Muslims prefer continued violence over peaceful coexistence
Reprinted from Daily Alert, November 2, 2015
Understanding the roots of the latest wave of Palestinian violence can provide the key to dealing with it effectively. Those who go out to stab Jews or run them over in the street are not doing so because they have lost hope in the peace efforts chaperoned by John Kerry. What we have seen on the streets of Jerusalem in recent weeks is just another chapter of the wave of radical Islamic terror that has attacked targets around the world during the last few years. The perpetrators are inspired by the gruesome decapitations carried out by ISIS.
The knife wielders in Hebron are probably longing for the “good old days” when their ancestors butchered the Jewish community there with knives and hatchets in 1929. These terrorists cannot be appeased. Their aim is death to the infidels – to the Jews and the “Crusaders.” The resumption of negotiations with Mahmoud Abbas is not going to placate those brandishing knives in the streets of Jerusalem and Hebron. The writer served as Israel’s Minister of Defense three times and once as Minister of Foreign Affairs. (Ha’aretz)
Cooperation between Israeli security forces and those of the Palestinian Authority has not broken down as a result of the violence in Israel and the West Bank. The PA leadership does not control the young people carrying out the stabbings. In spite of Abbas’ rhetorical condemnations of Israel, he evidently prefers not to throw away the relative stability of the last years. The Tanzim and other Fatah armed groups have been instructed not to engage in violence.
Moreover, the general chaos in the surrounding area – in Syria, Sinai, Iraq – has not escaped the attention of Palestinians and serves as a disincentive to participation in violence among wide sections of society. The Second Intifada was not that long ago. The suffering it entailed is still remembered by all those over the age of 30.
The attacks are emerging from Palestinians too young to remember the last Intifada. But other than expressing anger, a leaderless, directionless trend of this type ultimately is capable of only a limited impact. The stabbings will not produce any gains for the Palestinians. The inspiration for the wave of knife attacks is fairly obvious. It is the Islamic State which has “pioneered” murder with cold steel in the Middle East. The writer is director of the Rubin Center for Research in International Affairs and a fellow at the Middle East Forum. (The Australian)
Sorry Bill, It’s Not Up to Israel – Jonathan S. Tobin (Commentary)
- Bill Clinton spent the years after he left the White House loudly and bitterly lamenting the fact that Yasir Arafat cost him a Nobel Peace Prize. Clinton hosted a peace summit at Camp David in the summer of 2000 at which Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered the Palestinians an independent state including almost all of the West Bank, a share of Jerusalem and Gaza in exchange for peace. Arafat said no and months later launched a terrorist war of attrition.
- But in spite of this, Clinton told a huge crowd in Tel Aviv on Oct. 31 that “it is up to you” in order to make peace in the Middle East. Clinton was an honored guest at a peace rally/commemoration of the 20th anniversary of Yitzhak Rabin’s murder. It is all well and good to praise the search for peace. But the last 22 years have taught us that it clearly is not up to the Israeli people.
- Barak repeated the offer the next year, and Ehud Olmert sweetened it in 2008. Both times the Palestinians against refused. Before that, Ariel Sharon withdrew every soldier, settler and settlement from Gaza, hoping to create an opening for peace. Each time Israel took the kind of risks for peace that its friends and critics had been urging it to do, yet got neither peace nor credit for the sacrifice.
- What more can Israel do to convince the Palestinians to make peace than they have already done? According to the Obama administration and critics of the Netanyahu government, they need to stop building homes in existing settlements in the West Bank and 40-year-old Jerusalem neighborhoods or release more convicted terrorists.
- But does anyone really think that will convince the Palestinians to make peace when offers like the ones Barak and Olmert made were not enough? Did Sharon’s experiment in trading land for peace – which turned out to be an exchange of territory for terror – not go far enough?
- The problem isn’t Israel not recognizing Palestinians’ rights and aspirations. The problem is that even PA leader Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian lauded by President Obama as a moderate and a champion of peace, won’t recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders are drawn.
- It’s not the Israelis who need the lectures from Clinton and Obama. It’s the Palestinians. Israel has taken plenty of risks for peace. It’s time for Americans to stop ignoring that fact and start putting pressure on Israel’s foes to take some risks of their own.