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Monday, May 16, 2016


It looked for a while like the myth of "linkage" - that Middle East peace and, by extension, world peace is dependent on Israel allowing itself to become nine miles wide - was dead and buried.

The Arab spring, Egyptian coups, Syrian civil war, Yemen conflict, Islamic State and Iranian belligerence all prove to any reasonable human that the Palestinian problem is a relatively small issue in the Middle East, and Arab governments have much bigger - and much more real - problems than spending their time worrying about whether a Palestinian needs to wait for a half hour at a checkpoint.

Yet the idea that somehow Israel is to blame for all the world's ills keeps coming up.
French FM Ayrault says the peace conference being planned by France is important as it can help stop the advance of the Islamic State terror group in the region.

“France has no vested interest, but is deeply convinced that if we don’t want to let the ideas of the Islamic State group prosper in this region, we must do something,” Ayrault tells reporters.
They can't just sit there! They must do something! Maybe a raindance, or a strongly worded letter to ISIS leaders? Because those would be just as effective as a Palestinian state in fixing the Arab and Muslim world's problems.

In fact, history shows that Israeli land concessions empower Islamic radicals to redouble their efforts. We've seen it before - Hamas gained power after Israel withdrew from Gaza, Hezbollah gained power after Israel withdrew from Lebanon. Somehow, those Islamic fundamentalists didn't subscribe to the idea that Israeli concessions would weaken them that the experts are so sure of.

And if withdrawing from the West Bank doesn't mollify ISIS, then we just may have to reviit the entire idea of a Jewish state altogether. Isn't that the next logical step?

The French FM isn't the only foreign minister to resurrect the linkage nonsense. Jordan's FM said the same thing:
Palestinian statehood is the most important issue now facing the world and that it fuels extremism gripping the Mideast, Jordan's foreign minister said Tuesday.

Nasser Judeh made the comment at the Arab Media Forum in Dubai.

Palestinian cause represents the essence of the conflicts and crises in the region," he said.

He added that "every day of delay where the international community does not exert pressure toward reaching a fair and just settlement of the Palestinian cause will lead to another day of darkness where the forces of extremism and terrorism can act. Then humanity as a whole will pay the price."
Yet as we have seen, Jordan doesn't want to put any skin in the game to help Palestinians when it costs them more than empty words.

Actually looking clearly at the problem of Islamic fundamentalism, and the hard work necessary to eradicate it, is an enormously difficult problem. Blaming Israel for it is enormously easy - especially for people who really don't like Jews and the concept of Jewish nationhood that much to begin with.




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