The myopic focus on “horrible” Israel and “sadly deprived” Palestinians in Israel is a disasterous farce — for the entire Middle East region.
Secretary Kerry has returned from Israel,”empty handed” again, but full of hope for change in which he can believe — anything consistent with his librul ideology. History, facts and other aspects of reality are, to him, inconsequential.
There have been many attempts at “peace process” frameworks, none of them acceptable to the principal actors in Palestine and few acceptable to Israel. Secretary Kerry apparently intends to present a new “framework” in a few weeks, covering all “core issues,” including “security arrangements, borders [and] Jerusalem. . . .” This probably won’t be part of the
frameup “framework,” but might as well be.
The video is from October of 2010 but little aside from increasing pressures on Israel has changed.
Meanwhile, incitement to hatred and overt acts against Israel and Israeli Jews continues unabated. Is it the result of official incitement, hatred of long standing, or both? Whatever may be the cause(s), the situation presents enormous and probably insurmountable obstacles to peace.
This video is also more than three years old, but human emotions don’t change quickly. Incitement of hatred has long been a useful political tool for gaining approval, often in the forms of money and publicity, from those of similar inclination. It is not often an effective way to win approval from those who want viable solutions to problems. Nor is it a useful vehicle for eliminating restrictions of which “oppressed” Palestinians complain. Here, with a tip of the hat to Anne, is a video explaining the necessity of the much reviled Israeli checkpoints.
Has the “peace process” enabled terrorism? Are the Israeli checkpoints more effective but less intrusive than TSA inspections of airline and other passengers in the United States? Are more terrorist terrorist attacks thwarted by checkpoints in Israel because there are more such attacks to thwart?
Most Israeli Arabs don’t want to live in a Palestinian state.
Arabs living in Israel, while deginerating Israel daily, generally have no desire to live in a new Palestinian state in Israel or, for that matter, in a Palestinian state elsewhere. As noted in a Gatestone Institute article titled Israeli Arabs: We Do Not Want to Live in Palestinian State,
Renewed talk of land swaps between Israel and a future Palestinian state has left many Israeli Arabs worried about losing their status as citizens of Israel.
According to the Israeli daily Ma’ariv, Israel has proposed to the Americans transferring Israeli Arab communities to the Palestinian Authority as part of a land swap that would place Jewish settlements in the West Bank under Israeli sovereignty. [Emphasis added.]
The proposal means that some 300,000 Israeli Arabs would be allowed to stay in their villages in the “triangle” area along the border with the West Bank. However, these citizens would find themselves living under the jurisdiction of a Palestinian state.[Emphasis added.]
The new-old proposal has been strongly rejected by leaders of the Israeli Arabs, who expressed outrage over the idea.
It was hard this week to find even one Israeli Arab who publicly supported the proposal.
“This is an imaginary proposal that relates to the Arabs as if they were chess pieces that could be moved around according to the wish of the players,” said Ahmed Tibi, an Arab member of the Knesset.
Another Arab Knesset member, Afu Ighbarriyeh, said, “Citizens of a democratic state are not tools or hostages in the hands of their government.” [Emphasis added.]
Considering the source, the reference to Israel as a “democratic state” is an illuminating choice of words.
Both Tibi and Ighbarriyeh are from towns in the triangle area; Taybeh and Umm al-Fahm.
But what the Arab Knesset members are not saying openly is that they do not want to wake up in the morning and discover that they are citizens of a Palestinian state. It is much easier for them to accuse Israel of racism than to admit that they do not want to be part of a Palestinian state. [Emphasis added.]
. . . .
Professor Smooha said that Israeli Arabs are interested in receiving the benefits that the state provides them – stability, democracy, services and so on. The Arab leadership is more critical of Israel than the Arab public, which is “much more pragmatic than their leaders,” he explained. [Emphasis added.]
The Knesset has 120 members, 12 of whom are Arabs. Some of the Arab parliamentarians have over the past two decades acted and spoken in a way that has caused damage to the interests of the 1.5 million Arab citizens of Israel. [Emphasis added.]
They are first and foremost responsible for radicalizing a large number of Israeli Arabs and turning them against the state.
These parliamentarians have, in fact, spent more time defending the interests of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip than those of their voters.
A Knesset member who openly identifies with Fatah or Hamas or Hezbollah is responsible for the situation that many Israeli Jews today see Israeli Arabs as a “fifth column” and an “enemy from within.”
