Opinion Columns & Blogs

Cal Thomas: Ignorance of history threatens Israel, U.S.

On May 14, Israel observed the 63rd anniversary of its independence. But if the proposals made by President Obama in his State Department speech are implemented, that observance could be its last.

Why does anyone continue to believe that the unsuccessful "Land for Peace" formula can magically persuade Arab states and terrorist groups to lay down their arms and change their minds about a goal they have taught in their schools, preached in their mosques and reinforced in their media since 1948?

The president's peace formulation is as likely to succeed as Harold Camping's doomsday prophecy.

This is the reality, expressed by Hamas' former minister of "culture," 'Atallah Abu Al-Subh, and broadcast on Al-Aqsa TV: "The Jews are the most despicable and contemptible nation to crawl upon the face of the Earth." Would 1967 borders change his mind?

Here's another excerpt from Al-Subh's April 8 sermon: "Whoever is killed by a Jew receives the reward of two martyrs, because the very thing that the Jews did to the prophets was done to him."

He continued: "Allah will kill the Jews in the hell of the world to come, just like they killed the believers in the hell of this world." And "the Jews kill anyone who believes in Allah. They do not want to see any peace whatsoever on Earth."

This kind of "peace" means no Jews, with all Israel occupied and dominated by legions of Muslims who will impose Shariah law to the detriment of women and anyone who believes in a different God and different laws and rules.

The apologists for such rhetoric, which is legion, turn blind eyes and deaf ears to the intent and objectives of Hamas. Arab and Palestinian diplomats say one thing for Western consumption and the opposite when communicating with their own.

In his bold rebuke of Obama in the Oval Office, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a history lesson. Ignorance of history threatens not only Israel but also American interests and ultimately America itself. That's because Arab intentions to dominate do not end in the Middle East. "Peace based on illusions," said Netanyahu, "will crash eventually on the rocks of Middle East reality."

The prime minister noted that Israel's 1967 borders would be indefensible. All of the talk by this and previous administrations of "unshakable" support for Israel is meaningless if tanks, missiles and nuclear weapons are used against this tiny nation.

What would America do? Bomb Iran? Invade Egypt? Strafe Syria? State Department officials likely would wring their hands and blame Israel for its own destruction, saying it should have compromised sooner.

Very little good is likely to come out of the uprisings from Egypt to Syria and beyond, because there is no foundation in the region for political pluralism, religious tolerance and equality for women. Such things are not part of their political and religious DNA. So why is the U.S. sending billions more in borrowed money to Egypt when the Muslim Brotherhood candidate might win the upcoming election?

It is only when the State Department and the White House begin to understand reality that Israel's — and America's — interests will be served.

The public seems to understand that better than politicians and diplomats. A recent Rasmussen poll found that 78 percent of U.S. voters believe peace between Israel and the Arab world is unlikely. Thousands of years of history and common sense confirm this.

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