Palestinian Statehood

“Our policy is very simple. The Jewish state was set up to defend Jewish lives, and we always reserve the right to defend ourselves.” – Benjamin Netanyahu

There’s a showdown set for the United Nations this week. Mahmoud Abbas intends to move for a vote on Palestinian statehood. Benjamin Netanyahu is in town, no doubt to oppose the measure. Mahmound Ahmadenijad is also in town, no doubt to talk about eradicating Jews as a moral imperative.

President Obama finds himself in a pickle. Most Zionists (many of whom voted for Obama) oppose Palestinian statehood. And yet, his general mode of operations in the Middle East is to appease the Arab street and play up the “America is your friend” narrative (as if any of them buy it). The White House has threatened a veto – we’ll see how it actually goes down.

Personally I don’t care that much. I think statehood is not the driving issue.

In politics, the old adage is “elections have consequences” – if a person wins an election you can expect to see policies more consistent with his preferences. The same is true in statehood and warfare. If you win a war, there are consequences. If you lose a war, there are consequences. These consequences should serve as a restraint to violence. Even if you are the stronger party, there is a real chance you could face significant losses in the fight.

Israel faces a constant, consistent barrage of missiles from the Gaza strip. Would the US tolerate that? (OK, cross-border violence with Mexico that has gone largely ignored by the Obama administration not withstanding … would America allow a missile barrage specifically aimed at killing American citizens and promoting the downfall of America?) I think not. I think we’d invade in a heartbeat. International outrage? I suspect we’d care nothing about it.

The goal of radicals in Palestine has never been peace with Israel – but rather the eradication of Israel. If that were to change with statehood, then I’d be all for statehood. At the same time, statehood represents a serious reality for restraint. If Palestine becomes a state and the bombardment continues, the Israel should invade the new Palestinian state and disposes it’s inhabitants. No, no, there would be calls for “restraint” and the like.

(Interestingly, it shows the difficulties that the peace in this situation. Islam doesn’t really offer its zealots the necessary nuances to live in a world where it is not in the ascendency. It just doesn’t fit the narrative. It is a world dominance philosophy.)

My suspicion is that the Obama administration will veto the move, Ahmadinejad will spout nonsense, and there will be some decent riots in NY this week. Anything else? Time will tell.

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