Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Israel should say no to harakiri

Last week I wrote an article expressing my opinion about deep lingering dislike of Jews in Europe that is explains its hostility towards Israel. The fellowship with the sole besieged democracy in the Middle East is certainly underwhelming, whatever it's reasons.

Europe is quickly losing its economic clout abroad, and is barely able to control its periphery (see Lybia). Given their increasing irrelevance, and constant hostility the best strategy for Israel is to ignore them.
Last week the Quartet, which includes the US, EU, Russia and UN, reiterated its long-standing position - encouraging direct talks between Israelis and the Palestinians. Four European members in
UN Security Council (UNSC) – France, Britain (permanent), and Germany and Portugal (rotating) issued a contradictory proposal: "We call the parties to present as soon as possible to the Quartet comprehensive proposals on territory and security" - in other words indirect negotiation. In addition, these four countries went blasted construction beyond Green Line and in East Jerusalem.

These actions undermine negotiations, not further them. In addition, they are based on a demonstrable pipe dream of land-for-peace. As Charles Krauthammer recently wrote, these have consistently been land-without-peace deals - that is why Abbas went to UN asking for statehood in contradiction of all prior agreements to negotiate with Israelies.

Furthermore, they are destroying the remains of good faith in European neutrality: Israeli Foreign Ministry cautioned biased Europeans that "they risk becoming irrelevant".

Of course, some Israelies, like the opposition Tzipi Livni never pass an opportunity to lambaste the leadership, and side with Israels foes. She is the last opportunist remaining from the Kadima party, which sought to breathe new life into discredited ideas of the left which have backfired: Oslo, withdrawals from Lebanon and Gaza, failures of second Lebanon war, tacit acceptance of Hamas, etc. It is not enough that she represents ideas that have done clear and apparent harm to Israel, she misrepresents Europeans as 'friends' and even stokes friction, but insinuating such intent.

Livni's provocative statement that Netanyahu is "starting war with friends", is at the core of the ideological struggle for survival. Israel-bashers everywhere like to criticize Israel for defending itself and alienating 'friends'. My thesis, is that they are not friends. Fortunately, they can be marginalized and ignored.

Several Israelis have noted that the origins of virulent anti-Israeli manifestation of liberal frustration is not their excessive ideology, but ultimately their rejection at the polls. They are the best the country has the offer, the country rejected them, and deserves to be found guilty in the international court of opinion regardless of actual damage it causes.
Israel is a small, but consequential country. It is a "canary in the mine" in at least two important respects. It's a functioning, Western democracy in the Middle East and they are also a microcosm where a lot of internal contradictions, and lies of the West is manifested.
Binding itself to Europe's leadership (and whims) as Livni suggests, would be masochistic for Israel. Netanyahu's job is made more difficult by a fifth-column oppositionist Livni, and victory is not assured. Recently, bowing to international pressure, he backed off a long-awaited debate in Knesset about a bill to oversee NGO funded from outside the country.
The 21st century's wars are about information, and they are already raging. I see major problems with the fact that the West is trying to solve problems by fixing 'optics'. It is lying, primarily to itself. I guess that means in addition to conflicts such as those in Syria, we can expect a major escalation of 'culture wars' for the soul of Western democracies. And that's why the situation is Israel matters: its a bellwether for the West.

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