Disclaimer: The title is a little misleading. I support Israel's right to exist. I don't support all of their policies or politics.
The reason the subject of Israel is such a polarizing one to we bystanders in America and other countries not intimately involved in the matter is because of the intractability of the firebrands on both sides of the issue. This is furthermore complicated by the sheep that blindly follow one or the other sides of the discussion without so much as clear, critical thinking on the matter.
Why is it so polarizing? Here’s my theory. Zionism had been a political movement well before the Second World War. It is a secular movement loosely based upon the covenant God made with Abraham as outlined in Genesis. God promised Abraham that the land roughly encompassing the modern state of Israel would belong to Abraham and His descendants forever.
Following the Holocaust, liberal reactionaries who were incapable of seeing the third and fourth order effects caved to the Zionists in their massive guilt for the fact that the Holocaust happened. Indeed it did happen simply because liberals like Chamberlain did not have the intestinal fortitude to stand up to pure evil. So, the modern state of Israel was mandated by fiat of the United Nations in 1948. And we all know the history following that. Liberal idealists created the state of Israel.
When the Cold war began, just as in every other segment of the world, an us versus them polarization took place. Israel naturally looked to the United States as effectively its creator and protector from the expected backlash of the Arabs and Palestinians revolting against Western interference. Once again, America was polarized by political figures to divide people into two camps. The truly Marxist, anti-American left of the hippy generation exemplified in the Weather Underground, the Students for a ‘Democratic’ Society amongst others used the useful idiots of the Palestinian peoples as their cause célèbre to promote their ideological agenda. The political Zionists naturally moved from the Truman and Kennedy Democrats to a new, uneasy alliance with the Country Club Republicans of Nixon, Ford, and Rockefeller. Again, throughout Reagan’s time, rather than supporting truly oppressed peoples in Poland and other blocks of Soviet dominated parts of the world, the political left continued to use the Palestinians as examples of the supposed oppressive nature of ‘capitalism’ and ‘imperialism,’ conveniently forgetting that their own political patrons of their fathers generations created the manufactured modern state of Israel.
When the Cold War ended, the ideological blocks remained affiliated with their political sponsors. True, some Democrats remained solidly pro-Israel (Lieberman) and some Republicans remained traditional Conservative (Buchanan, Ron Paul) and were very anti-Israel.
How to Deal with It:
Most of this story is very well known. The problem today is that no one wishes to deal with it in an adult manner. Unfortunately that is especially concerning the so-called leaders of the Palestinian peoples. Was the creation of Israel a mistake? I think so. Did Palestinian people get forcibly removed from their land? Absolutely. What’s the solution? It’s over sixty years since Israel’s creation. Is it ‘fair’ to place people back on their fathers’ or grandfathers’ land that the would-be new occupants have no experience or knowledge of? I don’t know. Is it fair for the United States of America to deport the millions of Californians and Texans from the former Mexican soil? Is it fair for Germany and Russia to remove their people to make room for an entire small nation of Jews to resettle them in Central Europe?
The problems here are self-evident. The solutions are not. Like the question of Amnesty in the United States, there is no easy answer. There is only compromise. The problem is that HAMAS and Fatah have zero desire to compromise. They do not want a permanent solution to this issue. To do so would mean a loss in their political power. So long as there remains an ‘oppressed minority’ they have their power. Similarly, so long as ‘racism’ is ‘rampant’ in America, the race pimps of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton will have power… and donations.
Oh, and I don’t support Israel because of the kooks on the right either. I don’t believe they remain God’s chosen people as a literal fact throughout the entire continuum of the human experience on earth. God created a new covenant with His people due to the inability of the Jewish people to keep their covenant with God. This covenant is now based upon grace and forgiveness through Christ. So, no, I do not hold to people like Beck and Haggee who believe Christ will return to restore the physical nation of Israel.
I support Israel because I do not wish to see the stated goals of HAMAS of the destruction of Israel and the slaughter of her people. I support Israel because they are a nation founded on the rule of law… which is a far cry from a ‘democratic’ election in Gaza. When there is no rule of law, there is no protection of individuals and rights.
Of course Israel has to change and has to come to a meaningful and lasting conclusion. But when you are threatened with your very physical existence, you have to take steps to protect yourself. When you make concessions that net you nothing except closer rocket bases from which HAMAS can shell your cities (the return of Gaza), you learn not to trust your fellow ‘brokers of the peace.’
What’s the solution? I believe nothing meaningful will happen unless power brokers like Jordan (who have oppressed the millions of Palestinian refugees in their borders as long as Israel has) and Saudi Arabia hold the leaders of the Palestinians to their word and to their agreements. Only when the Western nations can hold Israel to its concessions and when Arab leaders stop using Israel as the ultimate straw-man with which to maintain their power and hold the Palestinians to their word, can there be a lasting peace and a lasting solution.
But, the firebrands throwing the word Nazi around will not bring that change.