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May 29, 2016 / 21 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘palestinian’

Palestinian Authority Perfects Hypocrisy

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, FirstOne Through}

On May 19, 2016, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he was considering adding a right-wing party, Yisrael Beytenu, to his coalition. The Palestinian Authority’s reaction to this rumor was quick.

The Israeli government sent a message to the world that Israel prefers extremism, dedication to the occupation and settlements over peace.”

In a region which has perfected finger-pointing, the Palestinian Arabs have once again shown their mastery of hypocrisy.

On June 2, 2014, the Palestinian Authority (PA) welcomed the terrorist group Hamas into a unity government. That move abruptly ended the many months of peace negotiations going on between Israelis and the PA which was shepherded by US Secretary of State John Kerry.  Within two weeks of forming the unity government, Hamas loyalists kidnapped and murdered three teenage Israelis and launched a war against Israel that killed thousands.

That’s a message of preferring “extremism” to peace.

Care to do a simple comparison of Yisrael Beytenu and Hamas?

Position Yisrael Beytenu Hamas
Land Extending full governmental control east of the Green Line (EGL), above current military control Complete destruction of all of Israel
Death penalty For terrorists convicted of killing Israelis For all Jews
Compromise Yes. “in the debate over unity of the land or the unity of the people, the unity of the people must take precedence, because over the unity of the people there can be no compromise and a deep fracture will not be overcome None. “Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement
Minority Rights in country All minorities welcome, as long as loyal to the government Only “under the wing of Islam” can non-Moslems live in the land.
Legal System Full separation of powers, such as in the United States Shariah, Islamic Law
Racism No negative stereotypes Jews referred to as Nazis (Art. 20) and schemers and plotters (Art. 22)

Sources: Yisrael Beytenu positions; Hamas Charter

Hamas is considered a terrorist group by many countries,

  • but the Palestinian Arabs decided to vote them into a majority of Parliament anyway;
  • but the acting Prime Minister of the PA, Mahmoud Abbas, decided to create a coalition government with them anyway;
  • and the Palestinians actively killed the peace process that US Secretary Kerry had worked on for months anyway;
  • and they launched a war that killed thousands anyway.

So should anyone be surprised by the audacity and hypocrisy of the PA condemning Netanyahu for bringing Yisrael Beytenu into his coalition?  Which party has aligned itself with racists and murderers, and shown a complete unwillingness to compromise and make peace time-and-again, Netanyahu or Abbas?


Related First.One.Through articles:

“Mainstream” and Abbas’ Jihad

Abbas Knows Racism

The Undemocratic Nature of Fire and Water in the Middle East

“Peace” According to Palestinian “Moderates”

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Paul Gherkin

This Ongoing War: What do the Palestinian Arabs Think?

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

{Originally posted to the authors’ website, This Ongoing War}

The Ma’an News Agency people in a report whose headline – characteristically – calls this morning’s stabbing attack in Jerusalem “alleged”, quote Luba al-Samri, the Israel Police spokesperson, saying

police officers patrolling the scene this morning saw a Palestinian stab a religious Israeli man. The suspect allegedly threw the knife away and attempted to flee the scene. Israeli police chased and apprehended the youth without shooting him… [He is] identified… as a 20-year-old Palestinian from the village of Abu Dis [a Jerusalem neighbourhood]… The youth [Ma’an’s word] was taken in by Israeli police for interrogation. Paramedics treated the Israeli for light injuries on the scene before transferring him to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. He was identified by Israeli media as a 30-year-old ultra-Orthodox Yeshiva student.

The Ma’an report – generously funded along with everything else Ma’an does by US and European donors – goes on to say that

the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found in a poll last month that support for stabbing attacks had seen a decline in the West Bank in recent months — “due, it seems, to a rising perception in its inefficacy.”

Kind of encouraging, no? We guess that’s why they say it but the actual poll data send a less charming message.

The survey results [reported here] reflect a significant and ongoing passion on the part of a significant overall majority of Palestinian Arabs for Arab-on-Israeli knifing attacks:

Support for use of knives in the current confrontations with Israel drops from 67% three months ago to 58% in this [April 2016] poll. Support for knifing attacks in the Gaza Strip stands at 82% and in the West Bank at 44%. [Source]

We noted a while back that what the Palestinian Arabs say they want does not always make logical sense [“10-Dec-14: What else do Palestinian Arabs want, beyond the 80% who say killing of ordinary Israelis is a good thing?“] but that dead Jews seem to be a constant in their prayers.

