Tuesday, July 13, 2010

On Moving Behind Internationally Recognized Borders

The deligitimizers of Israel are now launching an attack on Israel's legal system. Not on the IDF, not on settlements, but on the world-class legal system inside Israel. The reason has to do with Israel's withdrawal to the internationally recognized border with Gaza, in 2005.

The 1990s tested the proposition that if Israel recognized the Palestinians and negotiated with them towards a mutually acceptable partition, this would lead to peace. Well, that didn't work, did it.

The Naughts (is that what they were?) tested the proposition that if Israel unilaterally moved back to internationally recognized borders facing Lebanon and Gaza, this would bolster Israel's legitimacy, undermine allegations about its colonial and aggressive policies, garner it international good will and generally strengthen its position. Well, that didn't work, did it.

Rational people generally accept the proposition about causes and effects, measurable means of testing, and accepting their results. Non rational actors wave away all uncomfortable results, invent ways to explain them away even if they contradict previous assumptions, and stick to their positions regardless of facts. I try to be rational, but maybe that's just me.

18 comments:

Gentile Zionist said...

Rest assured the inquiry will not be objective. I hope Israel doesn't fall into the trap.

Don't co-operate, and don't allow the UN reps access either to Israel or to the territories.

Anonymous said...

Ever since March 2006 when I read the "Israel Lobby" precursor at the LRB I have never doubted for one second that the hunt has been opened again and that "they"'d stop at nothing (they never did in the past, so why should they do now?;-( - whether "they"ll be satisfied with just Israel or proceed to Jews abroad may be still undecided but I trust that "they" are working on it.

- and mind you March 2006 was before the Lebanon war and this picture was taken
http://www.lizaswelt.net/2006/09/kabarett-frei-haus.html

I have no idea how to proceed - yesterday I read a story about how Mitchell exposed Assad as a lier - but my take on human nature made me guess that Assad came out as the winner because he could gather muslims behind him by implicitly claiming to have been humiliated. I have no idea how one can outmaneuver slick operators like that and that's all the UN is to me by now, a slick operator.

My UN-mentoress on patent matters used to complain that "westerners" did all the work, while nobody disciplined the others who spent their days in the caf├ęs of Geneva behaving as they deemed their titles to entitle them. To reprimand them would have meant yells of racism and so was impossible. To this day I have found nothing that implies to me that things are different anywhere else at the UN.

A futile search at UNRWA's website told me the other day that they employ 30.000 people - that makes them the equivalent of a pretty big corporation.

The whole thing is by now rotten to the core but how to battle any assault by them on a country where they have large swathes of the MSM behind them not least because Israel comes right after sex in selling appeal eludes me completely. I just hope and pray that Jews prove as smart and wily as "they" claim they are.

Silke

Didi Remez said...

Cause and effect?

The '67 paradigm, which is particularly advantageous to the Jewish national movement, is being wiped away. Yes and it's a crying shame. What was our role in that process? Isn't that part of the cause?

Recognition of that would be helpful in stopping the tailspin.

But, then, you seem to have taken an active role. See this recent post for a recent example:
http://yaacovlozowick.blogspot.com/2010/05/myth-of-1967-borders.html

Yaacov said...

Didi,

As you and I have discussed elsewhere, I was in favor of partition and Palestinian sovereignty since about the time you went to first grade, and am for it still. The historical fact that the armistice lines of 1949 were never intended to be an internationally recognized border is simply fact, even if by the time you reached an age of political awareness lots of people were working hard to re-write history.

As for the future: the only way I can imagine Israel being able to hand over the West Bank is for the international community to force the Palestinians to accept - tho even that is dubious, because how could they ever be forced?

If you have any other suggestions - and I don't see how you might have anything to offer that hasn't already been tried and empirically disproved - I'm all ears.

Lee Ratner said...

Even if the 1948 borders were not intended to be final borders then, most of the world intends them to be the final border now. World opinion has changed and this has made the 1948 borders, the final borders. What was intended then can change.

Yaacov said...

Really, Lee? As recently as November 2004 the President of the United States of America publicly said otherwise, and in writing. True, the Obama administration said it had never happened, but we can remember five years back, and so can YouTube.

Anyway, the line isn't the issue. The issue is that Israel needs an official End of Conflict contract with the Palestinians, and they need to believe the Palestinians mean it. The first is impossible, the second is inconceivable. I say this with great sadness.

Anonymous said...

Lee

"What was intended then can change."

