Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Failures That Created the Israel-Palestine Crisis As We Know It

I. The Failures of The Great Powers

1. The Failure of the Peel Commission: Let's not forget how revolutionary the idea still seemed in 1935 that the White race did not have a natural right to hold dominion over the other peoples of the earth.

II. The Failures of Israel

1. The Failure of the Meir Administration: Everyone should at some point read 'The Accidental Empire' by Gershon Goremberg....or so I'm told. Especially because it's been sitting on my bookshelf for about four years, so then you can tell me what it says.... But within this book, Goremberg details the precise handling of the settlement blocs by leaders viewed by the American Jewish community as leading liberal lights in the post-'67 fervor. Those who (perhaps rightly) see Israel as the bastion of liberalism in the region ought never forget that the settlements in the West Bank were a Labor Party creation. The Israel of the 1960's and 70's were almost an exact mirror-image of America in the same period. In both countries, liberals believed fervently in the judicious application of military might. When discriminating applications of military solutions failed to obtain the results desired, both countries opted for right-wing governments which desired to solve the same problems with far more indiscriminate might.

A. The Failures of Moshe Dayan:

There is nothing about this man which is not shrouded in controversy. But in a book of interviews with Israeli journalist Rami Tal, Eshkol-Meir Defense Minister Moshe Dayan expressed regret having not returned the Golan Heights to Syria while there was still a chance to do so. He further says that more than 80% of the Israel's pre-67 border skirmishes with Syria might have been avoided if Israel were not interested in provoking the fight. Furthermore, Dayan denounced the claim (as told to every birthright kid who passes through the Golan) that Syrian snipers fired from the Golan Heights onto Israeli Kibbutz workers in the 60's as a fraud. Here's his version of the events:

I know how at least 80 percent of the clashes there started. In my opinion, more than 80 percent, but let's talk about 80 percent. It went this way: We would send a tractor to plough someplace where it wasn't possible to do anything, in the demilitarized area, and knew in advance that the Syrians would start to shoot. If they didn't shoot, we would tell the tractor to advance farther, until in the end the Syrians would get annoyed and shoot. And then we would use artillery and later the air force also, and that's how it was......I made a mistake in allowing the Israel conquest of the Golan Heights. As defense minister I should have stopped it because the Syrians were not threatening us at the time [fourth day of the war].

The last two sentences are especially telling. Because during the Six-Day War (of 1967), Dayan overruled the wishes of both the Prime Minster Levi Eshkol and (then) Foreign Minister Golda Meir to capture the Golan Heights. The reason for all this is perhaps simpler than it seemed: Dayan was a native-born Israeli Kibbutznik of the North. He viewed it as fundamental right that the demilitarized land near the Syrian border should be cultivated by Israel for agricultural use. If Syria would fire on the Kibbutzniks below from the Golan Heights, then the Golan Heights must (in Dayan's estimation) be captured.


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