Ending Israel’s abusive relationships

The Jerusalem Post reports,

Israel’s representatives to the judo Grand Slam event in Abu Dhabi have been told that they will once more not be allowed to compete under their country’s flag.

The blue-and-white delegation to the final Grand Slam competition of the year is set to include 12 athletes, but Israel Judo Association chairman Moshe Ponte was informed by the organizers that they won’t be able to have the Israel flag on their judo uniform, as they do in every other event across the world. Instead of having ISR (Israel) by their names on the scoreboard and on their backs, they will have to take part in the contest as representatives of the IJF (International Judo Federation). The national anthem will also not be played, should an Israeli win a gold medal.

This is something Israelis and supporters of Israel have grown used to.

We are not, in the minds of the Emiratis, a country. And if asked, they would doubtless agree with the spokespeople of the Palestinian Arabs that the Jews are not a people. Maybe even that Jews are not people at all, although this isn’t something they would admit in public.

Miri Regev, our combative Minister of Culture and Sport, wrote a harsh letter. Maybe Abu Dhabi will drop its insulting demand, maybe we will not send our athletes to compete, or maybe we will do what most of the non-Muslim world does over and over (including the government of Israel) in the face of lunatic Muslim demands for submission, and submit.

I’m sick of it.

Here’s a personal story. I’m an amateur radio operator (a “ham”). Many of us engage in competition to contact as many different “entities” as possible. There is a list of 340 entities, defined by political and geographic criteria. Some are normally uninhabited and inhospitable to human presence, and some have few amateurs. They may only be available for short periods of time, as when someone organizes an expensive expedition to a place like Bouvet Island, in the South Atlantic near Antarctica. Contacting a large number of them is quite difficult, and requires patience and time. Amateur radio is in a sense a sport, although perhaps a sedentary one; but like other sports it strives to stay above politics.

The location of a station is identifiable by its call letters, and there are currently 7 or 8 countries (Iran, Yemen, Libya, etc.) who do not permit operators within their jurisdictions to contact stations in Israel. So we are automatically at a disadvantage in competition. But rarely does anyone complain. It is expected. Israel is special.

This is probably less important than Judo, which in turn is less important than the UN Human Rights commission, which has passed about 70 resolutions condemning Israel since 2006, more than all other countries put together; or UNESCO, from which the US and Israel have removed themselves because of its ludicrous bias. Or the UN General Assembly.

But all of these “little” insults add up. Like an abusive relationship in a marriage or between a parent and a child, in which every interaction provides an opportunity for the abuser to belittle and insult the victim, there is a cumulative effect on both the target of the abuse and bystanders. No matter how secure she is, there is a feeling that if she weren’t doing something wrong, she wouldn’t be a target of abuse. And if there is more than one abuser, the effect is even greater.

What begins as verbal abuse between partners becomes physical; and minor physical abuse can become major and even lead to murder. In the international realm, a sustained campaign of delegitimization can be a precursor to war or genocide. It’s happened more than once.

When the state of Israel was founded despite the violent opposition of the Arab world, the conflict surrounding her was mostly contained in the region. The Arabs attempted to enforce an economic boycott, which was only spottily effective. But with the artificial creation of the Palestinian movement in 1967, and even more so with the Durban Conference in 2001 and the program of associating Israel with the modern-day deadly sins of racism, apartheid and colonialism, bullying Israel became a worldwide endeavor. Europeans jumped on the bandwagon with glee, picking up what Richard Landes called a “get out of Holocaust shame free card” by accusing Israel of being worse than the Nazis. And in North America, liberal Jews who wanted to belong to the fellowship of the intersectional Left were easy prey.

Even many Israelis (some of whom work for important media outlets) wilted under the onslaught and began to believe that their country actually was a racist, colonialist enterprise and even an apartheid state.

Another personal story: when I was 8 or 9 years old I had a friend who liked to tell me how dumb I was. One day, after he’d called me stupid four or five times, I picked up a large two-by-four (for non-Americans, a wooden beam about 5 cm by 10 cm thick) and swung it at him. Luckily for both of us, it struck his shoulder instead of his head. My parents explained that I might have killed him, and didn’t I know that I wasn’t dumb? “I know, but I’m tired of hearing it,” I said.

