A Middle East Backgrounder
There are indeed two reasonable claims framing the Arab/Israeli conflict. They're not the claims you think. The Arab claim is for an empire. Only the Jewish claim is for national self-determination.
Those of you who’ve been enjoying (or at least following) my weekly series on America's spiritual crisis know that I wrapped it up last Sunday, having run most of the year. I’m pleased to announce that Academica Press liked the material so much that I’m now contracted to bring out a book incorporating, updating, and improving upon that material. Watch for it—and for an announcement in this space—some time in 2024!
Today’s note is on a different topic entirely. Perhaps the dominant story of the past seven weeks has been the new (very) hot phase of the Arab/Israeli conflict. That dispute has taken multiple forms, and gone through multiple phases, over the past (roughly) 150 years. The current action, of course, began with acts of unimaginable barbarism that Hamas orchestrated, then enactd with the joyful participation of ordinary Gazans, on October 7th. The perpetrators returned home, conquering heroes to an adoring public. The Western Woke/Islamist alliance flew into full gear to show effusive support. Everything that has happened since emanated from those ghastly actions.
Nothing happens in a vacuum. A few weeks ago, Ericka Redic—the host of the Generally Irritable podcast—dropped me a line. I’ve appeared with Ericka before courtesy of her collaboration with my American Coalition colleague Robert Chernin. Ericka was looking for a guest who could provide deeb background on the Arab/Israeli conflict. Robert pointed her toward my Vision for the Middle East. She booked me as a guest. Our conversation ran two hours.
Here’s the YouTube link. When will people learn that Rumble is far more reliable?
Ericka, her husband and producer Ben, and I had lots of fund. The conversation ranged pretty far. But for the benefit of my readers, here’s the cheat sheet:
There is a strong Arab claim for an empire. The Middle East was subject to imperial governance for nearly 2700 years, from Assyria to WWI (with only minor exceptions). All empires follow a common pattern: They are all multi-ethnic and they are all supremacist. The “emperor’s people,” even its peasants, operate as first among unequals. Other peoples, at best, enjoy considerable autonomy as long as they know their place and shrug off the occasional atrocity. A century ago, the Arabs offered to help defeat the Ottomans in exchange for a continuation of the empire under Arab rule. That plan was hardly unreasonable in light of the region’s history.
The Jewish claim rests upon the idea that nations long captive within Empires deserved self-determination. Zionism hardly created the idea of self-determination. The freeing of captive nations gave the world modern Greece, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, India, Pakistan, Poland, and so many other of today’s states. At the time—and for time immemorial—the peoples of the Middle East defined themselves by faith or tribe. None of today’s national designations (e.g., Syrian, Iraqi, Jordanian) predated the 20th century.
So there’s the conflict. If you favor imperialism and supremacism—hardly insane given that they’ve been common organizing themes through most of history—the Arab claim to controlling the totality of the region is for you. If you believe in self-determination for minority nations, congratulations! You’re a Zionist.
Now, what about the “Palestinians?” Who are they and what’s their story? Turns out, they’re not bashful about telling it (just read the charters of the PLO and Hamas). In the middle of the 20th century, the Arab elites created a hate movement whose sole purpose was the denial of Jewish self-determination. They consigned anyone who could forward any claim to any territory the Jews had liberated to be stuck in the movement.
Then those Arab elites realized that if they did unify into an empire, most of them would end up dead enemies of the ascendant emperor. They thus stranded these helpless “Palestinians” inside a hate movement fighting for a cause that no one else supports. “From the River to the Sea” describes an imperial objective. Every shred of the rightful imperial lands must be wrested from uppity lesser nations who have the audacity to seek self-determination.
There can thus be no “two-state solution.” There can only be military victory and defeat. If Israel wins, the small number of Arabs eager to become loyal minority members of a Jewish state will be absorbed into the Israeli polity, and the rest will be resettled in the Arab/Islamic world. If the Arabs win, every Jew unable to flee will face atrocities of the sort for which October 7th was a preview.
Why does the Arab/Israeli conflict persist? Because the Arabs lack the ability to win while the Israelis lack the will to win. Perhaps Israel’s current resolve means that the latter has finally changed.
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For more information about Bruce D. Abramson & American Restorationism, visit: www.BruceDAbramson.com
To learn more about how America’s elites destroyed the republic, see: The New Civil War: Exposing Elites, Fighting Utopian Leftism, and Restoring America (RealClear Publishing, 2021).
To learn more about the ideology driving today’s anti-American leftism, see: American Restoration: Winning America’s Second Civil War (Kindle, 2019).
To learn more about our work at the American Coalition for Education and Knowledge, visit us at The Coalition for America.
To learn more about how I turn the ideas I discuss here into concrete projects that serve the interests of my clients, donors, and society at large, please e-mail me at email@example.com.