Will democracies call a spade a spade ?
In his interaction with the media after receiving a ceremonial reception at the presidential palace in Israel the other day, Indian President Pranab Mukherjee said : “We are distressed at the recent violence . India condemns all forms of terrorism. We have always advocated a peaceful resolution of all disputes.” Later, the President told Israeli Leader of Opposition. Isaac Herzog of the Zionist Union : “Violence is not a solution to any crisis. Violence achieves nothing but more violence. We in India believe in a principle of live and let live.” ( http://www.thehindu.com/news/religion-cant-be-the-basis-of-state-pranab-tells-israel/article7762023.ece).
President Mukherjee remained completely silent on terror in Palestine which he visited earlier . In Ramallah he just reasserted India’s position that New Delhi remained committed to the Palestinian cause and supported a peaceful solution of the Israeli- Palestinian crisis.
Equating Netanyahu and Abbas or glossing over the approach of the latter in the case would not help. I strongly feel the democracies must drive home to the Palestinian leadership what it must do . Ever since its creation in 1948 under the formula of a two-state solution, Israel has believed in peaceful co-existence with Palestine . The successive dispensations in Jerusalem have adhered to this policy .
During President Mukherjee’s visit to Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu said : “Israel wants peace, I want peace. I am interested in launching negotiations immediately, without preconditions. In order for this to happen, the terror incidents will have to stop and the Palestinians will have to recognise the State of Israel.”
The Palestinian leadership has never really believed in peaceful co-existence and indulged in anti-Semitism to eliminate Israel . They may refer to peace and co-existence on some diplomatic occasions , but they preach and practise hatred and violence against the Jews and Israel.
Recently, some Palestinian rioters set fire to a holy site in Nablus , known as Joseph’s Tomb, in the West Bank on Friday last. The tomb is believed by Jews to house the remains of Joseph, the son of the biblical patriarch Jacob. This tomb had been previously set ablaze and ransacked way back in 2000 during the Second Intifada. Things are turning from bad to worse in the region. Terrorist outfit Hamas has declared another ‘Day of Rage’ against Israel .
Palestinian leaders have done little to stop hatred and violence. They have instead been saying things that would worsen the situation. In one of his recent speeches Palestinian President Abbas has accused Israel of engaging in terrorism and attempting to change the status quo on the Temple Mount. Last month he had declared , “We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem… With the help of Allah, every shaheed (martyr) will be in heaven, and every wounded will get his reward.” ( http://www.theisraelproject.org/palestinian-mob-sets-fire-to-jewish-holy-site-secretary-kerry-urges-abbas-to-halt-incitement/ ).
A New York-based Middle East expert adds the Palestinian leaders have been propagating around that violence erupts because of “ a massive increase in settlements” and the resultant frustration. ” The fact is the ‘settlement’ growth has of late ebbed to historic lows.
Will the leaders of democracies act realistically ? An Orlando-based expert warns : “It's nice to say nice things. No one will contradict a man who says he deplores all violence. But it is meaningless in a world where some take advantage of its apparent weakness and refusal to make moral judgments. Platitudes do not solve problems. Recognizing reality can. In a world of platitudes, the side that chooses to impose its aggression, via terrorism, whether it is Abbas in Palestine or the Pakistani military sponsorship of terrorism in Kashmir, the world will be rewarding the bullies, the terrorists, the jerks who think that stabbings and rape and beheadings of innocent civilians and children is justified by their current ideology. “