Thursday, February 22, 2007

  • Thursday, February 22, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
Smooth Stone points to an interesting website with a PDF of an entire book, "The Case for a Larger Israel," by David Naggar. He argues that for lasting peace, Israel should expand. Naggar also has a blog that makes some interesting points.

Now, I am way too much of a realist to think that, no matter how compelling the argument, it would ever amount to much. But there is much value in making such an argument anyway, even if the idea itself is doomed before it can get started (not the least by the present Israeli "leadership.")

In the very first Mishna in the Talmudic tractate Bava Metzia a famous case is given. Translated into English:
If two persons hold a cloak, one says, "I found it," and the other says, I found it," one says, "All of it is mine," and the other says, "All of it is mine," the first one shall swear that not less than one half of it belongs to him, the other one shall swear that not less than one half of it belongs to him, and they shall divide it. If one says, "All of it is mine," and the other says, "Half of it is mine," the one who says "All of it is mine" shall swear that not less than three-quarters of it belongs to him, and the one who says "Half of it, is mine” shall swear that not less than one-quarter of it belongs to him; the former shall take three-quarters and the latter shall take one-quarter.
Israel has always been in the position of claiming only half, while the PalArabs always claim all. To the judgmental world, Israel's attempts to solve the problem peacefully by offering to share is interpreted as one side claiming all and the other side claiming half.

This is not the way to negotiate if you want to end up in the most advantageous position. And negotiators are expected to shore up their cases, not to give them away.

Arabs are fond to say that Israel's territorial ambitions stretch from the Nile to the Euphrates. Although the idea is absurd in today's political climate, Israel's claim to the land it has would be immeasurably strengthened if it consistently provided a maximalist negotiating position, rather than the minimalist one it has for the past decade.

The book argues, probably correctly, that an Israel that is much larger would benefit Arabs as well as the world. One only has to compare how Gaza is today with how it was under "occupation" and it isn't hard to see that Israel's rule at its "worst" is better than most Arab rule at its best. But the plausibility of the argument is not as important as the fact that it should be made and made often - because that is how one negotiates.

In the context of the Arab world, people like Abbas (as well as Arafat and Nasser) are considered "moderate." Now, in absolute terms, they are far from moderate - their positions are far more extreme than Israeli "extremists'" positions. But compared to the Muslim Brotherhood cadre of groups, they seem comparatively moderate. Repeat the "moderate" mantra enough, while Jews who feel that they should be able to live where Abraham lived are considered "extremist," and you have a formula for losing the bargain.

But if even some Jews would be putting forth the arguments that there are parts of Jordan and Syria that should be under Israeli control (parts of which were in biblical Israel,) and all of a sudden the Jewish residents of Hebron do not look quite as crazy.

For better of worse, the Arabs have turned Middle East negotiations into a bazaar, a souk where land and "refugees" and paper promises are the coins of the realm. It is way past time for Israel to play the game the way it is meant to be played.

Part of the game, by the way, involves walking away when there is no deal to be made.


EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz





For $18 donation

Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts in recent years


Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Interesting Blogs


#PayForSlay Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria Alice Walker American Jews AmericanZionism Amnesty analysis anti-semitism anti-Zionism antisemitism apartheid Arab antisemitism arab refugees Arafat archaeology Ari Fuld art Ashrawi ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz Bernie Sanders Biden history Birthright book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo cartoon of the day Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision Clark Kent coexistence Comix Community Standards conspiracy theories COVID-19 Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Ellen Horowitz Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Fake Civilians 2019 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry Ghassan Daghlas gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF IfNotNow IJ Benjamin Ilan Pappe Ilhan Omar impossible peace incitement indigenous Indonesia infographic international law interview intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya James Zogby jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter Joe Biden John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Judith Butler Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Know How to Answer Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Mairav Zonszein Malaysia Marc Lamont Hill Marjorie Taylor Greene max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Lynk Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Naftali Bennett Nakba Nan Greer Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO Nick Cannon NIF Noah Phillips norpac NSU Matrix NYT Occupation offbeat olive oil Omar Barghouti Omri Boehm Only in Israel Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB philosophy poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals RealJerusalemStreets reference Reuters Richard Falk Richard Landes Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Sarah Schulman Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians Seth Rogen settlements sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shelly Yachimovich Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Sovereignty Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Tlaib TOI Tomer Ilan Trump Trump Lame Duck Test Tunisia Turkey UAE Accord UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra vaccination Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks Winstanley work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zionophobia Ziophobia Zvi

Blog Archive