The other constant, at least according to the polling group quoted by Ma’an, is that a steady two-thirds of Palestinian Arabs see Mahmoud Abbas as a failure and want him to resign which, given that he was elected just once to a four year term on January 9, 2005 [source] does not seem that outrageous.

To give the numbers some perspective, you might want to take a look at “14-Dec-15: What do the Palestinian Arabs think?” and “22-Sep-15: What do the Palestinian Arabs think?

Here’s what we believe, and the polling data bear it out consistently over years:

When columnists and analysts speak of the desire of Palestinian Arabs to live in peace, to get on with ordinary, quiet, constructive lives – as compelling as this interpretation is, the data don’t support it. Anyone paying attention to the incitement pumped, generation after generation, into their communities and heads will not be surprised. [Source]

What the people living on the other side of the fence are saying is clear, credible and measurable. Being optimistic about the prospects for the sort of painful compromise that leads to peaceful relations is counterfactual and foolish, as much as we wish it were otherwise. That’s something we wish the public figures pushing their “peace” “plans” would internalize.

Frimet and Arnold Roth

Bill Clinton’s Palestinian State

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

Originally posted to the {Commentary Magazine website}

While campaigning in New Jersey on Friday for his wife, Bill Clinton was interrupted by a pro-Palestinian heckler. “What about Gaza?” the person yelled. What followed was an interesting exchange with the clearly exasperated former president that says more to inform the current attempts by both the Obama administration and the French to revive Middle East peace talks than it does about Hillary Clinton and what she might do if elected in November.

That Clinton would be heckled about the Palestinians is not a surprise. The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is one of the few issues on which Sanders has not pulled Hillary Clinton to the left. She has tried, often without success, to match Sanders’ enthusiasm for massive expansions of government power and expenditures and new entitlements. But on foreign policy, she has attempted to walk a fine line between the Democratic base’s basic isolationism and her own internationalist/interventionist instincts while noting differences with her rival on temperament and experience rather than on substance. But she has not been shy about drawing strong differences with Sanders on Israel and the Palestinians.

Though she was the “designated yeller” at Prime Minister Netanyahu during President Obama’s first term, Clinton has also tried to position herself as a mainstream supporter of Israel and sharply disagreed with Sanders’ belief in U.S. neutrality and his willingness to spread canards about Israel’s attempts to defend itself against Hamas that have at times exceeded even those of the terrorists when it comes to inaccuracy.

So if Sanders’ fans are going to hound Hillary or her chief surrogate on any clear difference between them, it’s as likely to be about her not being as willing to attack the Jewish state as the Vermont socialist. That’s what happened on Friday but what Bill Clinton said in reply to the heckler’s cracks about Clinton’s unwillingness to join Sanders in condemning Israel was significant because it brought up something that is rarely discussed in the mainstream media coverage of the Middle East: Palestinian rejectionism.

While his wife has never stopped whining about the “vast right-wing conspiracy” that she blames for their problems rather than their own misconduct, Bill Clinton’s chief post-presidential complaint has been about how Yasir Arafat robbed him of the Nobel Peace Prize he was counting on. In July 2000, Clinton hosted Arafat and then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in a summit at Camp David that he hoped would mark the culmination of the Oslo Peace Accords that had been signed on the White House Lawn seven years earlier. In order to secure a final resolution of the conflict, Barak went further than any Israeli leader had ever dreamed of going in terms of concessions to the Palestinians. To the delight of the Clinton administration, he was put on the table a peace offer that gave the Palestinians a state in almost all of the West Bank, a share of Jerusalem, and all of Gaza. That was essentially everything that the Palestinians wanted, the two-state solution on a silver platter with an American president prepared to back up the Israeli leader even though the plan was far ahead of what most Israelis at the time said they were willing to risk.

