Monday, October 13, 2014
Israel simply is not equally at fault
Western donor nations that have given so much money to Palestinian causes are expressing hesitancy about funding the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip because they fear another war may be, if not just around the corner, then certainly not that far off. It’s a reasonable worry, but given the hostility in the international community toward Israel, the concerns are, as usual, being voiced in the wrong context.
These nations ponied up huge sums for rebuilding after Hamas terrorism from Gaza provoked Israeli military operations in 2009 and 2012. That money evaporated in explosions this year when Hamas launched another conflict by kidnapping and murdering three Israeli teens and firing rockets and mortars into Israel.
The 50-day war that Hamas caused destroyed or damaged more than 60,000 homes and 5,000 businesses as well as claiming more than 2,000 Palestinian lives, many of them cruelly and illegally wasted as human shields by Hamas.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas seeks $4 billion or more from the donor nations at a conference convening in Cairo Sunday. According to the U.N.-funded news service IRIN, whatever nice words are said at the conference, the donor nations may not be willing to ask their taxpayers to provide such a large sum “in the absence of real commitments from both Israel and the main Palestinian factions.”
Note the nauseating moral equivalence between the terrorists who started the war and the nation forced to defend its citizens. As I’ve said before, no Palestinian violence, no Israeli violence.
As bad as this moral equivalence is, worst is the attitude prevalent in many European capitals that Israel is the obstacle to peace. The European Union threatens to impose sanctions against Israel unless Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu makes progress toward a two-state solution and stops construction in the disputed territories of the West Bank, reports the Times of Israel. What about the responsibility of the Palestinians to at last help accomplish peace?
Unfortunately President Barack Obama and the State Department also place inordinate emphasis on building in Israeli communities as a barrier to peace. Most construction occurs in areas that would be part of Israel under any two-state solution.
The actual obstacle to peace remains the hostility to Israel of the Arab world, including from the Palestinians. Hamas remains committed to unending war against the Jewish state and still has an arsenal of thousands of rockets and mortars in Gaza. Getting those weapons out of the strip and imposing measures to prevent future rearming would be the best guarantee against another Gaza conflict. Again, no Palestinian attacks, no Israeli reprisal.
A couple of recent episodes show it’s not Israel blocking a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. After Israel killed the two Hamas operatives who murdered the three Israeli teens, the murderers were idolized by Palestinian Authority media as martyrs, according to the monitoring organization Palestinian Media Watch. The authority’s official TV said the two were killed “at 2 a.m., according to Zionist hatred time.”
Even more illuminating was the report by journalist Khaled Abu Toamed of the Gatestone Institute about a Saudi MBC-TV telecast of a Mideast map that included Israel. Protests broke out across the Arab world and MBC apologized for not labeling the area Palestine. Toamed calls this “yet another reminder that many Arabs still have not come to terms with Israel’s existence — and apparently are not interested in coming to terms with it.”