Random thoughts and insights – always shaken, never stirred

Israel, Palestinians, and Peace

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In the long course of the Israeli conflict with the PLO and other more recent manifestations of terrorism, there has been a tension between those of us on the outside who feel that the Israelis need to make concessions and those of us who feel that it’s the terrorists who need to make concessions.

In the wake of Yasser Arafat’s long overdue demise (still dead apparently as of this writing) many are openly speaking of the possibility of peace if Israel will back down. This is pretty amusing in its way. Before he stiffed Bush after 9/11, Arafat was continually hailed as the man to make peace with – did he not win a Nobel Peace Prize to the everlasting degradation of that award? Did he not reject the Oslo accords? Did not the Europeans (as if) continually insist that Arafat had to be accommodated? Indeed, was not Israel’s hand stayed from dispatching the demon back to his master by the very international community which insisted that Israel needed to make concessions? How many anti-Israel resolutions has the UN passed anyway?

In listening to Fox News last night, I heard something which astounded me. In the course of the conversation, Jeff Birnbaum and Juan Williams took the position that Powell had been sent to the Middle East at this time because incoming SecState Rice would not put sufficient pressure on Israel to come to the peace table. At one point the argument was made that it was Israel occupying territory, not the other way around.

Stuff and nonsense. Pray tell, why did Israel occupy those territories? Could it be because the Arabs invaded and the Israelis beat them like gongs? Hasn’t Israel handed back Gaza and the West Bank and aren’t the Palestinians making a complete mess of both places? Wasn’t Arafat the leader who brought the Palestinians to this sorry state?

There is a chance for peace. If the Palestinians can overcome a generation of hate-filled propaganda and indoctrination, if the PLO leadership rejects terrorism – not just in word but in deed – if the PLO explicitly in English, Arabic, and even Hebrew avows Israel’s right to exist in peace behind secure borders, and if the PLO immediately begins to assist in suppressing Hamas, Hezbollah, and all the others, then there may be a chance. Meanwhile, there is no onus on Israel to change her policies one bit. Target terrorists, defend citizens, finish the wall.

In this spring of the post-Arafat era, the opportunity for peace exists. But not by putting pressure on Israel – flowers will bloom only if the Palestinians take this opportunity to renounce Arafat’s poisoned legacy and set aside their hatred. It’s a nice fantasy, but I’m not holding my breath.


Written by martinipundit

November 23, 2004 at 11:27 pm

Posted in Anti-Semitism, GWOT, Israel

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