Israel needs to express that she, too, is tired of abuse. Getting a divorce from UNESCO was a good start, although I’m embarrassed that we had to wait for the US to do it first. We should tell the hosts of the Judo competition in Abu Dhabi that their singling out Israel is unacceptable; either they drop their special rules or we will not participate. And we should demand that the International Judo Federation does not accept the results of any contest that does not treat all competitors with respect.

Now I think I’ll try some similar judo on the committee that governs amateur radio competition.

Posted in Jew Hatred, Middle East politics, The UN | 1 Comment

Russia in the driver’s seat

It seems that Iran, Israel’s most dangerous enemy, is pushing hard against Israel’s red lines in Syria. Yediot Aharonot military correspondent Alex Fishman writes,

The Iranian regime, it seems, isn’t taking the public warnings issued by the Israeli defense establishment heads seriously and is hectically pursuing its talks with the Syrian regime, as well as patrols in search of a military airport near Damascus which would serve as a base for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ combat squadrons.

At the same time, the Iranians and the Syrians are making progress in the talks for an autonomic Iranian military pier in the Tartus port and the creation of an Iranian division on Syrian soil.

Israel, however, has made it clear both to the Iranians and the Syrians, as well as to the Russians, that it will not allow any Iranian presence in Syria, especially war planes or an Iranian pier in the Tartus port.

Apparently Israel is more pro-active in Syria than is publicly known, possibly aiding anti-Assad rebels in some areas. So far Russia hasn’t interfered with Israeli activities, which have been focused primarily on interdicting shipments of weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon. But if Russia agrees to an Iranian request for a base, then any action to prevent it that Israel takes will be in direct opposition to Russia.

Israel is reported to have appealed to the US and Russia to prevent things from getting out of control. But even if President Trump were highly competent in these very complicated issues (which he is not), it is unclear who exactly is guiding America’s defense and foreign policy in the region at any particular moment. Elements in the State Department and CIA still defend the Obama-era policy of engagement with (read: appeasement of) Iran.

In addition, the administration is wary of further involvement in the Middle East and concerned with domestic issues and North Korea. The US may not have sufficient military assets in the region. Finally, there is the specter of legal action against the President by his political opponents tying up his ability to act.

In short, Israeli planners can’t count on the US if things here blow up.

This places the ball in the Russian court, which is exactly where Putin wants it. In the words of Ha’aretz military analyst Amos Harel, “if there is one thing that characterizes Russian policy, it is its utter cynicism.” Russia will not hesitate to sacrifice any other nation or group on the altar of her interests. Today she, not the US, is the arbiter of outcomes in the Middle East. And she has decided to be very interested in our region.

Dr. Dmitry Adamski of IDC Herzliya has published some very alarming speculations about how a Hezbollah-Israel war could benefit Russia, and how Russia might intervene:

If conflict breaks out between Israel and Hezbollah, Moscow would probably let Hezbollah and Iran bleed in order to weaken their regional positions. But it would also seek to prevent a total Israeli victory, since it still needs Hezbollah as a strategic actor in the region, and because doing so could demonstrate to Israel the limits of its power. By settling the conflict and restoring the status quo ante bellum, Russia could validate that it matches or exceeds the United States as a force in the Middle East. …

If Moscow cannot broker a political end to the conflict, it could try to coerce both sides to end the fighting on their own. Driven by a desire to generate maximum benefits with minimum friction, Moscow could carry out limited cyber operations against civilian targets in Israel, such as ports or oil refineries. Such assaults would seem less escalatory and would be easier to carry out than attacks against military infrastructure, and Russia could attribute them to Iran or Hezbollah to benefit from plausible deniability and to avoid a direct confrontation with Israel. Moscow could then signal that unless Israel scales back its assault on Hezbollah, it could hit another “red button”—a previously implanted digital vulnerability within Israel’s critical infrastructure that is ready to be exploited in a moment of need. Finally, to undermine the cohesion of the Israeli public, it could spread misinformation or expose real secrets to set off a public scandal.

