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What Justice Demands: America and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Kindle Edition
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"This is a contrarian, thought provoking, relentlessly liberal, fact-rich, lucid, morally serious, constructive, and unapologetically pro-Israel book. Though it makes some arguments with which I disagree, it's an admirable work, very much worth reading." -- Douglas J. Feith, Senior Fellow and Director, Center for National Security Strategies, Hudson Institute; Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (2001-2005); author War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism
"This highly original and thought provoking book argues that only by rethinking the moral premises of its Middle East policy and redirecting its support from local dictators and Islamists to freedom-seekers - first and foremost the region's only democracy, Israel, along with freedom-seeking circles in the Arab world and Palestinian society - will the US be able to help broker Palestinian-Israeli peace. An indispensable book for anyone seeking to think outside the box on the resolution of a seemingly intractable conflict. -- Efraim Karsh, Ph.D., author, Palestine Betrayed
"A quarter century since the Oslo Accords, Israeli-Palestinian peace remains elusive. What went wrong? Elan Journo dispenses with well-worn but tired debates and takes a fresh approach: The missing piece, he argues, has been failure to appreciate individual freedom and liberty. In this deeply detailed yet readable study, Journo surveys the moral standing of both Israel and the Palestinians and the place of freedom and liberty in each society. He then considers American policy. To side with dictatorship or a society penetrated by jihadist forces over the only free society in the region is not only morally wrong, he argues, but it is also the reason why the peace process has so far failed. Journo is right. What Justice Demands is the one new book about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in quite some time that doesn't simply repackage the failed prescriptions of the past and so it is worth reading." -- Michael Rubin, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute
"Elan Journo brings a much-needed perspective to the world's most pressing crisis: a perspective firmly rooted in deeply considered values about morality and justice. And he demonstrates that nobody is more naïve than the so-called realist to think such consideration beneath them. At a time when our foreign policy debate is focused on considerations of power, Journo shows us that nothing is more powerful that justice, and nothing is resolved that is not right." -- Timothy Sandefur, Vice President for Litigation and Duncan Chair in Constitutional Government, Goldwater Institute
"What Justice Demands is unwaveringly courageous. Elan Journo's audacity will stun those who refuse to judge, agree or disagree, and always believe 'both sides' are to blame in the middle east." -- Jonathan Hoenig, Capitalistpig Hedge Fund and Fox News Contributor
"Elan Journo captures the essence and nature of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the 21st Century as it is seen through American foreign policy. As more and more groups try to marginalize Israel in American society Journo gives us the necessary realism to understand this complicated corner of the world and why it matters to America." -- Asaf Romirowsky, Ph.D., executive director, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, co-author, Religion, Politics, and the Origins of Palestine Refugees Relief
"Elan Journo shows that American statecraft's attempts to settle the Arab-Israeli conflict by compromises have always been doomed to failure because they neglect the conflict's essential element: justice. Contrary to conventional wisdom he shows that, far from unrealistic, doing the right thing deals with reality's most inescapable features. Regardless of what goods the Palestinian people might deserve, the reality of Palestinian culture and politics precludes them. Regardless of what Israel has to do to maintain its life, that life is intrinsically in accord with justice and America's interest. Journo makes a persuasive case that, by decisively supporting Israel's cause and hence acting in accordance with justice, the U.S. would be doing the right thing not only by itself and Israel but by the Palestinians as well. A book worth reading." -- Angelo Codevilla, Ph.D., professor emeritus of International Relations at Boston University
"U.S.-Israel relations may be mutually celebrated, but Journo argues that 'America has sold out the [Middle East's] only free society, Israel . . . while empowering jihadist forces.' Strong words, but he convincingly exposes repeated presidential mistakes since 1990, then concludes with a rousing call to fix past errors by supporting an Israeli victory over its enemies." -- Daniel Pipes, president, Middle East Forum
"Elan Journo's new book offers a refreshing, intelligent, well-written and fundamentally right-headed critique of American policy toward the Middle East. By proposing a policy resolutely based on justice, he illuminates the conflict between Israel and its neighbors in original and startling ways—and offers hope for lasting change." -- Yoram Hazony, author of The Virtue of Nationalism --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
About the Author
- File Size : 3111 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publication Date : June 12, 2018
- Publisher : Post Hill Press (June 12, 2018)
- ASIN : B07D93DWKD
- Print Length : 271 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Language: : English
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,012,474 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Journo writes objectively based on the FACTS. This is something discussions about the Middle East, and in particular the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, have sorely lacked. Like any other region of the world, the Middle East must be held to the objective standard of freedom. Journo emphatically states "...the ideal of freedom is an objective moral standard. It is true for all people, in all places, at all times. Because of that, we should apply it as our standard for judging any political cause and any government, anywhere."
He wastes no time in offering up a statement of his central point: that the answer to America’s foreign policy dilemma must involve a moral appraisal of both sides, something that has become foreign to American decision making.
For as long as I’ve been alive, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been on the radar. It fluctuates between being center-stage of world events and being just a continuous festering sore influencing other conflagrations. The conflagrations, including 9/11 and the ensuing “wars,” erupt sporadically — always with threats and chants about annihilating Israel, with atomic bombs if need be.
