I admire Ben Stein no end but I really wish he hadn’t said that “suppressing rebellions has been done in Egypt, Algeria, and Israel” in reference to the possibility of surprising the so-called Iraqi “insurgency.” The situation of Israel is nothing like that of France when it occupied Algeria.
To start with, the Palestinian territories are not a sovereign state invaded and occupied by a foreign force. The Palestinians may have their own banks, school system, media, and stock market (none of which Israel interferes with) but they have twice turned down official title to this disputed piece of land. Furthermore, in the French/Algerian conflict an indigenous people had fought to drive out foreign occupiers (quite brutal ones, at that). In this situation both groups are indigenous — in fact, if one really wants to dredge up ancient history, the Jews may have the older presence. Let’s remember the order of events here: Both groups of people had been living on the same piece of land, land owned by a confusing patchwork of owners. Israel gained official title to a piece of this land and was declared a state in the eyes of the world when the League of Nations, who administered these territories called “Palestine,” designated a narrow strip as the state of Israel. The Palestinians could have been granted title and statehood of another chunk of “Palestine” at that time but that would have meant taking a smaller piece than they wanted (they wanted the whole thing) so they rejected the offer presumably because they thought they could chase “the Jews” out militarily. They tried three times and they failed. In the 1967 attempt, Arab forces attacked from points in Gaza and the West Bank. Israel routed enemy troops from those areas and then took possession of those territories (in a very partial and mostly benign way) to ensure they would not be attacked from those hilltops and wadis again.
Thus is Palestinian violence against Israel really classifiable as “rebellion” — as opposed to another incarnation of this continuing war? To call Palestinian attacks a rebellion confuses cause and effect. The Israelis have entered and stay in the West Bank because the Palestinians continue — to this day — to use homes, schools and places of worship in that region as weapon depots, bomb factories, and staging areas in a continuing war (not rebellion) against Israel.p>Furthermore, Israel has not, to use Stein’s phrase, managed to “stamp out” terrorism — if we are looking for models of what is possible in Iraq. The Israeli police and military manage to stop about 90% of attempts. What Israel has shown is that it is possible to reduce attacks on civilians to a tolerable level — or a level at which a thriving democracy and economy can function day by day. This is what we can strive for in Iraq. br> — Stephanie Gutmann br> Author,
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online