ECLETIC RANT: Response to Daliya Robson's "Did You Ever Look at a Map?"

Ralph E. Stone
Friday August 29, 2014 - 09:58:00 AM

In her article "Did You Ever Look at a Map?", Ms. Robson seems to equate criticism of Israel with anti-semitism. Is there anti-semitism in the world? Absolutely. But too often accusations of anti-semitism are merely a scare tactic used to discredit Israel's critics. 

Ms Robson focuses on the current Israel versus Hamas conflict, which is but the latest chapter in a long saga stretching back to the creation of Israel in 1947. Then, the United Nations partitioned the land, allotting the Jews 55 percent of Palestine. The Arabs did not agree to this partition. Most of the Zionists accepted the partition resolution because they were convinced that the crucial issue at that time was to establish a firm foundation for Jewish sovereignty. However, in closed meetings, Zionists, including David Ben-Gurion never concealed their intention to expand at the first opportunity the territory given to the Jews. That is why the Israeli Declaration of Independence did not define the state's borders and Israel has not defined its borders to this day. Menachem Begin declared, "The partition of the Homeland is illegal. It will never be recognized. The signature of institutions and individuals of the partition agreement is invalid. It will not bind the Jewish people. Jerusalem was and will forever be our capital. Eretz Israel (the land of Israel) will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And forever.”  

Israel ended up with 78 percent of the area of Palestine and Israel continues to establish new settlements, demolishing homes and uprooting plantations in the process. In addition, Israel has erected a wall or fence, which cuts deep into Palestinian territory, joining large Jewish settlement blocks to Israel, further confining the Palestinians to isolated enclaves.  

No wonder many Palestinians believe Israel's goal is to control all of the West Bank and Gaza. 

And yes, Ms. Robson, Israel is surrounded by the Arab ring states. However, Israel's vulnerability is largely a myth. Although there is open hostility between Israel and other Arab states, the latter do not pose a direct threat to Israel at this time. Even though an Arab alliance has a quantitative advantage, Israel can rely on its technological and military dominance. Israel has a nuclear monopoly in the region. Although, this would change if Iran develops a nuclear capability. Otherwise, Israel has a military superiority vis-a-vis any possible coalition of Arab forces. It has the fourth largest air force in the world after the U.S., Russian, and China. It is the only state in the region with its own defense industry. It has the most modern military in the region with 160,000+ personnel. And finally, it has the lockstep support of the United States.  

In sum, the situation between Israel and the Palestinians is not as simplistic as you indicate in your diatribe.