Monday, June 6, 2016

Want peace in the Middle East? Forget the French. Here's the solution

(a note for you: I wrote this essay on June 3rd. But when I went to publish it on the blog, it disappeared—completely. It was gone.

In my amazement, I didn't know what to do. Where had the essay gone? I had no idea.

So I did the only thing I could think of: I published a call for help. I asked, could this essay be retrieved? (it's published below for June 3rd, called, "An essay has just evaporated. Can you help me?")

Several readers sent suggestions. One suggestion looked like it would work. But when I tried it, it didn't work.

Then, this morning, I thought again about this last suggestion, and tried something: it worked. Somehow, I had indeed published this essay--but not for that day, June 3rd. Somehow, the essay had successfully published for May 22nd. I have no idea how that had happened.

I thank my readers for helping me get it back. I have freshened it up so that it makes sense to read on June 6th.

Yes, the size of the text is not to my liking. I hope it's okay for you but I don't want to try to fix it.

I figure if I fiddle any more, the essay might disappear again!)

You may have noticed that June 3-5, 2016 passed with a whimper, not a celebration. On June 3rd, France opened an international conference for peace between Israel and the 'Palestinians'. It brought together something like 20+ nations and international organizations to do what no one else has been able to do--get Israel and the Palestinian Authority to make peace (Herb Keinon, "France convenes Mideast peace parley, without Israel or the PA", jerusalempost, June 3, 2016.

Everyone who counts was there in Paris. That is, everyone important was there except the two whose fate the conference is supposed to determine: the Jews and the 'Palestinians'.

The French believe that this is how they will bring peace to the Middle East: they won't invite the warring parties to their peace talks!

Don't believe the French. The conference may indeed (by year's end) bring the warring sides together. But the conference attendees (and especially the French) really have no clue how to bring peace to the Middle East.

Of course, peace in the Middle East is possible. It's just that no one wants to listen to how to do it.

Here's a solution that is absolutely guaranteed to help bring calm and quiet to the Middle East. It's so simple, you'll laugh at it.

You'll see this solution in a moment. But first, consider the nature of the problem.

I think most of us would agree that the fastest road to peace between two adjacent countries is for both of those countries to offer freedom to their respective peoples. Certainly, Israel is a free country. It offers freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion to all of its citizens. I don't think it would fair very well next to a totalitarian regime. I don't think a Jewish free country would do well next to an anti-Semitic regime that hates Jews and the Jewish religion.

All you need do to understand that is look at the history of Israel since 1947. Establishing an anti-Semitic totalitarian country next to Israel won't change anything. It won't bring peace. It'll just give an existing anti-Semitic regime greater status on the international stage.

In the Arab world, freedom suffers horribly. Saudi Arabia is one of the world's worst abusers of freedom, and Syria abuses freedom more than any other nation in the world ("Freedom in the world, 2016", Kuwait, Lybia, Egypt, etc aren't far behind.

Blasphemy and apostasy laws are rampant in the Arab world. They are used to repress freedom, not spread it ("U.S. Report on Religious Freedom in Middle East", wilsoncenter, May 20, 2013). Dissent is quashed in the Arab world with increasing aggression (freedomhouse, ibid).

When it comes to freedom, the Arab world seems expert at repressing it. That was why, when the so-called 'Arab Spring' began in 2010, many western leaders believed that these political uprisings would actually lead to greater freedoms for the people of the region ("Arab Spring adds to global restrictions on religion", pewresearchcenter, June 20, 2013).

But that didn't happen. Instead of bringing greater freedom, the 'Arab Spring' made the abuse of freedom worse: restrictions and oppression increased (ibid).

The Arab world presents you with a very simple choice: if you aren't Muslim--or, if you aren't the right kind of Muslim--you are not wanted. If you practice any unwanted religion, you've got a good chance of dying from unnatural causes.

Freedom of speech? Forget it.

Freedom to assemble? Forget it.

Freedom of choice in the political arena? Forget it.

Are the 300-million+ Arabs living in the Middle East doomed to be forever oppressed? Do they have any chance to experience freedom?

The answer is, yes. In fact, bringing freedom to the Arab world is also the road to peace with Israel--at least, according to one man. 

That man is satirist Andrew Klavan. As the French pack up after stage one of their international conference, it's worth your time to see what Klavan's got in mind.

Klavan's solution for bringing both peace and freedom to the Middle East is short. It only takes him 3:29 minutes to lay it all out. The French should be so brief.

Of course, you'll laugh at Klavan's suggestion. It sounds just a little crazy. But then, I think you'll agree that what he's got to say isn't funny at all--or crazy. He's right.

Watch the video. Then, I'll ask you answer three simple questions:

Okay, now answer these question:

-what is Klavan saying about the Arab Middle East?

-What is he saying about Israel?

-what should we tell the French about peace?

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