The Crossing of a Rubicon

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For the last eighteen years, the international community has turned a blind eye and ignored every failure of the Palestine Authority to live up to the signed agreements and commitments it has made. In return for these unfulfilled promises, the Israelis gave very real tangibles, leading to their decisions to: evacuate Gaza, stop building, remove checkpoints and maintain supplies of essentials and electricity. Hardly anyone now remembers that the Oslo Accords, and all subsequent agreements between the Israelis and Palestinians, had been based upon very specific conditions that had been placed upon both the Palestinians as well as the Israelis.

In the late 1960’s, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan coined a phrase “the soft bigotry of low expectations.” In a perfect dramatization of this phrase, the international community now has such low expectations of the Palestinians that there is not a shred of expectation by anyone that the PA will comply with any of the conditions of their agreements and treaties. This patronizing, soft racism has stooped to the lowest level yet, when one reads the argument put forward by former President Jimmy Carter in the Washington Post, that having Hamas in a unity government with Fatah has improved the chances for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Fatah, or the Palestinian Authority, has at least mastered the façade of peaceful intentions by entering into on-again, off-again negotiations with the Israelis. The latest peace negotiations finally broke down, not because of the issue of land or settlements as is erroneously stated, but because the PA gagged on having to articulate the words, “Israel has the right to exist as a Jewish state.”

Hamas, on the other hand, makes no pretence what-so-ever. Every statement issued by them calls for the immediate destruction of Israel through acts of martyrdom and death. Hamas proudly proclaims a transparent, hate-infested, Nazi-like ideology. The immediate destruction of Israel is its over-riding objective — which it considers its sacred religious duty. Although primarily Sunni, Hamas gets much of its funding from Iran, and has become essentially an Iranian puppet state on the southern border of Israel.

The history of what was so explicitly promised to Israel in return for its withdrawal from Gaza in 2006 bears repeating. Israel was told this was the final risk it would have to take — a demonstration to the world just how far Israel was willing to go for peace. Israel was told that this would be an opportunity for the Palestinians to demonstrate to the world, once and for all, that they can govern themselves independently.

In a painful and gut-wrenching decision, Israel uprooted more than 8,000 settlers as part of the Gaza withdrawal in 2005. Many in the Israeli army complained that they were compelled to rip Israelis from their homes, which was not why they signed up for the army. They were told they were doing this “for the sake of peace.” Rabbis argued that the synagogues should be preserved and turned into mosques, because “after all, we all pray to the same God.” Jewish benefactors bought greenhouses for the nascent Palestinian state to assist it in developing an economic infrastructure.

The world knows the result of this. As soon as the last Israeli soldier left Gaza, everything of value was utterly destroyed in a hate-filled frenzy. Then, when the Palestinians of Gaza freely and independently went to the polls in 2006, they gave vent to their hatred and elected Hamas to govern and represent them.

Today, Gaza has become an Iranian puppet state on Israel’s southern borders. Since the withdrawal, Palestinians have bombarded southern Israel with more than 10,000 Kassam rocket missiles launched from over the border — from Gaza.

Even more dangerous, the same factors of internal corruption that led the people of Gaza to elect Hamas over Fatah, exist in the West Bank. If elections were held today, the people in the West Bank would probably overwhelmingly elect Hamas, — creating another Iranian puppet state on Israel’s eastern border. This will become a new Hamas state capable of bombarding Israel’s coastal plane, where the bulk of the Israeli population lies, with ten thousand additional Kassam rockets.

The biggest winner will be Iran, which already has a puppet state to Israel’s south in Gaza and another one in the north in Hezbollah controlled Lebanon.

Any one with any sense of intellectual honesty and integrity would have to acknowledge that it is long past the time to go back to the drawing board and to examine the premises of the “land for peace” hypothesis. Israel has given the land. Now, where is the peace?

Is Israel any better off now than it was before 1993?

Americans, with our “can do” attitude think that we can “fix” everything. However, some conflicts cannot be fixed overnight. Some actually, despite our best intentions, take time — a considerable length of time, to educate an entire generation about the values of democracy, tolerance, pluralism and the respect for human rights. Anyone who sees the almost daily diatribe of venom coming out of the Palestinian Authority (translated through such websites as Palestinian Media Watch and MEMRI), through newspapers, television programs, ceremonies, and textbooks can deduce that the PA has managed to successfully have sown the societal groundwork with values that are antithetical to that.

In the meantime, the rush to create a Palestinian state could be a rush toward war and disaster. Perhaps America should be rather more modest in its goals and consider conflict management — rather than conflict resolution.

With the Cairo handshake, a Rubicon has been crossed. America should no longer, as a nation, fund the Palestinian Authority, since the PA has merged with the terrorist Hamas organization and taken off the mask, revealing its true intentions. The Palestine Authority has shaken hands with the devil
incarnate. Funding a terrorist entity such as HAMAS contravenes US law. No more excuses should be made.

For far too long American has been rewarding the Palestine Authority’s bad behavior. The international community has created a welfare-like dependency. The PA assumes that, irrespective of what they say on the media in the textbooks, at public ceremonies and in the PA appointed mosques, America and the international community will turn a deaf ear. And when they meet in Egypt and shake hands with the devil, and plan more terrorist activities against Israeli civilians, we will turn a blind eye. Now the international community has created an explosive situation where one party is excused for every failing, and the other held from protecting its own citizens.

Perhaps it is time to stop being so patronizing to the Palestinians, and to begin treating them like grownups, holding them accountable, for what they have signed — and for what they have said.

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About the Author

Sarah Stern
Sarah Stern is founder and president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET).

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