Insult to Injury
Talk and turning up pressure on Israel have obviously replaced rational movement toward peace in the Middle East. The prevailing powers seem to prefer to reward Palestinian intransigence by imposing an agreement on Israel that is, in actuality, capitulation.
At the apparent insistence of the United States that Israel make yet another goodwill gesture preceding the secretary of state’s January visit, Israel released a group of Palestinian terrorists from Israeli prisons. Among them were two men convicted in 1992 of firebombing a bus and killing a woman who was nine months pregnant, along with her three preschool-aged children. An Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier died trying to save them. Palestinians gave the murderers a heroes’ welcome home. Enough said.
Meanwhile, Western advocates of Jewish concessions in exchange for Palestinian promises still refuse to address the Arabs’ rabidly anti-Israel diatribes and actions.
Palestinian leaders are reportedly counting on Israel being compelled to begin negotiations based on a return to the pre-1967 armistice lines, a plan Israelis view as a prescription for national suicide. And it is not reassuring to see Palestinian Authority (PA) maps bearing no trace of Israel: Everything is called Arab Palestine.
In fact, when PA President Mahmoud Abbas met with Egyptian leaders in Cairo last year, he declared, “In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli—civilian or soldier—on our lands.”
Apparently, Abbas and company do not share a neighborly attitude toward the Jewish state, which they refuse to recognize, despite the fact that more than 1 million (roughly 20 percent) of Israel’s citizens are Palestinian. Four Arab representatives hold seats in the Knesset.
In an October 15, 2013, op-ed piece in The New York Times, “How Palestinian Hate Prevents Peace,” Dr. Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s minister of strategic and intelligence affairs, summarized the PA’s actions:
The Palestinian Authority’s television and radio stations, public schools, summer camps, children’s magazines and Web sites are being used to drive home [the message]…that the existence of a Jewish state (regardless of its borders) is illegitimate because there is no Jewish people and no Jewish history in this piece of land….And until it [the incitement] ends, the current round of talks cannot hope to reach a successful outcome.
Although most Westerners know the PA systematically incites hatred against Israel, they still deny the real roadblocks to peace and stick to their mantra—peace at any price—with Israel picking up the tab by giving its enemies its property and then waiting for the ax to fall.
From the outset, the premise has been that peace can only be achieved when both parties demonstrate their desire to negotiate in good faith. Consider how that premise has worked out so far:
- 1948: Jewish Holocaust survivors accepted the UN Partition Plan that returned to them only a sliver of their ancient homeland. The Arabs responded with war.
- 1967: IDF troops liberated Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount, then in good faith turned control of the Mount over to the Muslim Waqf. In return, Muslims barred Jews from worshiping on the Mount, even restricting lip movements.
- 1982: Israel gave Egypt back the Sinai it had captured in war, along with valuable oil fields, in exchange for a peace agreement that the Muslim Brotherhood recently threatened to rescind.
- 2005: Israel unilaterally withdrew from the Gaza Strip. Palestinians responded with a terrorist, Hamas government that fired thousands of missiles into Israel. Hamas leaders declared there would be no concessions or recognition of Israel, only resistance.
If Western negotiators, namely the United States, press for an imposed solution of paper promises with no real substance, the results will be catastrophic. There can be no politically motivated race for a partisan “breakthrough” here. Lives, Israeli and Palestinian, are at stake.
And should the Palestinian Authority continue to lionize murderers, deny Jewish rights, and be complicit in regularly allowing the PA media to call Jewish people “monkeys,” “rats,” and “pigs,” its sham agreement will prove a bloody farce.
All of which makes the biblical mandate to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Ps. 122:6) a compelling imperative.