On the battlefield, meanwhile, Russia could try to make Israeli planners think that Russian personnel are stationed so close to Hezbollah that a strike on one would endanger both. If that fails, Moscow could threaten to deploy anti-access/area-denial bubbles to prevent Israeli forces from striking Hezbollah targets in Syria and Lebanon. At the next level of escalation, it could electronically sabotage Israeli precision strikes or jam or shoot down Israeli drones. If Israel still does not respond, Moscow could carry out cyber-sabotage against its Iron Dome missile-defense battery, interfere with its air-raid sirens or social-media early-warning systems, and accompany those steps with an information campaign about the vulnerability of Israel’s civil defense aimed at causing panic among the public.

Given the predictions that Hezbollah will launch hundreds or thousands of short-range rockets and longer-range missiles each day, and considering that the war will probably include a southern front with Hamas as well, a simultaneous cyberattack from Russia could worsen our position and greatly increase home front casualties.

The best situation for Israel would be for Hezbollah to be disarmed peacefully. This would require regime change in Iran, which doesn’t appear to be on the horizon. The next best would be a preemptive Israeli attack and a quick, complete victory. This, too, seems unlikely if Adamski is correct about Russian thinking (it’s ironic for Russia to take over the former role of the US in preventing Israel from winning its wars decisively).

PM Netanyahu has met with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin several times, ostensibly to work out details of arrangements to prevent interference between IDF and Russian operations in Syrian airspace. But certainly they have discussed Iranian ambitions. I’m sure Putin is wary of a too-powerful Iran close to its southern border; Moscow is already in range of Iranian rockets, and Islamic terrorism is a serious threat to Russia.

Russia wants to keep Bashar al-Assad in power in Syria in order to guarantee Russian access to bases on the Syrian coast. Iran’s Hezbollah proxy is providing the manpower to support Assad, both against ISIS and against various groups of Sunni rebels that have American, Saudi, Qatari, Muslim Brotherhood and Turkish connections. Russia needs Hezbollah, and therefore she needs Iran.

Israel does not appear to have a strong bargaining position. Russia will make demands and offer benefits – like keeping Iranian troops away from our borders – in return. For example, we are already refraining from taking a position on the Ukrainian conflict to keep Russia happy. I am sure that we will be forced to balance how far we can go in Russia’s direction against maintaining our relationship with her historic antagonist, the US. It will be crucial for Israel to find some form of leverage – something we can offer to Putin or threaten him with – that can be used to drive a wedge between Russia and Iran.

Feeding the Iranian monster is dangerous, especially after it was enriched by receiving a $100 billion bonus for signing the nuclear deal. The Russians know this and at some point will have to rein it in. But will they do it before or after the next Mideast war?

Posted in Iran, Middle East politics, War | 1 Comment

Don’t be the battlefield for somebody’s war by proxy

The other day I was reading an article by a South Korean writer, in which he expressed how unhappy his people were about being a battlefield for proxy wars. The Korean war from 1950-53 was a vicious conflict in which some 2.5 million civilians were killed, far more than even the highest estimates of military dead on both sides. It was a skirmish between the Soviet and American empires, but most of the dead and wounded were Korean. They died from starvation, from being caught in the crossfire, and from massacres carried out by both sides. Much of both North and South Korea was totally destroyed. Seoul, the capital of South Korea, changed hands four times. One can only imagine the conditions faced by its residents.

The Vietnam war was probably the longest of the cold-war proxy wars, counting from the French defeat at Dienbienphu in 1954 to the final withdrawal of US forces in 1975. Although estimates vary widely, several million civilians were killed in this war as well. The fact that the numbers of casualties, military and civilian, are comparable with those of the 3-year Korean war illustrates the ferocity of the Korean conflict.

The two sides aren’t morally equivalent. Although both sides committed atrocities and war crimes in Korea and Vietnam, I believe that the American narrative of defending at least the possibility of freedom in those places is more true than the Soviet one of opposing American imperialism and promoting self-determination of peoples.

The Soviets managed to keep their own troops out of these wars, but the Americans sent expeditionary forces which suffered severe losses. Part of the Soviet objective was to entangle the US in expensive and divisive conflicts, a strategy which the US turned against them during the 1980s Soviet-Afghan War. It was an effective strategy in both cases: Vietnam did great damage to the cohesion of American society (and was helped to do so  by Soviet psychological warfare experts), and the cost of the war in Afghanistan contributed to the collapse of the USSR.

