Tuesday, April 02, 2024

I've been asking the same question for months.

Did the U.S. airdrop food for the Japanese after they attacked Pearl Harbor? Did the British airdrop food for the Germans during the Blitzkrieg of London? Is Israel the only country that's expected *not* to treat its enemies as enemies?


Blogger X said...

Apparently the US did drop a lot of food aid to the Afghan people at the very same time that it was liberating them from the Taliban:


Thus, it appears that this is a luxury that one is indeed capable of doing when one's enemy is much weaker than one oneself is. Plus, the US probably wanted to portray itself as a friend and liberator to the Afghan people and as the enemy of the Taliban and al-Qaeda only.

The crucial question for Israel is this: Does it want to sell itself to the people of Gaza as a liberator and only to label Hamas as the enemy? Or does it want to sell the idea that the entire Gazan population are its enemies? This is a serious question, BTW, with very serious consequences, considering that the Palestinians are going to remain there whether Israel likes it or not, and thus Israel is going to need to figure out the best approach to deal with them. Portraying itself as the liberator of the Gazan people from Hamas, followed by a renewed large-scale push for a two-state solution, strikes me as being in Israel's own best interests, no?

Sun Apr 07, 11:08:00 PM 2024  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Sorry for the delayed response--I haven't quite gotten my act back together since our apartment was painted a couple of weeks ago.

I guess I'm of two minds about feeding the Gazans. On the one hand, I can't help wonder who died and left us in charge--why aren't the surrounding Arab and/or Muslim countries taking care of their own? (I have the same question about the Palestinians in general--when all the Jews were expelled from Iraq, Israel took them in, so why are there still Palestinian "refugees" 75 years after the founding of Israel?)

On the other hand, as you said, it doesn't pay for Israel to make enemies of its neighbors. As has been pointed out by others, why should the Palestinians stop fighting unless they have a better alternative, such as a two-state solution? The Israeli government has to present a plan for after the war.

Fri Apr 12, 12:54:00 PM 2024  
Blogger X said...

Well, unfortunately Arab and Muslim generosity towards their co-ethnics and/or co-religionists might sometimes only go so far. For instance, you don't see the oil-rich Gulf states accepting very many Syrian refugees, do you? (Though some other Arab and/or Muslim countries, such as Jordan and Turkey, are certainly doing their fair share in regards to this, thankfully.) While I wish that Arabs and/or Muslims were more generous towards their co-ethnics and/or co-religionists, unfortunately that isn't the world that we actually live in today and I don't know what specifically would motivate them to behave in a more generous and charitable manner. Much more Western aid, perhaps? But it's still not guaranteed to work, unfortunately.

I do agree with you that Israel has also done a much better job of accepting Jewish refugees from Arab and Muslim lands and successfully integrating them than Arab and Muslim countries have done with Palestinian refugees. Of course, this is probably because these countries don't want to make Israel's job any easier and instead want to create a permanent problem for Israel that can only be solved with the creation of a Palestinian state (since then the Palestinian refugees could move there instead rather than to Israel proper).

And Yeah, the problem for the Palestinians is that there isn't very much hope for them right now and wasn't for the last 15 years. After Ehud Olmert left in early 2009, the possibility of a two-state solution has receded from view, and that could make supporting murderous radicals and extremists such as Hamas more attractive for the Palestinians. Israel isn't going to be capable of ethnically cleansing the Palestinians again, and doing so would be immoral anyway, so it has to figure out how to successfully coexist with the Palestinians, and as you said, that requires Israel to once again meaningfully support the two-state solution and to make a serious effort to make it happen, along with of course subsequent efforts by the West and the Arab and Muslim worlds to strengthen, develop, and improve the economy of this new Palestinian state. People like Netanyahu and especially Smotrich and Ben-Gvir are especially problematic because they block any meaningful efforts on Israel's part to achieve a Palestinian state. (Some of them, such as Smotrich and Ben-Gvir, are also problematic for other reasons, such as their support for repealing the Grandchild Clause of Israel's Law of Return, an idea that has now apparently thankfully been shelved indefinitely due to Hamas's October 7 attack on Israel.) Israel needs new leadership such as Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid. There's at least some hope of a successful two-state solution with those two Israeli politicians in charge, unlike with the current ones. (Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked are also serious obstacles to a successful two-state solution on Israel's part.)

As a side note, I previously supported a plebiscite for determining the future of the Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem but ultimately I just don't think that it's worth it. As far as I know, Arab East Jerusalem is a financial drain on Israel and thus Israel would be better off leaving it, other than perhaps its holy sites. The Jewish neighborhoods within East Jerusalem should be kept within Israel, of course. And the future Palestinian state should get both 95+% of the West Bank (with land swaps) and a (de-Hamazified) Gaza Strip. The future Palestinian state needs the Jordan Valley more than Israel does. A Palestinian-ruled Jordan Valley could be useful for resettling millions of Palestinian refugees and also the Gaza Strip's excess population (which as far as I know is still rapidly growing).

Sat Apr 13, 10:35:00 PM 2024  
Blogger X said...

I'm glad that Netanyahu's political career will likely to be over after the end of this war, or maybe even beforehand. I began significantly souring on him in 2015 once it became clear that he's not interested in meaningfully supporting a two-state solution, but the 2022 election and its aftermath were the final straws for me due to the fact that Netanyahu's coalition partners were really insistent about repealing the Grandchild Clause of Israel's Law of Return, which would have affected me if I wasn't already a dual Israeli-US citizen and will certainly affect people like myself who still live in the former USSR. I don't see any logic at all in saying that someone with a single Jewish grandmother (and three gentile grandparents) should be able to immigrate to Israel even if they and even both of their parents had spent their entire lives living as Gentiles but that someone with one or two Jewish grandfathers (and no Jewish grandmothers) should not be able to immigrate to Israel. AFAIK, Israel has successfully integrated ex-USSR immigrants regardless of whether they have a Jewish grandmother or a Jewish grandfather. I myself am a personal example of the latter group very successfully integrating in Israel back when I still lived there, even without any formal conversion to Judaism.

Sat Apr 13, 10:35:00 PM 2024  

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