Europe is on steroids. Benjamin Netanyahu has been in power for the past six years; and now, with the election just around the corner, a wave of support for a Palestinian state is gaining momentum. Someone suffering from paranoia would argue that this development is not coincidental; the campaign, however, began well before the government fell. Murphy's Law has created the link between the unnecessary election and the unhelpful decisions – timing from above.
Israel does not have to return to the Holocaust in order to illustrate the theater of the absurd. Hamas is a terrorist organization, and Israel is a sovereign state with a strong army. If the Israeli government decides to do so, it can bring Hamas to its knees. It's possible. When it fails to make such a decision, dramatic statements won't change a thing.
If there is a lesson to be learned from all of this, in keeping with the Hanukkah holiday, it's the need for practical Zionism. Anyone who has studied the history of the Hasmoneans' war with the Greeks knows that despite the courage and the miracles, a Jewish kingdom would not have arisen without Rome. The Romans agreed, signed a contract, and the Hasmoneans did the work. The songs at my children's kindergarten tell of how we were victorious alone; history tells it differently.
The biggest problem is the gap in understanding. Netanyahu spoke of two states for two peoples. He meant a small, demilitarized state on the basis of the Palestinian Authority territory – a political separation, not a security one, and only if he is pushed that far one day. The West, from its perspective, heard what it wanted to hear – a state along the 1967 lines. The Palestinian state that Europe wants to establish cannot be established. There isn't a prime minister capable of carrying out a mass evacuation of settlers and dividing Jerusalem. Israel can adopt interim measures, partial annexation and unilateral initiatives to break away from the Palestinians. It cannot turn back the clock five decades. As long as Israel fails to initiate its own policies, the Palestinians will take the lead. There's no small can of oil here; we're not going to get another miracle.
The altar of Jihad
Water dominates the Sydney landscape. When a visitor arrives in the city, he sees the water from the window of the airplane, from the roads and the bridges. The smell of the ocean permeates almost every corner. I returned from a lecture tour of Australia a few months ago. It was after Operation Protective Edge, and the Middle East had spilled over into the tranquility of the distant continent. Rallies for and against Israel were taking place throughout Sydney and Melbourne. Conflicts between Muslims and Jews were breaking out here and there.
During my free time, I was invited by members of the Jewish community on a sailing trip. I've spent several years at sea. I never say no to a sailing trip. We sailed along the coastline in a small yacht; and when the wind died down, we used the engine. My hosts told me about the history of the place and the homes on the beach – a lesson in real estate and sense of security.
One of the buildings we approached from the sea was the Prime Minister's Residence. He was in office there at the time. We sailed up close to it, within an arm's length. The windows of the home were wide open; the lawn was immaculate. There was no one standing between random visitors and the official residence. Out of all the ancient homes, prestigious real estate, the Opera House and the kangaroos wandering around the green areas, the access to the Prime Minister's Residence was the thing that made the biggest impression on me. I've seen a young Dutch prime minister riding a bicycle to a café before, but I've never witnessed such ease, such lack of concern for security. Australia is chilled – too chilled, in my opinion, for a country that is playing a part in the wars in the Middle East.
The terror attack that took place this week at a Sydney café isn't going to change the world order, but it is likely to rouse sleeping demons that already exist. Australia has a large Muslim community. In the 1980s, it took in tens of thousands of Shia refugees from Lebanon and hundreds of thousands from other Muslim states. Many of them have remained on the margins of society – and blame their new home, the West and even distant Israel. Just last year, around 150 young Australians joined up with Islamic State and other Jihadist groups in Syria. Every major city in Australia has a group calling for Sharia law. They are not the majority; but like elsewhere in the Muslim world, their voice is heard loudest of all.
Something's gone wrong with Islam in the modern age. You don't need to see the bodies of 132 children in Pakistan to realize this. Most of the blood that is being spilled on the altar of this insane Jihad is Muslim blood. Such is the case almost everywhere in the world. Something's gone wrong, and there's no one to fix it – because everyone's busy casting blame on the other. The biggest problem of the Muslim majority that wants to live in peace is one of responsibility – the moderates' inability to combat radical Islam.
Professor Edward Said of Columbia University was one of those responsible for this. He devoted his life to the claim that the West is to blame for the situation of the Muslims. He blamed colonialism for the poverty and backwardness. Israel is to blame for the situation of the Palestinians, he charged. He produced an entire generation of educated people with blindness and political correctness. Two weeks ago, I met a European diplomat who quoted Said during our conversation about the Palestinians. Said passed away a decade ago, after convincing a generation of extreme liberals to point a finger at themselves. Islam's blood fest lies in his wake.