The war in Syria has become yet another proxy conflict, one which arguably has three main outsiders manipulating their proxies: Russia, the US, and Iran, along with contributions from Saudi Arabia and Turkey. All of these are manipulating the local fighters to achieve their desired geopolitical ends as well as to entangle and weaken their enemies. Bashar al-Assad sold his soul (such as it was) to the Iranian and Russian devils; he may survive as long as he is useful to them.

But in all cases, the last thing those who pull the strings care about is the fate of the residents of the battlefield they have chosen.

Israel’s wars in 1967 and 1973 were also cold-war proxy affairs, although neither of the empires of the East and West sent their own soldiers (except some Russian pilots) to die for the cause. The shortness of these wars and the fact that most fighting occurred outside of populated areas kept the civilian casualties comparatively low.

Israel’s next war, which may be fought on several fronts simultaneously, has the potential to hurt many more civilians than any of her previous wars, both in Israel and among her immediate antagonists, Hamas-controlled Gaza, Hezbollah-dominated Lebanon, and possibly the Palestinian Authority. Large numbers of short-range rockets and longer-range missiles are expected to be fired at cities and towns in densely-populated Israel; and a large amount of fire will be concentrated on the launchers, which are located in civilian areas. Both sides will suffer.

As the people of Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and many other countries learned to their sorrow, it is bad to be the site of a proxy war. Parties to a local conflict often hook their wagons to one or more of the big powers, thinking that this will give them the advantage to prevail (think Assad and Russia and Iran). Then the other side finds its own champions among the enemies of the first group. But when the local conflict becomes a proxy war between powers with relatively unlimited resources, even the winning side often finds that it has won a pyrrhic victory.

The temptation is strong when one side has powerful backers for the other side to give up some of its autonomy in return for help from backers of its own. This tends to exacerbate the conflict, and makes it harder for one side to use its deterrent capability to prevent war.

How do you avoid getting ground up in a proxy war that you don’t control? One way is to avoid becoming too dependent on outside powers. They will use you for their own interests, not yours. Another is to skip the proxy and threaten the puppeteers directly. So Kim Jong-un is trying to develop the means to deter the US from involvement in his conflict with South Korea. Why only threaten Seoul when you can threaten Guam, or even Seattle? This strategy seems insane when you consider the relative strength of the US and North Korea, but the public possession of a deliverable hydrogen bomb could do the trick. While I by no means approve of Kim, I have to admire his strategic acumen.

And so we come to Israel. What she should not do is try to line up great power allies which will promise to defend her. No matter how good allies they are, they can’t care more about our interests than their own. And the protection of our civilian population is our main interest. It is not necessarily theirs. We must not allow ourselves to become proxies for anyone.

The power that supports all of our enemies to a greater or lesser extent, is Iran. Every day Iranians chant “death to Israel” and do their best to transfer weapons to Hezbollah. Iran’s ambitions are global in the long run, and it sees Israel as an obstacle to its control of the Middle East, as well as a base for American power. The regime does not hide its strategy to destroy Israel in a proxy war against America fought on our turf and Lebanon’s. It has piled up a great deal of cash as a result of the agreement on nuclear weapons, and it is using it to make its proxies more deadly. And the regime is quite happy to sacrifice its proxies. This is why Israel can’t deter Iran by threatening to bomb Lebanon.

Kim Jong-un may or may not have a deliverable weapon at this point, but he has caused the mighty US to tremble. Israel has far more destructive potential than North Korea, and Iran is far weaker than America. Israel should neither become a proxy for the US, nor should it expect to deter Iran’s non-autonomous proxy.

Defeating Iran’s proxies is like cutting the heads off a Hydra. They will grow back unless the beast itself is neutralized. Israel’s deterrence should be focused on its real enemy, Iran. And if we are forced into war, Iran should be a primary strategic target from the start.

