How to Fix the Middle East
I think I’ll declare today The Liberty Papers’ “Middle East Day”.
Now, on to business. I think that an overwhelming majority of the Israelis want nothing more than to live in peace and prosperity. At the same time, most of the “Palestinians” want nothing more than to live in peace and prosperity.
So let’s see what is needed to bring this about.
For the Israelis, they have a powerful military, plenty of technology and firepower, and in a shooting war, are the odds-on favorite. For them to stop fighting only requires one thing: that the terrorists stop blowing them up.
For the Palestinians, they have no military, no economy, and are incredibly resentful that they keep having Israeli tanks and artillery raining down on them. For them to stop having Israeli use overwhelming force only requires one thing: that they actually stop trying to blow Israelis up.
In reality, there is a possible future of a two-state solution. As long as that solution isn’t an interim step to wiping Israel “off the face of the map”, there can be a lasting peace. It is possible, although I don’t think it’s very likely these days. Several things have to happen for this to occur. First, the Palestinians need to have a government that respects individual rights, private property, and the rule of law. Right now, the Palestinian people have something to hate, but nothing to live for. As Golda Meir said, “We will have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us”.
At the moment, there is no reason for Israel to continue a war. There is no monetary benefit. There is no wonderful territory to conquer. There are no necessary natural resources to exploit. It’s clear that the Israelis are fighting a defensive war against people who want to kill them. That, of course, doesn’t mean that the situation is completely “fair” to the “Palestinians”. As Chris pointed out:
I will concede several issues here. The creation of Israel was a blatantly illegal act, in so far as international law exists. The British and Americans basically drew some lines and said “Here jews; we feel guilty because we let 1/3 of you die, so you can have this country. Oh, there are some people here already, but we’ll move them out for you”.
Of course those people then fought a war against the jews, and they lost. They’ve been terrorists ever since. The Jews won, the Arabs lost, that was in 1948.
Had someone shown up, taken territory from me to give to someone else, I’d understandably be pissed. But look at what’s happened in the last 58 years. Israel became a thriving democracy. “Palestine” remained a desert wasteland. Why is that? Has Israel been keeping the Palestinians down? I don’t think so, because if you look within Israel itself, the population is about 18% Arab, and 16% Muslim. Within Israel, multiple religions live in mutual peace and respect. In fact, for the most part, the debate within Israel hinges upon whether they’re foretelling their own doom by respecting their Muslim population too much, rather than whether they’re oppressing them.
So what’s wrong with Palestine? Why have they gone from slightly beyond a stone-age society in 1948 to slightly beyond a stone-age society in 2006? That one is obvious. Their own ruling forces won’t allow it, and the nearby Arab societies use them as a proxy to foment war against Israel.
To solve the Arab-Israeli conflict only requires one thing: that the Arabs stop blowing up Jews. It’s that simple. Have the Israelis occasionally acted heavy-handidly in response? Sure, but after decades of terrorism, that’s somewhat expected. But until the Palestinians and Arabs allow their own citizens to flourish, creating a society where they can love life more than they hate Jews, the “cycle of violence” will continue.
I’ve said on numerous occasions that I think most people in this world are the same. They want to live in peace, in a society where they have freedom, opportunity, and the chance at a good life. That society doesn’t exist in Palestine, and at the moment, there are few signs of change. Until the Palestinians fault their own government for that problem instead of Israel, the current situation will continue. And a lot of people will die.