But instead of grabbing the opportunity with both hands, Arafat said “no.” No matter how much Clinton, who saw his Nobel hopes going down the drain, Arafat wouldn’t budge, claiming that to accept the realization of the Palestinian dream of statehood would be his death sentence. What’s more, after shocking both the Americans and the Israelis with his refusal, Arafat doubled down on the refusal by launching a terrorist war of attrition after he got home. Seizing on the flimsy pretext of outrage about Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount, the Palestinians began a bloody campaign in which the Palestinian Authority police fired on the Israelis they were supposed to be cooperating with, and Hamas and Fatah terror groups competed with each in launching horrifying suicide bomb attacks on Israeli civilians. Before it was over this second intifada would take the lives of over a thousand Israelis as well as thousands of Arabs and destroy a Palestinian economy that had boomed since Oslo.

It’s also important to note that Clinton and Barak didn’t take Arafat’s no as final and kept trying in their last months in office (Clinton was term-limited, and Barak’s political fate was sealed by his failed initiative) to get him to relent. In the Sinai resort of Taba in January 2001, the U.S. and Israel tried to resolve Palestinian complaints about the generous peace terms they’d been offered by sweetening it with further Israeli concessions. Again, Arafat’s answer was no. There would be no Nobel for Clinton and no peace.

So when Bill Clinton says, “I killed myself to give the Palestinians a state,” he’s right. If they had wanted one, they could have had it. But they didn’t. Nor was Arafat’s successor Mahmoud Abbas willing to accept a state in 2008 when Ehud Olmert offered even more generous peace terms at the prodding of George W. Bush. Since then Abbas has refused to negotiate seriously even though the supposedly hard-line Netanyahu has accepted a two-state solution (as he repeated on Thursday) and again offered withdrawal from most of the West Bank during talks sponsored by Secretary of State Kerry.

The back and forth between the former president and the pro-Palestinian heckler about Hillary Clinton’s role during the fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza is interesting. Clinton did her best to restrain Israeli self-defense and brokered a cease-fire with the cooperation, as her husband helpfully pointed out, “the Muslim Brotherhood government of Egypt” during the period when the Obama administration was tilting toward those extremists after they seized power. Yet she has not been prepared, as Sanders has seemed to do, to excuse Hamas’s war crimes in using Gaza as a base for launching rockets at Israeli cities and terror tunnels while using civilians as human shields.

But the really important point to be gleaned from this story is that few in the international community or the press have bothered to ask why Clinton failed to give the Palestinians a state. It was not for lack of trying or, in the case of Barak, an Israeli government not prepared to take risks for peace as he declared his desire to give up settlements and divide Jerusalem. The problem was that the Palestinians were not prepared to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders were drawn. Making peace on those terms would have meant ending the conflict for all time rather than merely — as Arafat openly boasted — merely collecting concessions in a war of “phases,” that would enable them to resume fighting on more advantageous terms in the future. Even if we accepted the dubious proposition that a blood-soaked terrorist like Arafat wanted peace, the point is that if even a towering figure in Palestinian history such as he didn’t dare sign a deal accepting Israel then how could anyone else?

Bill Clinton was right on Friday when he said Israelis needed to know that the U.S. is concerned about its security in order for peace to be possible. But if Israelis regard pressure from the U.S. to demand even more concessions in the absence of a Palestinian change of heart to be insane, it’s because they remember what happened at Camp David and its aftermath as well as the ultimate results of Ariel Sharon’s unilateral surrender of all of Gaza in 2005: a Hamas terrorist state.

President Obama foolishly ignored this proof of the intentions of the Palestinians and made an already bad situation worse.We don’t know if Bill Clinton’s experience will chasten Hillary Clinton’s desire for her own Peace Prize if she becomes president or if this knowledge will ever find its way into the brain of a President Donald Trump, who also appears to lust after the glory of a deal that would end this conflict. But it should. The next president needs to avoid being fooled by the false arguments of Palestinian apologists into giving Hamas a pass for terror in Gaza. But more than that, they need to understand that the only real obstacle to peace isn’t settlements or Netanyahu but the same Palestinian intransigence that cost Bill Clinton his Nobel Peace Prize.

Jonathan S. Tobin

What If They Built a $24 Million ‘Palestinian Museum’ and There Was Nothing to Show?

Monday, May 16th, 2016

The $24 million Palestinian Museum is slated to open on Wednesday this week in Bir Zeit, about 15 miles north of Jerusalem, a dream that has come true after it had been first initiated in 1997 by the London-based Welfare Association to commemorate the “Nakba,” that fateful gamble local Arabs have taken against the 1947 UN partition resolution, which ended up with them getting nothing at all. But, as the NY Times put it on Monday, the new museum has a stunning, contemporary new building; soaring ambitions as a space for “Palestinian” art, history and culture; an outdoor amphitheater; a terraced garden — and no exhibits.

