Op-Ed: Using Conflict Resolution Tools in Arab-Israel Conflict
Prof. Paul EidelbergProf. Paul Eidelberg (Ph.D. University of Chicago), former officer U.S. Air Force, is the founder and president of the Israel-America Renaissance Institute (I-ARI), www.i-ari.org, with offices in Jerusalem and Philadelphia. He has written several books on American and on Jewish Statesmanship. His magnum opus The Judeo-Scientific Foundations of American Exceptionalism: Today’s Choice for the “Almost Chosen People" is in process of publication. Prof. Eidelberg lives in Jerusalem.
I. A Philosophical and Political Introduction
For many years academics have foisted on foreign policy makers the doctrine of "conflict resolution." What makes these academics believe that conflicts between liberal democracies and Islamic dictatorships—which includes Arab terrorist groups like the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)—are resolvable?
It was this counter-intuitive assumption (or wishful thinking) that triggered the negotiations culminating in the Israel-PLO Agreement of 1993; and it continues unabated to this day despite the horrendous fact that PLO terrorists have murdered and maimed 15,000 Jewish men, women, and children. Evident here is a fixation which the present writer finds almost incomprehensible.
As a political scientist who grew up in Brooklyn, and who, as boy, had to bloody some noses to minimize the number of times his own was bloodied, it has become obvious to me that the academics in question—let’s call them "acanemics"— must have grown up in more or less homogeneous neighborhoods of well-mannered kids and are thus receptive to Rousseau’s charming idea that human nature is benevolent and malleable.
This idea, adopted by Marx, maintains that human conflict is ultimately the result of economic privation and therefore can be eliminated by economic plenty. It follows that material goods therefore trump religion or ideology, which, according to Marx, are merely "phantoms of the brain."
All that was needed to clinch the doctrine of conflict resolution was a good psychologist.
From this one might conclude that religion is obsolete and that policemen are not needed to maintain law and order. However, having grown up in New York warned not to take a date into Central Park at night, it was obvious to me that a lot of dangerous nonsense was being propagated by these acanemics.
After all, since conflict was not uncommon among Americans who spoke the same language, lived under the same government, went to the same public schools where the Judeo-Christian ethos of respect for human dignity and diversity was entrenched, imagine how much turmoil exists in the world at large, in which western nations have engaged in more than a thousand wars in the last two thousand years. Nevertheless, the academic doctrine of conflict resolution thrives.
Most unusual are the number of Jewish acanemics that purvey this doctrine, as if their intellects were impervious to the tortured history of the Jewish people. In fact, Jews in Israel have a talent for ignoring the lessons of history, and moreover exhibit abysmal ignorance of Islamic theology. They cavalierly dismiss the religious imperatives that Islam imposes on Muslims, including those dwelling among them.
The doctrine of conflict resolution thus defies ordinary experience. Its purveyors would have Israel engage in negotiations with her enemies regardless of their violent ideological character, and moreover, without considering that such propinquity with evil would tarnish Israel'sreputation as a nation reputedly Jewish as well as democratic.
II. Who's been painting my roses red?
Negotiations between Israel and the Arab-Islamic Palestinians have become a self-demeaning and self-defeating charade.
Even Israel’s right-minded activists are disoriented. They fear that Prime Minister Netanyahu who - without Knesset or public debate - endorsed the creation of a Muslim-Arab state in Judea and Samaria will adhere to the Sharon precedent and expel an untold number of the 330,000 Jews living in their land, which belongs to them as a matter of Divine Scripture.
These same activists are at a loss regarding the disposition of the Arabs in Judea and Samaria. They have been encouraged, however, by an unprecedented 2005 study of the American-Israel Demographic Research Group. The study concludes that as a result of a declining Arab birthrate on the one hand, and an increasing Jewish birthrate on the other, the Jews would retain a substantial demographic majority if the government extended Jewish sovereignty over much of Judea and Samaria, even if the Arabs therein are granted Israeli citizenship.
These activists, having swallowed the soporific of conflict resolution, are still asleep in Oslo. Hidden from the people of Israel, Oslo surreptitiously entailed the creation of a Palestinian state—the very same state Prime Minister Netanyahu endorsed on June 14, 2009, thus letting the cat out of the bag.
Although these activists are not oblivious to the malevolence of the Arabs, their awareness has been numbed by the pleasing or disarming conclusions of the AIDRG study,and by the futile and fatal idea of conflict resolution underlying Oslo—else they would not want to make the Arabs in Judea and Samaria citizens of Israel,or even permanent residents, unless the latter acknowledge the Torah as the supreme law of the land and abided by the Seven Noahide Laws of Universal Morality.
Of course, the Arabs would reject this proviso as an insult to Islam, and it would be portrayed by the international media as unadulterated racism.
Wittingly or otherwise, the proposals of these activists point to the creation of a festering and problematic entity inside the Holy Land.
Their "solution"to what in truth is historic conflict over Eretz Yisrael will obviously be rejected by the Arabs, who are not suffering from the myopia and mental fatigue of Jewish activists. And it will certainly be rejected with contempt by sensible and spirited Jews—Jews who regard the teachings of their prophets as sacrosanct, not to be diluted by short-sighted pragmatists.
Truly thoughtful andwholehearted Jews do not trivialize or truncate the Holy Land, whose integrity they are bound in gratitude and duty to Almighty God to preserve for posterity—ultimately as a blessing for all mankind.
Secularists may scoff at the idea, but know well that God is a "jealous" God, as well as God of justice, and that Jews will pay—indeed are paying—an awful price for betraying Eretz Yisrael, the Land He chose for His Chosen People
Professor Eidelberg is president of the Israel-America Renaissance Institute www.i-ari.org