The Europeans and the Americans are condemning us…again. The United Nations is upset with Israel…still. The Arabs are adamant – it’s the settlements that are the deterrent to peace.
It’s not the settlements. It’s the rockets; it’s their intransigence. It’s their stones, their firebombs, their knives. It’s our naivete, it’s our inability to stick to our convictions and demand peace for peace. It’s their tendency to use violence and our tendency to make excuses for it. It’s their media and it’s our media. It’s their cultural norms and it’s our cultural norms. It’s their leaders and it’s our leaders. The one thing it’s not, is the settlements.
There were NO settlements in 1948 when the powerful combined forces of more than five nations invaded the newly declared State of Israel. The goal was clear – they said it with their own mouths at a time when politically correct was a non-existent concept, genocide was still fresh on the minds of most humans, and the Arabs weren’t smart enough to temper their English messages. They would, they promised – push the Jews into the sea. That’s right – the sea. Human beings can’t live in water (ask Tevye). It was a promise to murder the Jewish inhabitants of Israel – then…and now.
They geared themselves up for another war just 7 years later – in 1956. Because it wasn’t about settlements, it was about Jews living in the land of Israel. And 11 years later, in 1967 because in our audacity to refuse their demand that we leave and worse, was the subtle truth, backed by history. We had the nerve to suggest that we had not only the same right, but perhaps even more of a right to our ancestral homeland than they had to a land in which some of their grandfathers came to as nomadic tribes or tenants paying rent to absentee landlords who lived in distant lands.
The settlements are a product of their own choice and realities on the ground that they created. Jordan occupied the West Bank for 19 years and no move was made to establish a Palestinian state. And here’s where many would make the argument that Jordan, cut from the Palestine Mandate with a huge population of Palestinians was and is, essentially Palestine. But I won’t bother. What I will say is that Jordan chose war in 1967. They took a gamble – and lost. Again and again, the Arabs waged a war and then cried and whined over the results.
The only thing that has changed in 66 years (more if you track history before 1948), is the terminology. In 1948, it was to wipe Israel off the map of the world. By the early 1990s, they had gotten smarter. They understood that only in Arabic could they promise to make IsraelJudenrein. They targeted not the “people” but the dream. Jews, have a right to live – just not in Israel.
The “new” Arab message was massaged: Zionism is racism; settlements are evil. There would be peace, no, sorry – there would be hudna (temporary ceasefire lasting 10 years between Muslims and infidels), if not for the settlements. Settlers are legitimate targets because they chose to live there.
American governments, especially the most recent ones – Carter, Clinton and Obama, bought this line and the Arabs got smarter. They learned that if you “talk the talk” and “walk the walk” – the deeds and the facts matter so much less. The Europeans, always happy to push their problems onto others have believed that their own cultural clashes will be eased if they join in the Israel-bashing. The greater the danger in Europe, the louder they scream at us. As for the United Nations…never mind.
What is stupid is how Israelis have fallen for this ridiculous masquerade. Let’s not talk about the weekly and sometimes daily stoning of the light rail in Jerusalem. Sh!!!! It’s a secret and if we close our eyes, it doesn’t exist. Those rockets – it’s only a building…wow, that close to the school? Sh! Let’s pretend that was the last rocket or let’s build a better defense system so that they won’t get through. So, it’s okay to shoot rockets at 4 million people because…hey, Iron Dome!
For decades, they attacked us – in Jerusalem, in Tel Aviv. In Netanya. In Haifa – not settlements, except in the honest minds of the Arabs. Because that while the Arabs understand that Tel Aviv is as much as settlement as Ofrah, Beit El, Maale Adumim and Efrat, the Israelis are still closing their eyes and believing that Iron Dome erases the existence of rockets; rock-proof windows erase the threat of rocks; avoiding the West Bank means you’re safe (until the rocket explodes in Haifa and the bus explodes in Tel Aviv).
In 1989, suicide bombers attacked a bus near Kiryat Yearim – 16 dead. Not a settlement. Why?
In 1995, it was four suicide attacks – Jerusalem, Beit Lid (near Netanya), Ramat Gan (near Tel Aviv), and Kfar Darom (settlement). One out of four? In 1996, it was Ashkelon, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem (twice). Seems to me the safest place to be was the settlements.
