Israel is a world leader, does the world care?....
Palestinian Aid Versus Results. Roger Kaplan explains how Western support for the Arab Spring induced the Palestinians to declare their own "Spring," one likely to be as illiberal as the other Arab uprisings. Evelyn Gordon notes that Arab Spring proponents got zero notice at the UN, whose members were fixated on the Palestinians. As for financial aid, she presents telling numbers:
This inattention also translates into a shortage of much-needed cash. Earlier this month, the G-8 pledged $38 billion in aid to Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan and Morocco. But while the recipients appreciated the gesture, they pointed out that of the $20 billion the G-8 promised Tunisia and Egypt in May, Tunisia has yet to receive a penny and Egypt has received only $500 million.
By contrast, Palestinians are deluged with Western aid. In 2008 and 2009, for instance, they received $2.6 billion and $3.1 billion, respectively, making the Palestinian Authority the world’s top aid recipient per capita–$725 in 2009, almost triple the $273 the G-8 just pledged the five other states.
To put the 2009 figure for Palestinians in perspective, were Israel's 7.8 million people to receive $725 per capita, the one-year figure would be $56.5 billion.
In broader perspective: In the first fifteen years after the 1993 Oslo Accords, the Palestinians received $5.5 billion in aid. Comparing with current dollars, at $1,330 per Palestinian, they got roughly five times the $272 per capita aid Europeans received under the Marshall Plan.
Alan Dershowitz argues forcefully that the UN "should not recognize an apartheid, Islamic, Judenrein Palestine"--though eventually it will likely do so. AD notes:
The new Palestinian state would prohibit any Jews from being citizens, from owning land or from even living in the Muslim state of Palestine. The Ambassador of the PLO to the United States was asked during an interview whether "any Jew who is inside the borders of Palestine will have to leave?" His answer: "Absolutely!" After much criticism, the Ambassador tried to spin his statement, saying that it applied only to Jews "who are amid the occupation." Whatever that means, one thing is clear: large numbers of Jews will not be welcome to remain in Islamic Palestine as equal citizens. In contrast, Israel has more than 1 million Arab citizens, most of whom are Muslims. They are equal under the law, except that they need not serve in the Israeli army.
The new Palestine will have the very "law of return" that it demands that Israel should give up. All Palestinians, no matter where they live and regardless of whether they have ever set foot in Palestine, will be welcome to the new state, while a Jew whose family has lived in Hebron for thousands of years will be excluded.
To summarize, the new Palestinian state will be a genuine apartheid state. It will practice religious and ethnic discrimination, it will have one official religion and it will base its laws on the precepts of one religion. Imagine what the status of gays will be under Sharia law!
Palestinian leadership accuses Israel of having roads that are limited only to Jews. This is entirely false: a small number of roads on the West Bank are restricted to Israelis, but they are equally open to Israeli Jews, Muslims and Christians alike. The entire state of Palestine will have a "no Jews allowed" sign on it.
AD demolishes the Obama "1967 borders" (in reality, the 1949 armistice lines) negotiating basis:
The new boundaries of this Palestinian state would include Judaism's holiest place, the Western Wall. It would also include the access roads to Hebrew University, which Jordan used to close down this great institution of learning founded by the Jews nearly 100 years ago. The new Palestinian state would also incorporate the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, in which Jews have lived for 3000 years, except for those periods of time during which they were expelled by force.
It is contemplated, of course, that Israel would regain these areas as part of a land swap with the Palestinians. But there is no certainty that the Palestinians would agree to a reasonable land swap. Palestinian leaders have already said that they would hold these important and sacred sites hostage to unreasonable demands. For example, the Western Wall covers only a few acres, but the Palestinian leadership has indicated that these acres are among the most valuable in the world, and in order for Israel to regain them, they would have to surrender thousands of acres. The same might be true of the access road to Hebrew University and the Jewish Quarter.
Refugees. And then there is this Palestinian gem: Even with a Palestinian state, Palestinian "refugees" will not get citizenship. As reported by Evelyn Gordon:
[C]onsider the shocking interview the PLO’s ambassador to Lebanon, Abdullah Abdullah, gave the Lebanese Daily Star last week:
The ambassador unequivocally says that Palestinian refugees would not become citizens of the sought for U.N.-recognized Palestinian state…
This would not only apply to refugees in countries such as Lebanon, Egypt, Syria and Jordan or the other 132 countries where Abdullah says Palestinians reside. Abdullah said that “even Palestinian refugees who are living in [refugee camps] inside the [Palestinian] state, they are still refugees. They will not be considered citizens.”