There was going to be an inaugural exhibit, named “Never Part,” about artifacts belonging to Arab refugees, but it will not be happening, because there was a disagreement between the museum’s board and its director, Jack Persekian, and the director was sacked. Or, as a spokeswoman announced on Sunday: “There will not be any artwork exhibited in the museum at all.”

The NY Times commented that the fate of the exhibition says more about the realities of Arab society than any art collection could have done. The defunct exhibition “Never Part” was going to feature artistic interpretations of keys and photographs that Arab refugees around the world have kept from their old homes in Israel.

The ousted director Persekian told the NY Times the museum’s senior management informed him they no longer liked his project, but never explained why. Persekian said he had collected images of countless artifacts from “Palestinians” around the world for “Never Part,” which he intended to make available to artists who could have interpreted the objects as they saw fit. But the folks in charge of the museum were uneasy about his plan. “Maybe they didn’t want to take a risk with something that is so unpredictable and so uncontrollable,” he said.

All the museum people would say is, “We didn’t feel that what was delivered was up to scratch.”

Now, without any exhibition at all, other than a virtual show starting May 25, which it borrowed from a museum in Beirut, the Palestinian Museum building, designed by Irish architectural firm Heneghan Peng, will host the Wednesday opening ceremony with nothing to show inside. The official version is that the ceremony will only celebrate the completion of the building.

David Israel

The Execution of a True Palestinian Hero

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Shuafat is one of the tragedies of Jerusalem. Jerusalem ambulances, garbage trucks and fire trucks cannot enter the neighborhood without being stoned. Much of it is officially an UNRWA camp where services are supposed to be provided by that organization, but UNRWA all but ignores it as well. As a result, Shuafat is a crime-ridden, drug-infested, dangerous place with open sewers, huge piles of trash and little hope. While most of it is in the Jerusalem municipal boundary, it lies outside the separation barrier – it is a failure of Zionism as well that the Israeli authorities, after many years, simply gave up on trying to control this part of Jerusalem.

Into this vacuum stepped a young man, Baha Nababta.

By all accounts, Nababta worked tirelessly to help the residents of his neighborhood. He founded a number of social institutions in Shuafat to help troubled youth. Nababta was also the head of a local, volunteer fire department that worked with tools as crude as hammers to rescue people from burning houses. He created an emergency response team with over 50 volunteers to respond to all kinds of local emergencies from snowstorms to a team of motorcyclists who could protect Israeli emergency teams who must enter the camp. He helped pave roads, get rid of garbage – essentially every service taken for granted by residents of every other urban area

Nababta was not shy about asking for help from Jerusalem authorities or from liberal Israeli organizations, asking for basic medical and firefighting equipment. His local groups received training from Jerusalem municipal firefighters and from Jerusalem medics, and from all accounts they were happy to help. His main contact on the Israeli side was Dr. Meir Margalit, a Jewish member of the far left Meretz party.

This is probably the reason he is no longer alive.

Haaretz reported last week:

Baha Nababta, a well-known social activist in the Shoafat refugee camp in northern Jerusalem, was shot to death on Monday by an unknown assailant.

The murder occurred at about 11:30 P.M. on Monday, while Nababta stood with a large group of local residents near the paving work they had initiated. Witnesses said an unknown person riding a motorbike was looking for Nababta, and when he found him he shot 10 bullets at Nababta, seven of which hit him. Nababta was rushed to hospital but died a short time later.

Camp residents said on Tuesday that they did not know who the murderer was, but thought the murder was connected to his social activism.

We don’t know who executed Baha Nababta but it seems likely that Palestinians who are against “normalization” were behind the murder.

This is the one week anniversary of the murder. The story was covered, barely, in Israeli newspapers (Jerusalem Post buried it on page 10, for example.)

Palestinian media ignored the story completely. Outside of social media I couldn’t find one news story about this murder of a prominent social worker.

His death did not receive the headlines of those who are killed while trying to murder Jews. Nababta did not have a huge funeral. His Facebook page – which was quite active – does not have one person expressing condolences after his death.

