Israel: The Elephant In The Room


May 23, 2011: Israel is trying to get the U.S. to recognize that the main Israeli-Palestinian problem is the corruption and radicalism among the Palestinians that makes them a divided and virtually ungovernable group. That sort of thing tends to get ignored, largely because it is politically explosive and very difficult to deal with. It's much easier to talk about a "peace deal" or a "two state solution" without confronting the fact that the Arabs in general, and the Palestinians in particular make no secret (at least in Arab language media) that their main objective is not peace with Israel, but the destruction of Israel. This is the elephant in the room that too many will not even recognize, much less discuss.

The latest Palestinian plan is to ask the UN to declare the Palestinian state this September, preferably with the 1967 borders (meaning no Jewish control of all of Jerusalem). That would set the stage for a Palestinian call for sanctions on Israel for not complying with the UN resolution and, eventually, that the UN use military force to make Israel comply. To help the world decide, the Palestinians have begun using unarmed mobs, which try to enter Israeli territory. This gets members of the mobs, preferably women and children, killed and turned into martyrs. This is used to further demonize the Israelis and encourage Western military intervention. The Palestinians accept the fact that no Arab state is going to try and take on the Israelis militarily. But some European states might be goaded into at least making threatening gestures. What the Palestinians really want here are economic sanctions. While the Palestinian terrorism campaign, begun in 2000, wrecked the Palestinian economy, the Israelis continued to thrive. Thus any damage to the Israeli economy might gain more concessions, and would be a big boost for Arab morale.

The Palestinians are particularly encouraged by the success of their efforts to make it acceptable for Palestinian women and children to die for the cause. Palestinian governments have been running media campaigns encouraging this for over a decade. The message has become more and more blunt in the last few years. None of this stuff appears in English, but there's plenty of it in Arabic. While the "hooray for death" propaganda was largely about being a suicide bomber, those who die, unarmed, while trying to occupy Israeli territory are also declared martyrs and praised copiously in the Palestinian media (along with cash payments to the families, making the deaths an economic, as well as political, transaction.)

Israelis recognize all this, and are appalled at how so many in the West are either ignorant of these realities, or simply refuse to believe it. There's a comprehension gap here that the Israelis fear will lead to serious attempts to destroy Israel and kill lots of Jews. After World War II, most Jews said "never again" (to mass murder like the Nazis engaged in against the Jews.) But here it is, all over again, except this time the Nazis are speaking Arabic, and aren't nearly as well organized.

May 22, 2011: Israeli police arrested nine terrorist suspects in the West Bank. Operations like this are what keeps the terror attacks out of Israel, because Palestinian police will not arrest all the terrorists in the West Bank, and those that are arrested can often bribe or intimidate their way out of jail. The corruption in the West Bank not only lets criminal gangs thrive, but is also used by various terrorist groups to keep going.

May 19, 2011: The U.S. announced that it backed the 1967 borders, with land swaps, as the basis for peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. This was nothing new, except that the U.S. has long avoided getting involved in the specifics of the Israeli/Palestinian negotiations. Both Israel and the Palestinians condemned the new U.S. positions (Israel complained about the U.S. butting in where they had no life-or-death stake, the Palestinians expected more pressure from America on Israel to move negotiations along.)

May 15, 2011: Thousands of Palestinian civilians gathered at border crossings in Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza, and tried to move into Israel. This was to commemorate the 63rd anniversary of The Nakba (Day of Catastrophe, the victory of Israel in the 1948 war that led to 600,000 Arabs fleeing what is now Israel, and an equal number of Jews fleeing Arab countries.) At least 14 Palestinians were killed, and over a hundred wounded. A few Palestinians did get in and not get caught, especially at the Syria crossings. Palestinian leaders were pleased with the media attention and planned another such operation on June 5th. But the Israelis will be better prepared, so the next one may not be as successful (not get as many Palestinians killed as last time).



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