Posted in Iran, Middle East politics, War | 2 Comments

A dishonest editorial from Ha’aretz

Ha’aretz, the voice of Israel’s Left, published an editorial just before Yom Kippur, whose intent was to frighten those who oppose dismantling Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and establishing a state of Palestine there. It’s worth a close examination, because there are still those, especially outside of Israel, who might take it seriously. Here it is in its entirety, with my comments:

Advocates of a two-state solution – in other words, a majority in Israel and throughout the world, or nearly so – cannot be unmoved and helpless in the face of its accelerated death spiral, in plain sight, under the irresponsible leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israelis have from time to time answered “yes” to questions like “If it would bring peace and security, would you support a withdrawal from the territories and the establishment of a Palestinian state.” But at the same time, a large majority believes that it would bring, instead of peace and security, a hostile terror state next door which would be a platform for attacks on Israel’s population centers. Ha’aretz deliberately misleads – lies – when it asserts that Israelis favor it.

The defense of Israel requires the presence of the IDF in the Jordan Valley and on the high ground of Judea and Samaria. No agreement for a demilitarized Palestinian state or for international guarantees can replace it. The example of Gaza shows that only Israeli military control can prevent the creation of a base for terrorism in view of Tel Aviv and Ben-Gurion airport. Ha’aretz doesn’t address the security issues at all.

It is also important to note the ambiguity in the phrase “two-state solution.” For Israelis, it means the establishment of a peaceful Palestinian state in the territories. For the PLO, it means the establishment of a Jew-free Palestine in the territories and the “return” of millions of descendants of Arab refugees to Israel. It does not imply an end of the conflict until all their demands are met.

This is a serious blind spot in the vision of the two-staters. All one has to do is listen to the pronouncements of the PLO, look at their schoolbooks, or study the results of polls taken in the PA to know that the Palestinian leadership and street are not interested in a peaceful state alongside Israel.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned 10 days ago, in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, of the momentous change taking place before our eyes. It was the first time Abbas addressed in detail the remaining option open to the Palestinians – to declare a new struggle, for equal rights throughout the territory of Israel-Palestine – in other words, a one-state solution.

Here Ha’aretz creates a false dichotomy. It is by no means the only “remaining option,” regardless of what Abbas might “declare.” But such a declaration would mark the end of the strategy, a modified version of Arafat’s 1974 “phased plan,” to establish a temporary “authority” on territory “liberated” from the Jews as an interim stage in the destruction of the Jewish state. As such, I would welcome it as a more honest approach to their true objective.

The threat of “one state with equal rights from the river to the sea” which would be perhaps 40% Arab (or a majority if Gaza were included), has been made before. Sari Nusseibeh proposed it years ago. But there are alternatives to “one state” other than creating a sovereign state of Palestine. One is that Israel annex the parts of Judea and Samaria that contain most of the Jewish residents and are strategic for the purposes of security, grant the Arabs autonomy in the remaining areas, but retain control of borders and airspace. Another is Martin Sherman’s plan to encourage Arab emigration with financial incentives. There is also a plan proposed by Mordechai Kedar to create “emirates” based on Palestinian clans, a logical solution considering Palestinian politics.

Incidentally, “Israel-Palestine” is not a place. There is no state of Palestine – there is an semi-autonomous Palestinian Authority in part of the territories, which was created by the Oslo Accords, which have long since been abrogated by the PLO. The pollution of language by advocates for a Palestinian state – i.e., the use of the phrases “State of Palestine” and “Israel-Palestine” to suggest that there already is such a state – must be rejected in the interest of truth.

Thus spake Abbas: “[N]either you, nor we, will have any other choice but to continue the struggle and demand full, equal rights for all inhabitants of historic Palestine.”

“Thus spake” the guy whose authority extends more or less to the city limits of Ramallah and who is hated by a majority of Palestinian Arabs. Abbas, a holocaust-denier, an inciter of murder and apologist for terrorism, is not a prophet who “spake” about anything, ever.

Not a week went by before Netanyahu provided the ultimate proof of Abbas’ argument. In his speech at the state Ceremony Marking 50 Years of Settlement in Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights and the Jordan Valley, held in Gush Etzion he said, “There will be no more uprooting of communities in the Land of Israel!” In other words, there will be no additional evacuations of settlements, a declaration meaning the end of the chance for a two-state solution, which is based on the simple, fair formula of land in exchange for peace.

