The Arabs and Israel
The hundred years’ war
Jan 8th 2009
From The Economist print edition
How growing rejectionism, the rise of religion, a new military doctrine and a new cold war keep peace at bay
WITH luck, the destructive two-week battle between Israel and Hamas may soon draw to an end. 幸运的是，以色列和哈马斯长达两周的战争将很快结束。But how long before the century-long war between Arabs and Jews in Palestine follows suit? 但是长达百年的阿拉伯犹太人战争将会什么时候也可以结束呢？It is hard to believe that this will happen any time soon. 很难相信这场战争会很快结束。Consider: Israel’s current operation, “Cast Lead”, marks the fourth time Israel has fought its way into Gaza. 想想吧，以色列这次的铸铅行动标志着以色列第四次攻打加沙地带。It almost captured Gaza (behind a pocket containing a young Egyptian army officer called Gamal Abdul Nasser) in 1948, in the war Israelis know as their war of independence. 在以色列自己定义的1948独立战争中，以色列几乎就要占领了加沙地带了It captured Gaza again in 1956, as part of a secret plan hatched with Britain and France to topple Nasser as Egypt’s president and restore British control of the Suez Canal. 以色列在1956年又占领了加沙地带，这也是英法对付埃及总统纳赛尔的一个秘密计划的结果，英国通过这个阴谋重新控制苏伊士运河。It invaded a third time during the six-day war of 1967—and stayed there for 38 years, until withdrawing unilaterally three and a half years ago. 在1967年，以色列第三次占领加沙地带，长达38年之久，直到三年半之前的单边撤军才结束了对于加沙地带的占领。
Why they fight
And Gaza, remember, is only one item in a mighty catalogue of misery, whose entries are inscribed in tears. 别忘了，加沙的血泪史，以及加沙的悲惨境遇。The Jews and Arabs of Palestine have been fighting off and on for 100 years. 巴勒斯坦的阿拉伯人还有犹太人已经为此战争了近百年。In 1909 the mostly Russian socialist idealists of the Zionist movement set up an armed group, Hashomer, to protect their new farms and villages in Palestine from Arab marauders. 在1909年俄罗斯社会理想主义者建立了复犹太国运动，建立了武装组织，hashomer来保护他们在巴勒斯坦建立的新农场和村子避免受到阿拉伯人的掠夺。Since then has come the dismal march of wars—1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, 1982, 2006 and now 2009—each seared by blood and fire into the conflicting myths and memories of the two sides. 从那以后，战争连绵不断，1948-2006 现在的战争，每一次战争都是血流成河，战火硝烟弥漫，这对于阿拉伯和犹太人都是惨痛的记忆。The intervals between the wars have not been filled by peace but by bombs, raids, uprisings and atrocities. 战争的间歇期也并非是充满和平的，相反，即使没有战争，炸弹袭击，突然袭击，暴动和残暴行动。Israeli settlers in Hebron today still cite, as if it were yesterday, the massacre of Hebron’s Jews in 1929. 在hebron的以色列人至今还觉得1929年H地方的犹太大屠杀好像就发生在昨天。The Arabs of Palestine still remember their desperate revolt in the 1930s against the British mandate and Jewish immigration from Europe, and the massacres of 1948.巴勒斯坦的阿拉伯人也仍然记得他们绝望地在1930s反抗英国委任统治权，以及犹太人从欧洲移民到巴勒斯坦地区，还有1948年的大屠杀。
The slaughter this week in Gaza, in which on one day alone some 40 civilians, many children, were killed in a single salvo of Israeli shells, will pour fresh poison into the brimming well of hate (see article). 本周在以色列对加沙地带的大屠杀中，一天就有40个无辜的平民死亡，其中很多还是孩子，这会激起新一轮的仇恨。But a conflict that has lasted 100 years is not susceptible to easy solutions or glib judgments. 但是这场持续了100年的战争并不是那么好解决的，也不是一些油腔滑舌的评判可以搞定的。Those who choose to reduce it to the “terrorism” of one side or the “colonialism” of the other are just stroking their own prejudices. 那些把事情简单地认为一方是恐怖主义，一方是殖民主义的人只是不了解情况，带着自己的立场去评判别人的事情。At heart, this is a struggle of two peoples for the same patch of land.这件事情的核心是，两群不同的人在争夺同一片土地。 It is not the sort of dispute in which enemies push back and forth over a line until they grow tired. 这不是敌人之间在界限问题上推推攘攘直到累了收场。It is much less tractable than that, because it is also about the periodic claim of each side that the other is not a people at all—at least not a people deserving sovereign statehood in the Middle East.这个问题不是那么好对付的因为这是一场由于时间不同而不同的争执，并且两方当中有一方根本就不是国家，它没有主权也没有国家。
