FactsOfIsrael.com News, Comments and Links

<- Back to Main page

June 17, 2002
 Send to Printer    Link to this page
There is no Palestinian partner for peace

The Jerusalem Post (www.jpost.com) has a good article on how a Palestinian State would be a great danger for Israel, not only because of Arafat, but mainly because of the Palestinians' hate towards the Jewish State and their wish for her destruction.

To start with, a large portion of the Palestinian population openly declares that its goal is not a two-state solution, but Israel's destruction. In a poll conducted in May-June by the Jerusalem Media and Communication Center, a Palestinian research organization, 51 percent of Palestinians said the goal of the current conflict is "to liberate all of historic Palestine" - a euphemism for eradicating Israel. This is a new high, but a large minority has always espoused this position (a year ago, the rate was 41%).

Furthermore, both leading Palestinian parties, Fatah and Hamas, deny that a Jewish state has a right to exist. Hamas, of course, rejects Israel's existence outright. Fatah, in contrast, is willing to accept Israel's existence - but not as a Jewish state. According to MK Amnon Rubinstein, a veteran dove from the far-left Meretz party, Fatah's Web site recently declared that "rejecting the right of return means the continuation of the struggle indefinitely" (Ha'aretz, June 12). In other words, peace is possible only if Israel allows in enough Palestinian refugees to vote the Jewish state out of existence.

Sad news, but true. As someone who used to vote Labor (left, see the democracy page for details), I woke up and smelled the falafel - I realize today that there is no Palestinian partner for peace - the best we can hope is to crush them militarily and stop their murderous attacks on unarmed Israeli civilians.

I copy the full article below.

The problem is with the people
By EVELYN GORDON - June 17, 2002

What makes this widespread Palestinian support for Israel's destruction so dangerous is that it is coupled with overwhelming support for murdering Jewish women and children as a means to this end

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has had some success in convincing the Bush administration that Israel cannot make a deal with Yasser Arafat. Yet in the process, he has fostered a dangerous illusion: that "painful concessions" will be possible once Arafat is gone. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth - because, as a senior Palestinian official aptly put it two weeks ago, "the problem is not Arafat, but the Palestinian people as a whole."

The international template for an Israeli-Palestinian agreement would bring a Palestinian state within easy shooting range of Israel's major population centers: Tel Aviv is all of 18 km. from the West Bank, while the border would run right through Jerusalem. In short, terrorists would no longer even have to enter Israel: They could fire rockets, or even spray bullets, at Jewish civilians from any rooftop in east Jerusalem or numerous Palestinian towns along the Green Line. Thus, unless the Palestinians are willing to live in peace, such a deal would turn all of Israel into a deathtrap. And too many Palestinians evince no such willingness.

To start with, a large portion of the Palestinian population openly declares that its goal is not a two-state solution, but Israel's destruction. In a poll conducted in May-June by the Jerusalem Media and Communication Center, a Palestinian research organization, 51 percent of Palestinians said the goal of the current conflict is "to liberate all of historic Palestine" - a euphemism for eradicating Israel. This is a new high, but a large minority has always espoused this position (a year ago, the rate was 41%).

Furthermore, both leading Palestinian parties, Fatah and Hamas, deny that a Jewish state has a right to exist. Hamas, of course, rejects Israel's existence outright. Fatah, in contrast, is willing to accept Israel's existence - but not as a Jewish state. According to MK Amnon Rubinstein, a veteran dove from the far-left Meretz party, Fatah's Web site recently declared that "rejecting the right of return means the continuation of the struggle indefinitely" (Ha'aretz, June 12). In other words, peace is possible only if Israel allows in enough Palestinian refugees to vote the Jewish state out of existence.

Lest anyone misinterpret this statement, Rubinstein noted, the site clarified that the right of return is meant "to help Jews get rid of the racist Zionism that wants to impose their permanent isolation from the rest of the world" - in other words, to eliminate the state's Jewish-Zionist character. And then, to lay to rest any lingering illusions that Fatah recognizes Jewish rights to this land, the posting went on to deny any Jewish connection to locations such as the Western Wall, the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, or the City of David.

BUT WHAT makes this widespread individual and institutional support for Israel's destruction so dangerous is that it is coupled with overwhelming support for murdering Jewish women and children as a means to this end. Every poll shows a majority of Palestinians supporting suicide bombings; the latest JMCC survey puts the figure at 68% (with 26% opposed). "Martyrdom" - i.e. dying in an attempt to kill Jews - is sought not only by those with nothing to lose, but even by the best and the brightest: According to a June 10 Los Angeles Times report, the three 14-year-olds who were killed trying to plant a bomb in a Gazan settlement this spring were ranked first, second and third in their class. Gazan psychiatrist Eyad Sarraj explained to the Times that this is because "martyrs" enjoy "unparalleled status in Palestinian society": Their pictures are plastered on public walls; people throng to their funerals; Palestinian officials visit their families; imams praise them in the mosques; political leaders praise them at rallies. There is even a popular children's game named shaheed (martyr).

Worst of all, many parents actively encourage this goal. At rallies, Sarraj noted, parents often dress their children up as suicide bombers, both pre- and post-attack. Um Nidal Farahat, a Gazan mother of four whose 17-year-old son, Mohammed, died murdering five Israeli teens in Atzmona this March, grotesquely epitomizes this phenomenon: According to the Times, Farahat told the Saudi newspaper Asharq al-Awsat that she discussed the attack with Mohammed beforehand and even posed with him for keepsake photographs. Mohammed had been active in Hamas's military wing since age seven, Farahat added, and "as a mother, I reinforced this love of martyrdom in the mind of Mohammed and of all my sons."

A peace deal would undoubtedly change some Palestinians' minds, but an entire culture cannot be radically altered overnight. It will take at least a generation of intensive effort - by schools, the media and other institutions - to eradicate this cult of hatred. And until it is eradicated, a Palestinian state can never be a safe neighbor for Israel.

The writer is a veteran journalist and commentator.

Posted by David Melle at June 17, 2002 01:56 PM
Comments
Post a comment 
Name:


Email Address:


URL:


Comments:


Remember info?



Email this entry
Email this entry to (please enter email address):


Your email address:


Message (optional):


Referrers to this Page

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains some copyrighted materials the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.




(According to digits.com)