Palestinian Violence Against Jewish Israelis Heats Up—What’s the Cause this Time?
Dear Friend of Israel:
Have you seen any of the reports coming from Israel over the last week? Missiles fired from Gaza aimed at Israeli civilian centers, Palestinian rock throwers attacking Jewish cars and buses (and killing one driver on Rosh Hashanah), a spate of riots on the Temple Mount for no apparent reason.
Now that quashing Iran’s nuclear ambitions has moved into its long phase—of fortifying violation detection and subsequent punishment regimes—the Palestinian Arabs see their opportunity to seize the Middle East spotlight. Given the catastrophic military and humanitarian situations in Syria, Iraq and Yemen this will be difficult.
But raising hell—against Israel, of course—has become the primary Palestinian enterprise. When you have no cultural, economic or political vision for your people other than defeating an “enemy” that is decisively more powerful than you and that has offered peace numerous times, what else is there to do with your time and energy but to flail futilely?
Given the bruising battle the Obama Administration fought to win its Iran Deal—including alienating our strongest ally Israel—and the harsh criticism this has received from every Republican Presidential candidate, it seems unlikely that Mr. Obama will waste any remaining political capital trying to force another Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Smart thinking—especially since the Palestinian political structure is in shambles (even more than usual, and that’s saying a lot).
For starters, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas (now in the eleventh year of a four-year term) has resigned from the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), along with 10 other members. Apparently he hoped he would be begged to stay or that the Committee would call for new elections, which he would win. Neither has happened.
Abbas’ Fatah Party, which rules the West Bank (kind of) and Hamas, which rules Gaza (absolutely) remain arch enemies. Due to political dysfunction, Gazans have made virtually no progress in repairing the massive damage caused by their war against Israel last summer.
But the heart of the Palestinian tragedy remains impaled and bleeding on one self-defeating notion: A recent poll confirms that more than 80 percent of Palestinians still believe the main Palestinian goal for the next five years should be “reclaiming all of historic Palestine from the (Jordan) river to the (Mediterranean) sea”—in other words, defeating Israel and throwing the Jews out.
This week’s FLAME Hotline featured article, by veteran commentator Evelyn Gordon, below, notes that the crux of this opinion lies in the Palestinian argument that Jews have no right to a homeland in Palestine—a point they propagate in the UN, on U.S. campuses and other forums worldwide. Above all, Gordon argues that we must correct this lie.