Kerry’s Dangerous Utopianism

On Saturday, Secretary of State Kerry said this:

One of the reasons I’m going to Saudi Arabia is that Saudi Arabia’s initiative holds out the prospect that if the parties could arrive at a peaceful resolution, you could instantaneously have peace between the 22 Arab nations and 35 Muslim nations, all of whom have said they will recognize Israel if peace is achieved.

Imagine how that changes the dynamics of travel, of business, of education, of opportunity in this region, of stability. Imagine what peace could mean for trade and tourism, what it could mean for developing technology and talent, for job opportunities for the younger generation, for generations in all of these countries.

Imagine what peace could mean for an Israel where schoolchildren, some of whom I’ve seen in the course of my many visits here, so that they could actually run around a playground without the threat that a rocket might come from Gaza or from Lebanon and have to seek shelter during the course of the day.

Yes, let’s imagine . . . 

This is sheer utopian fantasy. First, the “parties” to the present round of peace talks don’t actually include Hamas and Hezbollah, the two entities most likely to launch the rockets from Gaza or Lebanon. In fact, Hamas has already declared any peace agreement between Israel and the PA to be ”non-binding.”

Second, there is precisely zero chance that “22 Arab nations and 35 Muslim nations” will recognize Israel as a Jewish state if “peace” is achieved.

Let’s not forget our history. The original U.N. partition plan called for a Jewish state and a Palestinian state. The Palestinian state was irrelevant to the larger Arab world, as Jordan and Egypt promptly gobbled up Palestinian areas closest to their territory. The Jewish state, on the other hand, was intolerable, and massed Arab armies tried to drive the Jews into the sea.

The Arab armies lost this war, a loss they’ve since spun into a monstrous injustice. In 1967 they tried again, massing armies on Israel’s borders and threatening to wipe Israel off the map. Once again, they spun their lost war into an injustice — an international cause on behalf of a Palestinian population they had denied statehood to when they had control.

There is nothing magical about the 1967 borders. Israel lived within those borders from 1949 to 1967, and the Arab world still wanted to wipe it off the map. Nor is there anything magical about those borders today. The Palestinian Authority still teaches its people that “Palestine” includes the territory of Israel.

Peace will not be gained by drawing lines on a map. Instead, changing those lines represents nothing more than the first stage of a larger plan of conquest to an Arab and Muslim world that seethes with anti-Semitism and seethed with anti-Semitism long before Israel took the West Bank from Jordan and Gaza from Egypt.

The problem isn’t Israeli “occupation.” After all, where was the international outrage over Egypt’s and Jordan’s respective occupations of Gaza and the West Bank prior to 1967? Where were the clownish academics boycotting Egyptian or Jordanian scholars? The problem is anti-Semitism, and for the anti-Semite, Israel’s very existence is an anathema.

’Peace, peace’ they say, when there is no peace” — no peace until the Muslim world recognizes the Jewish state of Israel.

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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