Which Palestine Do Euros Recognize? Jonathan S. Tobin 10.13.2014

Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. Unfortunately, this is having deadly consequences for the western world. There is evil in the world and it must be wiped out before it destroys the world. How many millions of Jews, Christians and Muslims were killed during World War Two after the Munich agreement?

Today the British Parliament voted on a non-binding resolution that recognized Palestine as a state. The 274-12 vote in favor of the symbolic gesture doesn’t affect the actual foreign policy of the United Kingdom but, like the announcement by the new Swedish prime minister earlier this month of his intention to also recognize it as a state, it does constitute more momentum for a Palestinian effort to bypass peace negotiations. This says a lot more about the willingness of Europeans to pressure and even demonize Israel than it does about their supposed support for peace. But as long as they’re talking about recognition, it’s fair to ask which Palestine they are ready to welcome into the family of nations: The weak, corrupt, and undemocratic Palestinian Authority in the West Bank or the terrorist Hamas state in Gaza? Or both?

The vote in London was something of a farce as Prime Minister David Cameron has made it clear that it will not influence his nation’s actions. Pushed by rank-and-file members of the opposition Labor Party it appears to be driven by a desire to embarrass its leader Ed Milliband more than anything else. But the inability of Labor’s leaders to quash the vote and in the absence of a strong stand against it by Cameron, who, along with the rest of his government and its supporters, abstained on the measure rather than risk his government by actively opposing it, it’s fair to say that the measure reflects public sympathy for the Palestinians.

Yet like the “Free Gaza” demonstrations that rocked European cities this past summer while Hamas rockets rained down on Israeli cities, one has to wonder what exactly those advocating the unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state think they are doing?

At its most basic level, recognizing Palestinian statehood seems to be an expression of sympathy for those who bore the brunt of Hamas’s decision to launch another war against Israel: the people of Gaza. Pictures of Palestinian civilians who were killed, wounded, or made homeless by Israeli counter-attacks against Hamas missile launches and terror tunnels generated a wave of revulsion against the Jewish state as well as a desire to beat one’s chest on behalf of the cause of “Free Palestine.”

But which Palestine are we talking about?

Is it the Palestine of the Palestinian Authority that currently rules most of the West Bank, albeit under the security blanket of the Israel Defense Forces? Undoubtedly, that’s the Palestine the Swedish prime minister thinks he’s backing. That’s a Palestine that is supposedly ready to make peace with Israel but which requires the economic and political support of the West in order to survive.

But, in truth, that Palestine is a corrupt kleptocracy run by Mahmoud Abbas, a man currently serving the 10th year of a four-year presidential term. The Fatah-ruled West Bank is a petty tyranny that oppresses and robs Palestinians while raking in billions in economic aid from Europe and the United States. Its leader frequently tells Western and Israeli audiences that he is ready make peace on the basis of a two-state solution, but he also is adamant about being unwilling to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders might be drawn.

But since so much of the anger at Israel is about Gaza, the fact is all too many Europeans seem willing to overlook their usual abhorrence of terrorism and think of Hamas as a legitimate government of the strip, if not as partners with the PA. That Palestine is a brutally repressive Islamist regime that is allied with those seeking to overthrow moderate Arab governments. Like Fatah in the West Bank, it is not interested in bettering the lives of its people. But unlike the PA, which seems mostly interested in profiteering off of foreign aid, Hamas’s sole obsession is in replenishing its stores of rockets and ammunition and rebuilding its terror tunnels so as to be ready the next time it feels another round of fighting with Israel will be to its advantage. Hamas, which is more popular in the West Bank than Abbas and his party, is dedicated to ending the “occupation” but by that term they are referring to pre-1967 Israel, not forcing it to remove Jews from the West Bank or Jerusalem.

Nor is there much use pretending the Fatah-Hamas unity agreement is the basis of a pro-peace government. The show put on this week for international donors for the reconstruction of Gaza did nothing to bolster confidence in the ability of the so-called government of technocrats of the PA that is allegedly going to supervise the rebuilding of Gaza. In a sign of the contempt that the Palestinians have for the suckers who continue to shovel money into their coffers, the PA would only promise that half of the $5.4 billion pledged would pay for the rebuilding of Gaza. What happens to the other half? We’re told that it will support the PA’s budget until 2017. Which means that it will be divided among the PA’s factions or indirectly shared with Hamas for its own nefarious purposes. But either way, the Swiss bankers who handle the private accounts of PA leaders should get ready for some heavy-duty deposits.

Were Europe’s governments or its pro-Palestinian demonstrators truly interested in peace, they would understand that unilateral recognition of independence is a way for the PA to avoid having to talk with Israel. Whatever they may think of Israel or the Netanyahu government, it has stated its willingness to negotiate a two-state solution. But that outcome can only happen when the Palestinians stop waiting for their foreign friends to hand Israeli concessions—or Israel itself, as Hamas is frank about demanding—to them on a silver platter. If they wanted to support peace, they would tell Abbas to go back to the table with Netanyahu and to be prepared to recognize a Jewish state. They might also encourage him to get rid of Hamas, not become its partner.

