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Lamrot Hakol (Despite Everything)

Musings and kvetchings and Torah thoughts from an unconventional Orthodox Jew.

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"I blog, therefore I am". Clearly not true, or I wouldn't exist except every now and then.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

A New Roadmap for Peace

Step 1: Announce that Judea and Samaria are an integral part of Israel, and will never be given to anyone. Ever. For any reason whatsoever.

Step 2: Offer $100K to any Arab family that chooses to leave (citizens or not, and with the understanding that if they're Israeli citizens, they won't be any more). Make it $150K per family if everyone in a town decides to leave (a little neighborly peer pressure isn't a bad thing).

Step 3: Make it clear that any acts of violence will result in the entire town the perpetrator is from being shut down. That means no electricity, no gas, and no water. Permanently. They'd be free to go live elsewhere, another town or out of the country, but that town would be over. If there's no way to know what town the perpetrator is from, we simply choose the Arab town nearest to the attack. The perps themselves... if they only caused property damage, they will be escorted to the border and put out. If they killed anyone, they'll be put down.

Step 4: All non-Jewish citizens of Israel will have to sign an oath of loyalty to the State of Israel as a Jewish state. Signed oaths will be made public. Anyone refusing to sign the oath will be given the opportunity to leave, and if they choose not to, their assets will be seized and they will be escorted to the nearest border.

Step 5: Israel will never again ask for recognition from any country, but will offer diplomatic relations to whomever wants them.

Step 6: Neighboring countries will be warned that what happens in their territories is their responsibility. If they allow terrorists to operate from inside their borders, we will push those borders back and after expelling everyone from the area between the old and new borders, we will annex that area.

Step 7: Israel's peace policy will be extremely simple. Leave us alone or pay a steep price.

Step 8: The United States will be told, very simply, that we no longer want any aid, either military or civilian. But that henceforth, they will be charged for the use of Israeli ports the same way they are charged at other ports around the world.


Blogger StevenHB said...

Please tell me that you're kidding.

3:36 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Have you ever lived in Israel?

3:45 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Anyway, I learned years ago not to discuss or debate religion or politics with family. It never ends well.

3:46 PM  
Blogger StevenHB said...

Yes, I spent a semester at Hebrew University (Summer 1985-January 1986). If all you are willing to discuss is the weather or "Aunt Millie's hangnail," it's going to be a very boring conversation.

I'm fully capable of having debates about religion and politics without resorting to ad hominimm attacks.

4:08 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I'm sorry. My family tends to shy away from any topic that might be controversial. I'm not so much like that, and it took many years of headbanging before I learned to stay away from such topics. It's a pleasure to be able to discuss them with someone who isn't afraid of them.

I was learning in Israel at Brovenders during the 85-86 school year, and I spent a year doing grad work in the Assyriology department at Hebrew U in 87-88.

So, back to the subject at hand, no, I'm really not joking. We've seen what compromise with an implacable enemy gets us.

4:19 PM  
Blogger StevenHB said...

I'm not comfortable with an Isreali/Jewish claim of sovereignty over Judea and Sumaria/The West Bank/The Territories. The Arab inhabitants have a legitimate claim to the land they live on.

And I cannot accept the "Hashem gave this land to the Jews, who are we to give it away?" argument. Significant portions of it are inhabited primarily by Arabs - let them have it (provided that they agree to restrictions required to protect the security of Israel).

4:37 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

But Steven, they can agree to anything that will make us feel comfortable signing an agreement. And then simply violate it. Did I say "can"? I mean "will". As they have done every single time up until now.

When we gave them autonomy under Oslo (huge mistake), everyone said that they'd only use such autonomy as a base for terrorist attacks. Those supporting Oslo said, "If they do, we'll simply go in and end the autonomy."

When Bibi decided to give them rifles, claiming that we had to arm them so that they could control their own "militants", some of us said, "Those guns will be used against us." And we were told "If they do that, we'll go in and take them away."

When Ariel Sharon decided to throw 9,000 innocent men, women and children out of their homes in Gaza, many of whom had grown up there, and in some cases their parents had been born there, we said, "Are you nuts? That'll move the firing line that much closer to the rest of Israel. They'll use the area as a staging ground for attacks against us." And once more, we heard, "If they do, we can retake Gaza as easily as we left it."

"Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it", or however that goes. It isn't even a question of whether an independant Arab state in Judea/Samaria will simply be a bigger version of Gaza. It's a fact. All the wishing in the world won't make it otherwise.

As far as their "legitimate claim", I disagree. Vast numbers of them came here only after the Jews started creating jobs. Next time you look at a map of Israel, btw, measure the increase in the length of the border if we were to withdraw from Yesha. And measure the distance between that border and every single town, village and city in Israel.

I hope you haven't fallen for the "Fatah is moderate" gag. Fatah is the Arabic name for the PLO. They haven't changed. They never will.

5:14 PM  
Blogger StevenHB said...

Oh, come one. Many of them have lived in the territories for a long time. You can't just disposess them.

It's always the case that you must make peace with your enemies.

"It isn't even a question of whether an independant Arab state in Judea/Samaria will simply be a bigger version of Gaza. It's a fact." This is not a fact. It may be an accurate prediction, but we can't prove that right now. At this point, it's just conjecture.

As to your other points, no one said that it would be easy. Nothing good ever was.

You are not obligated to finish the job, but you are not free to abandon it, either.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

"Many of them have lived in the territories for a long time. You can't just disposess them."

Did you feel the same way about Gush Katif? I'm just curious. Why can't we just dispossess them? We were more than willing to be friends at first. But they are implacably against any Jewish state whatsoever in the "Arab sea".

It's davka because of their ties to the land that they have to be elsewhere. There's an interesting Abarbanel where he asks the question about why the laws of what we were supposed to do when we came to Eretz Yisrael were so harsh for the Canaanites. Yes, God gave them the boot because they did bad things, fine, but why did we have to offer them a choice between leaving, being second class citizens forever, or dying? After all, that goes against the general rule that you have to offer peace first.

And he answers that because they considered it their land, they would never make true peace with us. They'd never accept that we were anything but interlopers, and that being the case, leaving them among us would be highly self-destructive.

Of course, the Palestinian Arabs aren't the Canaanites, and I'm not suggesting otherwise. But the dynamic is the same. The Arabs are a majority in the Galilee. Do they get that as well? What about the Arabs with family ties to land in the middle of Haifa?

You say "you must make peace with your enemies". Perhaps. But (a) it's a lot safer to do so when the enemy isn't among you, and (b) check out this article. They'd totally agree that you make peace with your enemies. They just have a different definition of what that means.

The last two paragraphs of what you wrote were:

As to your other points, no one said that it would be easy. Nothing good ever was.

You are not obligated to finish the job, but you are not free to abandon it, either.

True. And that's my answer to you as well. The thing is, we have no moral imperative to give in to them one little tiny bit. Whatever moral capital they may have had at one point, whatever claim to such, is long, long gone. They have, as a nation, committed one atrocity after another against us. They aren't a nation, Steven. They're a weapon. They were created as one, and they continue to be one.

In a sane society, when there's someone who is wild and dangerous and cannot be reasoned with, we lock them up. It's sad, but we do it, and it's good both for the crazy person and for the rest of society. Israel can't lock the Arabs up, but we can lock them out. And while that may not be perfect, it'll be a vast improvement.

Look... when I asked if you've ever lived in Israel, maybe that was too broad a question. The first Intifada started in fall of 1987, just after I got there (I wouldn't draw any conclusions about the timing, though). I lived through the first Intifada. I lived through the imposition of the Oslo accords. I lived through Yitzchak Rabin's demonization and hafkara of olim, of the right, of the religious.

You lucked out, Steven. You missed all that fun. Because what it showed more than anything else is that the Arabs aren't the problem; it's the moral corruption among Israel's leaders. It's the absolute determination to be a "nation like all the others" that's the real cause of our trouble. Because if we had sane, Jewish leadership... well, here's Moshe Feiglin's response to Obama's Cairo speech. This is the kind of thing that needs to be coming out of the Prime Minister's office.

6:10 PM  
Blogger StevenHB said...

Without accepting all that you assert in your last comment, I realize that I haven't commented on your other points.

I don't believe in collective punishment. Point 3 means that a single asshole can bring terrible consequences to thousands of innocents. I find this completely unethical.

