Secretary of State Antony Blinken just made his 5th trip to Jerusalem. In hand was an offering to Prime Minister Netanyahu from Hamas for a ceasefire.
According to a report in Axios, what Hamas offered would have come in three stages: In the first 45 days, in return for 1,500 Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails, including those who have been convicted of murder, the IDF has got to leave Gaza, completely. In exchange, the Palestinians would release Israeli women the elderly, and children under 18. The second phase would release Israeli males of fighting, age. The final phase would involve giving Israel the remains of the dead. (It is a sobering reality, but 31 of the remaining hostages have just been announced as dead by Israel.)
The Oslo Accords were also initially a phased plan, in which trust was supposed to have been developed with each stage. Initially, the negotiations were drafted behind closed doors by Yossi Beilin, a member of the Labor government, Ahmed Qurei, a Palestinian negotiator, and Terge Larsen, a Norwegian sociologist. On September 13, 1993, PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin, (with President Bill Clinton acting as facilitator), shook hands on the White House Lawn. The Declaration of Principles was signed, and there was also supposed to have been a staged plan in which trust in the mutual parties was to have been earned. Likewise, Palestinian statehood was to have been earned, not magically bequeathed on a silver platter.
There had been a slight pause in hostilities and by May 10th, 1994, Arafat spoke at a mosque in Johannesburg, calling for a “jihad to liberate all of Jerusalem”. “Peace loving” spin doctors from the left, called Arafat’s talk for jihad an “internal struggle.”
So much for “pauses” to guarantee trust. We know that a 135-day pause only amounts to a victory for Hamas. Hamas will only use this time to regroup and retake control of the areas that approximately 226 young IDF soldiers have made the ultimate sacrifice for in Gaza.
We all have to remember the utterly savage and sadistic reality that was October 7th. Mass murder of approximately 1200 Israelis and the most barbaric sort of rape imaginable with the mutilation of organs; butchering and burning babies in front of their parents; kidnapping of 240 hostages and holding many of them in cages in their hundreds of miles of massive terror tunnels.
For some peculiar reason, there seems to be no agency for the attacking party: The members of Hamas who engaged in the most sadistic sort of actions against the Jewish people since the days of the Holocaust, and those who had loudly cheered them on from the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.
Everyone, of course, is praying for the release of all of the hostages. Looking at their omnipresent photos and those of their families is like wrenching out one chamber of our collective hearts, as Jews.
However, before the United States cajoles Israel into anything, it is important that we ask ourselves: Did anyone cajole the US into a ceasefire with the Nazis? And can anyone deny that the horrific events of October 7th were Nazi-like?
There is a quite familiar dance that those of us who have been observers of the Middle East for decades have been watching 1. Israel tries to reach out to its neighbors in peace, (As just one of many examples: the total withdrawal of any Jewish presence from Gaza in 2005). 2. Israel’s overtures are rejected. 3. Israel is violently attacked. 4. Israel—and Israel alone—is asked to bow its knees—and make “painful compromises” for peace.
According to a report by Barak Ravid on January 31, 2024, the State Department has been reviewing policy options for a Palestinian State. The options include 1.) bilaterally accepting a Palestinian state 2.) Not using its veto power in the UN to block admitting Palestine as a full voting member state and 3.) Encouraging other nations to recognize Palestine.
Why is this dastardly behavior on the part of Hamas being rewarded by the two-state delusion, once again?
Going back to 2002 and the Road Map for Peace; to 1993, and the signing of the Oslo Accords; to 1967 and the Khartoum Conference, to 1947 and the UN Partition Plan, to 1937 and the Peel Commission, the Washington foreign policy establishment always returns to the same old failed paradigm. All of this seems to represent a supreme failure of the imagination.
According to the highly respected Palestinian Center for Survey and Research, in a recent poll, nearly 82 percent of the Palestinian residents of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), are in support of the atrocities of October 7th.
How could Israel be expected to live in long-term peace and security with such neighbors? What guarantee is there that the reward of a Palestinian state to Israel’s enemies would magically result in a peace that would endure for generations, let alone years?
And speaking of that recent poll of Palestinians, support for Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority has dropped significantly. When asked who would rule Gaza after the war, only 7 percent said the P.A. with Mahmoud Abbas in control.
Yet, the State Department is talking about a “Revived P.A.” Why? Because their Covenant, which has never been revoked, talks about a “phased plan” to attack Israel from any area that is evacuated. As opposed to Hamas, which would do it all on the very first day.
It is the Palestinian Authority—not Hamas– that has established the curriculum of vile antisemitism, of replacing all of Israel with Palestine, and that is used in the UNRWA schools in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, Egypt, and Jordan. The teachings that have inspired the events of October 7th.
I recently returned from Israel, and beneath the beautiful moral resolve to survive, is an almost palpable existential despair. They are willing to fight and die for the right of their people to live within defensible borders. They are no longer so willingly misled into a belief in the delusional thinking that once there are two states, the Palestinians will be willing to live in peace and security with Israel—magically.
And if you believe in that, do you also believe in Cupid, Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny?
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