Abdullah said that the new Palestinian state would “absolutely not” be issuing Palestinian passports to refugees…
“When we have a state accepted as a member of the United Nations, this is not the end of the conflict. This is not a solution to the conflict. This is only a new framework that will change the rules of the game.”
The Palestinian Liberation Organization would remain responsible for refugees, and Abdullah says that UNRWA would continue its work as usual.
This is simply unbelievable. For years, the world has backed a Palestinian state on the grounds Palestinians are stateless people who deserve a country of their own. And now, a senior Palestinian official has announced once they have received a state, most Palestinians will still be stateless – even those who actually live in “Palestine.”
Moreover, the new state won’t provide these residents with any services: It expects UNRWA – or, more accurately, the American and European taxpayers who provide the bulk of that organization’s funding – to continue providing their schooling, healthcare, welfare allowances, etc.
Here is the UN Palestinian refugee tally. There are 2.4 million Palestinians living on the West Bank, 1.5 million in Gaza and 2.9 million dispersed in 132 countries worldwide. There are 1.8 million Palestinians (689,000 in the West Bank, 35 percent of the total who live there; 1.1 million in Gaza, 73 percent of the total who live there).
Now the arithmetic of "Right of Return" & Israel. There are 6.8 million Palestinians worldwide, of whom 1.8 million (26.4 percent) are officially designated refugees by the UN & another 2.9 million (42.6 percent) are scattered around the world. Only 31 percent of Palestinians today live outside refugee camps within the West Bank & Gaza. This means that a full-bore Palestinian "right-of-return" would allow 4.7 million Palestinians to flood Israel.
Israel's 7.8 million citizens include 1.5 million Israeli Arabs, roughly 20 percent of Israel's current population. Only one percent of these serve in the military, and many complain about discrimination. And they increasingly call themselves "Palestinian Arabs"--NOT Israelis. Now add the 1.8 million refugee-status Palestinians already living next door to Israel, and Israel would have 9.6 million residents, of whom 3.3 million--1/3--would be Arab citizens. Now add in 2.9 million Palestinians worldwide, and Israel would have 12.5 million, of whom 6.2 million--49.6 percent--would be Arab.
Figure that not all those outside Israel would return. Suppose one million--1/3 percent of the 2.9 million living in 132 countries--emigrate to Israel, on top of the 1.8 million camp refugees living next to Israel. Israel would then have 10.6 million, with 4.3 million Arabs--41 percent. Now factor in a higher Arab birthrate, and Israel would within a generation be majority Arab.
Factor in Mideast maven Michael Rubin's analysis. The Palestinians are the only population for whom descendants of the original refugees are counted. By this measure there would be 140 million refugees from the Pakistan - India partition. Also, there are lots of other refugee populations whose leaders will demand action, should Palestinians be returned to Israel.
Now add in the manifest absurdity of a Palestinian state that is Hamas + Fatah.
Geography. And note this: Israel's geography. Here are the basics on Israel's size, from the CIA Factbook:
Israel (area=20,770 sq. km.), a country slightly smaller than New Jersey, is located in the Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt (area=1,001,450 sq. km.) and Lebanon (area=10,400 sq. km.) on the coast and bordering Jordan (area=92,300 sq. km.) and Syria (area=185,180 sq. km.) inland. Another way to visualize Israel’s size is to note that Lake Erie along the northern border of the U.S. is considerably bigger than Israel (approx. 25,700 sq. km.)The territories occupied by Israel since the 1967 war are not included in the area of 20,770 sq. km.. These territories are Judea, Samaria (the “West Bank”) (area=5,860 sq. km.), the Gaza Strip (area=360 sq. km.), and the Golan Heights (area=1,158 sq. km.).
Unpacking these data, as to Israel and the Palestinian territories: Israel pre-1967 was 20,770 sq. km. The West Bank (5,860 sq. km.) & Gaza (360 sq. km.) add 6,220 sq. km. to pre-1967, about 30 percent more. The area contains 4.9 million Palestinians--2/3 Israel's population in 1/3 the area. (Add the Golan's 1,158 sq. km. and Israel post-1967 is 36 percent larger.)
Bibi in his UN speech noted that Israel's 9-mile width would span the distance from Battery Park (at the foot of Manhattan Island) to Columbia University (on the upper west side).