I’m sure I wouldn’t have agreed with Baha Nababta’s politics, but he deserved a huge amount of respect for actually working to help his people instead of choosing to spend his life complaining and protesting. His work was heroic and his death is a tragedy by any measure for Arabs and Jews alike.

But perhaps the bigger tragedy is that his murder has been so roundly ignored by his own people.

The Palestinian leadership and media do not want to publicize anything that cannot be blamed on Israel, because their entire existence is based on “resistance,” not on doing anything positive for their people. Nababta was guilty of the cardinal crime of “normalization” with Jews who wanted to help him and his fellow Arabs, and to Palestinians, that is unforgivable – and his murder is understandable if embarrassing to mention.

The execution of Baha Nababta, and the silence about his murder from not only Palestinians but from so-called pro-Palestinian activists, sends a message to all Arabs that working even with left-wing Jews is an unforgivable crime.

A person who should be hailed as an example to all Palestinians has been relegated to one of the many piles of garbage that he worked hard to eradicate.

Peace is impossible with a society that treats a true hero like Baha Nababta as a villain.

Elder of Ziyon

It’s time for a Palestinian State

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s blog, Sultan Knish}

A Palestinian state has never existed during any period in human history. Let’s change that.

The United States has spent billions of dollars trying to create a Palestinian state. It’s time that we finally got our money’s worth.

We’ve been putting money in the broken Palestinian slot machine in the metaphorical Palestinian casino (the real one was shot up when terrorists turned it into a base) for decades. It’s time to finally get our Palestinian jackpot.

But to make it happen, we need to be realistic.

Forget the peace process. Forget negotiations. They’ve never worked before. They’re not going to now. And there’s nothing to negotiate anyway.

There are almost a million Jews living on territory claimed by the PLO. Removing them would be the single greatest act of ethnic cleansing against an indigenous population today. It would also be impossible.

But the same people who insist that the United States, a country of 318 million, can’t deport 11 million illegal aliens, think that Israel will somehow deport 1/8th of its own population if they just chant loudly enough about “occupation” outside Jewish businesses in London or San Francisco.

Ethnically cleansing 8,000 Jews from Gaza/Gush Katif led to nationwide civil disobedience, riots and, eventually, the fall of a political party and three straight terms for Prime Minister Netanyahu. Now imagine trying to deport 800,000 people from their homes simply because they’re Jewish.

And it wouldn’t just be the Jews alone being rounded up into trucks, buses and maybe boxcars.

52 percent of Arabs in East Jerusalem would rather be Israeli citizens than live under the PLO. Are we support to deport 100,000 Arabs from Jerusalem to make way for this imaginary “Palestinian” state?

How much ethnic cleansing do we have to do to make the Islamic colonial fantasy of Palestine real? It’s not going to happen.

Let’s create a real Palestinian state instead. And I don’t mean the PLO’s President for Life Mahmoud Abbas going down to the UN to give another speech. Abbas is on his 11th year of a 4-year term. The US spent $4.5 billion promoting “Palestinian democracy” and the last PLO election was ten years ago.

Hamas won. It would win today all over again.

Current polling shows that 2/3 of “Palestinians” want Abbas to resign. Abbas has no political authority to form a Palestinian state, a Palestinian shawarma stand or a Palestinian anything.

If there’s going to be a Palestinian state, it has to be based on the will of the people. That means it will be a Hamas state. A Palestinian state that is not based on the will of its people has no legitimacy. The only legitimate Palestinian state is therefore a Hamas terror state.

And that’s the only kind of state you can have when 2/3 of “Palestinians” support stabbing Israeli civilians, 89% want to live under an Islamic State run by Sharia law, 84% want to stone adulterers to death and 66% support killing any Muslim who leaves Islam.

Only an Islamic terror state can truly represent the homicidal aspirations of the Palestinian people. Is this some sort of sick joke? Yes it is. But it’s not my sick joke. It’s the sick joke that is Palestine. Now let’s begin the process of turning this sick twisted joke into its own state.

The first thing to do is dismantle the UNRWA, a UN agency specifically dedicated to catering to “Palestinians”. The UNRWA is one of the key elements of the Palestinian welfare state. And the US kicks in around $300 million to the organization which fulfills many of the functions of a state. But a state doesn’t need its own refugee agency. And a Hamas terror state doesn’t need a further $350 million dollars in US foreign aid to promote “democracy” and improve its infrastructure and institutions.

