Below follows a slightly revised column I wrote in 2014 at the time of the Hamas intrusion into Israël. I repeated it in 2017 in view of the anti-semitic resolution adopted by the UN Security Council, orchestrated by the outgoing Obama Administration and the disturbing anti-Israël speech by John Kerry. I repeat it again in the face of the Hamas riots regarding the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem. Noticing the continuing appeasement themes of the ‘liberal left’, it seems many still don’t see Hamas is mistreating its people by throwing them into the line of fire.
The UN is generally biased when it deals with Israël. Jerusalem was from millennia times in Jewish hands and was overrun by Arabs when Islam emerged in 630. The Holocaust was instrumental in assuring the Jews a State of their own in 1948. Jerusalem became “Arab” in 1949 when Jordan’s King Husain’s superior army overpowered the then still small Israëli army and annexed the Jewish capital. Israël took it back in the 1967 six-day war. The UN Security Council condemned this in the famous Resolution 242 which required Israël to “withdraw from the territories occupied in the recent conflict.”
ENCHANTÉ has Palestinian and Islamic friends. We sometimes agree to disagree but remain good friends. At a personal level, it works. At the political level, the Israeli-Arab conflict seems insoluble. Much is due to the anti-Israël media of the West, but also American and European antisemitic political forces.
Zionism had been seeking a Jewish state for itself for a long time, and several efforts had been made to achieve that without success (see the Exodus Ship effort of 1947 below.)
(Notes added upon requests from readers: “Zion” commonly refers to a specific mountain near Jerusalem (Mount Zion), on which stood a Jebusite fortress of the same name that was conquered by David and was named the City of David. After almost two millennia of existence of the Jewish diaspora without a national state, the Zionist movement was founded in the late 19th century by secular Jews, largely as a response by Ashkenazi Jews to rising antisemitism in Europe, exemplified by the Dreyfus Affair in France and the anti-Jewish pogroms in the Russian Empire. The political movement was formally established by the Austro-Hungarian journalist Theodor Herzl in 1897 following the publication of his book Der Judenstaat, At that time, the movement sought to encourage Jewish migration to the OttomanPalestine. –Source: Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.)
At the end of World War I, the Ottoman Empire that governed Palestine was dismantled, and Palestine became a British Mandate (‘Palestina’), an area where a Jewish State and an Arab Palestine State could be carved out. World War II and the Holocaust (in which Palestine Arabs did not participate but surely did not object to) became the catalyst for establishing Israël
UNSCOP (3 September 1947) and UN Ad Hoc Committee (25 November 1947) partition plans. The UN Ad Hoc committee proposal was voted on in the resolution.
|Date||November 29, 1947|
|33 voted for
13 voted against
|Result||Recommendation to the United Kingdom, as the mandatory Power for Palestine, and to all other Members of the United Nations the adoption and implementation, about the future government of Palestine, of the Plan of Partition with an Economic Union set out in the resolution|
The Palestinian Arabs objected, amongst others about the division of “arable” land (pun not intended), but why? After all, the Jews had lived there too. Why not have two States, Jewish and Transjordan? While the UN agreed to the partition in 1948 (33 for, 13 against, 10 abstentions of a UN Assembly of 56 states. The USSR voted “for” just after the US!), war erupted between Jews and Arabs almost immediately. It has never ended despite many peace efforts. Reconciliation has proved almost impossible despite the vision of Anwar Sadat who went to Israel and concluded peace with Menachem Begin in 1977 and recognized Israel. (Jordan signed a peace agreement with Israël in 1994, see below.)
One could say, that was Sadat’s “Mandela” moment. From that moment on, the Arab World could have settled their differences, but it did not happen. Other Arabs did not share Sadat’s vision. Egypt was even kicked out of the Arab League for some ten years! On June 6, 1981, fanatic Islamists killed Sadat – and a host of others – at a victory parade commemorating the time that Egypt won back the Sinai from Israel during the Yum Kippur war. (1973 -Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement, the holiest day of the year in Judaism, which coincided at that time with the Muslim Ramadan). And where are we now in 2014? Another Palestinian-Israeli war, though this war is chiefly originated by a terrorist organization called Hamas that enforced its reign on the Palestinians in the Gaza strip after Israel relinquished it in 2005. In 2018, we have not progressed any further.
