Niagara Gazette

Columns

December 1, 2013

SINGER: The mirage of Mideast peace

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — I have a good friend who says the first alternative in any quandary is to do nothing. Regarding Israeli-Palestinian negotiations so prized by Kerry et al., he seems correct.

Because Palestinians are linked to other militants in different Middle Eastern countries replete with internecine strife, and anything but stable. Syria’s government has used nerve gas to kill children; Iraqis suicide bomb right and left to murder their own; Saudi authorities stone women to death or cut off hands on flimsy grounds, and so forth. Why think Palestinians would be significantly different if they scented weakness? What Israel needs is to be strong (the co-developed Iron Dome anti-rocket system one example), and to have a relatively stable Egypt re-emerge on one border, as seems to be painfully occurring; on others, they need resolution to the searing problems in Syria and Lebanon, and for Jordan to remain roughly as is.

Neither Israel nor an America it has so helped with intelligence, and whom it supports unreservedly, needs a made-in-the office solution that works only on paper, and which doesn’t take into account the country’s vulnerability in that part of the world. Sometimes historical change is like unforeseen science — you remove one bad chemical from the air, then create some new chemical reaction that’s worse, not better. For instance, America laudably stayed the course against Japanese expansionism in World War II; but dissolution of that empire then allowed China to go Communist, liberated Korea to become the problem it did, and Vietnam (returned to an uncertain French grip) eventually to launch a Viet Cong, etc. Few in the States during a euphoric September ‘45 could imagine a drawn-out Korean or Vietnam war on the horizon.

But by the same token, one can learn to see ahead, and would-be American peace-makers need to realize that removing even more Israeli security guarantees against nothing bankable in return can make the situation there go from proverbial frying pan into the fire. (Which partly thanks to U.S. policies, already happened in a Shah-removed Iran and more recently, after Egypt’s Mubarak was turfed out.) Israeli-Palestinian “peace”? Much easier to transform parts of the Robert Moses Parkway so everyone’s happy!

B.B. Singer has taught at several colleges in the area, including Niagara University.

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