If the goal is to have lasting peace in the Middle East, with as much economic success and freedom as possible for both Israelis and Palestinians, a one-state solution is likely to be the best way to achieve those goals.
That is the subject of today’s 10-minute blog/podcast.
We live in a unique and exceptional country; part of the equally unique and exceptional role that we play here is to understand what is going on beyond our borders, and to hold our politicians accountable for doing the right things internationally as well as domestically. The Middle East has been in turmoil since the beginning of recorded history. Let’s take a look at what has been happening in recent decades.
Modern history in the Middle East began with the final collapse of the Ottoman Empire at the end of WWI. They had sided with the Kaiser, and the Ottomans suffered fatally when Germany lost. Post WWI, Jews began to immigrate, in small numbers, from various countries to Palestine, then a British Mandate country. After almost thirty years in control with some serious waffling about the right of Jews to immigrate to Palestine, the British Mandate in Palestine ended in 1948 with the UN partition which created the new state of Israel.
The many and powerful forces arrayed against Israel, with the relatively recent exception of Egypt, don’t want peace with their enemy, Israel. Their long held position has been to refuse to recognize Israel’s existence, and to repeatedly call for its extinction. Their commitment is to drive every Israeli, man, woman and child, into the Mediterranean. The problem, to Hamas, the recognized terror group that runs the Gaza strip, and the Palestine Liberation Organization, PLO, the should-be-recognized terror group in charge of the West Bank, is not that Israel is not cooperating with them in the way it should. To them, Hamas and the PLO, the problem is that Israel exists at all. The people who lead and are paid by these terrorist groups would have nothing to do if there was peace. They would lose their coveted place in the “resistance” and have to go get a job. Simple truth: Activists Don’t Want Peace. And that’s true in more places than the Middle East. Egypt, a far larger, more diverse and successful country than either the Gaza Strip or the West Bank, was not filled with terrorist leaders and high-ranking followers who needed to avoid peace at all costs to maintain their positions in their society. Egptian leaders knew the benefits of peace, and were confident enough in themselves to make it happen. They signed a separate peace deal with Israel in 1979. And have honored it.
Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. And there are precious few democracies in Muslim countries around the world. Arabs in Israel have more freedoms and have far better standards of living than the average person living in either Arab countries or Iran (Iranians are Persians, not Arabs). What is the benefit of having a two-state solution where Israel would continue to be successful and free, and a combined Gaza and West Bank would be ruled by the terrorist coalition of Hamas and the PLO? While their citizens continued to live in poverty.
The claim that the Israelis “made the desert bloom” has a solid foundation. With no oil, and having been attacked by multiple countries, with the announced intention of annihilating them in 1948, 1967 and again in 1973, Israel has literally made the desert bloom. Everything from massive desalination plants providing vitally needed water to the creation of a thriving tech industry, Israel has made its tiny part of the world bloom. All while needing to have the largest standing military per capita in the world. Remember, Israel, the defender, needs to win every war, every time, or be eliminated. As counterpoint, when Hamas took over the Gaza Strip after Israeli troops and citizens evacuated, in the hope that they could exchange “land for peace”, Hamas destroyed all of the thriving greenhouses the Israelis had built. And Hamas is using repeated rocket attacks on Israeli civilian populations as their part of the land for peace deal.
Question: Where is the locus of anti-Israeli sentiment, and why is it there? Answer: The progressive left hates anything that is successful, either militarily or economically. Capitalism is unarguably the most successful wealth building engine on the planet, so they hate capitalism. Israel, this tiny, almost utterly defenseless, startup of a country in 1948, has succeeded beyond all odds, beyond all imagination both militarily and economically, so they hate Israel.
But Will, doesn’t a one-state solution mean that millions of people would lose “title” to their ancestral home? Yes. And they would be far better off.
Let’s look at an analogy. In the Mexican American war of 1846 to 1848, the US took New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, California, Texas and Western Colorado from Mexico. And the US and Mexico are both the better for it. As is the rest of the world. By picking–and winning–the fight, the US added huge amounts of land and resources, bringing them into a prosperous democratic, capitalist society with relatively little corruption and organized crime. And, at the same time, the US took that land away from Mexico, preventing the land, the people on the land, and the resources from winding up as part of a country, Mexico, with a failed economy, massive government corruption and even more massive organized crime–the drug cartels. With its fortuitous defeat, Mexico became smaller, and the US bigger. A key benefit is that fewer people now need to escape from a smaller Mexico, and have a larger US to escape to. If Mexico had the lack of foresight to lose and managed to win, a much larger number of people would be trying to escape into a smaller US.
It is the same with Israel, Gaza and the West Bank. In the end, after the Palestinians swallowed a bitter pill, the expanded nation of Israel would provide degrees of freedom and economic success to millions of Palstinians that would be entirely unattainable under Hamas and the PLO. After swallowing the bitter pill of defeat in the War, Mexico and the Mexicans in the conquered territories are dramatically better off today than they would have been had Mexico won the war. In exactly the same way, after swallowing the bitter pill of being absorbed into one state, the State of Israel, the people of Gaza and the West Bank would be far better off.
If you think this is too much of a bitter pill to swallow, or believe this to be too flawed to be acceptable, what is your solution, and how do you get there?
One final thought: If Arabs put their weapons down, there would be peace. If the Jews put their weapons down, there would be no Israel. Yes? No? Why?
Segueing from the specifics of today’s topic to overall principles, the core, driving principles at Revolution 2.0, are:
- Personal Responsibility; take it, teach it and,
- Be Your Brother’s Keeper. The answer to the biblical question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” is a ringing, unequivocal “Yes.” There is no other answer.
And do it all in love; without love, these are empty gestures, destined to go nowhere and mean nothing.
If we apply those two core principles, personal responsibility and brother’s keepers, simultaneously, never only one or the other, we will always be on the right path. Depending upon what we face, one principle or the other may appropriately be given more emphasis, but they are always acted upon together.
The Founders, Revolution 1.0, were declared traitors by the British Crown, and their lives were forfeit if caught. We risk very little by stepping up and participating in Revolution 2.0™. In fact, we risk our futures if we don’t. I am inviting you, recruiting you, to join Revolution 2.0™ today. Join with me in using what we know how to do–what we know we must do–to everyone’s advantage. Let’s practice thinking well of others as we seek common goals, research the facts that apply to those goals, and use non agenda-based reasoning to achieve those goals together. Practice personal responsibility and be your brother’s keeper.
I believe that America is a unique and exceptional place, and that you–you and I–have an equally unique and exceptional role to play in it. That’s what drives this podcast.
Revolution 1.0 in 1776 was built by people talking to other people, agreeing and disagreeing, but always finding ways to stay united and go forward. Revolution 2.0 will be built the same way.
Join me. Join the others. Think about what we are talking about and share these thoughts and principles with others. Subscribe, encourage others to subscribe. Act. Let’s grow this together.
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Links and References
As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the blog with comments or questions about this podcast or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. And you can subscribe to the podcast on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google, or Stitcher.
Now it is time for our usual parting thought. It is not enough to be informed. It is not enough to be a well informed voter. We need to act. And if we, you and I, don’t do something, then the others who are doing something, will continue to run the show.
Know your stuff, then act on it. Knowing your stuff without acting is empty; acting without knowing is dangerous.
Will Luden, writing to you from my home office at 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.
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