Reading The Australian can sometimes be awfully confusing. That was certainly the case with me after perusing the edition of 11 November. The word 'fundamentalist' seemed to crop up wherever I looked - with the result that I'm now at a complete loss as to who the real fundamentalists are. Are they the Zionists or the anti-Zionists?
On the one hand there was The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan telling us it's the Zionists: "How to push Israel to end all their settlement provocations and fundamentalist intransigence in Jerusalem and the West Bank?" he asked. [Answer: "[I]n a rational environment, the US would look to the massive aid that American taxpayers send to Israel..."(Israel reality check)]
On the other hand, co-authors Philip Mendes & Nick Dyrenfurth were drumming up a right little storm with their repetition (x5) of the 'f' word: "anti-Zionist fundamentalists"... "the fundamentalists"... "the fundamentalist agenda"... "the fundamentalists"... and "the fundamentalists." (The enemy within: The far-Left hijacked the Palestinian cause)
See what I mean?
Anyway, my confusion aside, what Philip Dyrenfurth & Nick Mendes particularly wanted to get across to the reader was their "win-win plan" for the fabled Middle East Conflict. And here it is in a nutshell: "More and more Israelis and diaspora Jews understand that Israel will not only have to freeze West Bank settlements, but eventually dismantle at the very least all settlements east of the security barrier. Equally the Palestinians will have to make concessions that facilitate peaceful relations. This means finally accepting that the 1948 refugees will only return to the Palestinian state and not to Israel."
Pure genius, Philip Mendes & Nick Dyrenfurth! You've found at long last the Holy Grail of Middle East Peace. Here, the pair of you, take a Nobel Peace Prize each from the jar. You deserve it.
But you know what they say about the devil being in the detail, so let's take a closer look at the lads' award-winning win-win plan: Israel already has 78% of historic Palestine, leaving 22% for a Palestinian 'state'. However, according to Philip Dyrenfurth & Nick Mendes' win-win plan, Israel is to get another 12.8% of that 22%, containing all those settlement blocs now conveniently west of the security barrier (or as your anti-Zionist fundamentalist would call it - the Separation Wall), and a further 25.2% in the form of the Jordan Valley. Subtract Israel's settlement blocs and the Jordan Valley from the 22% of historic Palestine known as the West Bank and that leaves precisely 14% for a Palestinian 'state'. Now that's a win-win plan for sure!
But you know what? It's really even more win-win than that. You see, according to Philip Mendes & Nick Dyrenfurth's win-win plan, all those Palestinians, who just mysteriously decided to go walkabout in 1948 when they saw a heavily-armoured Zionist win-win plan rumbling towards their village, and just as mysteriously couldn't seem to find their way back home afterwards (and who now number around 5 million), well they all get to go and rub shoulders in the 14% of historic Palestine to be known as the Palestinian 'state'. Now there's a win-win for you! Israel gets to keep 86% of historic Palestine, all Palestinian refugees are shoe-horned into the remaining 14%, and, hey presto, there are no more refugees with any reason to still call Jaffa, Haifa, Acre and hundreds of other towns and villages in Israel home.
But there's more - win-win that is. Nick Mendes & Philip Dyrenfurth didn't even mention occupied East Jerusalem, home to Islam's third holiest shrine, the Haram ash-Sharif. But not to worry, another Israeli contender for the Nobel Peace Prize has come up with a win-win plan for that: "Yehuda Glick is a 44-year-old American-born Jew who spends most of every day preparing for the arrival of the Messiah in Jerusalem. Since he became the executive director of the Temple Institute, Mr Glick's main task has been to supervise the manufacture of the utensils the high priests will need when the day arrives. Crowns and other instruments made of solid gold fill glass cases in the Temple Institute museum in Jerusalem's Old City. Other artefacts include an array of copper urns, trumpets made of silver and garments to be worn by the High Priest, woven from golden thread. Musical instruments, including hand-made harps and lyres, lie ready to be brought to life upon the Messiah's appearance... Jews call [the Haram ash-Sharif] the Temple Mount... Their religion holds that a third temple will be built [there] upon the arrival of the Messiah... Today the Temple Mount is dominated by the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the gold-topped Dome of the Rock. 'Al-Aqsa can stay', Mr Glick said, pointing to the mosque. 'It's not even on the Temple Mount proper. But we intend to just build over the Dome of the Rock... '" (Jews raise millions to be ready for coming of the Messiah, Jason Koutsoukis, Sydney Morning Herald, 14/11/09)
Sadly though, as Philip Mendes & Nick Dyrenfurth remind us, "the [anti-Zionist] fundamentalists of course will never accept this [or Mr Glick's] win-win plan. Such is the nature of black-and-white revolutionary socialism."