Congo and the Palestine

May 25, 2006

After a two-year long hiatus in the talk about “Palestinian state” caused by the failure of the Middle East’s “road map to peace” that was supposed to lead to a “two-state solution” of Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Olmert’s plan to unilaterally demark borders and impose on the Palestinians their own state set the tongues a-wagging and pens a-writing again.

The reason for all this spewing of words is the concern for the geographical shape of the resulting Palestinian state. In today’s editorial, the New York Times is worried that the Palestinian state will not be “viable;” editors’ frustration apparently based on the assumption that if “viable,” a Palestinian state will not be prone to engage in violence against Israel.

Which – with no respect due to the New York Times – is just so much hogwash.

Why? Just look at two countries, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Monaco, for an answer. The former, a manifestly “viable” state – huge country awash in natural resources. The latter is manifestly “non-viable,” occupying but a few square miles of land.

Now, to the editors of the New York Times – or to the diplomats and politicians who insist that the Palestinian state must only be “viable” (viability manifested, of course, by it being within the ’67 borders) – the question of which of the two – the Congo or Monaco – is the happier land, must appear just stupid. Of course, the Congo is the paradise on Earth, while Monaco is just one piece of misery.

Well, Dear Editors, you have it completely wrong. The situation is exactly the opposite. Congo is a miserable, war-torn place, while Monaco is one of the best places to live in on the face of the Earth.

And here is why: the motivations to wage the war or to live in peace are lodged in our mind, not in the material conditions in which we live. You will be violent if you put yourself into the violent frame of mind, and peaceful if you don’t – no matter what size your property is. Citizens of Congo find many reasons to wage war; citizens of Monaco find it best to engage in trade; and so Congo, for all its natural wealth, is miserable; and Monaco, for all its tiny size, enjoys freedom and prosperity.

It’s all in the mind. Once the Palestinians examine their own history, to discover that Palestine is “Arab land” only because of the past Arab “aggression and occupation,” and that the land they claim exclusively their own had millennia-long history that preceded the Arabs – the Palestinians will lose the bizarre perception that the cause of destruction of Israel is based on some historical “right.”

And when they give a thought to a fact that, because of the problem of the third party, they cannot possibly know whether Mohammed was a prophet and whether Koran is God’s word, they will realize that Islam is just a religion like any other one, not some superior “True faith” – and that the non-Moslems are not religiously inferior to the Moslems, the religious (or, to be more precise, idolatrous) motivation to wage “Islamic resistance” and “jihad” will disappear too.

Only than, with their minds cleared of idolatrous, violence-fostering “Truth,” will the Palestinians become peaceful – and their state will be “viable,” no matter what its geographic configuration.

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