Restoring sight to the blind

I recently had the opportunity to re-establish contact with an old acquaintance of mine from college. She and I have done very little to keep in touch other than my sending her an annual happy-birthday email; beyond that, we've not seen each other in nearly ten years. It was with some interest, then, that I learned about the different paths that we have taken over time.

Just how different our paths have been, though, came through very clearly when I told her about my recent trip to Israel.

That trip, as I have made clear, was an experience unlike any other. I loved every minute of it, and I want nothing more than to go back to the Holy Land, to see it again, and to experience the magic of the land that the Israelites have cultivated for their own. Their country is a realm of wonders, maintained and enhanced by the sacrifice and toil of everyday folk who want nothing more than to live in peace and quiet under the laws of Almighty God.

Of course, not everyone thinks this way.

My friend has spent all of her life in Europe. She has been exposed to almost nothing other than European media and European modes of thought. We also both went to a very left-wing university; the difference between us is that I realised early on, even then, just how idiotic most left-wing thinking is, and quickly distanced myself from it. As a result, on the subject of Israel and the Palestinian problem, she thinks very much like a European.

It was interesting to see just how blinkered the European view of Israel really is. Here, in heavily redacted and edited form, are her arguments against Israel's recent conduct in its latest war against its enemies:

  • Israel has a right to exist; yet, because the ends do not justify the means, it is immoral to support Israel's uses of its right to self-defence.
  • Israel is vastly richer and stronger than Palestine, therefore it is wrong to support them.
  • Hamas uses dead children for propaganda, but how is that any worse or different from Israel's massive political lobby in the USA and the ways in which Israel uses that power?
  • The conflict between the Jews and the Arabs has been ongoing for generations now, and probably cannot be solved except by extreme methods, which are always and everywhere wrong because there is no peaceful resolution possible.
  • One cannot call all Palestinians terrorists, even though most Palestinians hate the Jews.
  • If we are to solve this conflict, the world needs to setup an international buffer zone under the UN to stop both sides from killing each other.
I think I have made my position on the Israel issue very clear through various posts on the subject. I am a Zionist because I am a nationalist. I absolutely believe that sovereign nations have every right to defend themselves, their borders, and their people against foreign aggression.

Unlike many Americans, though, I am at best deeply ambivalent about, and at worst thoroughly opposed to, the idea of meddling in Israel's affairs. Israel is perfectly capable of taking care of itself- we're all much better off leaving Israel the hell alone to do what it does best: killing its enemies quickly and brutally, and destroying their ability to fight, while maintaining a defensive and non-expansionist posture to the greatest extent possible.

