At the DailyKOS, someone made this post:
Imagine a world without Israel
Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 06:41:50 PM PDT
Or is that not allowed?
- qrswave's diary :: ::
> Muslims, Jews, and Christians could live in peace without fear of mutual destruction.
> There would be no more need for US AID or justification for Dimona.
> We could bring down the Wall, send prisoners home, and families could be reunited.
> We could dismantle checkpoints, open crossings, and pull down barbed wire fences.
> There would be no more settlements or armed settlers because the people would be united.
> We could replant trees and olive groves and rebuild battered cities.
> No more suicide bombers or sniper fire, and no more dead civilians.
> No more targeted killings and hell-fire missiles, or systematic demolitions.
> Palestinians and Jews could live together and the world could address other issues.
> What a simpler place this world would be
> if there was no need for a Jewish majority - where there would otherwise be none.
> Is it so hard to imagine?
Now, KOS is full of hard-core lefties who often shoot of their collectives mouths. What does the mainstream think? Consider this column from Richard Cohen in the Washington Post:
The greatest mistake Israel could make at the moment is to forget that Israel itself is a mistake. It is an honest mistake, a well-intentioned mistake, a mistake for which no one is culpable, but the idea of creating a nation of European Jews in an area of Arab Muslims (and some Christians) has produced a century of warfare and terrorism of the sort we are seeing now. Israel fights Hezbollah in the north and Hamas in the south, but its most formidable enemy is history itself.
His recommendation is
The smart choice is to pull back to defensible -- but hardly impervious -- borders. That includes getting out of most of the West Bank -- and waiting (and hoping) that history will get distracted and move on to something else. This will take some time, and in the meantime terrorism and rocket attacks will continue.
There is a common thread in writing from the left. They insist that they are not anti-Semitic (anti-Jew), or even anti-Zionist (anti-Israel) they just disagree with Israel's policies. Often the writers are Jewish themselves. These columns make it clear that the left considers a Jewish state to be a mistake.
A look at history shows why Jews feel the need for their own state. Time and again, a country would be receptive to them and they would move there, then politics would change and they would be persecuted. For hundreds of years, Spain was considered the New Israel, the new homeland of the Jews. That changed abruptly in 1492 when the Jews were expelled. Germany, Poland and Russia were open to Jews in the 19th century but turned into death traps for them in the 20th century.
It is no wonder that the Jews want a place where they are in the majority and can protect themselves instead of hoping that the welcoming country of this century doesn't change in the next. With the growing Islamic influence in Europe, Canada, and the US, there are few places that can be guaranteed friendly through the end of the 21st century.
So, was it a mistake for them to settle on the middle east for their homeland? Iran's president suggested that Europe should set aside some land for them there and Cohen's piece seems to imply the same thing.
I'm not buying this argument. For one thing, Israel is the Jewish homeland and has always had a significant Jewish population. For another thing, all of the countries in the middle east are recent creations divided up by the British. There is no country with a legitimate claim on the land Israel occupies.
One final point - is the Israeli response disproportionate? A big part of their response is based on the nightly rocket attacks - attacks that can reach all of Israel. To stop or slow these, they are bombing the bridges and roads used to transport the rockets and the airport that receives them. Since this infrastructure is also used by the civilian population, it seems cruel but I suspect than most of the critics would advocate doing the same thing if terrorists in Canada started launching nightly attacks on the US.