In 2001, there were 40 bombings…Or Yehuda, Kfar Sava, Netanya, Jerusalem…the list is long, the number of dead agonizing for the entire nation. The vast majority of those 40 attacks had nothing to do with settlements and everything to do with Israel.
In 2002, 47 suicide bombings…five in settlements (mostly in Efrat). One was on his way into Jerusalem to attack a bus when a Bedouin policeman stopped him. The Arab detonated just outside Jerusalem. I heard the explosion. The Arab drove past my home, my settlement to kill Israelis in Jerusalem because clearly, the Israelis in Jerusalem pose a greater threat and are a more desirable target than my peaceful city overlooking the Judean hills. My city, my settlement.
This “Jesus complex” that they died for “us” is just wrong. All the victims of Israel’s long conflict with the Arabs…Palestinians, Egyptians, Jordanians, Syrians, etc. – all died for the same reason. The. Arabs. Do. Not. Want. Us. To. Live. Here.
They even attacked us in Munich in 1972, in Buenos Aires in 1994, in Bulgaria in 2012. In Paris. In Belgium. Poland. Germany…were all these connected to the settlements?
If you open your eyes, you will see that as the Arabs continued to get smarter; we continued to get dumber. Instead of listening to the media, the left, the politicians, have you bothered to listen to the Arabs?
We shall never stop until we can go back home and Israel is destroyed… The goal of our struggle is the end of Israel, and there can be no compromises or mediations… the goal of this violence is the elimination of Zionism from Palestine in all its political, economic and military aspects… We don’t want peace, we want victory. Peace for us means Israel’s destruction and nothing else.
- As quoted in the Washington Post (March, 1970).
A long time ago, right? But note that it was four years after the 1967 war, years after the first settlements had been established and not a word from Arafat about them. The end of Israel, he promises, not the settlements. Maybe he was having a bad day and just forgot?
Peace for us means the destruction of Israel. We are preparing for an all-out war, a war which will last for generations… We shall not rest until the day when we return to our home, and until we destroy Israel.
- As quoted in The Times, UK (August, 1980).
Ten years later, same message.
And, in 1996, Arafat laid out his plan – it was brilliant. And we fell for it – as proven nearly daily on a number of Israeli websites. Arafat admits the truth – but we, like so many, are just too blind, naive, and stupid to understand the clear message he gave us.
The PLO will now concentrate on splitting Israel psychologically into two camps… We plan to eliminate the State of Israel and establish a Palestinian state. We will make life unbearable for Jews by psychological warfare and population explosion. Jews will not want to live among Arabs. I have no use for Jews. They are and remain Jews. We now need all the help we can get from you in our battle for a united Palestine under Arab rule.
- As quoted in the Jerusalem Post, 1996
Jews, not Israelis and not settlers. Jews. Arafat was honest – if only the Israeli left could be nearly so.
The main difference between 1996 and now has never been a sudden awareness with the Palestinian camp that Israel is here to stay and they have to adjust their goals. Rather, what has changed is the utter stupidity of the Israeli political leadership on the left, center, and even some of the left-leaning rightists who believe that Abbas or Haniyeh are any different. Or that towards the end of his life, Arafat suddenly woke up and saw the dove of peace fluttering outside his window. Didn’t happen then…hasn’t happened now.
Palestine is from the sea to the river, from Rosh HaNikra to Rafah. The siege will not change our belief, wars don’t cause people give up resistance and resistance leaders. We will not recognize! We will not recognize! We will not recognize Israel!”
- Ismail Haniyeh, December, 2010 in a rally in Gaza
Of course, we all admit that Ismail Haniyeh is a lunatic, an extremist. No one can take him seriously and you can’t call him the voice of the Palestinians, right?
Wrong. According to a recent poll (September, 2014), Haniyeh would receive 61% of the total Palestinian vote, to replace Abbas as President. Haniyeh, like Arafat back in the day, is being honest – too honest for most Israelis, Europeans and Americans who continue to beat the drums and claim it’s the settlements.
No, it’s not.
It never was – not in 1964 when the Palestine Liberation Organization was founded, not in 1948 when they chose war. Not 10 years ago, not 5, and not now. It was NEVER about the settlements.
What has changed is not the goal, but the rhetoric because what the western world has failed to do, the Arabs mastered long ago. It is the science of rhetoric; the belief that you can fool all of the people some of the time. In desperation, people will believe words over logic and someone “sincerely” stating something over pictures.
