Today’s “J Street” was yesterday’s Peace Now and Breira. Always rushing to “make peace,” to trust Arafat to keep his word, to encourage and push Israel to sign Oslo Accords.
I like to think of myself as an intellectual, too. I do not cede that ground to the “J Street” crowd. But I also grew up a bit on the streets. I know both sides – the people who attended Columbia University with me, the law school types, the scholars. And I know street fighters.
Israel has a real problem — because she is not bordered by Mexico and Canada. She is bordered by Hezbollah and Hamas. Every time Israel has conceded land, the result has been the opposite of what the J Streeters predicted. She gave up Southern Lebanon unilaterally on the theory that the cession of land would bring peace in the north. “After all, what would Arabs have to complain about up north?” Yeah. So Hezbollah moved in and eventually put Haifa within range of its shelling.
Then Israel ceded Gaza. “Who needs Gaza anyway – with all its Arab overpopulation and all the trouble? It’s not worth it – let them choke on their own suffering! They will be so busy running an economy and a government that they will not have time to bother Israel.” Yeah. So Hamas took over and turned Gaza into an arcade, with terrorists raining down missiles and rockets on Sderot. When the air raid sounds in Sderot, a person has 15 seconds lead time to get to safety underground before the shell strikes. So people cannot shower.
Israel is not dealing with post-war Germany or Japan, with France or England. She is dealing with a theology that is sworn to subjugate all Jews and to destroy a Jewish country. There is no way to get them honestly to live with us except to persuade them that the cost of fighting us is too dear. That is how Israel took Jordan and Egypt out of the confrontation – beating them in war after war, until those governments gave up on destroying Israel.