Israeli Ambassador Michael B. Oren lobs such a pile of logical shit in today’s New York Times that it can’t go without comment.
Affirmation of Israel’s Jewishness, however, is the very foundation of peace, its DNA. Just as Israel recognizes the existence of a Palestinian people with an inalienable right to self-determination in its homeland, so, too, must the Palestinians accede to the Jewish people’s 3,000-year connection to our homeland and our right to sovereignty there. This mutual acceptance is essential if both peoples are to live side by side in two states in genuine and lasting peace.
I already wrote how Israel’s claim to have a strong 3,000 year right to the area is weak, especially when Muslim regimes have controlled the region for a plurality of that 3,000 years, followed next by Roman and their Byzantine successor regimes. A Jewish regime has a strong claim to controlling the land now known as Israel for around 160 years out of the last 3,000 (excluding the 62 years of modern Israel rule). Read here. Is Ambassador Oren really trying to say that a comparatively short-lived kingdom more than 2,000 years ago can call dibs on modern statehood?
NEARLY 63 years after the United Nations recognized the right of the Jewish people to independence in their homeland — and more than 62 years since Israel’s creation — the Palestinians are still denying the Jewish nature of the state.
There are literally Muslims still alive who lived in the land of Israel before it became Jewish, suddenly, by UN decree, who unsurprisingly would take issue with the “[Israeli] homeland and [their] right to sovereignty there” statement. How is this hard to believe?
By calling for an affirmation of Israel’s Jewishness, Israel is essentially calling for ethnic nationalism, the most famous example of which is Nazi Germany. The United States is an example of its direct opposite, civil nationalism (or whatever you want t0 call it), where all citizens are equal under a constitution which does not discriminate on nationality, religion, sexual orientation, or race, etc. In fact, I think there was some big war where these competing visions of nationalism were a driving factor. Let me do some quick research: right, WWII.
Has the United States asked countries like India, China, and the Latin American nations to acknowledge the US as an Anglo-Saxon Christian nation? No, that would be ridiculous and incompatible with our laws.
And here’s the truly repugnant part.
For Palestinians, recognizing Israel as a Jewish state also means accepting that the millions of them residing in Arab countries would be resettled within a future Palestinian state and not within Israel, which their numbers would transform into a Palestinian state in all but name. Reconciling with the Jewish state means that the two-state solution is not a two-stage solution leading, as many Palestinians hope, to Israel’s dissolution.
Which is precisely why Israelis seek the basic reassurance that the Palestinian Authority is ready to accept our state — to accept us. Israelis need to know that further concessions would not render us more vulnerable to terrorism and susceptible to unending demands. Though recognition of Israel as the Jewish state would not shield us from further assaults or pressure, it would prove that the Palestinians are serious about peace.
It seems the Israeli state is already unilaterally planning where Palestinian refugees would go in a peace deal. The answer is, definitely not where their families lived (what is now Israeli land). It’s hard to accept his claim that Palestinians just don’t want to deal with more Palestinian refugees, when you consider 20% of Israel’s population is Arab Muslim and most expelled Palestinian refugee families were expelled because Jewish immigrants now live on their land. Ambassador Oren can’t seem to entertain the idea that President Abbas and his regime are reluctant to acknowledge an ethnic nationalism to Israel, when it would give justification to upend more Palestinians from their recent historical homes in Israel and force Palestinians who have never lived in the West Bank to live there. Nor does Ambassador Oren address concerns that Israel would expel 20% of its citizenry in the future, to reconcile its “Jewishness” ideal with the realities of the demographics of its citizenry. Pathetic.