These Knesset members are fully aware that they would lose most of their privileges under most Arab regimes — the real reason why they are strongly opposed to the latest proposal. [Emphasis added.]
The Palestinians have their own parliament in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. But this parliament, known as the Palestinian Legislative Council, has been paralyzed since Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007. [Emphasis added.]
In most Arab countries, parliament members who dare to criticize their rulers often find themselves sitting at home or behind bars. [Emphasis added.]
If the Arab Knesset members are so worried about becoming citizens of a Palestinian state, they should be working toward integration into, and not separation from, Israel. The Arab parliamentarians need to listen more to what their constituents are telling them and not to the voices of Fatah and Hamas.
Assuming a modicum of sanity, why should Israeli Arabs want to live in a Palestinian state?
Elsewhere in the Middle East, Palestinians and other Arabs lack the freedoms and resources they have in Israel.
According to another article at the Gatestone Institute, titled U.S. Fiddles while Palestinians in Syria Starve,
Palestinians are being starved to death. But this is not happening in the West Bank or Gaza Strip. Nor is it taking place in Israel.
Rather, this is happening in an Arab country, Syria, while the international community continues to turn a blind eye to the tragedy. [Emphasis added.]
At least 15 Palestinians have died from starvation since last September in the Palestinian Yarmouk refugee camp near Damascus, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).
UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said, “We have received reports over the weekend that at least five more Palestinian refugees in the besieged refugee camp of Yarmouk in Damascus have died due to malnutrition, bringing the total number of reported cases (of starvation) up to 15.”
According to reports from Syria, some 20,000 Palestinians living in Yarmouk face death from starvation as a result of the siege on the camp that began last July.
Yarmouk has been under siege by the Syrian army after a large number of gunmen belonging to the Syrian opposition found shelter inside the camp.
Yet it is not only the Syrians who are besieging the camp. A radical Palestinian group called Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command, which is loyal to Bashar Assad, is also taking part in the siege. [Emphasis added.]
Human rights activists say the Syrian authorities are refusing to allow aid into the camp, creating a severe humanitarian crisis.
Palestinian and Syrian activists have also launched a campaign entitled Save Yarmouk Camp in an attempt to end the crisis and prevent further deaths from starvation.
“Yarmouk camp in Damascus is being starved to death,” screamed a headline in the Arab news website elaph.com.
According to the website, the siege has led to a sharp rise in prices of basic food, with one kilogram of rice being sold in the black market for more than $40. [Emphasis added.]
The PLO leadership, meanwhile, seems to be too busy with the “peace process” and US Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to achieve peace between Palestinians and Israel. [Emphasis added.]
Besides issuing laconic statements calling for the lifting of the siege, PLO leaders have not been able to do much to help the residents of Yarmouk camp.
Zakariya al-Agha, head of the PLO’s refugees department, said in a brief statement that the death of Palestinian refugees as a result of the shortage of food and medicine is a “crime” for which the warring parties in Syria are responsible.
The PLO official pointed out that 37 Palestinians have so far died from starvation in the camp.
Yet the PLO leadership has stopped short of calling for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council or the Arab League to end the suffering of the Palestinian refugees in Syria. [Emphasis added.]
The UN is too preoccupied with the “horrors” of the “Israeli occupation” and with blaming Israel for the world’s problems that it would be unlikely to respond to such a call. Moreover, bashing Israel probably brings Palestinian authorities more international funding and prestiege than would efforts to help their own people in Syria. Bashing Israel is a favorite international sport. Might it become a new Olympic event?
Another article at the Gatestone Institute titled The Middle East: The Way They See It also focuses on the lack of international interest in the absymal plight of Palestinians and others living outside Israel, not only in Syria: Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Egypt and Africa.
Israel receives a lot of unwelcome attention from the U.S., the UN and the EU. As others in the region see it, however, that makes Israel the most important country in the world, and Palestinians the world’s luckiest “refugees.” While withdrawing security and political assistance from most of the Middle East and Africa, the Obama Administration has increased its visibility in the “peace process” and announced a $4 billion investment plan for Palestine. To other countries, this attention shows who, in America’s eyes, is important. [Emphasis added.]
. . . .
Through Lebanese eyes:
After a generation of unrelenting sectarian violence, the Lebanese people found a tentative peace in 1991. Yes, it vested a lot of unearned power in Hezbollah, which used it to bait Israel. But among ourselves, we were figuring it out, more or less, give or take. Now the Syrian war has landed on us. Hezbollah fighters are fighting not only in Syria, but also in Lebanon; Sunni militias are doing the same. We share the agony of Syria, we are terrified, and we are powerless.