Because of this, my response to my friend went something like this (again, edited and redacted):
My dear XYZ, 
There is no point in attempting to explain colour to the blind. The truths on the ground are self-evident- I saw them in Israel when I was there myself. I do not hope to convince you of the validity of my arguments; there is scarcely any point in attempting to convince those who do not wish to see. All I can do is point out the facts and hope that at some point, you figure out the truth for yourself. 
You say that Israel has a right to exist. If so, by definition you logically agree that Israel has a right to defend itself. You cannot have one without the other- they are two sides of the same coin. If so, you must also acknowledge the wanton aggression that Israel has had to deal with for the past 10 years. For a decade, they have endured daily rocket attacks from enemies who are literally at- and in some cases under- their doorstep. They have withstood kidnappings, murders, and bombings. In the face of severe and never-ending provocations, the Israelis have exercised restraint and caution, and only when it became clear that there would be no diplomatic settlement did they engage in a military operation. 
So you tell me- who is morally right? 
You say that Israel is far richer and stronger than Palestine. Did you ever wonder how they got that way? The Israelites did it through hard work, trade, and economic growth- slowly, painfully, with many mistakes along the way. The Palestinians, like most Arabs, are economic basket-cases. They have received nearly half a billion dollars in aid from American taxpayers alone, and that's just under the Obama so-called "administration", and all they do is funnel that money toward weapons and propaganda and hatred, instead of building roads and schools and infrastructure. 
So you tell me- who has the greater wisdom? 
You say that the Israelis have an extremely powerful political lobby here in the USA, and that is unquestionably true. You forget, though, that whenever Israel goes to war- with complete justification each and every time due to the duress of extreme provocation- it does so with the entire weight of world opinion against it. Recently a number of high-profile movie stars and celebrities signed an open letter condemning Israeli attacks on Palestinian homes and hospitals- but they never stopped to acknowledge the fact that the Israelis heed the Laws of War to a degree never seen before in the history of human warfare. Despite what you have been taught to believe, the Israelis do not indiscriminately target civilians; they warn their enemies well ahead of time to evacuate, and have repeatedly called off strikes on legitimate enemy targets for fear of killing the innocent. 
The leadership of Hamas, by contrast, tells those same civilians to stay in place, to become targets for Israeli bombs, and uses their deaths to paint Israel in the worst possible light. They succeed, too, because the world sees what it wants to see. 
So you tell me- who is the more humane, the more decent? 
You say that this conflict can never have a peaceful resolution, yet you never acknowledge the real reason why. When Ehud Barak was Prime Minister of Israel, he made a peace offering of unprecedented scale and scope to Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian people. He offered full statehood, international recognition, financial aid, and Jerusalem as a split capital of both nations. He offered to pull settlers out of the occupied territories, to end the occupations of Gaza and the West Bank, and to turn over vast amounts of Israeli territory to the Palestinians, all in the name of peace. 
Arafat's response was to depart the peace talks in a whirlwind of publicity and go on a "magical mystery tour", as President Clinton angrily called it at the time, of the Arab nations, who warmly greeted a thug and a terrorist as a great leader. 
Israel has done everything possible to secure peace- has done more than any other nation in history, has conceded everything she could short of destroying herself as a nation. And yet the Palestinians will accept no peace that does not come from seeing every last Jew driven into the sea and killed outright. 
So you tell me- who truly wants peace, and who truly wants war? 
You say that we need an international buffer zone to stop the Jews and the Arabs from killing each other. You forget that this was part of the original terms of partition in 1947. Jerusalem was to become an international city, administered by the UN. That lasted about as long as peace did between the Jews and the Palestinians following the Declaration of Independence- which is to say, all of about five minutes. This has been tried before. It has failed. And it is beyond dispute that Israel's sovereign borders are now its own to defend as it sees fit- no other nation should ever have any say in the subject during peacetime, and certainly not a body as corrupt, as useless, and as deeply misguided as the United Nations. 
In the end, the facts are what they are. It is up to you to decide what you will do with them. All I can do is try to point them out.
I would not be the least bit surprised if this friend of mine suddenly and mysteriously stopped responding to any and all future communication. That is the price for telling it like it is- you lose friends, you alienate people, and you end up suffering for it. Just ask the early Christians- they could tell you all about it.

As Lt. Col. Nathan V. Dubois points out in Starship Troopers, all moral instincts and moral laws are derived from the simple necessities of survival. If your survival is at stake, whether at a personal or a national level, the only legitimate response is to do whatever it takes to ensure that survival.

Israel faces a fight to survive every single day. Unsurprisingly, their views of what is and is not moral conduct in war have been shaped by this simple but profound imperative. They have developed a doctrine of war that is more humane- if war can ever be called that- than any other on Earth. Their military is geared toward defending Israel's territory, not launching massive offensive operations of long-term occupation.

Ultimately, this never-ending war will only be won when the Israelis confront the horrifying, inevitable, and stark truth: that in order to secure a lasting peace, they will need to follow the Biblical example that the Lord set for them.

Or, as Col. Kratman recently put it:
To take that last first, the sentiment might go like this: “Dear Europe: We are someday going to have to go full Auschwitz on the Palestinians, a simple example-setting Lidice or two won’t do. So sorry, but when it’s that or death for us, they lose. We know you could probably defeat us if you a) really tried and b) could somehow cooperate without the Americans in charge. Then, too, you might actually try under pressure of the ICOTESCAS (International Community of the Ever so Caring and Sensitive). That will be the end of us, of course, if you can work together, and so if you try we’re going to kill your people in job lots and do our level best to extinguish your civilization. So if we have to go full on Endlosing with the Palis, boys and girls, you need to acquire a strong sense of Keep Your Fracking Hands Off!” 
Yeah, that’s pretty extreme, but, ya know, “Survival Cancels Programming.
This, indeed, is the only way to achieve peace: with the outright annihilation of one people by another.

I do not say that this is what I want. I do not claim that it will be just or right. I do argue that it is inevitable. And when- not if, but when- that day comes, the world will suddenly wake up to realise that the truth does not depend on your "perspective"; it simply is what it is.

And you cannot try to force someone to see it. You would find it easier to restore sight to the blind.

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