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Israel's Fate Hangs in the Balance: Is Benny Morris's new Assessment Right?

The fate of Israel should be of concern not to just Jews and Israelis, but to everyone who lives in the United States. No one has made that point more powerfully than Pastor John C. Hagee at Restoration Weekend. You can find the video and text of his speech here. Pastor Hagee’s effort in creating Christians United for Israel, which now has 500,000 members and is undoubtedly the most effective lobbying group on behalf of Israel in the country, speaks for itself.  The good pastor knows that the West is in a war against radical Islam, and that the Jewish people are, as he puts it, “the canary in our coalmine.”

He goes on to say that  “it is the Jewish State in particular that serves as the West’s warning system.  America must wake up to the understanding that Iran fully intends to destroy the United States of America.  When someone threatens to kill you, you should take it seriously. We must recognize those who threaten Israel have the United States in their sights.  To anyone with eyes to see and ears that hear, it is clear that Israel is in the greatest danger it has faced since six Arab armies tried to strangle the Jewish State in the birth canal in 1948.” He then made this point:

"Your fight is our fight; your enemies are our enemies.  We’re in this together to the end. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a new day in America.  The sleeping giant of Christian Zionism has awakened.  Christians are joining Jews in speaking out against militant Islam.  As you know, Ahmadinejad poses a threat to the State of Israel that promises nothing less than a nuclear holocaust."

There is no ambivalence or equivocation in Pastor Hagee’s words. He says, point blank: “Once again, those who would appease seek to do so at the expense of Israel.  Israel is always the one called upon to sacrifice.  They tell us that if we want the Sunnis and the Shiites to stop massacring each other in Iraq, then Israel must give up land.  And if we want the Syrians and Hezbollah to stop murdering the leaders of Lebanon, then Israel must give up land.  And if we want the Saudis to permit women to drive or vote, the obvious answer is that Israel should give up more land.”

He knows why there is no peace, and the answer is simple: “The problem is Arab rejection of Israel’s right to exist. The problem is Israel does not have a legitimate partner for peace.  The problem is radical Islam’s bloodthirsty embrace of a theocratic dictatorship that believes they have a mandate from God to kill Christians and Jews.  The problem is the failure of moderates in the Arab and Muslim world to stand up and rein in these Islamic terrorists.”

This is the truth that seems to elude not only President Barack Obama, but so many of the would-be wise men in our own country. All this came to mind when I read the very depressing but necessary assessment by Israeli historian Benny Morris, which appears in the new edition of Tablet magazine.  Both Morris, an Israeli, and Pastor Hagee, an American Christian Zionist, know how serious an enemy Israel and America face, and both know that little time remains to tell the world that they must now, before it is too late, force our allies and our government to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb.

Morris raises the issue of the elusive and evidently never-ending search of each new presidential administration to revive the so-called “peace process,” which, as we all know, is more of a joke than it ever was. He raises the issue of what is standing in the way of a two-state solution, that of a Palestinian state living in peace next to its neighbor Israel, and which the various doves in American Jewish circles -- primarily the J-Street crowd and the now rather lame Americans for Peace Now group -- constantly proclaim is their effort, and which they argue can be reached if only Israel makes necessary concessions.

The truth is that existed in 1947, when the UN voted on Nov.29 to create a Jewish and an Arab state side by side in the old British Mandate, which was due to be given up on May 15th of 1948. The Arab side, as my wife and I related in our book A Safe Haven: Harry S. Truman and the Founding of Israel, was put forth most clearly in a pamphlet published by the Arab League. It stated: “The whole Arab people is unalterably opposed to the attempt to impose Jewish immigration and settlement upon it, and ultimately to establish a Jewish State in Palestine.” They vowed to drench the Holy Land “with the last drop of our blood in the lawful defense of all and every inch of it.” Their demand was simple: “No partition, no further Jewish immigration and no Jewish State.” They would only accept what they called an “independent, democratic Arab state, embracing all of Palestine.” Of course it would be an Islamic state, and Jews would be in a status of dhimmitude,  accepting their given role as a small minority beholden to Islamic law and rule.