Re: Point 4: Certainly I'd have to insist that all citizens of the State of Israel, Jewish or not, sign any such oath. And if someone wouldn't sign an oath, seizing their assets without compensation is unethical. As in the case of eminent domain, asset-holders must be compensated fairly.

Re: Point 6: It would not necessarily be in Israel's interest to annex additional land. To assert a policy of annexation will reasonably leave her open to accusations of empire-building and land-grabbing. Change it to say that Israel will assert her right to respond militarily, as she sees fit, to terrorists who attack her from within the borders of other countries and leave it at that.

Re: 8: I'm unsure of the consequences of refusing aid and charging port fees but I'd be concerned that they were more than Israel could bear.

7:44 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

A few things:

Collective punishment. Generally speaking, I agree with you. But this isn't civil unrest or crime; it's war. You can't dance with the devil and claim no responsibility. When a Jew kills Arabs in Israel, the entire country is aghast. You weren't there when Dr. Goldstein was killed in Hevron. The hysteria was wild. The Arabs, by way of contrast, dance in the street when terrorists blow up civilians in Israel. They name streets and schools after these martyrs.

If I lived in Jerusalem and the Prime Minister were to announce that Israel had planted nukes in DC and New York, and that if the US didn't... I don't know, something, they could kiss those cities goodbye, I'd have a couple of choices. I could smile and sit tight and say, "Well, I didn't have anything to do with it", or I could hightail it away from ground zero just as fast as my feet would take me.

They cannot be excused by saying that the other Arabs will kill them if they speak out against the terror. There's a moral imperative to either speak out against it or get out. You can't have terrorists in your stores and at your schools and say, "But we aren't actually committing the atrocities ourselves. There absolutely is a group responsibility here.

We aren't talking about a single asshole. It's not like the Arabs are all, "Gosh, we want to live in peace", and then one or two malcontents blows everything up. They have a complete societal support system there. The assholes are acting out the will of their people.

Used to be that the PLO claimed to be the "rightful representatives of the Palestinian people". Israel tried not to accept that. I used to tell people, "Hell yes, they are. These are the representatives they want, and they're responsible for them."

As far as everyone signing such an oath, I'm okay with that. But I don't have any problem whatsoever having laws that differentiate between Jews and non-Jews in Israel. Israel isn't the US. It isn't a country of its people. America is to American as France is to Frenchman as Turkey is to Turk, but not as Israel is to Israeli. It's as Israel is to Jew.

About seizing their assets, notice that I said they can leave with their assets. It's only if they refuse to leave and then refuse to sign that they lose out. Staying means they're going to agree to be loyal to Israel as a Jewish state. If they betray that loyalty by not signing the oath, they have no one to blame but themselves.

I'm also adamantly opposed to eminent domain in the US, btw. But again, Israel isn't the US, and this isn't eminent domain. It's the removal of a clear and present danger.

As far as "accusations of empire-building and land-grabbing", honestly, who cares? They're accusing us of that anyway. We gave them Gaza for nothing and they keep accusing us of it.

You shouldn't care so much what the rest of the world thinks. That's what got Israel into this trouble in the first place.

Check out A Modest Proposal.

And lastly, Israel doesn't need America. Seriously, American aid does more harm than good. It's like a pusher handing out smack on a playground. They only do it to control the recipient.

11:24 PM  
Blogger at the edge said...

You write such things as:
"The United States will be told..."

My comment is to make only this point:
What we should say to ANY non-Jew or non-Jewish nation is as explained here:

We can do no better unless we say exactly what Torah tells us to say. If you read the above link you'll see that G-d "goes out of His way", by more than one full chumash, so that we should know what exacly to say to our accusers.

1:15 PM  
Blogger Lady-Light said...

Lisa, thank you for another intelligent answer to (not in any particular order) 1)The Road Map, 2)Camp David 3) Annapolis 4)Oslo, etc.
I've written something along those lines many times, too often to count. It's nice to know there's another woman out there who is using her שכל and who cares not about being 'politically correct.' כל הכבוד!

11:25 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Haven't you heard? We don't call it "politically correct" anymore. Now it's "clarity impaired".

7:05 AM  

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