Here is for comparison Churchill quoting Chamberlain on November 1, 1938 (the country whose borders were deemed "fit" to be adjusted was Czechoslovakia). Churchill claims later in the book that what was missing in all that was something like pride in one's honour.

"What we are doing now... is witnessing the readjustment of frontiers laid down in the Treaty of Versailles. I do not know whether the people who were responsible for those frontiers thought they would remain permanently as they were laid down. I doubt very much whether they did. They probably expected that from time to time the frontiers would have to be adjusted. It is impossible to conceive that those people would be such supermen as to be able to see what would be the right frontiers for all time. ..."
The Gathering Storm p. 298

Silke

Anonymous said...

Yaacov

the whole world is no argument whatsoever, even the whole world may be dead wrong, ask any woman who is old enough to remember all the kinds of things we were supposed to lack as everybody all over the world knew with unquestionable authority.

Or ask gays or ask all kinds of for whatever reason different looking people, right now the world plays at enlightened but when it gets bored with it, it may well revert to defining what's "normal" once again. My mothers "encyclopedia" from the very renowned publishing house Meyers tells me that Jews are flat-footed and red-haired and more such at best gossip column stuff and it was published just before 1933...

In the case of Israel my bet is that the "whole world" wouldn't mind a bit of bloody excitement as long as the victims are just Israelis. Just imagine the boost the newspaper industry could get from it

Sorry to be such a cynic

Silke

NormanF said...

Israel should NOT cooperate with UN investigations. The world wants Jewish blood. That's the long and short of it. People in the Justice and Foreign Ministries who advocate such cooperation want to legitimize the anti-Israel libel and slander in the world body, with no clear benefits in return for Israel.

DON'T DO IT!

Anonymous said...

OT but alas very much related:

NGO-Monitor had another piece in JPost. This time going also after European Governments, demanding that they'd come clear.
After the e-mail I got from the German Foreign Office as openly as possible saying "we hide it all in plain sight" I find that long overdue.
http://www.ngo-monitor.org/article/half_the_truth_that_s_fit_to_print

The murkyness that's afoot there beggars belief. In that "A Mosque in Munich"-talk that I keep advertising the guy mentioned that there are some Muslim Brotherhood related outfits who had their funds frozen for 10 years now, without the authorities being able to get something tangible. The author, journalist that he is, demands of course that the accounts should be unfrozen. I, however, conclude from it, that we have allowed a swamp of unknowable dimensions to grow and that it encompasses governments and shady organisations alike.
Also I don't buy into NIF's claims of openness. Who is going to vet the endless lists of their donors whether all are who they claim they are and whether they donated their own money and whatever else finance wizards may come up with? Any structure like that leaves the barn door for shady operators wide wide open without ever implicating the organisation itself.

Silke

PS - quote and that's not even half of it - foul suspicious smelling murky stuff - some intentional and some probably in all the goodness the human heart is capable of

The Free Gaza Movement, which sponsored the ships that included violent jihadists from the Turkish IHH organization, tells supporters to send taxdeductible donations through the American Educational Trust. And the International Solidarity Movement receives funding via directed donations to the AJ Muste Memorial Institute and the Middle East Children’s Alliance, both of which have tax-exempt status. ISM members regularly violate Israeli law through violent “direct actions,” including participation in the recent Free Gaza Flotilla.

4infidels said...

Didi,

History did not begin in 1967.

What motivated Arab attitudes and attacks on Israel prior to 1967 as well as Arab attacks on Jews in the Palestine Mandate, both Zionist immigrants and non-Zionist indiginous Jews?

And were the source of the attitudes in the larger Arab and Muslim world that created so much hostility to the Jewish national project on land that previously Arabs had hardly concerned themselves with? Why were Arabs, who had just been liberated from Turkish rule and were gaining control over so much territory throughout the Middle East obsessed with preventing the Jews from gaining a little sliver of that land?

After all, there were many different peoples and religions that existed in the Middle East and the Arabs have been determined that all of them submit to Islamic and Arab rule. The minority populations in Arab countries is something along the line of 25% of the population. So why the horror that a relatively small number of Arab-Muslims might live under Jewish rule, where Arabs today make up about 20% of the population?

Do you put any stock in Islamic doctrine, the attitudes it inculcates in believers and the related actions that those believers take? Do you not see a major Arab supremacist strain in Arab nationalism that largely mirrors the Islamic supremacist theology of Islam? Is not anti-Semitism so ingrained in contemporary Arab culture that nothing less than total destruction of the Jewish state is tolerable? And by the way, how well have the Arabs done in reaching comprises among and within their own nation-states, or is everything a winner takes all fight until one side is victorious and the other completely subdued?

