It clarifies the present crisis to understand the history leading up to it. In 1948, when the United Nations blessed the creation of a Jewish state, Israel’s barely 1 million Jewish settlers were threatened with annihilation by the combined armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Iraq. As the Arab armies massed on Israel’s borders, their leaders took to radio to urge Arabs living inside Israel to get out while they still could leave. Hundreds of thousands abandoned their homes and escaped what they believed to be the Israeli threat, which was non-existent. Israel’s enemies herded them into refugee camps, refusing to allow them to assimilate into their societies in order to make a propaganda point. Their children and grandchildren are still confined there today.
Israel survived that initial existential peril, only to have to defend itself from extinction three more times over the next 25 years. In the 1990s, a “two-state solution” came close to realization, only to be scuttled by the Palestinian side. Since then, arriving at a peaceful settlement has become intractable due to the fracturing of the Palestinians: while the West Bank Palestinians are relatively moderate, Hamas in Gaza, from which Israel withdrew in 2005, is a terrorist group. Any Israeli agreement with the former faction would be rejected by Hamas. Hamas’ charter contains the following assertions that make a permanent negotiated solution impossible:
- There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad.
- Israel must be eliminated from the face of the earth.
- It is the duty of all Muslims to kill Jews everywhere.
In addition, the charter contains numerous lies designed to inflame Palestinians against Jews and Israel:
- Jews stood behind World War 1 so as to wipe out the Islamic Caliphate.
- Jews established the League of Nations in order to rule the world.
- Jews also stood behind World War II, where they collected immense benefits from trading war materials, and prepared for the establishment of their state (no mention that 6 million Jews “prepared” in gas chambers).
- Jews inspired the establishment of the United Nations and the Security Council in order to rule the world.
- There was no war that broke out anywhere without Jewish fingerprints on it.
- The Jews’ scheme has been laid out in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (a monstrous fabrication attributed to the Russian Tsar’s secret service…these fictitious Protocols were a major influence on Adolf Hitler).
The situation has been aggravated by Israel’s settlement policies under Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who is beholden to extreme right-wing religious zealots in order to cling to power. Absent a rethinking of these policies, there can be no hope for even a limited accommodation with West Bank Palestinians.
It is important to note that Israeli Arabs are citizens, enjoy freedom to worship as they choose, and are members of the Israeli Knesset (parliament), among other entitlements. There is no Muslim country in which Jews enjoy anything remotely comparable. Jews, to the limited extent that their once vibrant communities have survived at all in Baghdad, Damascus, Tehran, etc., are subject to the most flagrant discrimination imaginable.
When Hamas launches thousands of rockets at Israeli civilian targets, Israel naturally responds with attacks on Hamas’ installations in Gaza. Hamas purposely embeds within civilian residential buildings and fires its rockets from their backyards. Civilian casualties ensue even though, as mentioned above, Israel gives advance notice to evacuate. Hamas then garners sympathy for what look like indiscriminate Israeli bombs. Hamas did not give comparable warnings before launching 4,000 rockets against Israeli civilians.
The Associated Press, whose Gaza headquarters was bombed because its building was also likely a Hamas sanctuary, is complicit in Hamas’ effective propaganda campaign about Israeli brutality. Why? Because of the concessions the AP made to Hamas that constrain its freedom to report accurately, without bias, what is happening in Gaza. The AP has made similar concessions limiting its press freedom in order to do business in China and other repressive countries.
The current cease fire (as of this writing) will likely be only a temporary respite.
May 21, 2021