The First Ward doesn’t typically tackle national issues, much less the international variety, but none of the slew of journalists addressing the violent resurgence of ancient animosities in the Middle East, are getting it right. There are obvious truths that are being overlooked or purposely ignored for political correctness’ sake.
The first one is how many bites at the apple should anyone get? We all make mistakes, but the Palestinians have perfected the art.
The titular quote by the late Israeli diplomat Abba Eban is a common misappropriation. He actually applied the word “Arabs” instead of “Palestinians,” but that only means his declaration has evolved to fit the truth.
To say the UN’s proposed 1947 two-state solution was flawed is essentially the same as saying the sky is blue. But even though the deal would’ve granted them the prime real estate by letting the perfect be the enemy of the good, the Palestinians rejected it outright.
As a result, they took up arms against Israel in 1948 and lost. Then they joined their Arab neighbors in attacking Israel in 1957 and lost. They did the same thing in 1967’s Six-Day War and 1973’s Yom Kippur War and they lost both times.
PLO leader Yasser Arafat repeatedly refused to accept a two-state solution with East Jerusalem as the capital and Hamas won’t even consider the possibility.
But despite being repeatedly attacked and rejected, a majority of nations continue put the onus on Israel to negotiate a peace deal. As Mr. Eban also aptly noted, “If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions.”
At what point do the Palestinians people have to take responsibility for their self-inflicted dismal fate?
A vast irony that’s completely lost on the liberals (I’m a liberal) and progressives who unerringly support the Gaza Palestinians is Israel’s Arab citizens have far more rights than their counterparts in their own countries.
Israeli Palestinians can freely move throughout the country, they can assemble and protest, they can form pro-Palestinian organizations, and they can vote, run for the Knesset, and become judges.
Meanwhile, Egypt regularly massacres pro-democracy protesters and Christians. The Saudi Arabian government treats women like fourth class citizens and quells dissent with an iron first. Syria has descended into a sectarian quagmire and we’ve all heard about what happens to women who challenge the religious autocracy in Iran. They die.
Worse yet, Gaza tortures and kills homosexuals, women can’t go out alone without permission from a “male guardian,” and if they’re not torturing and murdering dissenters for carry signs simply saying, “We want to live,” they’re stealing land from their own people.
Not to mention that civilized nations don’t target civilians at a music festival, take hostages, purposely massacre old women and children, and attack shipping in neutral waters as Iran likes to do. Yet Israel persists in warning Palestinian civilians to evacuate before attacks, though they’ve never received the same “courtesy.”
Palestinian protesters in downtown Chicago were carrying sign demanding an “end to the occupation” when Gaza isn’t occupied by any group but Hamas. They also called for the “end of the blockade,” but no one mentions that Egypt has similarly sealed off Gaza’s southern border because they don’t want to have to deal with the Palestinians or Hamas. Lest you think they were being subtle, many of those demonstrators were shouting the old Palestinian platitudes, “From the river to the sea Palestine will be free” which calls for the Israel’s destruction.
And by the way, there has never been a country called “Palestine” in the long history of this planet.
And Israel is somehow supposed to negotiate with Hamas despite their central charter tenet calling for the elimination of the Israeli state? Right! If Hamas or any of Arab nations had Israel’s military might, particularly nuclear weapons, they would’ve already done what Israel has consistently refrained from doing long ago.
Imagine this scenario.
You have a neighbor who throws rocks at your house without reservation and then they attack your family members at random intervals. They put a declaration up on the side of their house calling for the complete destruction of your family as they chant “Death to the Smiths” from their backyard. Just when you think it can’t get any worse, most of the other neighbors claim it’s your responsibility to make peace.
You wouldn’t put up with that for ten seconds, yet Israel’s had to accept that reality for 75 long years? I’m not nearly saying that Israel is perfect, but c’mon!
If Israel made any mistake in the current turn of events, it was their government’s delusional belief that, by providing electricity, food, construction material, and humanitarian aid to Gaza, that largesse would lead to a more moderate and practical Hamas. But all it did was provide the terrorist group with the breathing room to plan and execute those horrific attacks.
The best indication of Hamas’ insanity is they truly believed their Tet-like offensive would incite Hezbollah and the other Arab nations into joining their attack on Israel. But with Russia preoccupied in Ukraine and Iran facing rebellion at home, that’s not going to happen, and now they’re about to learn they made another serious miscalculation the hard way.
Until the Palestinians take responsibility for their leadership’s active role in these ongoing conflagrations, nothing will change. And just as the West destroyed ISIS as a meaningful entity, it’s time for Israel to do the same thing with Hamas.
End of story.