Photo Credit: Jodie Maoz

American Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides was recently quoted as telling a group of Americans that settlement growth can’t be averted but it infuriates him. The ambassador’s remarks made quite the strong impression in Israel. While I obviously disagree with the ambassador’s object of fury, I can relate to his sentiments. There are many things about the current situation and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that infuriate me as well.

I disagree but take no issue with people who recognize the Jewish people’s rights to the land of Israel but feel it’s best to hand it to the Palestinians. They can take this position and be great Zionists. The refusal of many to recognize the Jewish people’s right to the entire land of Israel, including Judea and Samaria is what infuriates me. There is no factual argument to say Jews have a right to Tel Aviv but not Hebron. The Jewish people have the right to govern, live in and settle every inch of our ancestral land.


There are people who tell me and other Jews that we can’t build houses, synagogues, schools, even soccer fields in Judea and Samaria, the “West Bank,” simply because we’re Jewish. While they’d never consider saying Blacks, Asians, or Latinos can’t live somewhere because of who they are, anti-Semitic discrimination has become justified in their eyes. When asked to defend their discrimination they talk about the land being Palestinian and not Israeli. It infuriates me that they’ve accepted that Jews shouldn’t live in a Palestinian state – while over two million Arabs live in a Jewish state – simply because they’re Jewish.

Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people. It was inaugurated by King David, a Jewish king; before him, it was a barely inhabited hill top. Before any Arab made their way to Silwan, King Solomon built the first Temple, and Ezra built the second Temple. It’s nothing less than infuriating when people advocate splitting the most sacred city of the world and giving half of it to imposters because they demand it.

Palestinians call violent terrorism, whether it be suicide bus bombings, shooting children in school buses or their classrooms, stabbing mothers at gas stations, or car rammings at bus stops, “resistance” and they’re proud of it. Their terrorism is so frequent, their acts rarely make the news unless they kill someone. It infuriates me that the world ignores the three to six Palestinian terror attacks attempted in Israel every day.

The two-state solution was an idea that seemed to have merit. But after an intifada, rockets fired from Gaza, and thousands of terror attacks supported by Palestinian leadership and its people, it became clear the two-state solution would never bring peace. The two-state solution then shifted from being about bringing peace to giving the Palestinian people a state. It infuriates me that peace for the Israeli people has no longer become a priority for advocates of the two-state solution.

In 1948, Arabs living in Palestine had a choice, accept a Jewish state in peace or go to war and lose their opportunity for a state. The Arabs chose poorly, went to war, and lost. In the process, hundreds of thousands of Arabs fled their homes, many others were forced out. With the help of the global Arab community and sympathetic countries, the world was convinced these Arabs and every one of their descendants had a right to return to the homes they had fled when their hopes of annihilating the Jewish state weren’t realized. It infuriates me the world still pays heed to this fallacy of a right granted to no other people in history and demands Israel grant seven million Palestinian descendants entrance into the Jewish state.

Palestinians are victims of low expectations. When Israelis bring up Palestinian terrorism, rejectionist refusal of every Israeli peace offer, and Palestinian corruption as reasons for concern over the creation of a Palestinian state, these concerns are brushed away and excused because the world has accepted that Palestinians use terrorism, reject peace offers and are corrupt – the world holds Palestinians to low expectations. This excuses Palestinian behavior that should never be excused and puts Israelis at risk.

There are people who talk about settlements as if they’re experts, yet they’ve never sat down and had a discussion with a settler and have never visited a settlement. What infuriates me the most is the hypocrisy so many people exhibit when discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The hypocrisy is shown when people talk about settler violence and criticize settlement building as inhibiting peace but ignore Palestinian terrorism. It’s also shown when people yell about apartheid and occupation but ignore Hamas and Palestinian Authority corruption and civil rights violations.

Ambassador Nides is correct that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is infuriating. Fury is an expression of failed expectations. People become infuriated when they see dysfunction that results in catastrophic tragedy when the human condition could so easily be improved. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, one that sustains itself on violence and death, is a prime example of where humans can so easily find peace – if only they’d put aside their infuriating behavior and demands.


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Rabbi Uri Pilichowski is an educator who teaches in high schools across the world. He teaches Torah and Israel political advocacy to teenagers and college students. He lives with his wife and six children in Mitzpe Yericho, Israel. You can follow him on Facebook, and on twitter @rationalsettler.