Israel’s Arabs and Jews: Destined, not Doomed, to Live Together

Oct. 29 2014

Israel’s president recently appeared at a ceremony in the village of Kafr Qasim, commemorating the anniversary of the killing of 49 Arab civilians by Israeli border police in 1957. (The next year, Israeli courts convicted eight of those involved.) In his speech, Reuven Rivlin reiterated Israel’s official apology for the killings, condemned recent acts of Palestinian terror, and commented frankly on the future of the relationship between Israeli Jews and Arabs.

Friends, “I hereby swear, in my name and that of all of our descendants, that we will never act against the principle of equal rights, and we will never try and force someone from our land.” These are not my words, but the words of Ze’ev Jabotinsky, the founder of the Beitar movement. Words he spoke more than 80 years ago, and which I repeat here today.

The state of Israel is the national home of the Jewish people, who returned to their land after two millennia of exile. This was its very purpose. However, the state of Israel will also always be the homeland of the Arab population, which numbers more than one-and-a-half million, and makes up more than twenty percent of the population of the country. . . .

I am not naïve. There is no point in denying or ignoring the reality of relations between the communities. Between the Jewish and Arab populations of the state of Israel, there remain the sentiments of a difficult past. We belong to two nations, whose dreams and aspirations, to a great extent contradict each other. . . . [T]he Arab population of Israel must be brought to internalize and accept that the state of Israel is the national home of the Jewish people. As long as there exists any aspiration to eradicate the Jews from this land, there will be no chance of building a true partnership.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Israeli Arabs, Laws of war, Reuven Rivlin, Suez Crisis

American Aid to Lebanon Is a Gift to Iran

For many years, Lebanon has been a de-facto satellite of Tehran, which exerts control via its local proxy militia, Hizballah. The problem with the U.S. policy toward the country, according to Tony Badran, is that it pretends this is not the case, and continues to support the government in Beirut as if it were a bulwark against, rather than a pawn of, the Islamic Republic:

So obsessed is the Biden administration with the dubious art of using taxpayer dollars to underwrite the Lebanese pseudo-state run by the terrorist group Hizballah that it has spent its two years in office coming up with legally questionable schemes to pay the salaries of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), setting new precedents in the abuse of U.S. foreign security-assistance programs. In January, the administration rolled out its program to provide direct salary payments, in cash, to both the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Internal Security Forces (ISF).

The scale of U.S. financing of Lebanon’s Hizballah-dominated military apparatus cannot be understated: around 100,000 Lebanese are now getting cash stipends courtesy of the American taxpayer to spend in Hizballah-land. . . . This is hardly an accident. For U.S. policymakers, synergy between the LAF/ISF and Hizballah is baked into their policy, which is predicated on fostering and building up a common anti-Israel posture that joins Lebanon’s so-called “state institutions” with the country’s dominant terror group.

The implicit meaning of the U.S. bureaucratic mantra that U.S. assistance aims to “undermine Hizballah’s narrative that its weapons are necessary to defend Lebanon” is precisely that the LAF/ISF and the Lebanese terror group are jointly competing to achieve the same goals—namely, defending Lebanon from Israel.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Israeli Security, Lebanon, U.S. Foreign policy