Seen in that light talk about recognition of Palestine without first requiring it to make peace with Israel must seen as not merely moral preening at Israel’s expense but a political manifestation of the same anti-Semitic invective that was so common during the “Free Gaza” demonstrations.

Jonathan S. Tobin is senior online editor of COMMENTARY magazine and chief political blogger at www.commentarymagazine.com. He can be reached via e-mail at: jtobin@commentarymagazine.com. Follow him on Twitter at TobinCommentary.

Israel is Bombing Gaza? The Truth from J Post

07/20/2014 22:02
The real question is simple: What negotiation can there be with such terrorists – and make no mistake: Hamas, that attacks Israel from Gaza with rockets, is a terrorist organization.

Perhaps you find the headline of this article shocking. Isn’t Israel once again bombarding Gaza from the air, and preparing for a ground invasion? Tens or people have already died, hundreds, maybe thousands more will die, women and children among them, and their bodies will be carried in the streets, accompanied by the shrieks of the angry crowd (in front of the cameras, of course).

Surely, you might be saying, the why of it is not important? That rather, the important question here is simply should we support the genocide of innocent Palestinians? If so – congratulations.

You have outgrown that anti-Semitic T-shirt.

You’ve come a long way from that intoxicated Internet commentator holding his grudge tightly in his little fist. You are a true European now, and have hidden your open hatred toward Jews behind subtle moralizations about the “two sides” of the conflict.

You – yes, you – who read about Palestine in some leftist pamphlet, or perhaps has even visited the West Bank. No matter. You have strong popular support now. You wear the mask of a concerned European and talk about what Israel cannot do, how everything should be resolved at the negotiation table. Waving your keffiyeh bravely, you attempt to extinguish thousands of years of conflict with little red leaflets and catchy slogans such as “Free Palestine!” Only that’s not the way to extinguish fire. On the contrary – those leaflets and scarves are fuel on the fire that will turn all your efforts into smoke and ashes.

Hard truth be told, negotiations change nothing in the Holy Land. They merely allows delegations from around the world to go on another round of business trips and shake some hands in front of cameras, and that’s it. Right up until the next Palestinian terrorist attack, another “unproportional” use of force by Israel.

The term I’ve heard people use is that Israel must, from time to time, “mow the lawn” in Gaza. Cynical as it may sound – especially if that mowing coincides with elections in Israel – it works. Gaza gets bombed every several years or so, and then it’s back to relative calm again.

But of course it’s difficult for us, Lithuanians (and many other Europeans, truth be told) to understand why is this the case, why don’t we see any changes.

Why are they butchering each other? Why does Israel have to bomb and Palestinians – and suffer (though that’s not exactly the picture one gets from Palestinian- sympathetic sources)? Why can’t there be peace? The observer of social behavior in me cannot fail to notice that if there’s one thing that unites lefties and the neo-Nazi crowd, it’s hatred for Israel. But you know what else I notice? The anti-Semitism in you is getting stronger. It’s taking over.

Like the inevitable belch after a large meal comes from your mouth the avalanche of “them dirty stinky Jews, they’ve occupied land of Palestine, they can never have enough, they need more blood of innocent people – they’ll bake matza from it.”

Do many people still actually talk like this? Oh yes.

Thousands of years of complicated history mean nothing to you. You don’t like to hear about that. Just like you don’t like to hear about the suffering of the Jewish people (“Enough! How much longer do we have to listen to this,” you moan, with a pained expression on your face).
Or about the UN recognizing both Israel and an Arab state in Palestine; how the Arabs refused to recognize Israel, attacked it, failed miserably in not one but several wars and hence lost the land fair and square.
And you don’t like to hear about Palestinians themselves – an invented nation who are simply Arabs.

No, you would rather listen to some cantankerous old fart, who is as clueless about geopolitics as he is about history, but is ready to ramble on about how Lithuania should remember it’s history and recognize Palestinian independence.

“Free Palestine!” squeals the little gang of keffiyeh- and Palestinian flag-wearing young Che Guevaristas. They are first to dare and compare the ravings about Palestinian independence with Lithuania’s fight for freedom in 1991. We are lucky that our diplomats had the brains to ignore those voices when there was a voting regarding Palestinian independence in the UN.

Loreta Asanaviciute (the young girl crushed by a Soviet tank while defending the Vilnius TV tower. She and 13 other civilians were killed by the Soviets in January 1991) didn’t blow herself up on a bus – that’s what Palestinians did.

I don’t recall “Death to Russians!” in Sajudis rallies before that. Nor do I remember Lithuanians firing rockets at Russian cities from kindergartens or the cellar of Vilnius Cathedral, either. But that’s what Hamas does – firing rockets from holy places and civilian areas toward Israel.
Let me stress quite clearly here: Palestinian terrorists, not all Palestinians. And that’s not a formality.

Just like the term “poor Palestinian people.”

Well, I have been there in the West Bank myself and I have seen with my own eyes exactly what castles and satellite dishes those “poor Palestinians” build in their “refugee camps.” So spare me your tears about their suffering.