That is one reason why this conflict grinds on remorselessly from decade to decade. 这就是为什么这场争端年年都是冷酷地进行。During eruptions of violence, the mantra of diplomats and editorialists is the need for a two-state solution. 在战争停止的间隙，外交官和撰写社论者的颂歌成为了两国解决方式的需要。It sounds so simple: if two peoples cannot share the land, they must divide it. This seemed obvious to some outsiders even before the Nazi genocide of Europe’s Jews prompted the United Nations in 1947 to call for the creation of separate Jewish and Arab states in Palestine. In 1937 a British royal commission concluded that “an irrepressible conflict has arisen between two national communities within the narrow bounds of one small country.” The answer had to be partition.这个解决途径听上去很简单：如果两个民族不可以分享土地，他们就必须要分割土地。对于一些人来讲这是很显而易见的，即使在纳粹在欧洲的犹太人种族屠杀使得联合国在1947年呼吁在巴勒斯坦建立独立的犹太国和阿拉伯国之前。在1937年一个英国的皇家专门调查委员会作出以下结论：这是一场两国国家型社会有关一个小国家的小界限之间的不可控制的争端。
The fact that the Arabs rejected the UN’s partition plan of 60 years ago has long given ideological comfort to Israel and its supporters. 在60年之前，阿拉伯拒绝联合国的土地分割计划，这给予以色列以及以色列支持者意识形态上的舒坦。Abba Eban, an Israeli foreign minister, quipped that the Palestinians “never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity”. AE，以色列外交部长讽刺地说，巴勒斯坦人永远都不会错过 错过机会的 机会。Israel’s story is that the Arabs have muffed at least four chances to have a Palestinian state. They could have said yes to partition in 1947. They could have made peace after the war of 1947-48. They had another chance after Israel routed its neighbours in 1967 (“We are just waiting for a telephone call,” said Moshe Dayan, Israel’s hero of that war). They had yet another in 2000 when Ehud Barak, now Israel’s defence minister and then its prime minister, offered the Palestinians a state at Bill Clinton’s fateful summit at Camp David.以色列对这件事的版本是阿拉伯人已经错过至少四次建立巴勒斯坦过的机会。他们原本可以在1947年分割方案中说 好，他们本来可以在1947-48年的战争中获得和平，他们在1967年以色列赢得了邻国的接纳的时候，巴勒斯坦也有一次机会，他们在2000年也错过了克林顿在大卫营给予巴勒斯坦人建立国家的提议的机会。
This story of Israeli acceptance and Arab rejection is not just a yarn convenient to Israel’s supporters. It is worth remembering that it was not until 1988, a full 40 years after Israel’s birth, that Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) renounced its goal of liberating the whole of Palestine from the river to the sea. All the same, the truth is much more shaded than the Israeli account allows. There have been missed opportunities, and long periods of rejection, on Israel’s part, too.以色列接受，阿拉伯反对，不知是一个对于以色列支持者有利的故事。值得记住的是，知道以色列建国40年以后，阿拉法特的巴勒斯坦解放组织才放弃了解放整个巴勒斯坦的决定。真理却没有像以色列的描述那样明朗，以色列同时也错过了很多机会。
Look again at those missed opportunities. At the time of the UN partition resolution, the Jews of Palestine numbered only 600,000 and the Arabs more than twice that number. Most of the Jews were incomers. Although partition might have been the wiser choice for the Palestinians, it did not strike them as remotely fair. In the subsequent war, more than 600,000 of Palestine’s Arabs fled or were put to flight. Afterwards, disinclined either to take them back or return the extra land it had gained in battle, Israel was relieved that the Arab states, traumatised by the rout, made no serious offer of peace. Many of the refugees have been stuck ever since in a sad finger of dunes, the Gaza Strip, pointing at the bright lights of Tel Aviv.在看看这些错过的机会。UN放出决议的时候，巴勒斯坦的犹太人只有六十万，阿拉伯人是这个数字的两倍还要多。犹太人中的大多数是外来移民。尽管对于巴勒斯坦人来讲，分割计划是个比较明智的决定，但是这个计划远非公平。在接下去的战争中，超过六十万的巴勒斯坦阿拉伯人从那里仓皇逃走。之后虽然以色列不情愿地让这些移民在回来，并且把他们在战争中得到的土地归还给巴勒斯坦人，他们还是很欣慰，因为这些受到战争伤害的阿拉伯国家也不会对和平进程很认真。很多难民都被堵在了加沙地带。
When Israel fell in love
After the ignominious defeat of 1967, the Arab states again rejected the idea of peace with Israel. That was, indeed, a wasted opportunity. But even though the Israel of 1967 discussed how much of the West Bank it was ready to trade for peace, the Likud governments of the late 1970s and 1980s wanted it all. For Israel fell in love with the territories it had occupied.
