Darfur, the Arab League, and the Jews

Just when you thought Darfur couldn’t get more grotesque, it does: the invaluable Eric Reeves points out that both the Arab League and the African Union have decided to hold their summit meetings in Khartoum, the capital of the genocidal Sudanese regime. No doubt these meetings will be quite a feather in the regime’s cap, and show potential other mass killers how little retribution they will face. This is one of those events when words almost fail you.

Almost. In fact, the Arab League has unwittingly given critical support to the Zionist idea.

One of the most seductive ideas going around in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is that of the “one-state solution”. Never mind all the talk about where the borders of a Palestinian state will be, say its advocates: why don’t we just have one binational state? Anytime you see the phrase “Israel/Palestine,” that’s a pretty good indication that the author is headed in this direction.

While some supporters of this idea may have the best motives at heart, it’s hardly surprising that the idea took off in Palestinian circles as soon as it became clear that if the descendants of the 1948 Palestinian refugees actually came back to live inside Israel proper, Israel would then have an Arab majority. No matter, they insist: what we want is a state free of “racism”, where all peoples can live in harmony.

They might want to tell that to the residents of Darfur, who are being slaughtered essentially because they are not Arab. If an Arab government will do this to Muslims–and receive the support of every other Arab country while doing so–what would an Arab government do to the Jews? We don’t need to look very far. Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades are in fact the incipient Palestinian janjahweed.

No less an authority than Edward Said knew as much. He told Ha’aretz in a 2000 interview that the fate of the Jews in a post-Zionist Palestine “worries me a great deal. The question of what is going to be the fate of the Jews is very difficult for me. I really don’t know. It worries me.” That didn’t stop him from advocating a one-state “solution” to the conflict. It’s funny how such “solutions” tend to replicate themselves.

Author: Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees. Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses. Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.