They shot 5,000 rockets at us just a few months ago. Not one rocket hit a settlement (unless you count the rocket that almost hit the Bedouin encampments not far from Maale Adumim) and about 4,995 of them were never aimed at a settlement in the first place. They danced in the streets when they hit Tel Aviv – that is their goal, their victory, their truth.
Ayaan Hirsi Li (Google her) spoke before the President’s Conference a few years ago and in the middle of a debate between left wing American speakers and left wing Israeli speakers, she quietly took the microphone and said the truth,
“Even if you give them Jerusalem, EVEN if you give them Jerusalem, there will be no peace.”
Arafat succeeded in his promise. With the help of successive generations of Israeli leaders and the Israeli media, Israel has been divided into two camps. When a Jew is shot over that absurd marker on the map, when a Jew chooses to live to the east of Jerusalem and not the west, violence becomes their own fault. Rockets and rocks don’t exist unless they score and someone is seriously injured or dies.
Only when the attack is beyond horrific, as with the Fogel family massacre, does Israel begin to think that maybe what drove the Palestinian to murder little Hadas Fogel wasn’t because she was a settler.
But sadly, the stupid returns quickly. The outrage that the Palestinian Authority, against all evidence – including bloody footprints that led to the Palestinian village – were quick to blame Thai workers fades as soon as Abbas issued a mediocre condemnation that the left is so desperate to hear. Validation that the targets really were settlers so it isn’t so bad.
“We repeat today that we are with the establishment of a Palestinian state on any liberated part of Palestinian land that is agreed upon by the Palestinian people, without recognizing Israel or conceding any inch of historical Palestine.”
- Ismail Haniyeh, 2011
The truth of the Arab-Israeli conflict is that it has never even been about land, or to be more accurate, part of the land. They will never settle for Gaza, which they already have, and the West Bank. They will never settle for the Galilee or East Jerusalem. They will only settle when they have it all – Haifa and Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Beersheva, Netanya and Eilat.
They’ll accept any piece we are willing to give them…and continue working to take whatever we won’t. Until Israelis are ready to accept that truth and begin negotiations from THAT standpoint, there will never be any movement towards any long term understanding.
It is NOT about the settlements, stupid. It is about Israel. It always has been and always will be. They do not accept us here – not then, not now. The only question is will they ever.
It is about Israel, stupid.
First published at Times of Israel.
Arab-Israel Conflict – Forgotten Facts!
The term "Palestinian" is itself a masterful twisting of history. To portray themselves as indigenous, Arab settlers adopted the name of an ancient Mediterranean tribe, the Philistines (“Invaders” in Hebrew), that disappeared out over almost 3000 years ago. The connection between this tribe and modern day Arabs is nil. Romans, in order to conceal their shame and anger with rebellious regions, changed the references to Judea and Samaria by naming them Palestine.
Nationhood and Jerusalem - Israel became a nation in the 14th century B.C.E. Two thousand years before the rise of Islam.
Since 1272 B.C.E. the Jews have had dominion over the land for up to 1,000 years with a continuous Jewish presence in the land for the past 3,300 years.
The only Arab dominion since the Arab invasion and conquest in 635 C.E. lasted no more than 22 years.
King David founded the city of Jerusalem. Mohammed never came to Jerusalem.
For over 3,000 years, Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital. Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even when the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem, they never sought to make it their capital and Arab leaders did not come to visit.
Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in Tanach, the Jewish Holy Scriptures. Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran.
Jews pray facing Jerusalem. Muslims pray facing Mecca (often with their backs toward Jerusalem).
In 1854, according to a report in the New York Tribune, Jews constituted two-thirds of the population of that holy city. (The source: A journalist on assignment in the Middle East that year for the Tribune. His name was Karl Marx. Yes, that Karl Marx.)
In 1867, Mark Twain took a tour of Palestine. This is how he described that land: A desolate country whose soil is rich enough but is given over wholly to weeds. A silent, mournful expanse. We never saw a human.
In 1882, official Ottoman Turk census figures showed that, in the entire Land of Israel, there were only 141 000 Muslims, both Arab and non-Arab.
A travel guide to Palestine and Syria was published in 1906 by Karl Baedeker; The book estimated the total population of Jerusalem at 60,000, of whom 7,000 were Muslims, 13,000 were Christians and 40,000 were Jews.
