“Fresh thinking” is what Obama has famously said he wants. Fresh thinking on this, and fresh thinking on that. Who could disagree? Because again and again, the Received Wisdom of Everyone Who Counts has been proven to be wrong. “No one” could suspect a founder of Nasdaq, Bernard Madoff, of shenanigans, and therefore relentless Harry Markopoulos was not listened to, his long screeds offering chapter and verse in the annals of financial chicanery ignored, year after year. He was wrong, and everyone else, the Good People at the SEC, were right — until they weren’t. And the same was true for the larger financial system. “Everyone” knew such and such had to be true, and knew that certain things just could not happen, and the handful who thought otherwise — Nouriel Roubini comes swimmingly to mind — were ignored, as comical cassandras. Until it turned out that they were right.
The herd of “Middle East experts” prates about peace-processing, and imposes on our brains the word “solution” — as in “two-state solution.” And they do this without thinking they have a duty to explain how the creation of a “Palestinian” Arab state on land that is part of the tiny territory originally assigned by the League of Nations’ Mandates Commission to the Mandate for Palestine for a Jewish National Home (land that also happens to be militarily indispensable to Israel’s ability to withstand an Arab attack) will be a “solution,” and not merely make Israel’s situation on the ground even more hellishly difficult than it already is.
Indeed, the borders will be impossible to defend — even now, with the straight line that follows the course of the Jordan, the ratio of border length to land area is the highest that any nation in the world must endure. And given the location of critical aquifers under the “West Bank” on which Israel depends, and which Arabs in control would likely waste (as they so often do), or pollute, or even poison, it is absurd to expect Israel to give up control. It is absurd because that same “West Bank” was part of the Mandate for Palestine. And it is absurd because Israel itself, though the Jews are one of the original peoples of the Middle East, exists on territory less than one one-thousandth the size of the land area of the nations possessed by the Arabs. It is absurd because the Arab states nowhere offer non-Muslims or non-Arab Muslims anything like the autonomy that might be granted the “West Bank” Arabs — that is, an autonomy consonant with Israel’s security needs, but not an autonomy that will force Israelis to live in impossibly, intolerably difficult conditions.
Hillary Clinton appears to believe in the weight of the “experts” — the rosses and the indyks, the haasses and the millers, and tutti quanti — and she also assumes that there is a “solution” to the Arab Muslim war on Israel. She ought to do as Obama has said he would like everyone to do, and to seek out “fresh thinking.” She ought, in the first place, to not confuse this or that charming individual of Muslim descent or assent (e.g. Huma Abedin) with the ideology of Islam, the texts and tenets and attitudes and atmospherics of Islam. And then she should recognize that all these rosses and indyks, not to mention the djerijians and bakers and all the rest of the “Middle East experts” — who somehow never include such people as J. B. Kelly, or Bat Ye’or, or any of those who do not quite fit the State Department template of those who “understand the Middle East” — have never studied, nor understood, nor applied to the situation at hand, Islam.
For Islam underlies everything that true believing Muslims do. Very often Islam also explains such phenomena as Ba’athism (in both its Syrian and Iraqi variants). Such things as the twists and turns of the Alawites in Syria remain mysterious as long as one does not comprehend the meaning, and menace to non-Muslims, of Islam. And without an understanding of the ideology of Islam, the Jihad being waged against Israel cannot be understood either. For that Jihad there is no “solution,” but there are ways to keep the situation under control, and that means under military control (google “Darura” and “Hugh”) so that open warfare does not break out, or if it does, does so only in limited ways. And the way to worsen the situation for Israel is to pressure it into yielding territory that, for its own existence, it must hold onto.
These “experts” such as Indyk and Ross, on whom Hillary Cllnton allows herself to depend, are all characterized by one thing: they are Islam-less, they are without a knowledge of Islam. They keep putting on these andy-hardy performances, in the barn, of Hamlet without the Prince. They just can’t spare the time — busy, busy, busy, at those think-tanks, at those conferences, giving their ponderous views ponderously hither and yon — to sit still, and read. They’ve lost the habit of study. It’s a Washington-wide problem. “As for study, our research assistants will do that for us.” Ah yes. So they allow themselves to believe, without looking into Islam, that this “solution” to the Arab-Israeli “conflict” is to be found in the establishment of a 23rd Arab state for an artificial “people” who were deliberately created only after the Six-Day War, on that very territory to which Israel has legal, moral, and historic claim and that as a military matter simply cannot relinquish.
There was on display at Sharm el-Sheikh an unseemly willingness to overlook everything about Fatah, all the while of course tsk-tsking about Hamas and highmindedly refusing to deal with it, in contradistinction to Fatah, which was painted as practically saintly. In fact the two are not different. The difference between Hamas and Fatah is just that the men of Fatah are more cunning, more eager — because more corrupt — to say the minimum they have to say (to “choose peace as a strategic option” as Abbas likes to say) in order to get that tap of Western aid turned on again, so as to divert some of it to their own uses. The men of Hamas, meanwhile, are more fanatical and less willing to pretend to compromise. They are willing, it seems, to forgo that aid in order to remain not only inwardly true to the tenets of Islam (as the men of Fatah are) but also outwardly true to the texts, and tenets, of Islam.
But those who know their Islam, and those who understand the central significance of Muhammad’s treaty with the Meccans at Hudaibiyya in 628 A.D. as a model of Muslim treaty-making with Infidels for all time, will not be fooled. And in not being fooled, they will recognize how the Slow Jihadists of the now Western-favored Fatah share the same goal with the Fast Jihadists of Hamas — that is, the goal of eliminating the Infidel nation-state of Israel. Especially for Arab Muslims, whose ethnic amour-propre reinforces their Islamic worldview, the existence of a Jewish state in the middle of Dar al-Islam is so offensive that it cannot be permanently tolerated, even if for now it must, and even if for now some Arabs even make noises to suggest that “if only” Israel gives up this, and gives up that, then it can exist, on Arab sufferance, as a rump state. If you know nothing about Islam, nothing about the texts, tenets, attitudes, atmospherics, history, of Islam, you might believe this. You might at least choose to believe this, for it would make your task so much easier.