What had not been clear to me until Journo’s book was just how culpable the US has been in making things worse: primarily by ignoring the instructions of justice in its many wayward policy decisions. Every President in my lifetime has contributed to a worsening crisis, some more than others.
The common thread among all the US foreign policy mis-steps has been the willingness to sell out free peoples (Israeli and Palestinians alike), while enabling monsters, over and over, decade after decade. Elan Journo has made it clear that we are long overdue for an era where justice is finally embraced as a guideline in developing foreign policy.
Sadly, the current Administration appears particularly incapable of recognizing principles as such, let alone the principle of justice. Trump is not unique in his absence of a clear, principled approach to foreign policy; a principled approach is so rare today that it might be widely unrecognizable even if it suddenly burst upon the scene.
Journo asks us: what does justice require? Then he points out that a rational answer includes recognizing that “no religious basis can ever be taken seriously” — because religion’s required denial of reason is itself an archetypical instance of dishonesty. And so, religion and statism caused the Palestinian uprising in the first place; and religion assures continuation of the crisis as unreason is injected into every proposed solution.
Most readers will agree that the US repeatedly violated support for freedom and thereby damaged both sides in this conflict — empowering jihadism, terrorism, totalitarianism. In other words: “…irrational American policy has inflamed the conflict…” (p. xvii) — a policy devoid of concern with American interests.
I was impressed with the book’s repeated emphasis that what we’re up against in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is religious subjugation of the individual implemented by barbaric statist regimes vs. a free society recognizing the sovereignty of its individual citizens. But what America has done is to suspend moral judgment and to practice moral neutrality between these morally disparate parties.
So, what’s to be done with the regimes hostile to freedom and contemptuous of human life? What’s to be done with ISIS, with the PLO, with the Taliban, with North Korea, with Iran, with Saudi Arabia?
* * * * * * * *
There were some basic elements of Palestinian refugee history, critical to judging what policy to advocate, but elements where most of us today are just unaware. Journo takes pains to report historical details that are often ignored by today’s media in their otherwise breathless coverage of anti-Israel protests in the Middle East and on the American campus.
For instance, consider a couple basic facts about the so-called Palestinian refugees. After every other war when there were refugees, the total population of refugees gradually dwindles, owing to resettlement and to the numbers dying off. How many of us understand that 700,000 Palestinian refugees in 1948 have ballooned to 5-million today?
How does that happen, the result of a single Arab-initiated war of conquest long ago? It happens when those Arab states consign the refugees to camps of squalor, deny them citizenship, restrict their free movement, disallow them from working, and assure their never-ending dependence on welfare from the United Nations, so that the growing, manipulated hordes can be use as political bargaining chips over many squalid decades. How many of us understand how this has happened? How many of us understand America’s role in creating such a mess?
Thanks to the UN, the Palestinians are now demanding the “right of return” for over 6 times the number who were affected by the war in the first place(!).
Journo sums it up succinctly by pointing out how the UN, coordinating with the regimes who initiated the 1948 war, have mastered their objective of “mass-manufacturing victims and hostility.” It might be justice for today’s victimized refugee descendants to direct their grievance against the Arab regimes which initiated the war in the first place. Our own media blames Israel and the US, instead.
I am shocked at how ill-informed I have been about the actual dynamic playing itself out in the Middle East.
Back in 1967 there was an opportunity for a real occupation, like the one the US imposed upon Japan in 1945. But instead, Israel encouraged its defeated enemy to continue its anti-Israeli militarism, its anti-Israeli politics, its entire anti-Israeli culture. Unsurprisingly, the outcome has been anti-Israeli bombings, missile barrages, and 12 year-old Palestinian children blowing themselves up in Jewish restaurants. So why are we surprised to see non-stop anti-Israel sentiment on today’s college campuses?
What Journo’s book has done for me is to focus on his own contention that this the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not a conflict over a piece of land, but rather is a conflict of a free society up against tyrannies sworn to destroy it; that focusing on the land conflict obscures the greater moral issue before us; and that the United States has consistently aided the side seeking to destroy the free society.
I can agree that the biggest problem here is that American policy makers do not take seriously what justice demands — they refuse to recognize that freedom is a greater moral value than the subjugation of individual citizens to the whims of a religious dictator.
I couldn’t help but worry about the current Administration’s offer of moral legitimacy to North Korea, once Journo reminded me how things turned out after President Bill Clinton served up a “willful disregard of moral inequality between Israel and the Palestinian movement” (p.203), back when the Camp David/Oslo Accords were being fashioned. There is cause to worry that moral sanctions bestowed upon any barbaric tyrant will strengthen and embolden the tyrant.
We cannot be surprised when a tyrant holding an ideological commitment to destroy his sworn enemy would shower that enemy with waves of missiles if his sworn enemy were to bestow moral legitimacy upon him. That’s exactly what’s happening with the Palestinians; we’ll have to wait to see how it turns out with North Korea.
Aggression and war erupt precisely when the negotiations to avoid war are devoid of asking: what does justice demand here?
On the Israel-Palestinian conflict, Journo has offered up a credible answer to the question of what justice requires. His primary obstacle is that so few of today’s generation are conversant with the value of freedom itself.