This delicate volunteer blue-and-white perennial in our garden isn't a Wandering Jew (Tradescantia pallida -- a native of Mexico), after all. We had thought it was all these years and went out this morning to get an image (above x10) to serve as a metaphorical lead-in to our post. But a quick search in Newcomb's Wildflower Guide revealed it's Asiatic or Common Dayflower (Commelina communis), first cousin to the Wandering Jew (More about the Dayflower Family here). Which is just as well. We had been thinking vaguely of the Wandering Jew of Christian folklore as metaphorical personification of the Jewish diaspora, or more broadly of "the doomed sinner, forced to wander without the hope of rest in death till the millennium." But before anyone gets the wrong idea, some of our best friends are doomed sinners.
"The reason Israel must not agree to a cease-fire now, and why a UN force must be rejected is the fact that the Arab nations may be starting to open their eyes," writes Jed Babbin in a clear-eyed, must-read Opinion Journal essay this morning:
The Hezbollah attacks began about two weeks after Israel suffered the usual international condemnations for its response to the Gaza-based Hamas kidnapping of an Israeli soldier. Even after the Gaza incursion, Iran and Syria -- emboldened by international condemnation of Israel's "disproportionate" response -- were convinced that Israel would do no more than make token raids into Lebanon. For the first time, Israel has acted in accordance with what used to be President Bush's theory: that a government that contains, supports or harbors terrorists is responsible for their actions. Israel is now demonstrating that there is a price to be exacted from nations who collaborate with terrorists.
The partition plan for Palestine adopted by the UN in 1947 "took on a checkerboard appearance," writes Mitchell Bard in the Jewish Virtual Library. "These boundaries were based solely on demographics. The borders of the Jewish State were arranged with no consideration of security; hence, the new state's frontiers were virtually indefensible." Even then, the UN was worse than clueless.
Speaking of opening one's eyes, the UN itself can be seen as the Mother of All Root Causes, its eyes tightly shut from the get-go, as the excellent Jewish Virtual Library explains. Take a good look at the UN's 1947 partition plan for Palestine (above), and ask yourself, what were they thinking? Isolated patches of land loosely connected by the narrowest of corridors in a vast matrix of land occupied by the enemy. As JVL says, the UN plan for Israel was "virtually indefensible":
The British tried to work out an agreement acceptable to both Arabs and Jews, but their insistence on the former's approval guaranteed failure. They subsequently turned the issue over to the UN in February 1947.
The UN established a Special Commission on Palestine (UNSCOP) to devise a solution. Delegates from 11 nations went there and found what had long been apparent: The conflicting national aspirations of Jews and Arabs could not be reconciled.
"On May 14, 1948, the day Israel declared its independence, the armies of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq invaded the tiny new country with the declared intent of destroying it." (Jewish Virtual Library map)
"As the partition vote approached, it became clear little hope existed for a political solution to a problem that transcended politics: The Arabs' unwillingness to accept a Jewish state in Palestine and the refusal of the Zionists to settle for anything less," JVL continues:
The implacability of the Arabs was evident when Jewish Agency representatives David Horowitz and Abba Eban made a last-ditch effort to reach a compromise in a meeting with Arab League Secretary Azzam Pasha on September 16, 1947. Pasha told them bluntly:
The Arab world is not in a compromising mood. It's likely, Mr. Horowitz, that your plan is rational and logical, but the fate of nations is not decided by rational logic. Nations never concede; they fight. You won't get anything by peaceful means or compromise. You can, perhaps, get something, but only by the force of your arms. We shall try to defeat you. I am not sure we'll succeed, but we'll try. We were able to drive out the Crusaders, but on the other hand we lost Spain and Persia. It may be that we shall lose Palestine. But it's too late to talk of peaceful solutions.
Who are you going to believe? The UN or your eyes -- and ears?