Yesterday’s murders were typical. A car carrying four Jews was raked by automatic fire. Then the terrorists approached their victims and shot each of them numerous times, in order to ensure that they were dead. Four Jews — two men and two women, one of them pregnant — died for the crime of being in “the land the Palestinians want for their future state” as the NY Times or AP would put it.
This happened near Hebron, in Judea. Some will say that these Jews deserved what they got, or if they didn’t deserve it, they should have expected it. After all they were on ‘Palestinian land’.
As I’ve written numerous times, the 1949 armistice line is not a border. There is no ‘Palestinian land’, not until some legitimate authority representing the Arabs will agree to end the conflict and recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. Even if it were, what do you call a nation that does not permit Jews to live among them, on pain of death?
There was a thriving Jewish community in Hebron until 1929, when it was wiped out by an Arab pogrom made by the grandfathers of today’s ‘freedom fighters’. When Arabs, Europeans and our own officials talk about yesterday’s little pogrom, you will hear them say that they condemn terrorism, but… The ‘buts’ will differ. The Arabs will talk about their frustration in getting the state that they want (they will pretend to mean only the territories — as if they could not have had such a state in 1937, 1947, 2000 or 2008), and our people will say that ‘extremists must not be allowed to sabotage the peace process’.
Here is some news: insofar as they do not accept the right of Jews to have a state with any borders in the Middle East, they are all ‘extremists’, including Mahmoud Abbas and even the ultra-‘moderate’ Western-educated economist Salam Fayyad.
Here is what US Secretary of State Clinton said to PM Netanyahu yesterday:
Well, let me express our deepest sympathy to the families who have lost their loved ones. This kind of savage brutality has no place in any country, under any circumstances. The forces of terror and destruction cannot be allowed to continue. It is one of the reasons why the prime minister is here today: to engage in direct negotiations with those Palestinians who themselves have rejected a path of violence in favor of a path of peace. We have to not only stand against the kind of horrific murders we saw today on behalf of the four who were lost and, as the prime minister said, the seven orphans who have been brutally deprived of their parents, but on behalf of all people — Israelis, Palestinians, everyone who knows that there is no answer when violence begets violence. And I thank the prime minister for his leadership in seeking a different future for the children of Israel. And we pledge to do all we can, always, to protect and defend the State of Israel and to provide security to the Israeli people. That is one of the paramount objectives that Israel has that the United States supports in these negotiations. [my emphasis]
I am afraid that Mrs. Clinton does not understand, or pretends to not understand, the conflict that she is trying to ‘solve’.
First, she does not understand that there is no Palestinian leadership that will take the “path of peace.” This path requires an agreement that Israel — within whatever boundaries are agreed upon — is the legitimate nation-state of the Jewish people. Further, it requires a commitment to a final end of conflict, a termination of claims against Israel. Even the most moderate Palestinian ideology is not prepared to grant any legitimacy to Israel, which at best they regard as a usurper that is too powerful to challenge today. Their idea of ‘peace’ is a hudna, a temporary truce until they have the strength to redress their grievances.
Second, she does not understand that “violence begets violence” is an entirely inappropriate — indeed, slanderous — explanation. Violence has been the choice of the Palestinian Arabs since the beginning of the 20th century. The Jewish response to it has taken many forms, from attempts at diplomacy and conciliation to self-defense and even reprisal. But the motivation for Arab violence has always been the same: to kill or expel the Jews from ‘their’ land.
Third, she does not understand that the Jewish people learned from centuries of insecurity and persecution culminating in the Holocaust that they cannot depend on anyone else to defend them or provide security. They do not want this from the US. What they want is to be allowed to defend themselves without interference, and in this particular case, without an imposed ‘peace’ agreement that will prevent them from defending themselves.
Fourth, she does not understand that the “terror and destruction” cannot be stopped by forcing Israel to give up territory to an ‘authority’ that has no popular support and which does not control the behavior of the majority of Palestinian Arabs.
Fifth, she does not understand that the instability in the wider region does not depend on the relationship between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs, but rather is fed by the sponsorship of Islamist and terrorist groups in Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq, Gaza and elsewhere by the Iranian regime. You cannot cure an infection without neutralizing it at its source.
I have lost patience with this inability to understand that characterizes US officials like Mrs. Clinton. It’s long past time that they should have understood the facts and stopped basing policy on the myths of Palestinian moderation and the centrality of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
Unless of course they understand the facts well enough but believe that it is in their interest to shrink Israel regardless of the consequences.