Sometimes, I wonder how well the Israelis really understand the situation that they’re in. This suggests that they have a pretty good handle on the world opinion part of it,
A newly released WikiLeaks cable quotes Ron Dermer, a top adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, telling a U.S. diplomat of Israelis’ frustration with the peace process. Surprisingly, however, Dermer didn’t focus primarily on Palestinian behavior. Rather, he charged, “the Israeli public is skeptical regarding the benefits of returning to negotiations” because “all the GOI [government of Israel] has received in return for its efforts [to date] was a ‘slap-down from the international community.’”
Dermer didn’t offer evidence to support his claim about Israeli frustration with the “international community,” but the data are shocking: according to the August Peace Index poll, fully 77 percent of Jewish Israelis think “it makes no difference what Israel does and how far it may go on the Palestinian issue; the world will continue to be very critical of it.” And in fact, Israelis have good reasons for this belief.
For instance, when Hezbollah continued attacking Israel even after Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000, the world, far from condemning Hezbollah, excoriated Israel when it finally responded to these attacks in the 2006 Second Lebanon War. Moreover, after having certified the withdrawal as 100 percent complete in 2000, the UN Security Council then rewarded Hezbollah’s aggression in 2006 by voting to remap Lebanon’s borders, “especially in those areas where the border is disputed” by Hezbollah, with an eye toward forcing Israel to quit additional territory.
Then, when Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, evacuating 25 settlements in the process, it was rewarded by daily rocket fire on its cities from the evacuated territory. Yet when it finally fought back, in 2008, it was slapped with the Goldstone Report, which accused it of “war crimes” and urged its indictment in the International Criminal Court.
Here’s Israel’s real problem with “world opinion.”
#1) A lot of nations vote their pocket books and a tiny little country like Israel can’t offer as much as oil producers like Saudi Arabia and Iran.
#2) Anti-Semitism still runs rampant in much of the world. Is anyone surprised that nations that enthusiastically shipped their Jews off to death camps in WW2 still hate Jews today?
#3) The Israelis are prosperous, civilized people. The Palestinians are evil, backward savages. Although they generally won’t come out and admit it, liberals think people like the Palestinians are too primitive and stupid to be expected to act like decent human beings. The same can’t be said of the Israelis. So, they expect the Israelis to give up everything because they’re better people than the Palestinians, while the Palestinians can’t be expected to do any better than they are because, well, look at ‘em! It’s a form of reverse racism that liberals engage in on a regular basis with all sorts of groups.
#4) See #3? It’s even worse for Europeans because they feel guilty about colonialism in a way that Americans don’t. So, they see an advanced Western culture in the midst of a bunch of natives and they sympathize will the natives. No, it’s not the same thing at all, but it probably seems like the same thing to a lot of Europeans.
#5) Because the Nazis were so thorough in their work, the number of Jews in Europe is fairly low. On the other hand, the Islamic population has increased dramatically there and if we’re being honest, rabid anti-semitism and Islam tend to go hand and hand. So, if you’re a politician and 10% of your population consists of Muslims who love seeing dead Jews while 1% of your population consists of Jews who are sympathetic to Israel, well, you do the math.
#6) Jews are God’s chosen people and although it hasn’t always been so, Christians today tend to be particularly sympathetic to Jews. Unfortunately, Christianity is dying in Europe. Outside of a few enclaves of faith, it’s practically a post-Christian continent.
Put it all together and, yes, “it makes no difference what Israel does and how far it may go on the Palestinian issue; the world will continue to be very critical of it.”