“A move towards a peace-loving leadership in Palestine is the most desired outcome in the Israel-Hamas conflict,” British foreign minister James Cleverly said on November 8, 2023, repeating Britain’s support for a two-state solution according to Reuters. “In the short term, it is inevitable that Israel, because they have the troops in Gaza, will need to have a security responsibility,” Cleverly said at the G7 summit in Japan. “But our view is as soon as practicable, a move towards a peace loving Palestinian leadership is the most desired outcome.”
Cleverly’s remarks border on the delusional without the slightest understanding of the history of the conflict. Inherent in his statement is the belief that the Palestinian Arabs want to live in peace with Israel. This illusion persists in spite of overwhelmingly evidence they have never had the slightest intention of agreeing to Israel’s right to exist in their ancestral homeland.
If a two-state solution is what these Arabs want, then why do they and their supporters chant “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” on university campuses and demonstrations throughout the US, Canada, Australia, and Europe. It is a call for the total destruction of the Jewish state since the borders of Israel are between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.
In an interview on CBN News and posted on October 24, 2023 with Itamar Marcus, founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch(PMW), Marcus said Hamas views the conflict with Israel as “an existential conflict, both against Israel as a state and against all Jews The PA [Palestinian Authority] shares this belief: PA Ministry of Religious Affairs instructed all preachers in all mosques to cite the Hadith that calls for genocide of all Jews. The PA supports Hamas’ terror invasion of Israel and has called on West Bank Palestinians to join the terror.”
Marcus concludes that “The tragedy is that the world has always seen the PA as “a peace partner” and funded them. The PA has used that money to educate a generation of Palestinians to believe that they have the obligation to destroy Israel, and the obligation to kill Jews.”
Even in the face of overwhelming proof of the goal of the Palestinian Arabs to annihilate the Jewish State, the West and the US persist in pursuing the fantasied notion of a two-state solution.
The Search for Moderate Arab Leaders is Not New
The search for the elusive moderate Arab leaders is not new. In June 1938, Sir John Shuckburgh of the Colonial Office was asked about Arab moderates. Shuckburgh recalled the saying of the late Lord John Morley, that, in times of unrest, “moderates are always at a discount.” The condition in Palestine, Shuckburgh noted, “was unhappily one in which extremists held the limelight and moderates had little influence.”
Alec S. Kirkbride, District Commissioner of the Galilee and Acre District, added that there were a number of moderates who were prepared to cooperate with the British, even though they disagreed with the British mandatory policy. It was “impossible” to estimate their exact number, however, because “they were naturally disinclined to come into the open.”
The Palestinian Arab Congress explained the difficulty of finding moderates when it told the League of Nations: “It is a gross error to believe that Arab and Jew may come to an understanding if only each of them exchanges his coat of extremism for another of moderation. When the principles underlying two movements do clash, it is futile to expect their meeting halfway.”
The inability of Israel to accept this painful truth has led its leaders to sign disastrous agreements costing many Israeli lives and has not brought peace any closer.
In fact, it has diminished the chances of achieving peace because Israel continues to reward terrorists by retreating from lands where Jews once lived and by exchanging large numbers of Arab prisoners for Israeli soldiers languishing in Arab prisons.
That the Israelis are exhausted by endless fighting is not surprising. Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expressed this desperation when he said: “We are tired of fighting, we are tired of being courageous, we are tired of winning, we are tired of defeating our enemies, we want [to]… to live in an entirely different environment of relations with our enemies. We want them to be our friends, our partners, our good neighbors.”
As long as Arab political and religious leaders continue to preach hate, teach their children to become suicide bombers, fire missiles to force Israelis to abandon their homes and property, savagely murder Jewish men women and children and demand the right of all refugees to “return,” there is no chance for peace.
Israel should stop deluding herself that peace is around the corner. Israeli leaders need to define the objectives of the country, explain why they have a moral, historical, and legal right to the state of Israel, and do whatever it takes to show the Arabs that no amount of terrorism will force them to leave their land. Only when the Arabs truly understand that the Jews are in Israel to stay can there be a chance for a dialogue. Until then, Israelis are negotiating with themselves and seen by some as “walking like sheep to slaughter.”
A Final Note
Perhaps Israel should heed the warning of the late Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, one of the leading Talmudic authorities of his generation and the acknowledged leader of Modern Orthodoxy, who said, “the evil intentions of the Arabs are not only directed against our national independence but against the continued existence of the Jewish presence in Israel. They aspire to exterminate … the Yishuv [the Jewish community in in the land of Israel].” The Torah tells us, he continued, that “the Lord will have a war against Amalek from generation to generation.” (Exodus 17:16). This is the tribe that attacked the Jews in the dessert from behind without being provoked. Amalek is not a certain race, but any nation or group harboring unbridled hatred toward the Jewish people. (Psalms 83:5).
The idea that the State of Israel has reduced antisemitism is mistaken. Antisemitism has intensified. Lest someone believe one can negotiate with them, Rabbi Soloveitchik declared, “It is always impossible to satisfy antisemites … they will find fault with whatever we do.”