Warning – this is a disorganized rant.
Israel’s foreign policy is inherently flawed and unreasonable because it is too moderate, and because it is too focussed on a diplomatic peace that will never come.
In 1967, Israel was attacked (sadly a common occurrence). Not by a single enemy, but by all of its neighbors in the Middle East… at the same time.. from every angle. Israel pushed back its attackers and, in the process, claimed land that they believed would serve their strategic defense, a common practice in war. For the decades that have ensued, Israel has either given back or tried to give back most of this land in exchange for peace with its neighbors. When you have neighbors who are only willing to accept a single outcome: Israel being annihilated, it is very hard to use such diplomacy to achieve any real peace. Rather than accept the disputed land in exchange for peace, Israel’s neighbors have engaged in a public relations war, preferring to blame Israel for occupation of their land rather than gaining back that land in exchange for offering a promise of peace – a deal Israel has offered time and again.
The fundamental problem with Israel’s approach is that it is based on good-will and diplomacy with neighbors who themselves are unreasonable, in a world that consistently treats Israel unfairly and applies a double-standard. Hundreds of rockets are fired into Israel each day (still)… children are commonly targeted in terrorist attacks… its neighbors continually threaten to push Israel into the sea… and when ever Israel tries to defend herself – by building borders, or by attacking missile factories, or by using their military, they face disproportionate outcry from suckers throughout the world who simply do not understand the nature of the conflict.
Israel needs to learn that it can never win the PR war. That people will never treat them fairly. It’s not just that people are anti-semitic… most people are simply ignorant and do not understand the conflict… and perpetuate the propaganda that exploits the plight of the Palestinian people who are used as pawns by terrorists and powerful forces in the Middle East (namely, Iran and Syria) to add legitimacy to the terrorist approach of killing Israeli civilians.
If Israel really cared about their peace and security and looked at the situation realistically, they would stop focusing on how the world perceives them… they would cease their attempts at moderation, and they would act like most other countries of the world when its borders are threatened (U.S., Russia, France, Germany, England, Turkey, Japan, etc, etc, etc) and employ aggressive military tactics to win peace and security at all costs. Terrorists do not believe in moderation – and if we’ve learned anything over the past 100 years it’s that the only way to beat a terrorist is to cause their heart to stop beating.
If Israel placed peace and its own security as a top priority, it would indeed launch a war throughout the world to target and kill every terrorist and extremist, and every individual who supports them. I think people are smart enough to not underestimate their ability to do this.
Why does Israel refrain from pursuing its own self interest and begin a policy of killing all enemies who 1) have promised to kill them, and 2) have demonstrated the proficiency to do so? The answer is simple: in the face of threats and fear, and in the face of continuous and disgusting murder, the people of Israel continue to hold themselves to higher standards… they are fighting the terrorists without going down to their level, and without resorting to the same tactics that any other sovereign nation would use to protect themselves if they were in the same situation.
Israel is in many ways a victim of its own principles. International (and domestic) press can operate freely in Israel… something they cannot do in other Arab countries (well documented), and this leads to an unprecedented level of scrutiny. As a result, it becomes very easy to blame Israel.
I foolishly hope that one day people will look deeper into this issue and apply reason, rather than fall victim to propaganda.