By Barry RubinTechnorati Tag: Israel and Middle East.
There’s a saying that goes something like this: When things are bad, a Jew cries. When they get even worse, a Jew cries more. And when they even get worse, a Jew laughs. As indelicate as this may seem, the current situation makes me want to laugh.Continue reading The Middle East Today: Ha, Ha, Ha! Stop! It’s Too Funny! I Can’t Take It Any More!
That’s so because things are more ridiculous than they are scary. As the advice and claims of others get increasingly absurd, you have no desire to listen to them. You just have to do what you know is right and stop having any doubts about it precisely because the arguments on the other side are just so historically inaccurate, factually false,.and illogical.
For those joining the story late–a group that seems to include Western politicians, media and academic “experts”–here’s a little background. In 1993, Israel made an agreement with the PLO to try to achieve peace. It turned over the Gaza Strip and much of the West Bank to a Palestinian government. Israel accepted the establishment of large security forces, the supply of guns, and the transfer of billions of dollars of aid.
Israel made major offers of territory and concessions to Syria and the Palestinian Authority in 2000, after almost a decade of negotiation. The other side rejected those compromise solutions. The Palestinian leadership instead launched a five-year-long war of terrorism. They lost. Then Israel was attacked by Hizballah. The world intervened and made promises to Israel. These were broken. Then Israel was attacked by Hamas. It defended itself. Again it won, but the world rushed in to save Hamas and to condemn Israel.
Of course, you can say that Israel did mean things and didn’t keep every commitment it made. Yet any balanced and honest assessment has to acknowledge the basic accuracy of the preceding summary. And any that doesn’t is basically worthless as a guide to policy or education.
Now, what are the latest developments? Well, let’s see:
–Turkey’s government has gone beserk (in fact, a product of its Islamism and a celebration of breaking the armed forces that posed the last barrier to their total control of the country) and has started acting as if it is at war with Israel. There is a real possibility that Turkish naval vessels will escort ships organized by terrorist groups to violate a legal blockade to strengthen a regime in the Gaza Strip that openly talks about killing all of the world’s Jews. That government, behaving as if it is at war with Israel, is simultaneously being used by the U.S. government to help direct Syria’s future and lead its main new counterterrorism project.
Feel the chuckles coming on yet?
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). His latest book is Israel: An Introduction, to be published by Yale University Press in January 2012. You can read more of Barry Rubin's posts at Rubin Reports, and now on his new blog, Rubin Reports, on Pajamas Media