from school the other day to say that his friends (mainly not Jewish) had advised him that they could all get free homes if they moved to Israel. I said that I thought there was more to it than that, but he seemed to think the rumour was well founded.

  4. @Outraged 5.14 pm: I also don’t know the answer to your question. I tried some googling but can’t find a figure. Perhaps the Israeli Bureau of Statistics has some numbers but that will have to wait till i have more time.

    @Outraged 5.41 pm: I’m assuming your son is not in Israel? I don’t know where on earth this rumour was founded but it is totally untrue. Halevai! (I wish!) If only it were true that the Israeli government was handing out free housing! I have 2 married children living in the Shomron (Samaria) and believe me, no one paid for those houses except themselves (with the help of parents and the banks). The same goes for houses in pre-67 borders too. We are still paying off our own mortgage.

    What your son’s friends may have been confused about is government subsidies, grants or mortgages. These are issued to home-buyers in various places in Israel, from development towns to border communities to homes in Judea and Samaria; in fact anywhere where the government wants to encourage population increase. The size of the grants or mortgages also depends on the size of the applicants’ families, the length of their army service, their income etc.

  5. When Israel withdrew from Gaza she was met with violence which still continues but which we don’t hear about in the media, and the kidnap of Gilad Shalit. Only fools would repeat that mistake, regardless of how “different” the second time was dressed up as being, which is why the Arab world is full of fools.

    An Israeli government which ignores the Muslim imperative that land it believes belongs to it can never pass to kufar and particularly not Jews, that Muslims must wage war to eternity to recapture it, is also full of fools.

    There should be no further concessions until Palestinian governments and authorities BEHAVE the peace they allegedly want they say in English and in public, regardless of what they may say in Arabic to their own people.

    Given that centuries of lunacy have been inculcated into Palestinian generations, this may take some time…

  6. @anneinpt: Your comments noted and will be passed on as and when Outraged Jnr brings the subject up again. That half the world now believes/knows that our government gives out free housing in the UK is certainly a truism. And look at the mess that’s got us into (see Daily Mail website). You are well advised to scotch any such rumours as soon as they appear. Well done.

  7. There are rockets and mortars falling daily – and I mean daily – in the areas around Sderot. It is so common it is barely reported in the Israeli press, and never in the foreign press.

    This will continue until they finally hit a busload of children, a school, or a hospital and Israel finally responds with a “disproportionate” attack on Gaza. By glossing over these rocket attacks, Israel and its press ultimately set the stage for an anti-Israeli response and the sort of claims we saw over and over in the Guardian about the “harmless firecrackers”.

  8. Well, I just opened the Israeli papers, and it turns out that if thee are enough rockets at one time they report it. Here’s one in English:

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-strikes-gaza-after-massive-rocket-barrage-on-south-1.350171

    Israel strikes Gaza after massive rocket barrage on south

    Hamas claims responsibility for 10 of the more than 50 rockets fired on southern Israel earlier in day; Gaza medics say five Hamas officers and boy injured in Israeli air strike.

    Imagine 50 rockets being fired from Tijuana into San Diego – that would set of the next US-Mexican war.