Bill Murchison

Yes, true enough, the Obama administration's position on Israel isn't throw 'em out, in the Thomas manner; it's trade territory for "peace." One difficulty here is that Hezbollah's policy as to dealing with the Israelis is pretty much the Thomas policy: Kick 'em out; send 'em back to "wherever they came from." This, you might say, augurs poorly for peaceful satisfaction of Palestinian grievances. Compromise -- a useful Western tactic in bargaining, whether politically or commercially -- isn't a characteristic of the Arab/Palestinian approach to dealing with Israel. The reason Middle Eastern "peace talks" seem never to go anywhere is that some of the parties to the talks think the word "go" applies only to the Jews.

It would be silly and sentimental to hold up the Israelis as little plaster gods. Even in Old Testament times -- thumb randomly through the Pentateuch for a top-drawer view of the human condition -- their forebears were wont to blow it! If it comes to that, don't we all blow it? Yes, the mighty United States can't even balance its budget.

We hold up the Israelis not as models of human rectitude but as that which is rare in the modern world -- friends, allies, co-conspirators in the freedom game.

But if Madame Thomas got her way, wouldn't that make the Middle East somehow all right? Hardly. The first datum to contemplate would be the American sellout that made possible the subjection of Israel to Arab designs. The second datum would be the unslaked bloodthirst of Israel's enemies -- their hope for revenge, their joy in jihad.

Oh, yes, fine; go on and throw freedom-loving Israel to the wolves. Just don't expect anything good to come of it. Good comes only randomly from folly, cowardice and malice -- and then only as a warning never to repeat the experience.

Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
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