On Wednesday a United States amendment to a draft resolution that would have condemned the terrorist group Hamas was blocked at the U.N. General Assembly even before getting to a vote. U.S. Ambassador and future POTUS Nikki Haley called the move “shameful” and declared, “It is no wonder that no one takes the U.N. seriously as a force for Middle East peace.” This is just the latest example of the sort of anti-Israel resistance that the tiny Middle East democracy and its ally the United States confront daily in the Arab-Israeli forever war. What will it take to resolve this conflict? What is the solution?
Elan Journo offers one in his new book, The book is not a comprehensive history of this complex conflict, but a clarification of its essential nature and moral significance. Its central point is that America must reexamine and change its two-state approach, which Journo argues has not only come to nothing, it has made matters worse. While ostensibly supporting Israel, we actually have sold her out and empowered jihadists in the process.
Born in Israel and raised in the United Kingdom, Journo is a Fellow and Director of Policy Research at the Ayn Rand Institute whose articles have appeared in a such publications as Foreign Policy, Middle East Quarterly, and the Los Angeles Times. He is the co-author of Failing to Confront Islamic Totalitarianism, a contributor to Defending Free Speech, and editor of Winning the Unwinnable War.
In What Justice Demands, Journo puts forth a secular moral framework for the conflict in terms of justice. He begins in Part I by evaluating the moral standing of Israel and, in Part II, that of the Palestinians. He does this by asking the simple question, “Where would you rather live?” In what one French diplomat called the “shitty little country” of Israel, or in any of its neighboring Arab states? The latter, Journo details, are all authoritarian, totalitarian, and/or failed states which impose thought control, gender apartheid, and religious oppression, including honor killings and the dehumanization of gays; Israel, by contrast, offers intellectual freedom, gender equality, and a sexual tolerance unheard of anywhere in the Muslim world. Israel also offers prosperity and progress to all, in contrast with the Arab world’s widespread poverty, ignorance, and stagnation. Despite “the international chorus of denunciation against Israel—at the U.N., on campuses, in editorials, from the advocates of boycotts, sanctions, and divestment,” Journo writes, “[i]t is only in Israel that individuals in their daily life are free to set and pursue their own path and to achieve their own vision of a good life.”