The anti-Israel bashing in the Western media solely because of Palestinian casualties, however tragic they are, remains short-sighted. Unless you keep your eyes in your pocket, your ears plugged with clay, and your brain drugged with Kool-Aid, it is clear from all the photographs that it is Hamas that is killing its people. The picture below was Tweeted by Hamas and intercepted by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) during the 2014 incident.
Maybe Hamas considers their people as canon-fodder. Maybe they believe that when they die, even after multiple Israeli warnings to move out of their missile infested homesteads, schools, hospitals and even mosques (yes, Allah’s houses!), their dead will all be martyrs and go straight to paradise and live happily ever after. But their people may not want to die. They live in fear under Hamas’s terror regime. So why are Western media still choosing Hamas’s side? How can they when it is clear for all to observe that Hamas is using its people as human shields and victim propaganda?
And don’t forget it was the Brits that rammed the ship “Exodus” in the Mediterranean in 1947 to prevent Jews from re-entering Palestine, shipping them back to Germany of all places!
In 1947, international discussions were underway to settle the British mandate “Palestina”. Maps floated on negotiation tables.
Why not sit down and REASON to solve the Israëli – Palestinian problems without that hot-head demeanor and give each other the space to live? There is enough room if security can be assured!
Look at the daily barrage of missiles that Hamas started in 2014. Which country in its right mind would allow that to happen to its people? The USA? Germany? France? England? Saudi Arabia? Egypt? Wouldn’t they shoot back, too, with all their might? No, Jews have to accept annihilation, problem solved. The Israeli detected multiple tunnels, smuggling Hamas weapons and fighters into Israel to kidnap and kill. Who can pretend that this is morally right? All that because the Jews have no right to be in the Palestine region that is their homeland as much as it is for the Arabs?
Sinai and Palestine Area at the time of the Jewish Exodus from Egypt thousands of years ago
Arabia map as it is now
The beginning of Israël was politically very murky, also because of British ambiguity. Lots of fights with the Brits erupted. But many Jews were also forcefully removed from Arab countries. And they are not eager to return for “resettlement” like the Palestinians wanting to return to Israel. Remember the separation of India and Pakistan in 1947? That was a hundred times greater and also very murky. Still, Islamic people live peacefully in India (like Arabs in Israel). While India and Pakistan are touchy neighbors, Islamic Pakistan is not trying to drive Hindu India into the Indian Ocean or firing rockets across the border!
Israel accepted the 2014 Egyptian-brokered ceasefire. Hamas refused, even though other Arab countries and the Arab League agreed. Why? Because Hamas did not get full Israeli submission? Why should Israel give in to terrorists? So Hamas continued firing rockets and continued to force its poor Palestinian people in harm’s way. It only stopped after Israel reluctantly began the ground incursion. In the UN Assembly, Israel will always lose. Only in the Security Council can the USA and some Western Nations block nefarious General Assembly votes. How come that during the 2014 conflict missiles were hidden in two UN Schools in Gaza as UN officials admitted? Would you miss somebody coming into your house or backyard carrying a bunch of missiles under his/her arm to hide? How come the UN people “did not see”?
Then there are those Arabs fuming at Zionism. Why don’t we hear them fuming at their Islamism that tortures, rapes, kills and suppresses people, even their own, and renders women unworthy creatures and even stones them half-buried in the dirt?
Israel does not do that. Arabs living in Israel can vote and practice their religion, free. What makes Islamic people believe that Islam is the only right faith? It started 600 years later than Christianity! What is so ‘peaceful’ about a religion that suppresses other religions, steals their believers’ goods and homes where they have lived for years, makes them pay a tax and labels them secondary citizens, or worse, orders them to convert or die? Is that really what the “religion of peace” is about? Do we still have to deal with such eight-century nonsense in the 21st century? After all, the reactionary Ottoman Empire was defeated in 1918 and good riddance.
Arafat never let an opportunity go by to fail to make peace. Moneywise it was much more lucrative to keep warring. His wife Suha (born and raised a Catholic in Jerusalem!) lived comfortably in an expensive apartment in the Bristol Hotel in the Rue du Faubourg-Saint Honoré in Paris after she left Gaza where she had shared an apartment with Arafat. The CBS “60 Minutes” program, not exactly a “right-wing” press unit, reported in 2003 that Arafat had US$800 million in the bank and sent his wife US$50,000-100,000 monthly (depending on the sources) from the Palestinian Authority (PA) budget to live in Paris. This was confirmed by other legitimate sources, among others the IMF. Nobody knows what happens with all the aid money given to the PA or Hamas.