This was the period of Israeli rejection. Israeli prime ministers such as Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir asserted a God-given right to a “greater Israel” that included the West Bank and Gaza Strip, in which Israeli governments of all stripes continued to plant (illegal) settlements. In some Israeli minds the Palestinians became a non-people, to be fobbed off with self-government under Israeli or perhaps Jordanian supervision. It took an explosion of Palestinian resistance, in the intifada (uprising) of the late 1980s and the far more lethal one of 2001-03, to convince Israel that this was an illusion.What bearing does all this history have on the foul events unfolding right now in Gaza? The point is that there have been precious few moments over the past century during which both sides have embraced the idea of two states at the same time. The most promising moment of all came at the beginning of this decade, with Mr Clinton’s near-miss at Camp David. But now, with the rise of Hamas and the war in Gaza, the brief period of relative hope is in danger of flickering out.
If rejection of the other side’s national claims is one of the things that make this conflict so hard to end, the other is religion. The two are tied together. Hamas is a religious movement, and its formal creed is to reject the possibility of Jewish statehood not only because of Israel’s alleged sins but also because there is no place for a Jewish state in a Muslim land.
In Israel’s early life Zionism was a mainly secular movement and the dominant force on the other side was a secular Arab nationalism. Since 1967, however, religion, nationalism and hunger for Palestinians’ land have fused to create a powerful constituency in Israel dedicated to retaining control of the whole of Jerusalem and Judaism’s holy places on the West Bank. Israel’s system of proportional voting has given the settlers and zealots a chokehold over politics. Among Arabs secular nationalism is meanwhile waning in the face of a powerful Islamic revival through the region. And a central dogma of the Islamists is that Israel is an implant that must be violently resisted and eventually destroyed.
One far-seeing Zionist, Vladimir Jabotinsky, predicted in the 1930s not only that the Arabs would oppose the swamping of Palestine with Jewish immigrants but also that “if we were Arabs, we would not accept it either”. In order to survive, the Jews would have to build an “iron wall” of military power until the Arabs accepted their state’s permanence. And this came to pass. Only after several costly wars did Egypt and later the PLO conclude that, since Israel could not be vanquished, they had better cut a deal. In Beirut in 2002 all the Arab states followed suit, offering Israel normal relations in return for its withdrawal from all the occupied territories, an opening which Israel was foolish to neglect.
The depressing thing about the rise of Hamas and the decline of the Fatah wing of the PLO is that it reverses this decades-long trend. Hamas’s victory in the Palestinian elections of 2006 had many causes, including a reputation for honesty. Its victory did not prove that Palestinians had been bewitched by Islamist militancy or come to believe again in liberating all of Palestine by force. But if you take seriously what Hamas says in its charter, Hamas itself does believe this. So does Hizbullah, Lebanon’s “Party of God”; and so does a rising and soon perhaps nuclear-armed Iran. Some analysts take heart from Hamas’s offer of a 30-year truce if Israel returns to its 1967 borders. But it has never offered permanent recognition.
There is worse. On top of the return to rejection and the growing role of religion, a third new obstacle to peace is the apparent crumbling of Jabotinsky’s iron wall.