As the Jews came and drained the swamps and made the deserts bloom, Arabs followed. They came for jobs, for prosperity, for freedom. And, they came in large numbers.
In 1922, with what was widely acknowledged as the illegal separation of Trans-Jordan, the Jews were forbidden to settle on almost 77% of the Palestine, while Arab settlement went unrestricted and encouraged by British mandatory authority.
Prior to the Second World War Mojli Amin, a member of the Arab Defense Committee for Palestine, proposed the idea "that all the Arabs of Palestine will leave and be divided up amongst the neighboring Arab countries. In exchange for this, all the Jews living in Arab countries will leave and come to Palestine."
Did you know that Saudi Arabia was not created until 1913, Lebanon until 1920? Iraq did not exist as a nation until 1932, Syria until 1941; the borders of Jordan were established in 1946 and Kuwait in 1961. Any of these nations that would say Israel is only a recent arrival would have to deny their own rights as recent arrivals as well. They did not exist as countries. They were all under the control of the Turks. Over 80% of the original British Mandate land was given to Arabs without population transfer of Arabs from the land designated for Jews.
In 1947, the Jewish state huddled on 18% of the original British Mandate land. The Jews accepted it gratefully. The Arabs rejected it with a vengeance and seven Arab states immediately declared war against Israel.
In 1948, the Arab refugees were encouraged to leave Israel by Arab leaders promising to purge the land of Jews. Most of them left in fear of being killed by their own Arab brothers as traitors.
Some 850,000 Jewish refugees were forced to flee from Arab countries, due to Arab brutality, persecution and pogroms.
The number of Arab refugees who left Israel in 1948 is claimed to be around 630,000 (where did they get this number?). Based on population census, estimated number of Arabs who left Israel was around 460,000. They were ordered to leave by Arab leaders at the time.
From 1948 till 1967 Arabs made no attempt to create a Palestinian state. Under Jordanian rule, Jewish holy sites were desecrated, 58 synagogues in Jerusalem were destroyed and the Jews and Christians were denied access to places of worship. Under Israeli rule, all Muslim and Christian sites have been preserved and made accessible to people of all faiths.
Arabs began identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian people in 1964 only, on the initiative of Egyptian-born Yasser Arafat. The idea became popular Arab propaganda tool after Israel re-captured Judea, Samaria and Gaza in the defensive 6-Day War of 1967,
Out of the 100,000,000 refugees since World War II, Arab-Palestinians is the only refugee group in the world that has never been absorbed or integrated into their own peoples' lands. Jewish refugees were completely absorbed into Israel.
Arab refugees INTENTIONALLY were not absorbed or integrated by the rich Arab oil states that control 99.9 percent of the Middle East landmass. They are kept as virtual prisoners by the Arab power brokers with misplaced hatred for Jews and Western democracy.
There is only one Jewish state. There are 60 Muslim countries, including 22 Arab nations.
The PLO's Charter still calls for the destruction of the State of Israel.
Pan-Arabism or the doctrine of Muslim Caliphate declares that all land that used to belong to Muslims must be returned to them. Thus, Spain, for example, must eventually be re-conquered.
The Palestine Mandate. In July 1922, the League of Nations entrusted the Great Britain with The Palestine Mandate, recognizing "the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine," Great Britain was called upon to facilitate the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine - Eretz Israel (Land of Israel). Three months later, in order to obtain full control over Suez canal, the Great Britain made a deal with Hashemite Kingdom, Egypt and France. The trans-Jordan (77% of the Mandate) was given to the king's brother in exchange for the Sinai, which was given to Egypt. Golan Heights (5% of the Palestinian Mandate) was ceded to the French controlled Syrian Mandate. This robbery was legalized immediately by, the puppet of the Great Britain and France - the League of Nations!
General Assembly resolution 181, of Nov. 29, 1947: It calls for the partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem to be controlled by a "special international regime" to protect its holy places. The Zionist movement seeking to establish a Jewish state accepted the partition, the Arabs rejected it. The resolution was not carried out: After Israel declared its independence on May 14, 1948, war broke out pitting the embryonic state against surrounding 7 Arab states. Israel gained more land than it would have had under the partition resolution. Neither Israel nor Jordan, which controlled the divided parts of Jerusalem after the war, accepted control of the holy city by an international body.