Left-wing protest in Tel Aviv 311.
I often receive e-mails from various organizations explaining how it is “not too
late” to take action on this or that issue. Recently the question one
organization asked was, “Will the United States do the right thing at the United
Nations Security Council, this one time?”
No problem there – innocent
question. But the next question posed was, “Will the US government stand
up for basic fairness instead of vetoing yet another UN vote on behalf of
Palestinian human rights?”
Wait a minute. Palestinian human rights? That’s not
at all what the UN vote is about.
But this organization, in its e-mail,
claimed, “Palestinians are bringing their case for recognition to the United
Nations as soon as September – not because it will suddenly create a viable
Palestinian state or end the occupation – but because it could provide leverage
to help them press their case for freedom and equality.”
equality? But gay Palestinians often flee to Israel from both Palestinian
Authority- and Hamas-controlled areas to escape near-certain death. In 2007,
Hamas banned music in Gaza, and in 2008 it banned women from smoking water pipes
in cafes. Next, women were banned from riding motorcycles, and in 2010, Hamas
banned men from working in women’s hair salons. In the same year, the PA banned
the recitation of the Koran over mosque loudspeakers (in Israel, it is perfectly
Israel also doesn’t shove Palestinians off rooftops, as both
Hamas and Fatah members did in 2007.
This year, The Jerusalem Post
reported that the PA had banned Palestinian journalists from reporting about the
findings of the Independent Commission for Human Rights concerning abuse of
human rights by the PA and Hamas.
In its most recent annual report, the
commission said that Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip were
subjected in 2010 to an “almost systematic campaign” of human rights abuses by
the two leaderships.
The same organization appears to center the
September vote around two issues that are irrelevant. It asks, “Will the US
government stand for Palestinian freedom and independence, or for more
occupation?” But Palestinian freedom and independence has always been an option,
one they themselves have chosen to reject numerous times. And the occupation,
which is, at most, a gray area in terms of what it really is, has nothing to do
with September. Israel will not leave the West Bank unless it can guarantee its
own security, and it will never relinquish its historical claim to the
land. Unilateral Palestinian moves will not change this.
organization’s misunderstanding of even the most fundamental facts of the
Arab-Israeli conflict is clear on its website, where it claims, “The
Palestinian-Israeli conflict is, in essence, a conflict over
territory.” But if that is the case, I have yet to hear a logical
explanation as to what all the fuss was about before 1967, when Israel was not
in control of the West Bank or Gaza.
It is more than obvious that the
Palestinians have made the Arab-Israeli conflict an issue over Israel’s
existence. In May, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu rightfully acknowledged
this when he declared that “the root of the conflict is, and always has been,
their [the Palestinians’] refusal to recognize the Jewish state. It is not a
conflict over 1967, but over 1948, over the very existence of the State of
THE FAILURE here is the inability of the Left to come to terms
with reality. Why does it ignore Palestinian incitement against Jews? What about
the 800,000 Jewish refugees from Arab lands in 1948? What about the countless
lives that have no doubt been saved by the security barrier? What about the
thousands of Palestinians in refugee camps in Syria fleeing now from Bashar
Assad’s brutal crackdown?
Contrary to the efforts of many organizations to paint
Israel as an aggressor and the main problem in this region, Egyptian journalist
Ashraf Abu al-Houl has insisted Gaza is not under siege, and it was Palestinian
journalist Zainab Rashid who argued that it was the Syrian people who needed
flotillas – not the Palestinians.
There are those who claim that they
must save Israel from itself, as if they have all the answers and as though if
only Israelis would see through the Left’s prism, everything would be
Many disillusioned organizations have fallen hook, line and
sinker into the age-old trap of anti-Semites who today hide behind the mask of
“anti-Zionism.” These same organizations completely ignore rampant and constant
incitement against Jews among Palestinians. The Hamas charter still calls for
Israel’s destruction. Why is this not an issue for these organizations?
Gavison, founder of the Metzilah Center for Zionist, Jewish, Liberal and
Humanist Thought, has warned that these types of organizations need to be extra
careful with their fact-finding and allegations, especially when human rights
rhetoric is being used by Israel’s enemies in a cynical and manipulative
Recently the Post
reported findings by American pollster Stanley
Greenberg, in partnership with the Beit Sahour-based Palestinian Center for
Public Opinion, that 72 percent of Palestinians backed denying the thousands of
years of Jewish history in Jerusalem, 62% supported kidnapping IDF soldiers and
holding them hostage, and 53% were in favor of teaching songs about hating Jews
in Palestinian schools.
When given a quote from the Hamas Charter about
the need for battalions from the Arab and Islamic world to defeat the Jews, 80%
agreed. Seventy-three percent agreed with a quote from the charter about the
need to kill Jews.
Gaza flotillas, the delegitimization of Israel, the
global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement – all these are meant to
isolate Israel and absolve the Palestinians of all responsibility for their role
in the ongoing conflict. These threats are explained away by the Left as a
result of Israel’s occupation and brutal treatment of innocent
If we combine all the possible “ifs” of the Arab-Israeli
issue – if Israel leaves part or all of the West Bank, if Palestinian refugees
are allowed into Israel, if final borders are determined – and every demand by
the Palestinians is met, does anybody really believe there will be peace? Don’t
be so naïve.