Self-inflicted disasters and delusions…writes Michael Kuttner

May 20, 2016 by Michael Kuttner
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Every year at this time our misnamed “peace partners” and their cheer leaders mourn the re-establishment of the Jewish State.

Michael Kuttner

Michael Kuttner

Referred to as the “nakba” this Arabic word means disaster or catastrophe and has become the all-embracing slogan for lamenting the fact that Israel exists and that Jews have succeeded in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds to create a technologically advanced democratic society.

One would have thought after sixty-eight years they might have received the message that their current plight is entirely one of their own making. If we were dealing with normal societies where logic and common sense prevail that would be the case. However given the dysfunctional state of Arab countries today, the symptoms of self-inflicted disasters and delusions have reached unprecedented levels. Instead of helping them to recognize reality, past and present, the international community prefers to support and promote policies which not only deny reality but also guarantee future disappointments.

This year and next year provide glorious opportunities for deniers of Israel’s legitimacy to blame everyone else but themselves for the mess in which they are now mired.

It is one hundred years since the signing of the Sykes Picot Agreement in which Britain and France divided up the collapsing Ottoman Empire amongst themselves. It was obvious that with the imminent defeat of Turkey those countries which had been subjected to oppressive Moslem Ottoman rule were going to find themselves under the control of the victorious Allied powers. This arrangement was subsequently legalized by the League of Nations and that is how Palestine found itself as a mandated territory controlled by Britain. Bear in mind that those who today call themselves Palestinians did not exist then. They insisted, quite correctly, that they were instead Arabs and an integral part of the Arab national movement in the Middle East. Therefore when one hears current revisionist complaints blaming the colonial powers (and their Jewish co-conspirators) being responsible for today’s “Palestinian Nakba” one can dismiss this as yet another long litany of lies which blames anyone and everyone but themselves for the miseries the Arabs find themselves in today.

Next year marks one hundred years since the issuing of the Balfour Declaration and already the delegitimization drums are beating a rising crescendo of blame and hate. This document which recognized the right of Jews to re-establish a Jewish homeland in their historic territory is seen by all those who want to deny the Jewish People the same rights as other ethnic groups as the beginning of all calamities which subsequently occurred. The plain and incontrovertible truth is of course that had the Arabs of the area at that time accepted the premise of Balfour to live in peace, harmony and co-operation with Jewish inhabitants of Palestine all concerned would have been able to reap the fruits of transforming the arid wastelands and malarial swamps into productive green oases beneficial to all.

The rejection of any sort of such harmonious relationship accompanied by the assassination of any Arab leader willing to contemplate such co-existence laid the foundation for every disaster and catastrophe which subsequently occurred. From that time until the present day the same failed jihad of hate, murder and mayhem has been promoted. Any dispassionate student of history can testify to the many missed opportunities by Arab society since 1917.

When the perfidious British reneged on fulfilling the territorial pledge of the Balfour Declaration and detached the east bank of the Jordan River territory in order to create what is in effect the Palestinian Arab State they laid the groundwork for future conflict. It ignited and fanned the flames of Jew hatred because it demonstrated to those who wished to eradicate any Jewish presence in the territory allocated for the Jews that terror and murder could be successful tools. As soon as the international community wavered and watered down its commitment to Jewish statehood those advocating violence became emboldened. The San Remo International Agreement adopted in 1920 which guaranteed Jewish sovereignty from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River still remains a valid legal document.

Today’s revisionists maintain that the Arab-Israel conflict began in 1948. In actual fact it goes back to at least 1916 if not before under Ottoman despotic rule. There have been countless opportunities to resolve this conflict. The fact that it is no nearer being resolved is entirely the result of one side refusing to acknowledge the legal, historical and moral right of Jews to their Land. This refusal is aided and abetted by a hypocritical international community which applies double standards, ignores existing valid agreements and prefers instead to take the path of appeasing terror and terror supporting States and groups. No wonder that those who call themselves “Palestinians” today have no incentive to compromise, negotiate and recognize anything other than jihadist Islamic demands. Why sit down and talk directly when you can get others to pressure and twist Israel’s arms?

As a result of generations of hate education, the inculcation of the wildest conspiracy theories and incitement not seen since the days of the Third Reich those who are now reaping the bitter fruits of past and current policies find it easy to blame all and sundry instead of themselves. I came across these lyrics of a song sung by Katy Perry, an American singer, which encapsulates this ethos of self-inflicted misery.

“I can’t stop don’t care if I lose

Baby you are the weapon I choose

These wounds are self-inflicted

I’m going down in flames for you

Baby you are the weapon I choose

These wounds are self-inflicted

One more thing I’m addicted to”

 One cannot sum up the meaning of Nakba any better.

This affliction is usually accompanied by self-delusion. The Oxford Dictionary defines this condition as a failure to recognize reality. Our much touted “peace partners” as well as countless others have suffered from this malady for many years and it seems that there is no possible cure in sight.

The clearest example of how self-delusion has become an accepted feature of international diplomacy was provided recently by none other than the present incumbent of the White House.

At a trade fair in Hanover, Germany, recently, Barak Obama stated that “this is the most peaceful and prosperous era in human history.” According to him there has never been a better time for the world and if someone had to choose a time in history to be born, it would be today. It shows how devalued the Nobel Peace Prize has become when someone who has been awarded this accolade can actually make such preposterous statements. I am sure that millions in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, parts of Europe and Africa will be scratching their heads and wondering where this Garden of Eden actually exists.

