Israel Acts Because the World Won't Defend It

[Times-UK] Daniel Finkelstein - The origin of the State of Israel is not religion or nationalism, it is the experience of oppression and murder, the fear of total annihilation and the bitter conclusion that world opinion could not be relied upon to protect the Jews. So when Israel is urged to respect world opinion and put its faith in the international community, the very idea of Israel is a rejection of this option. Israel only exists because Jews do not feel safe as the wards of world opinion. Zionism is founded on a determination that the Jews will defend themselves and their fellow Jews from destruction. The Palestinians need only say that they will allow Israel to exist in peace. They need only say this tiny thing, and mean it, and there is pretty much nothing they cannot have. Yet they will not say it. And they will not mean it. Again and again the Palestinians have been offered a nation state in a divided Palestine. And again and again they have turned the offer down, for it has always been more important to drive out the Jews than to have a Palestinian state. It is difficult sometimes to avoid the feeling that Hamas and Hizbullah don't want to kill Jews because they hate Israel. They hate Israel because they want to kill Jews. There cannot be peace until this changes. For Israel will not rely on airy guarantees and international gestures to defend it. It will lay down its arms when the Jews are safe, but it will not do it until they are.

2009-01-09 06:00:00

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