Bristol Hotel in the Rue du Faubourg-Saint Honoré in Paris
Where did all this money come from? Hamas is not any better than the PLO. Do you believe Hamas is suffering from hunger, disease, and poverty? Their suppressed Gaza Palestinians are, but not the Hamas “government”.
Deira Hotel and Lobby in Gaza
Gaza Hotel Lobby and local market
Apartments for “martyrs” and Gaza beach
Happy life at Gaza Beach and Gaza Shopping
More Gaza shopping and local markets.
Hamas home in Gaza and Hamas Leader
Iran, Qatar, and others are faithful financiers. Even the US gives indirectly taxpayer money to Hamas now that they are joined with Fatah. Do you think that any of this aid money goes directly to the poor Palestinians? From the “happy” pictures of Gaza, where Palestinians seem to like their life, one wonders, why for heaven’s sake would Hamas want to expose that happy life to war with Israel? But Israel must be destroyed, even if this policy destroys the Palestinians. So, instead of using the aid for further economic development, it will be applied to new missile launchers and tunnels, as was done in the past.
Why this moral equivalence from American sides? What’s left of their moral values? Where was the White House’s moral clarity in 2014? How was it possible that the FAA banned flights to Ben Gurion Airport, giving Hamas a win? Such a dramatic move could never have been made without State Department and White House approval. Did the US want to pressurize Israel into a cease-fire while Kerry was “negotiating” in Egypt? (Remember Kerry’s off the record scolding of Israel’s ground offensive as “a hell of a pin-pointing operation” and “we have to go there tonight, we’re wasting our time here?” implying he was going to give the Israelis a lesson? This mindset tied in nicely with that US government orchestrated FAA ban!) Former Mayor Bloomberg courageously took an El Al flight to Ben Gurion to show solidarity.
Bloomberg flies El Al to Ben Gurion Airport after FAA ban. Kerry follows him quickly. Airport suddenly safe again? The ban was quickly lifted after Kerry was forced to visit Israel.
A “one Palestinian State” is, for the time being, illusory. A well-known Israeli “dissident”, Mike Peled, describes in his intriguing book A General’s Son” how his father promoted that idea. He writes this as having grown up from an “insider” to a “dissident”. In this regard, he is not much different from US “dissidents”. The problem with “dissidents” in democratic societies is that their free speech does not necessarily mean they are right. They surely offer food for thought that sometimes galvanizes into a protest march, but I am afraid that Mike Peled’s solution is not achievable at this time, if ever.
But that’s in essence what Kerry suggested: “If the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or democratic. It cannot be both.” He did not mention that many Arabs live peacefully in Israël and with complete religious freedom, nor that Israel, while predominantly Jewish, is a secular state. But “One State” would mean political suicide for Israelis. So why even mention it?
There was talk about a “three-state” solution: Egypt takes the Gaza strip back, and the West Bank joins Jordan. But it is doubtful their Governments want to rule the unruly Palestinians. Hamas may join ISIS. The Jordanians want to protect their ethnicity and culture. In fact, King Hussain the older “released” the West Bank back to the Palestinians in 1988 (after it became occupied by Israel). It “restructured” the Jordanian borders. Its parliamentarian representations include only East Bank territory (The East and West Bank are split by the Jordan River and the Dead Sea).
There are a large group of Palestinians living in Jordan, who entered as refugees after the 1949 Arab-Israëli war and the 1967 six-day conflict. Many of them have Jordanian passports, but Jordan wants to preserve its identity of a modern visionary monarchy with a high national IQ and a competent administration. Jordanians consider the Palestinian influx a threat.
More than two million Palestinian refugees live in Jordan in five refugee camps. Jordan concluded a peace agreement with Israël in 1994 after the Oslo Accords signed with the PLO in Washington D.C. in 1993.
Nobody reports on “Arabs” not wanting “Palestinians.” When Israël has to fight them to defend itself, it’s “Israël’s fault.” The Arabs, China, and Russia prefer that the Palestinian problem remains an “Israëli problem” they can use at the UN, keeping themselves out of the firing range. The Arab hypocrisy is there for everyone to see. The Trump Administration is fundamentally modifying the American posture, and the Sunni alignments in the Middle East regarding Israël are changing because of the threat from Shiite Iran.
What we expect from the US is a visionary approach in which the peaceful existence of Israel remains the prime focus. And, although the fight is not over, the dice may roll more favorably in Israël’s favor.