Israel keeps celebrating Independence Day each year and yet is still far from it.
We continue to allow external forces and events to determine our national agenda; constantly reactive rather than proactive.
Countries like Britain and India would go to war rather than surrender far-off outposts like the Falklands and Kashmir, and yet Israel has given up vital border territories like South Lebanon and Gaza only to see them occupied by Iranian terror proxies, Hezbulla and Hamas. It is now expected to surrender far more critical territory in the West Bank, within stinger range of Ben Gurion airport.
This is not how an independent state behaves.
Madrid, Oslo, Geneva, Wye, Rogers, Tenet …. for decades Israel has allowed itself to be bounced from one peace plan to another like a pinball. Each time a game ends, a new American president flips the ball back into play for another round of Israel being bounced from pillar to post without any real resolution. Sometimes, it gets rough and they push the table to get their way.
Independence means growing up and making one’s own decisions.
To use the pinball analogy, we need to get our own hands on the flippers.
Israel has become of necessity the most expert nation in security and national defense. No-one is more qualified to determine safe borders than Israel itself. Not America, not the EU nor the UN.
So, imagine asking the Israeli cabinet: “What would be your ideal borders from the demographic and security points of view?” Then ask them: “What’s stopping you?”.
The answer will almost certainly be: the Americans will never agree, or the EU or UN wouldn’t agree and we would become isolated politically and economically.
That’s not independence.
If the West Bank were just an outpost like the Falkland Islands or Kashmir there might be justification to make a goodwill gesture to get brownie points in the world.
But we don’t get brownie points … ever.
No matter what we give away, we get rockets from our enemies and blame from our friends.
So, with nothing to lose, maybe we could finally declare TRUE independence this year and write our own map.
After all, it’s not as if we were Russians stealing Crimea from Ukraine.
The land was ours to start with.
And if we ever have the guts to take it off the bargaining table, the world might finally start believing it.