Saturday, October 5, 2013
It will lead to a duplication of the sectarian bloody violence between Christians and Moslems and between Shia and Sunni, that has rocked Lebanon for more than three decades. One does not have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that the Palestinians need a state of their own and the Jews need a state of their own. If for some readers, the two-state solution seems bad, then it is the least bad solution. With a one-state encompassing Israel/Palestine Jews will very quickly become a minority. They will likely be treated the way minorities often get treated in the Arab and Muslim world - just take a look at the Copts in Egypt or the current inter-ethnic bloodshed in Syria or the exodus of Christians from Iraq, the oppression of the Bahais in Iran and the brutality meted against the Kurds in Turkey. Jews will inevitably emigrate from this new one-state utopia. The Arabs are using fancy sounding diplomatic jargon to try to accomplish what decades of war and terrorism could not accomplish.
Modern historians estimate that more than ½ million Ethnic-German died as a result of their forced expulsions from Central and Eastern Europe. Once over the border, the Sudeten Germans were crammed into filthy refugee camps, some of which had previously served as concentration camps for enemies of the Nazi state. It was a brutal and awful time for the Sudeten Germans. But there had been a war. Their ‘people’ lost. And that’s what happens in wars.
Imagine if Germans were like Arabs. Instead of the German population striving to settle the Sudeten German refugees into their cities and assimilate them into their society, they would have kept them deliberately impoverished in refugee camps. They would point across the Czech border, and tell their wretched ‘refugees’ that Slavs they had ‘stolen’ their lands and must be blamed for their misery. The children of Sudeten Germans would grow up in overcrowded shanties, filled with hate and dreaming of blowing up Slavs in a Prague cafe.
Germans everywhere would demand the ‘right’ for all descendants of Sudeten Germans to ‘return’ to the Czech lands, to ensure the demographic dominance of ethnic Germans.
But European culture isn’t Arabic culture. Europeans look to the future. They thrive and prosper. Today, you can drive from the Czech Republic into Germany without even realising you’ve done so.
At the end of World War II 3 million Sudeten Germans were expelled from the former Czechoslovakia, where their communities had lived since the 13th century. Their homes, lands and businesses were taken from them and they were allowed to take only the belongings they could carry on their backs before being marched, at gun-point, across the German border. History happens. Borders change. Some people lose. Some people win. It was the way for thousands of years and in some cases, it still is.
And the irony is that throughout history Arab and Muslim peoples have been no strangers to changing the borders and demographics of the lands they’ve conquered.
There is absolutely no point whatsoever in engaging in a debate about the rights or wrongs or historical detail of the Israel/Palestine situation. The facts are that Israel exists. The clock can’t be turned back. Neither Arabs nor Muslims have a very good track record of coexisting with Jews. The only way forward is to recognise these facts and try to make the best of the situation.