Motzei Shabbat (After Shabbat)
I cited Dr. Bernard Lewis, the venerable dean of Islamic studies, this past week. I cite him again now.
This is in the context of a 30 minute version of a longer film on radical Islam and its danger to the West, including the US. The film, called "The Third Jihad," is legitimate. The people interviewed are, in many instances, familiar to me (and deeply respected by me). They are serious, well-informed and grounded people with a clear vision about the dangers facing us.
Dr. Lewis says to America: "Wake Up!"
Melanie Phillips, the marvelous British commentator, whom I also cited this past week, says that "The battleground is a battleground of ideas and ideology. The West hasn't entered this battleground, it hasn't even understood that there IS a battleground."
Would that America would start to get it.
I urge everyone receiving this to take the time to see it, and then to share it broadly.
Sociologist Gunnar Heinsohn, of the Raphael Lemkin Institute at the University of Bremen (Germany), has written an article of significance, called "Ending the West's proxy war against Israel."
In Gaza, he says, there is a "youth bulge," the result of a high birth rate of six children per woman. Where there is a "youth bulge," he explains, there is typically violence, as young men are expendable.
What is more, as most of the people in Gaza are registered with UNRWA -- the UN Relief and Works Agency -- as "refugees," they receive assistance, which is provided via donations from the US and Europe.
"The West pays for food, schools, medicine and housing, while Muslim nations help out with the military hardware. Unrestrained by such necessities as having to earn a living, the young have plenty of time on their hands for digging tunnels, smuggling, assembling missiles and firing 4,500 of them at Israel since 2006.
"The current situation can only get worse...Gazan teenagers have no future other than war. One rocket master killed is immediately replaced by three young men for whom a martyr's death is no less honorable than victory....Some 230,000 Gazan males. aged 15 to 29, who are available for the battlefield now, will be succeeded by 360,000 boys under 15 who could be taking up arms in the coming 15 years."
"...the West continues to make the population explosion in Gaza worse every year. By generously supporting UNRWA's budget, the West assists a rate of population increase that is 10 times higher than in their own countries."
The solution, of course, is reduction in birth rates. UNRWA -- unlike UNHCR, which is responsible for all refugees other than Palestinians -- indefinitely maintains descendants of refugees on its rolls, now counting the fourth generation.
"If we seriously want to avoid another generation of war in Gaza, we must have the courage to tell the Gazans that they will have to start looking after their children themselves, without UNRWA's help. This would force Palestinians to focus on building an economy instead of freeing them up to wage war."
Then, says Heinsohn, by 2025, many boys in Gaza would be only sons. "They would be able to look forward to a more secure future in a less violent society."
To achieve a state of calm even sooner than 2025, he suggests that the West might "consider offering immigration to those young Palestinians only born because of the West's well-meant but cruelly misguided aid." If in the next 15 years North America and Europe were to absorb 200,000 young Palestinians, "that would be a negligible move for the big democracies but a quantum leap for peace in the Near East."
More food for thought...
Jonathan Schanzer -- a counterterrorism analyst and deputy executive director of the Jewish Policy Center in Washington -- has written a new book, Hamas vs. Fatah: The Struggle for Palestine.
An excerpt in the Jerusalem Post magazine on Friday analyses the deep divisions and differences that exist between the Palestinians of Gaza and those of Judea and Samaria: There are two distinct economies and two distinct cultures (in part the result of historical connections to Egypt and Jordan, respectively), resulting in animosity and a growing rift.
Khalil Shiqaqi, a Palestinian sociologist, describes, "a psychological barrier between the inhabitants of the two territories and...mutual suspicion [that cannot be] disregarded or ignored."
Exacerbating the situation is the fact that the family or clan (hamula) often commands the greatest allegiance: "Nationalism is a recent concept in the Middle East; it was introduced by Western powers in the World War I era." And there is an absence of intermarriages between clans in Judea and Samaria and in Gaza.
With the Hamas takeover there have been political breaches, as well, that may prove to be irreconcilable.
The notion of Palestinian nationalism, then, is mostly honored in the breach by Palestinians. And the vision of one Palestinian state for the "Palestinian people" is no more than the figment of certain fevered imaginations.
In the face of all this, one is forced to wonder, and not for the first time, what the policy heads in Washington are thinking when they make a "two-state solution" the center piece of their foreign policy.
Hillel Frisch, in reviewing this book, says:
"Reading Hamas vs. Fatah, one realizes that if peace is only achieved between two sides, each possessing the ability of give and take, each with a high probability of keeping its commitments, then the Palestinians have long ago ceased to be partners in a peace process...
"The experiences in Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon all demonstrate the folly of expecting that a coherent state able to keep its commitments will naturally evolve after 'peace' is achieved. Peacemaking has to be preceded by effective state-building..."
I have already reported on the leak -- by Yediot Ahronot, actually -- of Olmert's comments to envoy George Mitchell, with regard to what his negotiating team has been prepared to give to the Palestinians in negotiations: part of Jerusalem, uprooting of 60,000 Jews in Judea and Samaria, etc.
Well, now Tzipi Livni -- recognizing that this goes beyond anything that had ever been offered to the Palestinians before, and was not necessarily something that would meet with the acceptance of the Israeli people -- has declared that she had nothing to do with this.
What she said was that "[this] does not represent me or what I am advancing." Her claim is that Olmert was speaking only of discussion between himself and Abbas, and that she, as head of negotiations, had no part in this.
This report, however, has further diminished her already very poor chances of winning the election.
I have just completed a major report on Adalah, a pro-Palestinian Israeli NGO that has Israel's destruction as a Jewish state as its goal. As it receives funding from the New Israel Fund, this is of particular concern.
See it here: http://israelbehindthenews.com/pdf/InsideAdalah.pdf
At the Jerusalem Conference last week, I was interviewed about this report. You can see the interview here:
Scroll down to the last row of small pictures and look for the one second from the right, with a title "Arabs use non-profits to try to destroy Israel," and run that.