But here comes some European in the ostrich pose, head deep in the sand, declaring: “Now, now, let us hear both sides, since both sides are right in their own way.”

TO THIS I can only say: one should learn to distinguish between cases in which there’s truly evidence supporting the “two sides” approach, and mere attempts by cowards and two-faced cronies to get their free corner to speak loudly.

I believe the time has come for Lithuania to be brave and dare to say – but without any babbling about how “we denounce violence, but urge both sides to seek peaceful resolution at the negotiations table, no, I want our country to say it loudly and clearly – “We support Israel’s actions in Gaza. The only language terrorists understand is that of force. We urge the EU to recognize this simple fact.”

This single statement would do us more good than all the rest combined.

And for once, with this bold step we’d be on the side of the righteous as well.

Not because we are stuck deep in the pockets of Jews or Americans – although that’s what some will surely accuse us of.

No matter. Those “some” can’t live without Soviet prison terminology anyway.

No, we should express this kind of support because Israel is right to defend itself. Because Israel defends itself in the right way. The alternative is the sand.

Stick your head in it if you wish.

Or, if you don’t like the ostrich analogy, here’s a simpler example: There you are, lying on a sandy Palanga beach, eating your local pastry, and then suddenly – a siren! It announces a 15-second warning about the incoming rocket barrage from neighboring Kaliningrad, where some people want to wipe you out of the face of the earth. And sure enough, here come the Grads.

Maybe the local missile defense system will intercept them. Maybe not.

Frankly, you do not want to risk it, so you grab your whiny baby in one hand, your annoying, yappy little dog into another, jam your food into your mouth and run for cover, for the nearest shelter.

Or, imagine the same thing happening in Vilnius, when you are conveniently stuck in traffic jam – you hear the siren and you run out of your car looking for cover.

Or maybe you’re in a shiny glass office building, making your way down to the parking garage along with the other yuppies, all trying to update their Facebook status at the same time.

Sound unrealistic? Well of course it does. Lithuanians don’t get notifications about a daily dosage of rocket attacks, and not only because the airraid sirens don’t actually work in Lithuania.

In Lithuania, an evacuation plan just isn’t something you have to know about. We who live in Europe don’t really think about it.

But that’s what daily life in Israel is now. Just think about this for a minute and ask yourself a simple question: what table would you like to sit at with those who would do this to you? I’m appealing to your emotions and reason here; I’m not even going to talk about those conspiracy nuts who claim all of this is a Jewish plot, that the Jews themselves are launching missiles at their own people. I pay no heed to those loonies – rank anti-Semitism isn’t the only thing beyond the reach of medicine.

Again, the real question is simple: What negotiation can there be with such terrorists – and make no mistake: Hamas, that attacks Israel from Gaza with rockets, is a terrorist organization.

Even the EU agrees on that. The same EU that urges Israel to negotiate with them.

Hamas is launching rockets from kindergartens and mosques, using civilians as human shields and then shedding crocodile tears for the dead children of Gaza. They know that no matter how precise the weapons of the IDF may be, there simply is no way for Israel to avoid innocent lives being lost in a situation as complex as this.

And yet Hamas is losing. Even the former allies of Hamas – Egypt, Syria and Iran – do not sympathize with this terrorist organization.

So please, take off your masks of concern, you two-faced liars. There’s plenty of horror staring you right in the face, the horror of the dead children under the rubble somewhere in Gaza. Ask yourselves, why is this happening? Well of course, some of you will say I am heartless. And you will most likely add that violence doesn’t stop violence, only breeds hatred and a new generation of enemies with a grudge.

Nonsense, that’s what that is. I have a question for you: Do you have another suggestion for how to deal with terrorists in short term? No, Jews, who have lived in Israel not for decades, but for thousands of years, and believe in their ownership of this land, won’t give it up to the Arabs. They will build new settler homes, and will remain ready to live and coexist with Arabs. But every time the Arabs attempt to kill Jews and throw them to the sea, blood will flow. Again and again. And nothing will change there, really.

At least not until the people who call themselves Palestinians, their younger generation at least, love themselves and their own children more than they hate the Jews. Then, maybe then there will be peace and that long since declared two-state solution will look like something more than a pipe-dream. Until then, only war, rivers of blood and no saints in sight – but there is a right side, and there’s nothing wrong with admitting it.

The author is the world news editor of Lietuvos Rytas, the most important Lithuanian daily newspaper. 

Where are the Palestinian Mothers? Article by Bret Stephens (WSJ)

According to J Street, Jewish mothers are not willing to make sacrifices for peace:

Translation: Muslim mothers are willing to sacrifice their children in order to kill Israeli children.

Golda Meir spoke about these same issues in 1973 in a clear voice (FROM THE LEFT), just like Tommy Lapid (from the LEFT), said we will not build another Yad Vashem for the 6 million Jews in Israel that the Iranians and Arabs want to kill in order to complete their plan to throw the Jews off all of the land in the Middle East.