GIVAT SHMUEL, Israel, February 19, 2014 — The left has taken to slandering opponents of the peace-at-any-price approach to the Middle East, but truth eventually triumphs. The truth has exposed the folly of President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and other ideological zealots hell-bent on shoving a peace agreement down Israel’s throat, regardless of the terms.
Perhaps no other Israeli figure is as badly slandered by the left as the late Rabbi Meir Kahane. The mere suggestion that the Taliban-assassinated, Knesset-banned Rabbi might be seen in a positive light is enough to invite condemnation as a Judeo-fascist. However, Kahane’s words withstand the test of reality. Life is rarely convenient and never easy; why should peace with a hostile enemy be?
This column does not endorse the indiscriminate killing of Arabs; neither did Kahane. This column does not support racism; neither do the writings of Rabbi Kahane. To reject everything Kahane said out of hand implies complete ignorance of his teachings.
At a press conference, Kahane explained,
Liberals have immense contempt for the Arabs; they believe that they can buy them. “We’ll raise their living standards and then they’ll be good Arabs” Good Arabs? What contempt! They think that a good Arab is one that will agree to the Jews living in what he considers to be his Palestine. You think there is one Arab who enjoys living in a State where there is a law of return that applies to Jews and not to non-Jews? You think there is one Arab who enjoys living in a State, which has a National Anthem: Hatikvah with words that say, ‘nefesh yehudi omia’ – the soul of the Jew yearns? You can imagine how that sits with them. You think there is one Arab who enjoys living in a State, whose Independence Day celebrates his defeat? You can’t buy a person by giving him an indoor toilet. “You see, you had no toilet, now you have one.” You can’t come and say as the UJA says: “What do you want? We came and we turned the dessert into a garden” Let me tell you what the Arab says: “Yes it’s true, but it was my dessert and now it’s your garden.” I respect the Arab, and that is why he has to go!
This declaration is provocative and controversial, but it is also absolutely rational. And it is not a Jew who has proven it, but a Palestinian official.
On Tuesday, The Times of Israel reported that the U.S. “offered to compile a list of Palestinian refugees interested in settling in Israel … according to a Palestinian source cited in an Israeli report.”
In response to this arrogant and misguided offer, “the Palestinian source quoted by Israel Radio indicated that it is thought that very few Palestinians would choose to live in Israel even if that was an option, because they would have to sing the national anthem, Hatikvah, send their children to schools run by the Israeli educational system, and perhaps in the future have to perform some form of national or army service.”
The Palestinian source might as well have quoted Kahane. When Palestinian officials sound more like Kahane then they do John Kerry, it is time to wonder whether U.S. policy in the region is way off base.
There are Arabs who prefer living under Israeli sovereignty to living in other countries in the region. That’s not surprising, considering the corrupt and iron-fisted rule that their brothers endure, but it doesn’t mean they accept a country whose essence is the manifestation of a history and culture that they will never belong to. It demeans them to believe otherwise.
Kahane, the infamous extremist, could have been making the case for a two-state solution here. He was not, but the distortion of his words can go in different ways. With the impossibility of Arabs accepting Israeli rule, and with the clear reality that a two-state solution is not the answer — Arab leadership ever accept less than 100 percent of the land of Israel for their own state — the Jewish State arrives at a paradox. The paradox could perhaps be solved by having the Palestinian refugees absorbed by the populations of the larger surrounding Arab states, such as Jordan. Yet the Palestinians and the left utterly reject this as racist.
With Obama and Kerry attempting to force Israel to solve a problem whose only solution is one they have refused, Israel is at a crossroads. Israelis can continue to indulge this idiocy and perpetuate the world belief that they are to blame for every woe in the Arab world, or they can finally stand up to America and quote the very Palestinians America claims to be working to help, exposing the harsh reality despite its lack of utopian shine.
It is highly improbable a current Israeli leader would have the courage to take the tougher path. However, anything can happen if a man in Palestinian leadership can prove that Kerry is wrong and Kahane was right.