The trouble with self delusionists is their conviction that they are right and everyone else is wrong. It brings to mind a quote I read the other day:

“The earth revolves around the sun. This might upset a few out there who still think the world revolves around them.”

Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and is J-Wire’s correspondent in the region.


3 Responses to “Self-inflicted disasters and delusions…writes Michael Kuttner”
  1. Erica Edelman says:

    David David David …whilst your energy to promote your ideas is
    To be applauded, your enthusiasm surely must be waning..ten reasons why your plan is not working ..
    1. Jordan is not interested
    2. The UN is overloaded with anti-Semites
    3. The USA is not interested – $$$ as you suggested
    4. Putin is not interested in helping Israel and is busy selling
    Arms to adversaries of Israel
    5. Egypt now has no dog in the fight
    6. Hamas and Hezbollah et al have
    Gaza, West Bankers, Palestinians et al all on a string
    7. Iran Iraq Turkey Syria etc are too busy with ISIS to care
    8. Middle Europe and Ms Merkel are busy building (other) bridges and meddling in affairs
    That will come to haunt them
    9. Australia and NZ and Canada are insignificant in the greater picture so
    Their collective voices are tiny
    10. Britain is benign – too busy with domestic issues which are currently out
    Of hand – including the ISIS issues
    11. Western Europe and Eastern Europe also have domestic issues which
    Cannot be contained
    12. The Saudis and other wealthy Arab states previously
    Not Mentioned Have NO dog in the fight either and their own domestic product
    Is self sufficient
    There .. I’ve given you 2 extras
    I could go on to 20.
    Nobody changes what they don’t acknowledge – nor are
    Reluctant to consider
    Nope – Israel’s issues, I’m sorry to say, are going
    To be solved David and Goliath fashion – and that means
    Mourning the dead – fighting every inch of the way
    And I’m very Centrist!

    • David Singer says:


      Let me assure you my interest is not waning – only increasing in leaps and bounds as solution after solution is shredded in the garbage bin of history whilst the only realistic solution continues to stare world leaders in the face and makes fools of them for not calling for direct negotiations between Israel, Egypt and Jordan.

      Jordan is not interested? So do Obama, Merkel and the others shrug their shoulders and walk away? Do they do the same when Israel says “No” to their demands to continue negotiating with the Jew-hating PLO?

      Sadat and Hussein saw the light and signed peace treaties with Israel. Their successors can do so again in extending those peace treaties to include the allocation of sovereignty between them in the territory of Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

      So I am not yet ready to surrender to your view that the conflict cannot be peacefully resolved.

      Remember when Judea and Samaria were unified with Transjordan and the new territorial entity was renamed Jordan in 1950?

      Remember when Egypt administered Gaza between 1948-1967?

      Remember when the PLO in 1964 claimed no regional sovereignty in Judea, Samaria and Gaza ?

      If the Arabs want to regain any of that land lost in the 1967 Six Day War this is the way they will have to go about it.

      It does need pressure from all the sources you mentioned. It also needs them to understand how naive and foolish they all have been in pushing for two Arab States in former Palestine.

      They are sinking under the weight of that decision and will continue to do so until at least one of them proposes direct negotiations between Israel, Jordan and Egypt.

      When such negotiations are entered into and fail – then I will have to accept the inevitability of that decision.

      Until then it remains the only proposal that has any chance of peacefully ending a conflict that has raged unresolved for 100 years.

      If you know of any other proposal that can peacefully end the conflict – please share it with us.

  2. David Singer says:

    Great article Michael.

    However what remains unanswered is – how come the Arabs have successfully and spectacularly sold another very different narrative built on lies, half truths, distortions and outright deception?

    Why does the world fail to understand that an Arab Jew-free state – today called Jordan and created in 1946 – covers 78% of the territory of former Palestine originally meant to be an area within which the Jewish National Home was to be reconstituted in 1920 – but within which Jewish settlement was subsequently denied in 1922 – which the Jews accepted – but the Arabs did not?

    Why does the world believe that the only way to solve the 100 years old conflict between Arabs and Jews is to create a second Arab state – in addition to Jordan – in the remaining 22% of former Palestine?

    It is easy to give generalised reasons such as oil, petrodollars, national interest, Jew-hatred, increasing Moslem migration into Europe, terrorism and Islamic State.

    They may all indeed play a part or have played a part in the past in influencing world opinion.

    What is indisputable however is that all efforts to create that second Arab state in former Palestine – first postulated in 1922, then in 1937, 1947, rejected between 1948-1967 and re offered again in 1993, 2000/2001 and 2008 have all failed in spectacular fashion.

    When do the UN and the democratic nations of the world in particular say to the PLO, Hamas, Hezbollah and the bewildering array of Palestinian Arab entities all calling for Israel’s annihilation – enough is enough?

    When will they be told:
    “You have had 48 years to end the conflict with the Jews and like your predecessors over the previous 50 years you have all been abject losers foregoing opportunity after opportunity to end this conflict whilst subjecting generations of those you claim to represent to decades of false hopes and utter despair.”

    Forget the three state solution in former Palestine and go back to the two-state solution that has been on the negotiating table since 1922 – one Jewish State and one Arab State in former Palestine.

    Let the two successor States to that arrangement – Israel and Jordan – currently exercising sovereignty over 95% of that 1922 territory – together with Egypt – resolve Jewish and Arab claims to the remaining 5% where sovereignty remains unallocated.

    Then all of us – Jews and Arabs – can get on with enjoying life – not mourning death.

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