The formula of “land for peace” is neither simple nor fair. Not simple, because land, once given, can’t easily be taken back. Why should the other side provide peace once it has the land? Ha’aretz ignores the fact that any agreement (e.g., for demilitarization) with Abbas or any similar dictator could immediately be abrogated by a successor regime – or the regime itself. Any treaty that Israel would get in return for a withdrawal that would endanger its life would depend on the good faith of those who have never acted in good faith, and who proudly admit it when they are speaking Arabic to their own people.

“Land for peace” is only fair on the assumption that the possession of Judea and Samaria by an Arab regime is justified in the first place. But that possession was the result of aggression by the Arab states in 1948, in which Jordan occupied land earmarked by the Mandate for a Jewish National Home. How did this illegal 19-year occupation in some way legitimize Jordan’s later gift of the land to the PLO? If I steal your property and give it to my brother, does he have a right to keep it?

From the beginning, the central goal of the settlement enterprise, which celebrated its 50th anniversary on Wednesday, was to frustrate the possibility of establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel and destroy any hope of reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinian people.

This, too is wrong. The objective was to settle the historic land of Israel, for some in order to guarantee its security according to Zionist principles, and for others to fulfill the biblical mitzvah to settle the land. In neither case did the Palestinian Arabs have anything to do with it. But Ha’aretz dislikes both Zionism and religion.

This destructive objective could be within reach. Only the urgent and vigorous mobilization of all forces in Israel and the international community that want a strong and free Israel alongside an independent Palestinian state could avert the evil decree, in the words of the liturgy, and rescue the most logical, just and feasible solution for ending the occupation and obtaining peace.

Ha’aretz and friends often refer to “the occupation” and the need to “end it.” This is another example of linguistic pollution. The presence of the IDF east of the 1949 armistice line is not a belligerent occupation in the traditional sense, because there is no state that is occupied. It is true that the Israeli Supreme Court decided that the IDF should provide the inhabitants with all the rights and protections guaranteed to a population under occupation as specified in the Geneva Conventions, but this was in order to protect their rights, not to limit them – and explicitly not to define the situation as one of occupation.

An “independent Palestinian state” in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem (and Gaza?) would not be any more viable than today’s Palestinian Authority, and would be a deadly threat to the continued existence of Israel as a Jewish state. Of course this is precisely the intent of those who favor such a state and who also have an understanding of the strategic realities in play.

Those who do not understand, and who – out of misplaced “humanitarian” concerns – wish to bring it about, are supporting the creation of a state that is guaranteed to be undemocratic, corrupt, and racist. And they are bringing us closer to war, not peace.

In which category do we find the Ha’aretz editors?

Posted in 'Peace' Process, Israel and Palestinian Arabs, Media | 1 Comment

The real meaning of “Never Again”

So we’ve had another murderous terror attack. It happened when Border Police officer Solomon Gavriya (20), private security guards Youssef Ottman (25) and Or Arish (25), and community security team leader Amit Steinhart were opening the back gate of Har Adar, near Jerusalem. A Palestinian Arab approached them, pulled out a pistol and shot all four. Gavriya, Ottman and Arish were killed, and Steinhart was critically wounded. The terrorist, Nimer Mahmoud Ahmad Jamal, was from a nearby village. He had worked in Har Adar for some time and was well-known and trusted there, which is probably why he was able to get close to the guards. He was, thankfully, shot dead by others on the scene before he could get into the community.

Jamal was having family problems – his wife had recently left him – so naturally he chose to kill some Jews (and Ottman, an Israeli Arab from Abu Ghosh) and die a hero. He may or may not have been a member of a terrorist organization. Hamas distributed candy in the streets of Gaza as usual, and Fatah glorified him as a shaheed. The Palestinian Authority will pay his family 6000 NIS (about $1700) immediately and 2600 NIS (about $740) a month for life.

That’s the story, again. An unhappy Palestinian Arab solves his problems by murdering Israelis. It’s not surprising, because he’s been told how wonderful and heroic it is to murder us by his political and religious leaders, day in and day out. He learned it in school (Jamal would have been 14 in 1994 when Yasser Arafat took over the Palestinian school system and it began teaching the glory of martyrdom), he was told it by his Imam in the mosque on Friday, and he heard it countless times on Palestinian Authority radio and TV.