But the U.S. Administration sent John Kerry to make “Palestine” — to obtain security for Israel, and avoid a “third intifada.” How does potential violence against Israel command more American diplomatic attention than the actual descent of Lebanon into chaos? [Emphasis added.]
The article presents similar commentary on other places in the Middle East and Africa; reading the whole thing would be quite helpful in understanding why the Obama – Kerry “peace proess” against Israel is myopic, ideological and blind to fairness and “inconvenient truths.”
I am not Jewish. Although I think I have intellectual and historic senses of the persistent hatred of Jews — wherever they may be and whatever they may do, I have never experienced it. I can, therefore, only try to imagine my reactions to “peace process” demands that I make suicidal concessions to those whose hatred of me and of my kind has persisted for centuries and shows no signs of abating. My feelings toward such a “peace process” would be hostile; demands by outsiders with little factual knowledge would be ill received. I cannot conceive that I would entertain such proposals with the grace and equanimity exhibited by Israel.
Barry Rubin today posted an article titled Who’s to Blame? Palestinians seek to Avoid Responsibility for their Situation in which he counters Palestinian and media accounts to the effect that the problems of Palestinians are the fault of Israel. Here’s an excerpt:
“And the price that is being demanded for this [Palestinian] state is so exorbitant that the Palestinian Authority cannot sell it, nor can the Palestinians accept it.” In fact, the “exorbitant” price for the Palestinians consisted of the recognition of a Jewish state in exchange for the recognition of an Arab state, the cessation of terrorist attacks on Israel, and other similar conditions. Yet in the previous month alone there were at least five murderous attacks on Israelis, a bomb on a bus within Israel, a border attack against Israel from Gaza, and the–especially creative–effort of a member of the PA security Forces who had requested to be treated for an eye injury in Israel intending to use that humanitarian gesture as an opportunity to commit a terror attack on an Israeli hospital. [Emphasis added.]
Every day, there are verbal attacks on Israel as well. In other words, Israel is only offered real peace as a propaganda measure. “The promised Palestinian state will be nothing but a shadow entity completely ruled by Israel.” Remember that if the Gaza Strip is being included in the 22 percent allegedly offered to Palestinians, Gaza is not controlled by the PA. Therefore the PA has no authority to be negotiating about Gaza and Hamas is not ready to accept Israel under any conditions. [Emphasis added.]
The survival of Israel as a reasonably free and democratic oasis in the otherwise baren desert of the Middle East is, obviously, important to Israelis. It should be no less important to others in the region as a beacon to follow toward economic and intellectual growth. If the Obama Administration had the best interests of the region (and of the United States) in focus, and cared, it would do its best to promote that sense rather than continue to make ever-increasing demands that Israel commit national suicide so that terrorists and other savages, little removed from the Stone Age, can take over. How could that benefit the United States, which they allegedly represent? I haven’t a clue.
UPDATE January 8th
An article at PJ Media titled The Palestinians and Terrorism in Europe, Redux provides an enlightening flash back to Palestinian terrorism of the past and some pertinent observations about the present in Europe. It observes,
The Palestine Liberation Organization had maintained a crude plausible denial for its terrorism. It used fictitious action groups to shoot up airports, seize hostages, and conduct assassinations — often, like Saturn, devouring its own children in the latter process. Of these action groups, the most notorious was Black September.
. . . .
Today, the Palestinians are no longer dependent on compliant Arab governments for access to arms, resources, and logistics. The Europeans have upgraded their diplomatic missions so that for all practical purposes they function as nation-states. They now have their own diplomatic pouches.
. . . .
The Palestinians are now in Europe with greater power, but neither their mission nor their mindset has changed. Thirty years ago, they were the Soviet-sponsored ally of the fighting communists. Today, the fighting communists are gone, the Cold War is over, but the Palestinians are still with us and still using terrorism as a means of gaining access to the public agenda. A Palestinian arms cache in Prague is, in all likelihood, just one of many. It’s symptomatic of what they do. [Emphasis added.]
Why are Palestinians and their cause(s) so greatly revered in Europe while Israel — trying very hard under extreme U.S. and European pressure to gain peace with them — is so grossly disparaged? Fear of Palestinians and/or blissful ignorance?