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Thursday, January 29, 2009

What's wrong with this statement?

In a statement marking international Holocaust Day, Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht said, "Belgium continues its unwavering support for the existence of the state of Israel."  [source]

Is it just me, or does it feel odd to anyone else that more than 60 years after Israel was founded, and in spite of all the contributions our tiny country has made to the world in the areas of natural sciences, technology, medicine and economics (just a small sampling of the areas in which we've consistently been net exporters), that the default question - even amongst our friends - remains: "Should Israel exist?"

It would never occur to anyone to voice such a question about India.  Yet India is exactly the same age (give or take a few months) as Israel, and has been at war with its Muslim neighbor and domestic insurgents (i.e. terrorists) for exactly the same amount of time as we have.  So why isn't anyone coming out with statements for or against the continued existence of India?

I place the blame for this squarely on our own leaders, especially the ones on the left who continue to press forward with what they naively call 'the peace process'. 

While Israel has been asked to make endless territorial concessions in the name of peace almost from the moment of it's birth, the core concession being demanded of our enemies since the so called 'peace process' began has been that they simply stop calling for our destruction and accept our right to exist. 

Call me crazy, but isn't that setting the bar a tad low?

We don't need anyone's permission or approval to continue drawing breath, nor do we gain anything at the negotiating table by making our existence a question for discussion.  Quite the opposite; by continuing to allow our enemies a formal referendum on our right to exist, we unwittingly encourage even our 'friends' to assume that this most basic fact remains in doubt.

Posted by David Bogner on January 29, 2009 | Permalink


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Those who don't recognize the existence of the State of Israel, seem to have alot of interests in the 'Islamic Governments', and somewhere along the way, are required not to recognize the 'Zionist Regime'.

Posted by: Rami | Jan 29, 2009 1:01:36 PM

Great post! I think that a lot of us Jews are overly apologetic by nature, not just for our existence as a country but for our existence as a people. I've found myself surprised recently, discovering that so many of the "solid" countries around us are actually the same age (or younger) than Israel. I wonder what makes them seem so much more stable? Maybe it's the dress code - let's try wearing more Canaani-style clothing for a year or so, and see if that helps our international approval stats :)

Posted by: toby | Jan 29, 2009 1:17:40 PM

Damn right. Seriously. What can the Arabs offer Israel? "We'll behave like human beings?" Should that not be the default for the civilized world? I guess when you pick and choose what you want, its easy to question the existence of Israel if you dont care about UN resolutions or what happens when you attack and lose a war. Seriously, this whole question is just 'sour grapes' over their own stupidity.

We ust aren't dealing with a rational society. If you know Star Trek, Muslim thinking is exactly like the Borg. You will be assimilated!! Resistance is futile! It's sick stuff, really.

Posted by: Joshua K | Jan 29, 2009 3:35:42 PM

Only one statement makes any sense in reply to that one, and it's the same sentence with the country names reversed.

Posted by: Yehuda Berlinger | Jan 29, 2009 3:41:44 PM

Joshua K, they are also like those other Star Trek characters called Pakleds, who are too backwards to invent or create things, and live only to make their stolen ships 'go', and when they can't figure out how to make their ships go, they kidnap people who can.

Posted by: Judith | Jan 29, 2009 5:51:40 PM


Evidently the Muslim world are a lot like Star Trek baddies. All we need is a transporter to send the bad ones away.

Posted by: Joshua K | Jan 29, 2009 8:47:03 PM

why not try and publish this entry to your blog as a letter to the editor of some daily paper in Belgium? I would not change a word, just copy and paste . who knows it may start some interesting correspondence and debate there, can you be bothered? Shabbat Shalom. yaffa

Posted by: yaffa glass | Jan 29, 2009 8:48:53 PM

"Belgium continues its unwavering support for the existence of the state of Israel."

This is why I vote to locate UN headquarters in Belgium, instead of the USA. The above quote just says SO MUCH about UN-type thinking:

"Let's see... we have to craft a statement that all countries can agree on. Hmm... how about this -- 'gravity is a force of nature?' Yes? All in favor? Okay! Let's get the pamphlets printed!"

Even then, on the "gravity" question, I'll bet the vote would be 320-4 or thereabouts.

Point being, only the most tepid statements can be made publicly. The foreign minister sounds like a UN guy in the making.

P.S. I would like to go on record as having unwavering support for the existence of North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan, Israel, South Africa and Uruguay.

Posted by: Wry Mouth | Jan 29, 2009 10:33:56 PM

Amen! Great point David.

Posted by: alice | Jan 29, 2009 11:11:54 PM

...And the next day, the Belgian minister voiced his unwavering support for the existence of peanut butter, molecules, the letter "F", pot roast, and Tulsa, Oklahoma. "And we will not be budged from our position," he said bravely...

You're right. On closer inspection, it does start to sound a tad silly.

Posted by: psachya | Jan 30, 2009 3:35:44 AM

I was going to point out that you forgot the quotes around the word friends in the first paragraph, but I see you corrected that in your conclusion. As they say, "With friends like Belgium ..."

Posted by: Bob | Jan 30, 2009 5:34:35 AM

What do the readers of Treppenwitz think of this column?


Posted by: Drew | Jan 30, 2009 7:03:48 PM

"I continue my unwavering support for the existence of the state of Belgium."

As long as they keep making weird beer. Otherwise? Pfaugh.

Posted by: Elisson | Feb 1, 2009 2:55:27 PM

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