The Palestinians Can Solve Their Plight By Accepting Israel
By Richard Friedman,
BJF Executive Director
Lots of people have lots of opinions these days on the Hamas-inspired attacks on Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip. While there are those who would like to portray these threatening attacks against Israel’s sovereignty and security as peaceful protests by a beleaguered people, the reality is just the opposite.
These attacks are part of an orchestrated assault on Israel, using and exploiting innocent Gazans, in an attempt to pierce, puncture and invade Israel’s border in whatever way is possible. The goal, as Hamas has admitted, is to infiltrate Israel to murder Israelis.
There have been numerous reports of some of the “protestors” being armed, resorting to violent means and intending to invade Israel to kill Israelis, as they breach one of Israel’s pre-1967 borders from an area — the Gaza Strip — which Israel withdrew from in 2005. This is not a fight over “occupied territory” — unless, like Hamas, you think every inch of Israel is “occupied territory.”
For sure, the casualties that have resulted from Israel defending itself are tragic, but they are Hamas-induced. Israel’s reaction, in fact, has been relatively measured and restrained, considering its military might and especially considering what most other countries — including our own — would likely do in such circumstances.
One piece of writing that actually framed the situation correctly was an excellent editorial that appeared in the Chicago Tribune.
“Leaders of the Palestinians have a choice: They can keep sending their young people to their deaths. Or they can turn from violent confrontation to constructive negotiation. They can resume their path toward a Palestinian state,” the editorial maintains.
“The reality on the ground is that nothing will change until Palestinian leaders stop inciting violence and start telling their people the truth: Palestinians can have a state. But not until they accept that the Israel they loathe is in the neighborhood to stay,” the editorial continues.
This analysis is exactly right, based on both a current understanding of the mentality of the Hamas leadership and other Palestinian leaders and history itself. The Palestinian leadership has repeatedly rejected compromise with Israel, four times over the decades that could have led to a Palestinian state each time. Instead, their intransigence, terror and violence have only brought woe and misery for their people.
Over the past decade, even some Israelis on the left side of the political spectrum, who have long advocated for territorial compromise by Israel and recognition of Palestinian claims, have reached the conclusion that the continued Palestinian war against Israel is not about gaining control of the “occupied” West Bank but rather it’s about conquering every inch of the land that now comprises Israel.
Israel will endure. The current Gaza demonstrations — which are bloody, unpleasant, tragic and brutal — will eventually run out of steam. Not only will the Israelis not be intimidated or deterred, but this current Hamas ploy will become old news. Then, instead of looking for a peaceful compromise, the terrorist group and its allies will likely come up with some new attempt to destabilize Israel, draw it into a no-win security dilemma, and disadvantage Israel in the halls of world opinion.
Fortunately, we are living at a moment where the US Administration is standing behind its ally Israel — in a forceful and clear way — and articles in the media are appearing, such as the Chicago Tribune’s editorial, that are framing this saga correctly.