The PA is one of the most corrupt governing authorities on the face of the earth. It receives more than a billion dollars a year from the international community, which comes as direct aid to the PA, money for various projects, UNRWA support for “refugees,” NGO and church programs, and more. Much of this money also goes to Hamas, via UNRWA and in payments from the PA for salaries of PA officials in Gaza (who either don’t do anything or work for Hamas). There have been attempts to condition the flow of money on stopping incitement of terrorism, but the PA simply claims it isn’t inciting or – as in the case of the payments to the families of terrorists – refuses to stop.

We are living alongside, and sometimes intertwined with, a culture of hate and death. Unhappy husbands like Jamal, teenagers angry at their parents, women threatened with honor killing, pious Muslims overcome with shame over Jewish feet touching the ground near al-Aqsa, young men who want to impress their friends, cynically manipulated mentally disturbed individuals, workers angry at their bosses, and hardened terrorist operatives all end up committing murder. And they receive encouragement from their peers and authority figures, as well as payments from their government.

Yet the world loves them. The people that popularized airline hijacking, suicide bombing and vehicular terrorism are the toast of the Western Left. The UN has special sub-organizations set up to help them gain their ”rights,” which as they understand them, require dismantling Israel and replacing it with a racist apartheid state of Palestine, that –  judging by the PA’s record – wouldn’t accomplish anything more than absorbing aid and training its children to be monsters. Their made-up history and stories of mistreatment at the hands of the Jews are believed without question. Their fake news and Pallywood video is broadcast without checking or criticism, even when it is obviously untrue.

An observer from another planet would be amazed. Israel is a functional country which provides a good life for its inhabitants, one of the few places where Muslims and non-Muslims can coexist even a little, a country that ranks 12th out of 156 nations in the happiness of its people (several places ahead of the US and far ahead of the UK), a country that generates technological and scientific progress greatly disproportionate to its size, which sends units of its army around the globe not to invade other nations, but to rescue disaster victims. And yet, the majority of the world’s nations support a cause dedicated to its destruction. If you ask why, they will tell you that they do it in the name of “human rights!”

In the early 1990s, the so-called “peace process” began. The Oslo Accords injected new life into the PLO and created the PA, which immediately began its programs of hate indoctrination, along with its “talk and shoot” strategy. The ignorance of the Israeli Left, which facilitated this and which even now after several wars and more than a thousand Israeli deaths from terrorism, believes that it’s possible and desirable to allow the establishment of a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria, is staggering. Recent history and simply listening to what Palestinians say – both their leadership and the people on the street – should make it clear that the goal of the Palestinian cause is the liquidation of our state.

But how is Israel’s “right-wing” leadership responding to the latest terror attack? How did it respond to the last one or the one before that or the one before that? How does it respond to soldiers getting run over at bus stops, or people being stabbed in supermarkets? Unfortunately, almost not at all.

There will be angry remarks by the Prime Minister, the Minister of Internal Security, and the Defense Minister. There will be demands for Mahmoud Abbas to “denounce” the attack. The terrorist’s home will be demolished, and his relatives may lose their permits to work in Israel. For a few days the IDF might carry out searches in his village, and maybe bring in his brothers for questioning. Then the media will move on to other things, the PM will be accused of something new, the army will have other jobs to do, and life will go on.

But not for Solomon Gavriya, Youssef Ottman, and Or Arish. These young men who got up Tuesday morning with plans, friends, and whole lives ahead of them are already in the ground. Their families are shattered. Nothing will be the same for those who were close to them. And nothing will be the same for countless other throughout the country whose loved ones were brutally ripped from them in the name of the “Palestinian cause.”

Perhaps we have been too much influenced by the world media and political institutions that treat terrorism against Israel as understandable. There seems to be an attitude here that there is an “acceptable” level of terrorism. After all, more people are killed in road accidents. But it is not acceptable to the families of those who are murdered. And it should not be acceptable to the state that our neighbors think that murdering us is praiseworthy, that they glorify and pay murderers.

It is not acceptable that there is a culture in which killing Jews is permissible and encouraged. It is our responsibility to our people to put an end to it. To destroy the culture of hate and death.

What else could “Never Again” mean?

Posted in 'Peace' Process, Israel and Palestinian Arabs, Terrorism | 1 Comment