After the deplorable Olmert comes the only-very-slightly-less-deplorable Zipporah (Tzipi, as all Israeli politicians are known by these undignified and to-me demeaning nicknames) Livni.
She too has her own story, of being the child, like Olmert, of Likud supporters, even perhaps Revisionists. Like Olmert, she thinks that she has become a “realist” and therefore put away childish things. But her “realism” is the usual, delusional “realism” of those who ignore the nature of the war — a Jihad — being waged on Israel. They ignore its permanence and its scope. They think that there will be peace if they surrender what is rightfully Israel’s, tangible assets, the land of the “West Bank” that must be held onto, whatever the Arabs in the Arab-occupied parts may think. And they can, over time, respond to conditions they deem insufficiently favorable and be encouraged to leave, if they know they will never be masters of the place.
A news item tells us that “Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is quoted as saying that nine months of peace talks with Israel have failed to bring agreement on any of the core issues. That would include the status of Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, Jewish settlements and the borders of a future Palestinian state. Mr. Abbas told the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz that “˜the gaps between the sides are very wide.–
If that news item is true, Israelis can breathe a sigh of relief. But if Olmert is replaced by Livni, then they can expect more of the same. More negotiations over what will continue to be called — without the government of Israel unmasking the farce — a peace-process. This “peace-process” will be based on the “core issues” that leave out, that overlook, that deliberately ignore, the fact that none of these “core issues” really matters — because they are trivial given what Islam teaches. Israeli leaders need to understand Islam, the immutability of its texts, and the permanence of its tenets, and understand that there will always be far more primitive Muslims than there will be the kind of suave, advanced ones — the very ones that Israelis on the left pride themselves as counting among their “friends” and whose personal charm and affability (and that shared mockery of “religious Jews” who are depicted as the true fanatics) get in the way of an unhindered view of things. It is with an understanding of those Believers, and that Islam, and not some nuanced falling-away from it, that Israeli leaders must base their policies.
Any agreement or treaty that Israel reaches with the Gazan Arabs or the “West Bank” Arabs or both, that is, any agreement that a Mahmoud Nobody-Here-But-Us-Accountants Abbas, or someone else (it could be Sari Nuseibeh, it could be Marwan Barghouti, it could be Saeb Erekat — it doesn’t matter for Islam remains the same), will commit the Muslim Arab side to nothing. It has happened again and again, since the Armistice agreements of 1949. No matter what Israel thinks has been settled — say, the status of the Shebaa Farms, or the Golan Heights (Israel annexed them in 1981, and has no business putting them up on the block yet again) — for the Arabs nothing is ever settled. For once the Arab Muslim side receives its tangible gains, sooner or later it will renege on its own promises. There are those Israelis who allow themselves to believe that Egypt, and Jordan, can be said to be honoring a “peace treaty” with Israel. This misses the point. Those countries are not at war, in the battlefield sense, with Israel not because they are honoring a treaty, but because they are keeping the “peace” of their truce-treaty, or hudna, for exactly the same reasons that Syria or Saudi Arabia or any other Arab state does: because they have calculated that Israel is in a position to inflict terrible damage, and even, in the case of Egypt, in seizing the Sinai yet again and this time not likely to again surrender it for the sake of “peace.”
Once it has pocketed the tangible concessions made by Israel, as always the Muslim side will sooner or later breach every single one of its promises. And it will do so not because this or that particular Arab has turned out to be untrustworthy, but because Islam instructs Muslims that they must never reconcile themselves to the permanent existence of Infidel rule anywhere in the world. And above all, or at least first of all, it is crazy to think that Arab Muslims would ever contemplate the continued existence of Israel, an Infidel nation-state, on land once possessed by Muslims — and not only that, but land that bestrides the very area that links the Maghreb to the Middle East. It doesn’t matter whom they seized the land from. Nor does it matter that in North Africa and the Middle East Muslim Arabs possess lands that together are a thousand times larger than Israel.
No, Livni will not mention this. She will not raise the issue of Islam because, you see, it interferes with her whole “getting-beyond-my-parents” personal narrative — child of Likud supporters who finally “saw the light” because she became a “realist.” What kind of “realist” ignores Islam in attempting to deal with Slow Jihadists and Fast Jihadists? What kind of “realist” thinks that the most important thing is not the physical survival of Israel and the Jews of Israel, but rather whether Israel retains its “Jewish and democratic character” by constantly giving up whatever lands happen to have large numbers of Arabs occupying them, instead of recognizing with grim sobriety that as a matter of national survival — of border defense, of control of aquifers, of control of invasion routes — Israel simply cannot give up, and should not be forced to give up, one inch or dunam of what is called, so comically, the “West Bank”?
She, Livni, is not a “realist” at all. For having given up the “West Bank,” Israel would simply find itself in the same position it was before, but now much reduced in size, and in this dimidiated state much more vulnerable. For the Arabs, who outbreed the Jews, would increase their numbers. The next place that might have an Arab majority would be the Galilee (where already the Arabs have been attacking Jews with impunity). And along will come Livni, or a later Livni, to say, yet again, that Israel cannot “remain Jewish and democratic” and that, of course, in order to retain its moral purity — yes, we all know how important that is, don’t we? — it must now give up the Galilee, too. And so on.
For some, for many, for too many, in Israel, there is no understanding of the larger picture, and no attempt to take a longer view. And Islam, the most important force in the Middle East, is ignored. Yet it is the reason why Jews for centuries were treated as dhimmis, and why the Jewish state of Israel will never, ever be truly accepted. No amount of supposed intertwining of economic interests of Jews and Arabs, in, say, Jenin or some other “West Bank” town, disproves this. Instead, it merely shows that Arabs are perfectly happy to pocket whatever they can get from those hated Jews. But that does not change their deeply-held views, and does not change the texts and tenets of Islam that no collaborative efforts in exporting fruit or even computers will undo.
Livni is lacking. And so many others are too.
For now, the people of Israel have, it seems, been saved by the bell. Olmert is a crook, and is being hauled off-stage. But what if he had not been a crook? What if he had not had to leave the stage? Think then what permanent and terrible damage he might have done?
Supporters of Israel, the unthinking kind (there are so many of those), like to take consolation in that famous phrase from silver-tongued Abba Eban. I mean the complacent kind who think that if only, if only…then “peace” can be achieved, the kind who do not see what is wrong with the phrase “two-state solution” or “one-state solution” and who cannot get through their thick heads the real nature, and permanence, of the war — the Jihad — being waged on Israel. And that Jihad is being waged not only, or mainly, through qitaal, combat, or through what the Arabs consider to be a justified variant of qitaal, the killing of innocents through terrorism.
What is that phrase from Eban? Oh, it’s about how “the Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” But what consolation is that? This means that again and again the Israelis have offered grotesquely generous and dangerous concessions, and the Arabs, again and again, have saved the Israelis — just as the people of Israel have been granted a temporary reprieve thanks to Olmert’s petty greed (those expensive cigars, for example) and the loose tongue of Morris Talansky.
But this complacent quote — “the Arabs have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity” — shows a terrifying misunderstanding of what this means. It means that eventually the Arabs won’t miss that opportunity, and Israel, having agreed foolishly to yield so much, will no longer be saved by the bell — the bell of corrupt leaders, caught by the police, or the bell of the Arabs who will always manage, so it is fondly believed, not to “miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”
No, that will stop. And unless common sense breaks in, unless Israel’s ruling elite recognizes the permanent threat, the threat that can only be understood if you allow yourself to understand the meaning, and menace, of Islam, some day Israel will not be saved by any bell.
And that will be that.