Moreover, What of the actions that Arab leaders took that have led to their loss of land and establishment of new realities? Are they responsible at all, or is everything Israel's fault and the "natives" are simply victims first of the imperial powers and later Zionist colonialists? Didn't Arab leaders do quite well in the early 20th century collaborating with the British and gaining so much territory as a result of minor, if any, contributions to the WWI effort against the Turks? Are the Arabs the only people who don't have to show any remorse or regret for either supporting the Nazis in WW2 or sitting on the sideline until the could tell which side would win (our "friends," the Saudis)before choosing where they stand, instead today expressing open admiration for the Nazis and a desire to continue their genocidal program with regard to the Jews?

The Arabs weren't passive victims and they haven't changed their basic beliefs that led them to take the actions that landed them in their current situation. Regardless of whether the settler movement gained from the Six Day War, it was the Arab side that instigated the hostilities that put Israel in control of the West Bank, and the Arab side which still hasn't shown a genuine desire for peaceful coexistence with their Jewish neighbors.

4infidels said...

Didi,

History did not begin in 1967.

What motivated Arab attitudes and attacks on Israel prior to 1967 as well as Arab attacks on Jews in the Palestine Mandate, both Zionist immigrants and non-Zionist indiginous Jews?

And were the source of the attitudes in the larger Arab and Muslim world that created so much hostility to the Jewish national project on land that previously Arabs had hardly concerned themselves with? Why were Arabs, who had just been liberated from Turkish rule and were gaining control over so much territory throughout the Middle East obsessed with preventing the Jews from gaining a little sliver of that land?

After all, there were many different peoples and religions that existed in the Middle East and the Arabs have been determined that all of them submit to Islamic and Arab rule. The minority populations in Arab countries is something along the line of 25% of the population. So why the horror that a relatively small number of Arab-Muslims might live under Jewish rule, where Arabs today make up about 20% of the population?

Do you put any stock in Islamic doctrine, the attitudes it inculcates in believers and the related actions that those believers take? Do you not see a major Arab supremacist strain in Arab nationalism that largely mirrors the Islamic supremacist theology of Islam? Is not anti-Semitism so ingrained in contemporary Arab culture that nothing less than total destruction of the Jewish state is tolerable? And by the way, how well have the Arabs done in reaching comprises among and within their own nation-states, or is everything a winner takes all fight until one side is victorious and the other completely subdued?

Moreover, What of the actions that Arab leaders took that have led to their loss of land and establishment of new realities? Are they responsible at all, or is everything Israel's fault and the "natives" are simply victims first of the imperial powers and later Zionist colonialists? Didn't Arab leaders do quite well in the early 20th century collaborating with the British and gaining so much territory as a result of minor, if any, contributions to the WWI effort against the Turks? Are the Arabs the only people who don't have to show any remorse or regret for either supporting the Nazis in WW2 or sitting on the sideline until the could tell which side would win (our "friends," the Saudis)before choosing where they stand, instead today expressing open admiration for the Nazis and a desire to continue their genocidal program with regard to the Jews?

The Arabs weren't passive victims and they haven't changed their basic beliefs that led them to take the actions that landed them in their current situation. Regardless of whether the settler movement gained from the Six Day War, it was the Arab side that instigated the hostilities that put Israel in control of the West Bank, and the Arab side which still hasn't shown a genuine desire for peaceful coexistence with their Jewish neighbors.

4infidels said...

Sorry about the double post.

Rabbi Tony Jutner said...

You can have israel or peace, but not both. You must choose. Its that simple

Yaacov said...

I expect you're right, Tony. Watch out: you're losing it.

Nimrod Tal said...

How is Tony losing it? You agree with him

Anonymous said...

Nimrod
I don't know about Yaacov but I think Tony is right about the Catch 22, albeit not with the necessity to choose. Odysseus hung on to the rock until his boat came out again ...

Barry Meislin said...

I suspect that Yaacov's response about the rabbi's comment was prompted by its remarkable---and most uncharacteristic---coherence.

The two don't agree, of course. Yaacov wants Israel to continue to exist, even if it means that it must exist in a state of warfare; whereas the rabbi wants Israel to disappear, even though he knows that there will be no peace when Israel is gone, even though he knows that the Palestinians will be slaughtered either by one another or by their brothers in Syria, Jordan, Egypt, or Lebanon.

But that, one must assume, is something he can live with. As long as Israel is gone.