This is going to be a problem because the imaginary Palestinian state also has a fantasy economy. The largest employer in the Palestinian Authority is the Palestinian Authority. Most of its money comes from America, Europe, Israel and, for some inconceivable reason, Japan.

The terror state gets its electricity from Israel. It gets its water and internet through Israel. So let’s get a clear look at what a real Palestinian state would look like. It would be Gaza writ large. But without the UNRWA and the rest of the NGOs lining up to provide jobs and social services. It would be an “open air prison”, as anti-Israel activists screech of Gaza, but a prison created and maintained by the inmates. It would be constantly at war with Israel and the rest of the world.

The way it is now.

The economy will be a thinly disguised feudal system of Islamists with engineering degrees in mansions paying starvation wages to laborers to harvest olives to be shipped to China. There will be shopping malls for some and little shacks on the edges full of smugglers, drug labs and brothels for everyone else.

That’s the Islamist dream.

Palestine’s political system will consist of Hamas and more Hamas. Or maybe once the Hamas alliance with ISIS in the Sinai lapses, there will finally be a democratic election between Hamas and ISIS to decide just how horrible of a place the misshapen slices of Gaza and the West Bank under terrorist occupation will become. Nothing will function except the religious police and the gallows in the dusty squares.

There will be wars every two years. That will be just long enough to rebuild the hospitals, mosques and schools that were being used as launch sites in the last wars. In between the big wars, the terrorist groups, Hamas factions, ISIS, Islamic Jihad and anybody else, will fight each other in the streets.

It will be glorious.

Imagine the last few decades of terror, bombings, missile strikes, firefights, corruption, thievery and utter dysfunction made into a permanent state of affairs. That’s Palestine. That’s the two-state solution. Just don’t ask what it solves except the Middle East’s severe shortage of terrorist states and terrorists.

If you will it, it is no dream. This nightmare already exists and it can be a real country. It already has an anthem, a flag, no elections and no reason to exist except killing everyone else. It’s a foreign aid funded ISIS with more olive harvests and a more robust campus presence.

Everyone talks about creating a Palestinian state, but no one actually wants to do it.

It’s time for Palestine to stop being a pipe dream full of pipe bombs that we spend billions of dollars on. Just pull out a seat at the UN, hold democratic elections and then step away from the explosions.

A real two-state solution is just that simple. And it can happen tomorrow.

Let’s stop fantasizing about peace. Peace and Palestine go together like oil and water. This is what a real Palestinian state would look like. And the moment it comes into being, any possibility of peace dies.

Daniel Greenfield

Why the BDS Movement is Destroying a Future Palestinian State

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

From the moment Israel declared its independence, one of the main Arab tactics has been to exploit the Jews’ Achilles heel – their highly developed culture, which respects and values life, and their support for human rights.

Of Arab origin, I have long known about the Arab stereotype of the West and Israel — that they are weak because they care about the lives of their own people and they are eager to respect the human rights of their enemies. Golda Meir is reported to have said, “We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children.”

Until now, Israel has conformed to that Arab stereotype — such as with “knocks on the roof” in Gaza to warn residents to leave buildings being used for military purposes before they are targeted — but in conversations with Zionists, it seems that this attitude is changing. While Jews will always value life, their determination to minimize enemy casualties and to respect their human rights at almost all costs might be unraveling, and it is the Palestinians who are likely to pay the price.

During the War of Independence, the Arab side ensured that not a single Jew was left on the Arab side of the 1949 armistice lines, but a large number of Arabs were allowed by Jews to remain on the Israeli side. Today those Arabs constitute 20% of the Israeli population.

Israel’s respect for the human rights of Arabs living in Israel has been used by Arabs against Israel. The idea of any Jews on the Arab side is demonized and any “normalization” with Jews is aggressively discouraged

By contrast, Arabs living in Israel have consistently elected Arab parliamentarians, even anti-Zionist ones who openly support Palestinian terrorists. If Israel expels those politicians from the Knesset — as there is a proposed law to do — it is accused by the West of being undemocratic, but if it does not expel them it is seen by Arabs as weak.

