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The events of “Naqba Day” are just one, very small proof that real peace is impossible.

Not “difficult.” Not “painful.” Truly, 100% impossible.

What were the thousands of protesters from Syria, Lebanon and Gaza demanding? Their demands are simple: the “right to return.” They want Israel to allow millions of Arabs of Palestinian descent to flood the country and turn it into another Arab state.


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The May 11, 2011 Wall Street Journal editorial “Engaged to Hamas” at first glance seems like the type of clear thinking on the Middle East that is missing from The Washington Post and The New York Times. The conclusion of the editorial stated:

There’s no way for any donor or for Israel, which transfers customs and other receipts to the Palestinian Authority, to ensure that money won’t be used by Hamas to launch more rockets on Israeli school buses.

Good, right? But here’s the problem – and it’s a big one – everything in that last line is correct, it is what is not being said that is the key to why the entire Arab-Israeli conflict goes unresolved. Even if Hamas does not “launch more rockets on Israeli school buses” assumes that Hamas is not evil and both needs and serves to be utterly and completely destroyed. Destroyed because it is evil. The moral thing to do is to destroy evil when it poses a “clear and present danger” or likely will again.


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Since World War II, Europeans have been understandably skittish about doing anything that could lead to armed conflict. Europe, and later the EU,  has generally stuck to using negotiations and (in extreme cases) sanctions as the only tools in their arsenal to cajole dictators and despots to get in line.

Not surprisingly, this strategy often fails.

Nevertheless, one can understand the European fear of conflict. Europe was devastated by WWII and the collective memory of the horrors of that war are still raw. Medium-sized towns in Europe lost more people in the war than America lost on 9/11.

All of this makes the recent flurry of stories about European countries being eager to recognize a Palestinian state all the more puzzling.


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Various corners of the American Left object to American Exceptionalism for their own reasons. I wrote about the phenomenon back in January, canvassing the reaction to a spate of conservative invocations of the concept:

When National Review published a cover story on the concept, The New Republic reacted with horror, advising that, as they understood it, the NR article’s premise “should disgust all historically informed citizens.” When Marco Rubio won his Florida Senate seat trumpeting American Exceptionalism, Peter Beinart ranted about such a “lunatic notion.” The Weekly Standard’s Andrew Ferguson got a chuckle out of Michael Kinsley’s Politico column titled “U.S. is not greatest country ever.” (Take that Senator Rubio.)

But this week in the Washington Post, Richard Cohen offered a different condemnation of Exceptionalism: that it is rooted in religious faith:

The huge role of religion in American politics is nothing new but always a matter for concern nonetheless. In the years preceding the Civil War, both sides of the slavery issue claimed the endorsement of God. The 1856 Republican convention concluded with a song that ended like this: “We’ve truth on our side/ We’ve God for our guide.” Within five years, Americans were slaughtering one another on the battlefield.

Therein lies the danger of American exceptionalism. It discourages compromise, for what God has made exceptional, man must not alter.


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Hudna is an Arabic term meaning a temporary “truce” or “armistice” as well as “calm” or “quiet”, coming from a verbal root meaning “calm”. It is sometimes translated as “cease-fire”. Hudna has a distinct meaning to Islamic fundamentalists; the prophet Mohammad struck a legendary, ten-year hudna with the Quraysh tribe that controlled Mecca in the seventh century. Over the following two years, Mohammad rearmed and took advantage of a minor Quraysh infraction to break the hudna and launch the full conquest of Mecca, the holiest city in Islam.

In an interview with the  MAAN News Agency (an independent Palestinian news service) Hamas party leader Mahmoud Az-Zahhar said that the party was willing to recognize a Palestinian State in some or all of “Palestine” but would never recognize Israel.


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