Who we are dealing with

With all the discussion of Israeli concessions and Palestinian states — Carolyn Glick has a good article here — we shouldn’t forget the basis of the conflict, or who we are dealing with:

[Security] sources said Hamas activists believe they cannot keep Israeli hostages out of the Shin Bet and Palestinian Authority’s reach for long. So they plan to kill them, abduct and bury the bodies, then negotiate returning them to Israel…

On September 1, a day after a Hamas cell murdered four Israelis near the Beit Hagai settlement in the Hebron area, another cell opened fire at an Israeli couple from Ma’aleh Efraim in a car on the road to the Rimonim settlement east of Ramallah. The terrorists overtook Moshe and Shira Moreno’s car and opened fire at them.

At this stage their plan went wrong. The AK-47 (“Kalashnikov”) rifle the attackers were using jammed and the couple, although injured, jumped out of the car and rolled down the wadi beside the road. The terrorists stopped their car and approached the Israeli vehicle. When they saw it was empty they took a bag containing documents from the car and fled. The couple hid in the wadi and were saved by the darkness. The husband was moderately injured and his wife lightly injured…

The interrogated militants [sic] said they had intended to kill their targets and abduct the bodies. They had dug graves in advance near their home village of Silwad east of Ramallah, they reportedly said. — Ha’aretz

The arrested terrorists are presently in the hands of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Historically, Hamas terrorists that kill Israelis have been released or ‘escaped’ from PA custody before too long.

Terrorist activity in Judea and Samaria was suppressed in 2002 by Ariel Sharon’s very effective “Operation Defensive Shield.” Until recently, there were regular incursions by counterterror forces to arrest terrorists and break up terrorist cells. This activity has been reduced and security responsibilities given to the PA in an attempt to ‘strengthen’ it — the theory seems to be that the Arab population will support the PA if it is seen as reducing IDF activity. And of course it is supposed to show that a Palestinian state in the territories will not pose a threat to Israel.

Needless to say, this is irresponsible. Israelis are already paying the price.

What has happened in the past 20 years or so is that there’s been a progressive change on the Israeli side in which things that were formerly inconceivable, like redividing Jerusalem, giving up control of the Jordan Valley, even negotiating with the PLO — today it’s hard to remember that this was once illegal — have become acceptable compromises for ‘peace’.

Unfortunately, nothing has changed on the Arab side, whose position, has actually hardened as vicious radical elements such as Hamas and hardliners in Fatah have become more powerful.

Despite the fact that Israel has made more and more concessions, the Arabs have simply pocketed them without ever agreeing that a ‘peace’ settlement must include recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, a commitment that there will be no further claims against Israel, and give up the idea of ‘right of return’.

An agreement without these things is not a peace agreement — it’s simply a massive retreat that invites more war and gives the enemy an improved position.

Now there is even talk about a unilateral declaration of statehood according to the 1949 lines — ‘unilateral’ meaning that the Arabs get the territory and meet none of Israel’s demands!

Time to put on the brakes and to stop giving up land and security ‘on account’, so to speak, in the hope that some day the Arabs will suddenly turn around and start to reciprocate. Isn’t 20 years long enough to learn the lesson that this is stupid? Don’t the statements that Arab leaders — Palestinian and others  — make to their own people mean anything?

Reread the news item above and ask yourself if you want the IDF to be unable to enter the territories. Think about what happened when Israel withdrew from Gaza. What kind of crazy logic makes anyone think that continued concessions will bring peace?

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