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Op-Ed: To Be a Nation Like All Other Nations

If we wish to be like other nations, then let us be consistent about it.
Published: Wednesday, March 05, 2014 10:45 AM



If the left truly wants Israel to be 'a nation like all other nations', then its demand that Israel give up its sovereignty to a significant degree is outstanding and oxymoronic.
Anyone examining the most recent actions of the Israeli left might easily find themselves confused as to what the left truly represents.  Although their positions, policies, and actions of past years remain relevant, a sampling of the same parameters over the last few months highlights a contradiction that every Israeli and Jewish leftist should be made aware of. 

Essentially, allf the Israeli left’s actions are geared towards a single goal: ‘For Israel to be a nation like all other nations’.  In order to bring this outcome to fruition, we have seen the left engaging in anti-Zionist and occasionally, even subversive activities. They may honestly believe they are doing what is best for the Jewish people, for Israel, and even for Zionism, but this is simply not true.

And it’s not true because Israel is not, nor can it ever be, like every other nation, assuming they refer to Western-Secular-Liberal-Multicultural Democracy.

The left has been funding and organizing unprecedented rallies, protests, disruptions and riots of illegal immigrants from Africa; primarily from Sudan and Eritrea.  The right may agree that the government has not handled the issue of illegal infiltrators properly, but the left wants to see them stay in Israel.  Arguments go back and forth about whether the tens of thousands of Africans in question are actual refugees or financially motivated infiltrators.  It is irrelevant at this juncture, because the left wants them no matter what their motives are. It views an eventual government decision to grant them all permanent status as a means of furthering its goal of getting Israel to be ‘a nation like all other nations’.

The left sponsors and provokes Arab violence against Israelis and the IDF - not just against ‘settlers’. Many of them believe that such actions will highlight the need to bring about a ‘2-state-solution’ in order to end the violence.  The likelihood of a 2-state-solution actually leading to peace and security is irrelevant because they honestly believe that this will further their goal for Israel to be ‘a nation like all other nations’.

This leads to perhaps the most inconspicuous, but telling, contradiction.  If the left truly wants Israel to be 'a nation like all other nations', then its demand that Israel give up its sovereignty to a significant degree is outstanding and oxymoronic.  A glance at historical examples in which terrorist/insurgent groups—morphed into political arms—have demanded secession from sovereign states, should give those whose stated goal is to be "like all other nations, prototypes to follow.

The Philippines, for exmple, provides us with a comparable situation.  In the 1970’s, when the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF/MILF) were negotiating a ‘peace treaty’ with the Philippines, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was the mediator.  Then Indonesian Foreign Minister Adam Malik had this to say about MNLF demands for full sovereignty and an independent secessionist state: “because no sovereign (sic.) Government worthy of the name could agree to a plan such as had been put forth by the Committee of Four”. 

He also referred to the MNLF’s demands for full sovereignty and independence as being “disproportionate” and that such a path could not be accepted by any “reputable” sovereign nation in the world - alluding to the UN member states.

The similarities are even more striking, since the Philippines were in an equally precarious position in that the mediators were also members of ASEAN and therefore their most significant trading partners. 

The most important lesson to be learned is that a normal nation, ‘a nation like all other nations’, a nation state worthy of the title, will not negotiate its sovereignty, nor should it.  Not to terrorists, not to political groups, and not even to its largest trading partners.  Other 'normal' nations realize that when it comes to a nation’s integrity, and  more importantly its sovereignty, that red line cannot be crossed.

The right would agree to the principle that we should be 'a nation like other nations' when it comes to issues of sovereignty.  Let us be like India, Spain, France, the UK, USA, Canada, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia etc.  Let us be 'like all other nations' whose sovereignty is non-negotiable. 

Here, however, the left stops short of the mark. It wants Israel to be like all other nations in appearance only, not in principles.