During the Six-Day War of June 1967 — a defensive war in which Israel repelled attacking Arab armies that included Jordan and Egypt — Israel moved into large swaths of Arab land, including the Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank and Gaza. Israel immediately offered to give land back in exchange for recognition and peace. Less than three months later, on September 1, 1967, the answer came back in the form of the famous “Three Nos” of the Khartoum Conference: No peace with Israel, no recognition no negotiations.

Israel could have played by Arab rules and deported all Arabs in the land it occupied, but it did not. Precisely because Israel respected the human rights of Arabs, and despite its own self-interest, Israel gave the Palestinians a platform from which to seek the destruction of Israel.

Today’s Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement continues to apply the same hypocritical double standards in a transparent effort to make Israel extinct. Its leaders have stated in no uncertain terms that they are not interested in a two-state solution. They want a single Arab state to replace Israel. They are counting on the assumption that sooner or later, Israel will be forced to annex the West Bank and give Israeli citizenship to all its residents. After this, the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state would be just a matter of time.

The dominant sentiment on the Zionist side today is that the solution most Jews since the 1940s have accepted as ethical — the two-state solution — is simply not working. The vast majority of Zionists blame this on the unrelenting Arab refusal to accept such a solution and on the fact that when, in what negotiations have taken place, the Palestinians never suggested so much as a reasonable counter-offer. Even Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, supposedly the most moderate leader of the Palestinians, has never accepted a two-state solution unless it included a Palestinian “right of return,” which would result in a fully Arab state next to a majority Arab state — yet another way of making the Jewish state extinct.

With Israel’s back to the wall, it will sooner or later have to choose between giving up the Jewish state and lowering its human rights standards for the Palestinians. It seems increasingly clear that Israelis will not choose the first. In their place, I wouldn’t either. One sign is a proposed law that would deport the families of terrorists. Another is a proposed law that would expel Knesset members who openly support terrorists.

American human rights lawyer Alan Dershowitz has repeatedly warned that the BDS movement is destroying the prospect for a negotiated two-state solution, by making Palestinian leaders believe that they do not need to make any compromises. Dershowitz has not ventured what would happen if the BDS movement continues on its current track. He has just made the general and obvious prediction that it would lead to “more wars, more death and more suffering.”

If this Arab-BDS tactic continues, Israel may well move to the right of its current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and elect a government for which respect of Palestinian human rights is a lower priority. Such a government would be far less reluctant than Netanyahu in expanding settlements across the West Bank and in responding with overwhelming force to terrorist attacks, thereby making the lives of Palestinians much more difficult and seriously harming dreams of Palestinian statehood.

The advocates of BDS seem to rely on the belief that Israel would never do that, but they are wrong for several reasons:

  • The Jews of Israel will not willingly commit suicide. So far, every time they refused to adopt anti-human-rights approaches, those decisions were not fatal to Israel. A one-state solution with equal rights for all would however be fatal to Israel, and most Jews of Israel will not go along with it.
  • Israel can see how the rest of the Middle East has engaged with impunity in ethnic cleansing, from the ethnic cleansing of Jews to the ethnic cleansing of the Christians, and all the other groups in between. They also see that the West takes no serious action against it.
  • Israelis know that the Arabs have been mistreating the Palestinians for almost 70 years, so Arab states will not risk losing further wars against Israel for the sake of Palestinians, whom they anyway despise (assuming that the divided Arabs could even manage to form a viable coalition against Israel).
  • One of the factors currently holding back Israel’s right wing is the risk of losing Western support. However, with the growing BDS movement, Israel may well feel that it has lost the support of the West anyway and that there is nothing left to lose.

For almost 70 years, the Arabs have played a very dangerous game, counting on Jewish scruples to turn every defeat into a partial victory. Whereas throughout history those who lose wars — especially wars they themselves started — are forced to live by the rules of the winner, the Arabs have refused to live by Israel’s rules and they even consistently rejected middle-of-the-road two-state solutions that would have been reasonable for both sides. One can only hope that they, like Egypt and Jordan, will soon decide to live in peace with a neighbor which turned out to be far better in the way it treats Palestinians than the Palestinians’ own “Arab brothers” — not all that bad, after all. One can only hope that Palestinian leaders will start promoting a culture of peace rather than a culture of hate.

Fred Maroun

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/why-the-bds-movement-is-destroying-a-future-palestinian-state/2016/04/17/

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