Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Some Delusions Never Die

I read a disturbing, though not surprising, article in Haaretz about a declaration by the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee. (I am not familiar with this group). Numbering eight chapters, and financed by the United Nations Development Program, it contains a number of serious demands.

Just some of the "gems":

The chapter about relations with the state does not say that Israeli Arabs recognize Israel's Jewishness, but that they are willing to see it as a "joint homeland" for the two nations. (How big of them)

The Arabs want the right to veto government decisions on national issues that affect them. (How many minorities in a democracy have the right to veto government decisions?)

Israeli Arabs demand that during the next two decades Israel become a bi-national state alongside an independent Palestinian state. (UN decisions in 1948 notwithstanding)

The document demands changing the states symbols.

It further states that the Arab public does not see Israel's present government system as a democracy, but as an ethnocracy.

In short, the Israeli Arabs represented by this group deny the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state.

I don't know if this is a fringe group who hopped onto the UN gravy train, or if it represents the mainstream Arab public as they try to claim. For those on the extreme left who don't believe in Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, their statements sound acceptable. For those of us on the right, who trace our country's Jewish roots all the way back to the Bible, which was "officially" sanctioned by the UN's decision in 1948, their statements seem delusional.

I am curious to see what those who consider themselves centrists, or even "center left" think about this. One of the main points made by many on the left is that we can achieve peace if we return to the pre-1967 borders, and that our settling of Judea and Samaria by Jews is the cause of the Arabs' dispute with us. The complete failure of this theory is apparent now to many after the disengagement from Gush Katif. Will this declaration further destroy this misconception?

Update: Uzi Benziman analyzes the situation in light of this declaration. I disagree with him on some points, but in general it seems to be a fair analysis.


Blogger Shanah said...

So, where's the Jewish Monitoring Committee in Iran, and what have they declared lately?

4:59 PM, December 06, 2006  
Blogger Batya said...

great title

9:31 PM, December 06, 2006  
Blogger bec said...

i think the arabs should have their own "palestinian" state, their own government, homeland, and right to rule and veto government decisions. i vote we give them uganda. and as i wish for most people i'm not fond of, they should live and be well and leave us alone.

2:46 AM, December 07, 2006  
Blogger Don Radlauer said...

For what it's worth, I consider myself very much a centrist, and - judging from the articles I've read about this report - its authors are pretty much completely full of sh_t. (I should add, though, that it's not fully fair to categorize a book-length report based on a couple of newspaper reports by reporters who likely haven't read the full report either.)

I see nothing wrong with the existence of Israel as a Jewish, Zionist state; if the Germans are entitled to have a Germany and the Hungarians are entitled to have a Hungary, why should the Jews not be entitled to our own little piece of the planet? And just as Germany and Hungary and all the rest must deal with ethnic minorities, so must we; as Uzi Benzimann (IIRC) pointed out, it's entirely normal for a minority to live in an ethnic-majority state without forcing it to become "bi-national".

In fact, the desire to have Israel as a Jewish state (meaning, at a minimum, a state with a solid Jewish majority) is a large part of what's behind my "centrism": I believe in creating a Palestinian state mostly as a means of preserving Israel as a Jewish state. That's why the business in this report about having Palestine as a judenrein state for Palestinians alongside Israel as a bi-national state rankles; the whole point of creating the State of Palestine is to legitimize Israel as the Jewish State.

Fortunately, I think this report is destined to be ignored and forgotten - or at least not to have any real influence, except possibly in the negative sense.

6:18 PM, December 07, 2006  
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