Hezbollah does not fight now to destroy Israel. Rather, it fights on behalf of the “oppressed” Palestinians. Eliminate Hezbollah now, and another guerilla group will come in its stead. Someone will always stand up for their oppressed brethren.
And truly they are oppressed. They live in a state that proudly proclaims itself Jewish, whose national anthem— The Hope—is Jewish, and which welcomes Jewish, not Arabs immigrants.
It would take only fifty miles’ resettlement of the Palestinians to let both Jews and Arabs live in their own monocultural states. True, no one wants to be evicted, or even relocated to a nearby house, but sometimes there are no options. Palestinians are not some idyllic pastoral farmers for whom life is centered on the ancestral land plot. They travel to study and to work like people in any other state. They will not enjoy relocation and the loss of work opportunities in Israel, but Greek Turks, Turkish Greeks, and Polish Germans hardly enjoyed their relocation, either; yet it produced lasting peace. Modern Israel is a new state. No new state was ever founded without relocation of the locals. Transferring them fifty miles with full compensation for their property is generous without precedent. That generosity is counterproductive because it transfers the issue from statehood to the moral plane. The relocation, normal by the standards of statehood, is outrageous if only the moral context is considered. The world had no problem with Israel prompting 600,000 Palestinians to leave in 1948. That was an understandable affair in a recognizable pattern of military action and the formation of a state. Now, when Israelis implore the Palestinians to get away to Jordan and offer to pay for their transfer, that does not seem like a recognizable action of a state, and foreigners evaluate Israeli actions in a different cognitive framework, that of peaceful neighborly morality. In that framework, out of the actual context, the relocation of Palestinians does not stand up to scrutiny.
Even the secularists, who attempt to define Jewishness in terms of living in Israeli democracy, accept that Jewish and Muslim cultures are fundamentally different. Even tolerant Western societies like France or America attempt to integrate Muslim immigrants. Behind the weasel word integration is a simple thing: Muslims are different, and their Western hosts do not want to tolerate such diversity. Why should Israel? The Jews did not occupy the Middle East and exile or degrade its population. No, the Jews densely settled a minuscule place. Canada, Switzerland, and many other countries are administratively divided along ethnic lines; culture and nationality preserve their importance in the cosmopolite world. Some Christian sects in America live in their own communities without strangers, and possess more land than the Jewish state. Red Indians have full autonomy in their lands; are the Jews less distinct than Indians? Having carved out a small place for themselves, the Jews do not want to share it with aliens, hostile or not.
Russian Orthodox Christians staunchly defended their brethren in Yugoslavia. It is natural to favor one’s kin, genetic or cultural. Kin is expected to help us against the others, and we help it, too. People compete in groups, and kin is the least arbitrary group. People of the same culture are predictable and can be trusted; they share goals and enemies, and thus interests
How odd is it for a religious group to have its own state? Ask the Vatican. Britain requires of its citizens absolute conformity with the principles of the Magna Carta, and America with the Bill of Rights. Those who do not believe in the justice of those principles, and are not prepared to observe them without believing, should move. And so it is in Israel. How odd is it to fight for religion? Much less odd than training until exhaustion for years or decades, preparing for some sports competition and staking hopes on a meaningless prize.