Saturday, March 14, 2009

Palestinians Following Zionist Playbook...

I've never blogged on the Israeli Palestinian conflict before, its not that I don't follow developments in one of the world's hottest conflict zones, its more a case of seeing neither side as having the moral high ground, far from it. Typically I find most commentators choose one side or the other, pointing to the wrongs of the group they oppose, while ignoring the atrocities of the side they support. About the best Op/Ed piece I've seen was written by the Toronto Sun's Lorrie Goldstein, its entitled: No Reason To Choose Sides

Goldstein touches on what many ignore, the history of the region. There is one thing he avoids however, and that is the tactics employed by Zionist groups in their effort to have the British relinquish control over Palestine so that the modern state of Israel could be created. There's no need to go back thousands of years to the Jewish Diaspora, something that took place intermittently over hundreds of years. Wars and conquests have led to the displacement of many peoples over the course of human history. If every ethnic group on this planet started fighting over ancestral homelands we'd have total global conflict 24/7.

Rather than going back hundreds or even thousands of years, we can look back just a few decades. Specifically to the events which led to Israeli statehood on May 14, 1948.

One Jewish terrorist group was Irgun, credited with carrying out the bombing of the King David Hotel in July of 1946. There was also the Deir Yassin Massacre which resulted in roughly one hundred Arab deaths (some accounts are higher), an atrocity accredited to Lehi and Irgun (also referred to as Etzel).

For those sufficiently motivated to do some research, there's plenty of historical information out there about this time period...after the end of WWII and leading up to May 14, 1948. Sadly what it typically comes down to is a case of justification. Machiavelli would have been right at home in the Middle East, because each side in this conflict believes their end justifies the terrorist means employed. While moderates on both sides decry the violence and bloodshed, hardliners in each camp view the use of terror tactics as justified in achieving what they believe to be the greater good. There are Palestinians who will not rest until Israel is totally defeated and wiped from the map, just as there are Israelis who refuse to recognize the legitimacy of a Palestinian state, those who continue to settle in the occupied territories.

The ultimate irony facing Israel is the use of terrorism by Palestinians in their efforts to establish a homeland. It was actions by Zionist terror groups such as Irgun and Lehi which led to the creation of the modern Jewish state in the first place. I don't see any resolution ever in this dispute. The extreme elements on both sides of the equation believe their actions have sanction from God almighty. Arabs believe they have Allah on their side, and Jews believe the land of Israel to be their God given birthright by virtue of them being a chosen people.

There are times when neither side in a conflict has moral superiority, which brings me to conclude the best reaction is the citing of a familiar bromide. A pox on both their houses.

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