The Israel-Palestine Seesaw

Our hope is the lunatics, detatched from reality.

Moshe Feiglin

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Arutz 7

"I am a Palestinian," said Golda Meir as she presented her Mandatory identification card. For years, Israeli determination not to recognize the Palestinian "nation" crossed political lines. With the exception of Uri Avneri,
Israel was united in the clear consensus that the "Palestinians" were not to be recognized.
Abie Natan and a few other colorful fringe characters on the radical Left, Israel was united in the clear consensus that the "Palestinians" were not to be recognized or negotiated with.

Pre-Camp David and pre-Oslo Israel - with the Holocaust, rebirth and do-or-die wars still fresh collective experiences - was clearly able to understand the danger inherent in recognition of a "Palestinian nation". It was easy then to understand that recognition of a Palestinian nation and its sovereign rights in the Land of Israel would mean the erosion and eventual elimination of the recognition of the Jewish nation and its sovereignty in the Land of Israel. In those years, everybody still lived the reality in which the Jewish nation and the State of Israel were required to pay in blood for the simple right to exist.

At Camp David, Prime Minister Menachem Begin recognized the Palestinian nation and sowed the seeds of destruction. In the 1992 elections, Yitzchak Rabin won with a slight majority, which he attained by guaranteeing that he would not talk with the PLO. When he subsequently shook Yasser Arafat's hand on the White House lawn, Rabin looked like he had swallowed a broom. That infamous handshake effectively negated the entire Zionist ethos - and he knew it.

Today, those who claim that there is no Palestinian nation are considered lunatics, dangerously detached from reality. But what has happened in Israel in the last month shows that from the moment that the wall of Israeli non-recognition of those claiming sovereignty in our land was breached, Israel's demise began. When we recognized their claims to sovereignty in Israel as valid, we lost our own. It is like a seesaw.

Now that the entire world recognizes the "legitimate rights of the Palestinian nation," the possibility of wiping Israel off the map has also become valid. Not just according to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but, more ominously, on Western campuses - the world's ideological breeding grounds. This ongoing situation is much more serious and dangerous than any weapons of mass destruction.

One lesson that we learned from the Holocaust is that invalidation of a person's rights precedes invalidation of his very life. When we recognized the "Palestinian nation", we invalidated ourselves.

In what seemed like a healthy attempt to assert his nationalist instincts, Binyamin Netanyahu initially made the renewal of negotiations with the Palestinians contingent upon their recognition of Israel as the Jewish state and upon removal of the Iranian threat. (These two conditions are closely related.) But in hindsight, we would have been better off if he had not set those conditions. Netanyahu cannot re-invent history.

In his first tenure as Prime Minister, he was elected to restore Israel to sanity after the Oslo Accords. Instead, he warmly shook hands with Arafat. Now, Netanyahu cannot claim that he was not aware of the significance of his
When we recognized the "Palestinian nation", we invalidated ourselves.
actions. And sure enough, within a few days of his original declaration, Netanyahu backed down from the conditions that he had set and let the genie out of the bottle. Israel recognizes those who want to usurp it, but they - and in their wake, the rest of the world - do not recognize Israel as the Jewish state.

"If Barack Obama is so anxious for Netanyahu to agree in advance to the establishment of a Palestinian state, then let him pressure Abu Mazen to agree in advance that Israel is the Jewish state. Makes sense, doesn't it? Not so, at least if you ask the Americans. Netanyahu's announcement did not make an impression on Mitchell. At the end of their meeting, he said that the political process will be based on the solution of two states for two peoples. With no additions or reservations." (Akiva Eldar, Ha'aretz April 20, 2009)

It turns out that the lunatics dangerously detached from reality - those who insist on not recognizing the Palestinians even today - are the only people whose outlook will ensure the continued existence of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel.