Israel Report

April 2003         

Israel Can't Win for Losing

by Joseph Farah - April 2, 2003
Have you noticed the further Israel bends over backward to achieve peace with its neighbors, the more excuses those neighbors find for maintaining a state of war?

In the latest example, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad explains why no matter what the Jewish state does – even if it achieves a settlement with the Palestinians and other Arab states – Israel will never be a "legitimate state," presumably one Assad recognizes has an absolute right to exist.

Assad made the statements in an interview in the Lebanese paper Al-Safir – really a house organ for his puppet government in that state.

"There are countries in the Middle East with diverse nationalities, but they have social and historic cohesiveness," Assad explained. "Despite the ethnic diversity within each nation, the social fabric of the region, by and large, is one. On the other hand, the [social] structure in Israel is an anomaly. It is a country with one characteristic, which is a religious characteristic. Its democracy stems from this characteristic. It is not a democracy based on the state's boundaries. Therefore, it is inconceivable that Israel will become a legitimate state even if the peace process is implemented, because its structure deviates from the region's norm, and maybe from the whole world …"

Now, let's analyze this statement – something no one in Lebanon or Syria would dare do for fear of swift, sure and draconian reprisals:

For starters, let's apply the Assad litmus test to a nation run by some of his best friends – Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is the most religiously intolerant nation on the face of the earth – bar none. The kingdom restricts an entire city, Mecca, to Muslims alone. A Jew, a Christian, a non-believer isn't allowed to set foot in the city. While Saudi Arabia feverishly exports its brand of Wahabbi Islam around the world though support of maddrasses – schools that brought the world the Taliban of Afghanistan – it doesn't allow any evangelism by other faiths, Muslim or non-Muslim. In fact, it doesn't even permit private worship by non-Muslims to take place. Possession of a Bible is a criminal offense. There is not a single church or synagogue anywhere in the country. Yet, Assad has the temerity to criticize Israel for its secular and highly pluralistic style of government.

As far as Israel's structure deviating from the region's norm, I would suggest that is high flattery from Assad. There are some 22 police states surrounding Israel. The Jewish state is the one truly free country in the Middle East.

This interview should illustrate to the entire world just how futile are Israel's efforts to achieve peace with the Arab world through concessions and negotiations from a position of weakness. I really hope Washington is reading. I really hope this statement is not missed over at the Bush State Department. I really hope the White House is watching – even while it continues to push hard for the creation of a Palestinian state as the solution for peace in the Mideast. I trust the doves in Israel's own Labour Party read this interview and understand what it means.

It means there is nothing Israel can do to mitigate the hatred focused upon it in places like Damascus. It is an irrational hatred. It is a self-destructive hatred. It is a hatred that is all-consuming and unquenchable.

So, why try?

There's an old saying that the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. It seems to me that is exactly what Israel has been doing for more than 10 years in the so-called "peace process."

And why does the U.S. State Department continue to promote the same, old solutions despite their abject, undeniable failure over more than a decade?

Joseph Farah's nationally syndicated column originates at WorldNetDaily, where he serves as editor and chief executive officer.

©2003 -

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