Israel Realities. Classics scholar Victor Davis Hanson sees Israel in grave danger, and wonders if it can survive. Abraham Miller sees virulent anti-Semitism worldwide on the rise. At minimum, Jonathan Tobin predicts that Palestinian violence will escalate, as reality dawns and they still do not have what they expected to get from the UN. He further sees enormous Obama pressure on Israel in the coming months, to make yet more up-front concessions; this is the price "O" will exact for blocking Palestinian statehood at the UN. But Jennifer Rubin notes how (very) solid the GOP is now in support of Israel.
Fareed Zakharia, a frequent critic of Israel, sees the Palestinian UN play as a futile, romantic gesture, and advocates a return to serious negotiations. Evelyn Gordon attacks the canard that the Arab-Israeli conflict is at the root of the Mideast's problems. The Palestinians, for their part, are considering turning over all security to the Israelis, burdening them with $3 billion-plus annually in security costs.
Historian Arthur Herman counts ways Israel aids American national security and finds our annual $2.5 billion investment a cheap price to pay for what we get:
Even the fiercest critics of our pro-Israel policy concede that we get invaluable intelligence from its matchless espionage service, the Mossad. Israelis know more about fighting terrorism than anyone else and have top human-intelligence sources in every country in the Middle East--something our CIA only dreams about. Since 9/11, the Israelis have not only helped us detect and run down networks like al Qaeda but also kept us intimately informed of the spreading nuclear-arms race in the Muslim world.
But what many Americans don't appreciate is how the 150,000 active-duty and half-million reservists of the Israeli military have been our frontline of defense in conflicts in the past--and will be the tripwire for threats in the future.
Israel pioneered the hostage-rescue mission with its daring raid at Entebbe Airport in 1976. It pioneered the use of unmanned drones to knock out Soviet-built anti-aircraft systems in the '80s and showed how to use our TOW guided munitions to smash massed Soviet tank attacks. When Israeli jets took out Saddam Hussein's nuclear-weapons program in 1981 and did the same to Syria's budding nuclear facilities in 2007, they not only bought Israel time against gathering threats but also the rest of the world.
When Iran reaches its nuclear tipping point, the Israeli air force may have to do a repeat performance, at considerable cost in pilots' lives and international outrage--and again saving Washington from having to confront a dangerous strategic challenge.
Columnist Cal Thomas writes that if Israel disappears, its blood will be on UN hands. After detailing how Israel has sought peace while Palestinians seek to destroy the Jewish state, Thomas spins this Doomsday Scenario:
The United States has pledged to veto the Palestinian Authority's membership application if it comes before the U.N. Security Council, but the General Assembly is another matter.
There only a majority vote would be needed to grant the Palestinian government permanent observer status. From that point forward, it would be death by a thousand diplomatic cuts until Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad finally decides to fulfill his own prophecy and drop a nuclear bomb on Jerusalem or Tel Aviv.
Following that horror, European and American diplomats will wring their hands and say it would not have happened had Israel been more "flexible" and ceded additional territory.
Thomas notes Israel's vast, disproportionate contributions to civilization:
Before Israel is allowed to disappear again (as Palestinian maps and school textbooks already depict) and the Jews who survive are sent into exile (who would take them?), it is worth noting a few of the numerous contributions Israel has made to the world, compared to what the Arab-Muslim-Palestinian culture has contributed.
This tiny land with less than 1/1,000th of the world's population has produced innovative scientists who have contributed to cellphone, computer and medical technology, including the development of "a disposable colonoscopic camera that makes most of the discomfort surrounding colonoscopies obsolete," discovery of "the molecular trigger that causes psoriasis" as well as "the first large-scale solar power plant -- now working in California's Mojave Desert."
These innovations, and many others, took place while Israel was engaged in wars, suffering terrorist attacks from enemies who seek its destruction, and spending more per capita on its defense than any other country.
Thomas offers this Israeli 21c webpage with more on Israel's great contributions.
Bottom Line. If Israel does not survive--as a JEWISH state--the US will not survive either. Our fortunes are inextricably linked. If only President Obama's cooperation on defense with Israel extended as well to diplomacy. But right now, US defense policy is being undercut by US diplomacy--the right hand (military) and left hand (dipplomats) work at cross-purposes.
Letter from the Capitol, LFTC, Nationnal Security, Foreign Policy, UN, Conservative Politics