Give More, Get War
Under threat of international isolation and more boycott and divestment scenarios, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said, “Enough.” His declaration of Israel’s right to survive, articulated in Washington, DC, in March, was forthright and etched in the realities of the quagmire of violence and uncertainty that is the Middle East.
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was waiting for the West to make his dream of acquiring a possession without concession come true. But Netanyahu refused to walk the plank, rejecting onerous terms that would put Israel at risk.
Backed by an intense propaganda campaign painting Israel as an apartheid country with no legitimate right to exist, Abbas held fast to the essentials of the Jewish state’s demise. Behind the smile and profession of good faith, he and his cohorts refused to bend on a trinity of issues:
- They will not recognize Israel as a Jewish state. This follows the consistent position of the Khartoum Declaration of September 1967, when the Arabs vowed, “No peace with Israel, no negotiations with Israel, no recognition of Israel.” The failure to recognize accepted, legitimate borders also creates an opportunity for aggression, particularly if a future Palestinian state becomes radicalized by jihadists like those controlling the Gaza Strip and much of the Middle East.
- They will not tolerate Jewish people living outside the 1949 armistice lines. This plan, endorsed by Western negotiators, would cede the lion’s share of disputed territory to a formalized Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital. Banking on Arab trust and nonaggression, Western proponents assume this concession would guarantee Israel peace. However, such a conclusion defies every available historical analysis, both past and present.
- They refuse to be flexible in their demand for a “right of return” for Palestinian “refugees.” In 1948 a UN mediator said 472,000 Arabs fled what is now Israel, and the figure was considered high. Today the Arabs count descendants as refugees, placing the number in the millions. Their goal is to flood the miniscule territory with Palestinians, assuring demographically what they could not accomplish militarily. If the Palestinians have their way, the Jewish entity would amount to an enclave with no rights of nationhood.
Ironically, as Israelis were being pressured to be flexible and make painful sacrifices in the interest of “giving peace a chance,” an Iranian ship was bound for Gaza with a supply of long-range rockets to be used to decimate Jewish communities and kill Israeli citizens. The Jerusalem Post reported the missiles originated in Syria.
The Post said, “Had the shipment not been intercepted, the rockets could have been unloaded at Port Sudan and taken overland, through Egypt into Sinai, and through smuggling tunnels into the Gaza Strip.”
Israelis are constantly searching for these tunnels. Late in 2013 the Israel Defense Forces discovered a massive, Hamas-built attack tunnel that was complete with phone lines and electricity and was large enough to move great numbers of jihadists and their weapons from Gaza into Israel.
Furthermore, the PA’s determination to praise terrorists and incite hatred against Jews and the State of Israel casts a dark shadow over prospects for a serene, long-term, neighborly relationship. A prime example, documented by the Palestinian Media Watch (palwatch.org), is the celebration of Dalal Mughrabi:
Terrorist Dalal Mughrabi led the most deadly terror attack in Israel’s history. 37 civilians, 12 of them children, were killed in her 1978 bus hijacking. The Palestinian Authority has turned this terrorist into a celebrated hero and role model, as schools, summer camps, and sports tournaments are all named after her. Her attack was celebrated by a Fatah spokesman as “the most glorified sacrifice action in the history of the Palestinian-Israeli struggle.” . . . Advisor to Mahmoud Abbas, Deputy Secretary of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, Sabri Saidam said on the day of the naming of a [Ramallah] square in her name: “Every one of us has tried in his own way to express his pride in this Martyr.”
An Unspoken Omen
There is a persistent failure to acknowledge the essential motivating force in the Palestinian-Israeli divide: the jihadist Islamic fervor for the destruction of Israel. Pandering to the forces that wreak havoc throughout the Middle East and Africa and threaten European stability is an omen of things to come.
Refusing to factor jihadist radicalism into measures that are supposed to provide a stable, defensible settlement fails both Israelis and Palestinians who wish only to have peace, without bombs and terror as a destabilizing way of life.