In Lebanon three years ago, and today in Gaza, Hizbullah and Hamas seem to have invented a new military doctrine. Israel has deterred its enemies mainly by relying on a mighty conventional army to react with much greater force to any provocation. But non-state actors are harder to deter. Hizbullah and Hamas, armed by Iran with some modern weapons, can burrow inside the towns and villages of their own people while lobbing rockets at Israel’s. A state that yearns for a semblance of normality between its wars cannot let such attacks become routine. That is why today, as in the 1950s, Israel responds to pinpricks with punitive raids, each of which had the potential to flare into war. Israel’s operation in Gaza is designed not only to stop Hamas’s rockets but to shore up a doctrine on which Israel thinks its safety must still be based.
At Camp David in 2000 Israel and the Palestinians discovered that even with goodwill it is hard to agree terms. How to share Jerusalem? What to offer the refugees who will never go home? How can Israel trust that the land it vacates is not used, as Gaza has been, as a bridgehead for further struggle? But—and this is the fourth thing that keeps the battle alive—the two sides are seldom left alone to tackle these core issues.
For too long the conflict in Palestine was a hostage to the cold war. America was once neutral: it was Eisenhower who forced Israel out of Gaza (and Britain out of Egypt) after Suez. But America later recruited Israel as an ally, and this suited the Israelis just fine. It gave them the support of a superpower whilst relieving them of a duty to resolve the quarrel with the Palestinians, even though their own long-term well-being must surely depend on solving that conflict.
It may be no coincidence that some of the most promising peacemaking between Israel and the Palestinians took place soon after the cold war ended. But now a new sort of geopolitical confrontation stalks the region, one that sets America against Iran, and the Islamist movements Iran supports against the Arab regimes in America’s camp. With Hamas inside Iran’s tent and Fatah in America’s, the Palestinians are now facing a paralysing schism.
And so to Gaza
Tzipi Livni, Israel’s foreign minister, has been saying all week that, although Israel’s immediate aim is to stop the rocket fire and not to topple Hamas, there can be no peace, and no free Palestine, while Hamas remains in control. She is right that with Hamas in power in Gaza the Islamists can continue to wreck any agreement Israel negotiates with Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority on the West Bank. Mr Abbas, along with Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak, may quietly relish Hamas being taken down a peg. Egypt is furious at Hamas’s recent refusal to renew talks with Fatah about restoring a Palestinian unity government.以色列的外交部长整周都在说，即使以色列直接的目的是停止空袭不摧毁哈马斯，对于巴勒斯坦人也没有和平和自由而言，因为哈马斯掌权是最大的危险。她是对的，哈马斯在加沙地带掌权，伊斯兰狂热分子就会继续破坏任何以色列和阿巴斯达成的协议。阿巴斯，和埃及总统，会悄悄地看着哈马斯被降级。埃及对于哈马斯最近拒绝新一轮和法塔赫讨论巴勒斯坦统一政府的行径深表不满。
There is a limit, however. Taking Hamas down a peg is one thing. But even in the event of Israel “winning” in Gaza, a hundred years of war suggest that the Palestinians cannot be silenced by brute force. Hamas will survive, and with it that strain in Arab thinking which says that a Jewish state does not belong in the Middle East. To counter that view, Israel must show not only that it is too strong to be swept away but also that it is willing to give up the land—the West Bank, not just Gaza—where the promised Palestinian state must stand. Unless it starts doing that convincingly, at a minimum by freezing new settlement, it is Palestine’s zealots who will flourish and its peacemakers who will fall back into silence. All of Israel’s friends, including Barack Obama, should be telling it this.但是也是有限制的，看着哈马斯颓废是一件是。但是即使以色列在加沙地带取得了胜利，近百年的战争说明了巴勒斯坦人是不会被粗暴的武力吓到的。哈马斯仍然存在，而且有了哈马斯就限制阿拉伯的思考，犹太国家不属于中东。为了挑战这个观点以色列必须证明，他们很强大，是赶不走的，同时他们愿意放弃西岸，而不仅仅是加沙地点，因为他们许诺巴勒斯坦国必须也要存在。除非他们开始这样做，巴勒斯坦人是不会回到和平谈判中来的。犹太国家的朋友必须要告诉以色列这样的事实。