The Arab psyche, collective and individual, is so offended by the existence of the Infidel nation-state of Israel, and by the fact that the long-despised Jews being able to withstand for so long Arab attacks and Arab war-making of every kind, that the idea that somehow, with the coming into existence of a “Palestinian” Arab state, that there will be a growing recognition of the need to accept Israel, a grudging acceptance, is the kind of thing that is plausible, but only if you do not really grasp the nature of Islam. It requires not just knowledge, but familiarity over time with Muslim behavior, Muslim history. Mere mechanical reading of the Qur’an and Hadith are not enough. Nor is learning of the details of Muhammad’s life. You have to take it in, ponder the material, relate it to the history of Islamic conquest and subjugation of non-Muslims.
It is foolish to denounce Hamas, the Fast Jihadists, as is being done by Hillary Clinton and others, and at the same time to allow oneself to believe in the no-one-here-but-us-accountants facade offered up by Mahmoud Abbas, for decades the willing collaborator of that murderous stage-villainous Yasir Arafat. Abbas was the henchman of Yasir Arafat for decades and was in up to his neck in all sorts of murderous activities (including the killing of two American diplomats in Khartoum). What’s more, Abbas himself is a Holocaust-denier (yes, do read his Moscow thesis). He is not one whit less acceptable than Bishop Williamson, whom so many correctly denounce as beyond the pale, and in the next breath show that they think Mahmoud Abbas, per contra, is perfectly acceptable and even worthy of international aid.
If Obama wants “fresh thinking” in this area, he can come and get it right here. And so can Hillary Clinton. And we should not seek to impose, nor even seek to persuade others to believe, that there exists a “solution” to the Arab war — the Jihad — against the Infidel nation-state of Israel, which was re-packaged, after the Six-Day War, as a war of “national liberation” by the “Palestinian people.” We should understand that this is a classic Jihad, designed to eliminate from the midst of Dar al-Islam an Infidel nation-state that offends by its existence, and not by its dimensions.
The war against Israel has been kept on the front pages by many things. There is that interest, by no means an innocent one, in all things pertaining to Jews. If Israel were not a Jewish state, but rather one run by, say, Maronites or Copts or Assyrians — that is, Christians of the Middle East– there would be attention, but not the obsessive, nearly manic attention that the Arab war against Israel, and even more Israel’s attempts to defend itself against that war being waged against it, that we see on the BBC, in The Guardian, on Agence France-Presse, in Le Monde, etceterum etcetera. In fact, if left alone, and if its enemies are not constantly being supplied with new infusions of money, Israel can take care of itself. My, my, just look at the gigantic sums pledged to the Arabs at Sharm el-Sheikh! Think of the hundreds of millions of real refugees, starting with the refugees from the Muslim Arab slaughter in the Sudan, who can’t quite understand why it is that the “Palestinians” always manage to obtain not just the lion’s share, but a whole herd of lions’ share of international aid, again and again and again.
Nothing should be done to force the Jews of Israel to live in conditions of maximum peril, a peril that none of those governments putting pressure by prating of “two-state solutions” would for one minute endure for their own people. Their legal and historic claims, both under the Mandate, and according to the rules that have governed postwar territorial adjustments (see the Alto Adige, see Kaliningrad, see every border after every war practically since time began, and certainly after World War II), are considerable. Such lawyers as Eugene Rostow, former Dean of Yale Law School, and many others who specialize in international law, believe that Israel’s claim to the “West Bank” is far superior to that of any other claimant. Even when one attempts to refer to the carefully crafted Resolution 242, it is clear that the key term there is “secure and defensible borders,” which would certainly correspond to the River Jordan, and command of the invasion routes from the east, and of the mountains of Judea. The most authoritative book devoted to this subject is that by the celebrated Australian legal scholar, Professor Julius Stone, whom Dean Pound of Harvard so much admired and considered to be the greatest writer on Jurisprudence of the age.
But in speaking about a “two-state solution” and expending energy and capital of all kinds (financial, diplomatic, moral) on it, the American government keeps delaying the day when, not merely in regard to Israel and its survival, but in regard to the entire West, or perhaps better the entire Rest (Islam and The Rest), it will take into account the most important tenets of Islam, and cease to focus so stupidly merely on one instrument of Jihad, terrorism, instead of focusing on all the instruments of Jihad, and on the aims of Jihad rightly understood. Jihad is the “struggle” to remove all obstacles, everywhere in the world, to the spread, and then the dominance, of Islam. In the end, all the countries of Dar al-Harb must, inevitably, become part of an enlarged Dar al-Islam that will cover the globe, because the entire world belongs to Allah. The people in it, and what they might wish, do not matter. And in any case, everywhere in the world, Muslims must rule. That is only right. That is what Allah wishes. There can be no other way.
But the instruments of Jihad that are used to accomplish this goal vary. In the most pressing theatre of the war, the war of self-defense that is as yet undeclared by the Infidels of this world against the war being waged against them from within and from without by the carriers or adherents of Islam, those instruments go far beyond the terrorism that has received, stupidly, all the attention. That main theatre of the war of self-defense against Islam is not in Iraq (a waste of men, money, materiel, morale) or Afghanistan (a waste of men, money, materiel, and morale), but rather in the countries of Western Europe, now threatened by such instruments of Jihad as the Money Weapon, campaigns of Da’wa, and demographic conquest.