Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I Thought They'd Never Ask

It remains to be seen whether they'll listen to the answer:
U.S. lawmakers to quiz Netanyahu on Palestinian statehood

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, ending a three-day trip, is likely to face questions from lawmakers on Capitol Hill on his refusal to endorse the cornerstone of international Mideast policy, the creation of an independent Palestinian state.
If  they are really interested in concrete reasons why creating a second Palestinian state now is problematic at best--here is an part of an edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report by Professor Paul Eidelberg on Israel National Radio, November 10, 2008 on reasons against a second Palestinian state that a 'realist' can sink his teeth into:

Five Basic Arguments Against A Palestinian State

Contrary to the governments of the United States and Israel, various experts in both countries reject the "two-state" solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I shall mention their views while developing five decisive arguments against a Palestinian state: Economic, Demographic, Political, Strategic, and Democratic. Let's begin with the—

1. Economic Arguments

a. A RAND study indicates that a Palestinian state would not be economically viable. It would require $33 billion for the first ten years of its existence—and this study was made before the economic crisis now confronting the United States and entire world. [Note: report is available here in PDF format--see p. 13]

b. Besides, to confine more than two million Arabs to the 2,323 square miles of the so-called West Bank, and to squeeze another million into the 141 square miles of Gaza, is to doom these Arabs to economic stagnation and discontent. The projected state would be a cauldron of envious hatred of Israel fueled by the leaders of one or another group of Arab clans or thugs parading under the banner of Allah.

c. Moreover, to compensate perhaps 200,000 Jews expelled from the "West Bank"—or even half that number—would bankrupt Israel's government, to say nothing of the resulting trauma and civil discord.

2. Demographic Arguments

a. "Two-state" solution advocates warn that the Arabs between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean will soon outnumber the Jews, and that this necessitates a Palestinian state. The Sharon government, without public argumentation, used this demographic contention to justify its perfidious implementation of Labor's policy of unilateral disengagement from Gaza in 2005. The Olmert-Livni government is using the same policy to withdraw from Judea and Samaria including eastern Jerusalem.

b. However, a groundbreaking study by the American-Israel Demographic Research Group (www.aidrg.com) revealed in 2005 that Israel does not need to retreat from Judea and Samaria to secure Jewish demography. The study shows that the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics exaggerated the Arab population in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza by nearly 50%. Rather than 3.8 million Palestinians, it was no more than 2.4 million. Since those registered as Jews in Israel comprise almost 80% of Israel's population, they make up a 59% majority with Gaza and Judea and Samaria, and a solid 67% majority with Judea and Samaria without Gaza!

c. The American and Israeli researchers also found that Jewish fertility rates are steadily increasing while Arab fertility rates are steadily decreasing.

3. Political Arguments

a. According to Maj.-Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland, former head of Israel's National Security Council, "the Palestinians do not truly desire the conventional two-state solution. The Arab world—especially Jordan and Egypt—does not truly support it either …" (The Jerusalem Post, September 24, 2008).

b. Dr. Yuval Steinitz, former Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman, said that the idea of a two-state solution should be dead. "A Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria," he said, "would bring about Israel's demise.… Such a Palestinian state would immediately become an outpost for Iran" (The Jerusalem Post, September 14, 2008).

c. Advocates of a Palestinian state live in a fantasy world or lack the intellectual courage to acknowledge the obvious: the Palestinians are committed to Israel's annihilation. A generation of Arab children has been educated to hate Jews and emulate suicide bombers. Daniel Pipes said it would take at least two generations to undo such indoctrination. (This would require, among other things, basic changes in the Quran. Muslims would have to renounce the ethos of Jihad. No American or Israeli official has the guts to speak of this religious-cultural issue.)

4. Strategic Arguments

a. On December 29, 2002, the freighter Karine A set sail from Iran en route to the Suez Canal. It was boarded by Israeli commandos without opposition from the four crewmen, who were members of the Palestinian naval force. When the commandoes examined the ship's cargo, they discovered launchers and rockets, mortars, anti-tank weapons, mines, 2 tons of explosives, assault rifles, machine guns, sniper rifles with telescope lenses, hand grenades, and hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition—enough weaponry to tilt the balance of terror against Israel. The destination of the Karine A was Gaza. Consistent with Dr. Steinitz's warning, this Iranian arms shipment arms signifies that Iran views the Palestinians as a battle field in its 30-year war with Israel. (See Ronen Bergman, The Secret War with Iran, 2008, p. 270.)

b. Even if it were agreed that a Palestinian state would have to be demilitarized, only fools would believe that the Arabs would abide by such an agreement—no more than they adhered to the arms limitations in the Oslo Agreement.

c. An armed Palestinian state would expose all of Israel to missile attacks. Preoccupied with such attacks, Israel could no longer serve effectively as America's strategic ally in the Middle East. No longer could it provide the U.S. with priceless intelligence and technological assistance whose value far exceeds the value of U.S. military aid. And I have not mentioned the multibillion dollar economic market Israel provides the fifty states of the American Union.

d. Ponder also the fact that rewarding the Palestinians with statehood would promote irredentist movements or civil war and terrorism throughout the world.

5. Democratic Arguments

a. Doctrinaire adherence to the democratic principle of self-determination would encourage any ethnic group to seek independent statehood. It would endow any ethnic group with the right to elect a tyrannical form of government, whether fascist, communist, or Islamic.

b. Hamas, an Islamic terrorist group dedicated to Israel's destruction, was victorious in the 2006 democratic elections. Lincoln echoed Jefferson when he said, "No people have a right to do what is wrong." Ponder the American Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

c. Underlying these words is the Biblical conception of man's creation in the image of God. The Declaration portrays man as a rational being possessing free will and capable of distinguishing right from wrong. Without such a conception of human nature, the signers of the Declaration would have had no rational or moral grounds for rebelling against Britain, whose colonial governments violated the "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God."

d. This "Higher Law" doctrine of the Declaration provides a set of standards by which to determine whether granting national self-determination to any ethnic group can be justified. It cannot be justified among people steeped in ignorance or habituated to violence and servitude. In his classic, Representative Government, John Stuart Mill said that a people may lack the moderation that representative government requires of them: "Their passions may be too violent, or their personal pride too exacting, to forego private conflict, and leave to the laws the avenging of their real or supposed wrongs."

e. The "Palestinians" have not only bungled their every chance of self-government by making Fatah and Hamas terrorists their leaders. Having educated their children to emulate suicide bombers, the goal of these thugs is not statehood but Israel's annihilation. The democratic principle of self-determination is not an absolute; it is limited by rational and ethical considerations. It would be irrational—indeed, criminal—to establish a Palestinian state on Israel's doorstep.

In Forbes, Daniel Doron writes:

But should not the establishment of such a state--which the Europeans so strongly promote--adhere to the European Union's 1993 Copenhagen Political Criteria for new members, which states, "Membership criteria require that the candidate country must have achieved stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, rule of law, human rights, and respect for and protection of minorities"?
The fact that serious political, economic and strategic questions are not part of the discussion of the creation of a second Palestinian state--and Europes reluctance to apply their own criteria--point to the shallowness of the thinking, and motivation, that goes into the arguments that actually are being offered.

It's about time the entire range of issues is actually addressed.
Now is as good a time as any.

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