Facing the Realities
The Arab riots of the past five weeks, on the part of
Israeli Arabs as well as the Palestinians, and including
consistent attacks on Israelis and their positions with
guns, Molotov cocktails and boulders, has been a shock and
created new facts on the ground, no less than settlements.
When an account is also made of the declarations of war
(Jihad) and the constant incitement in the
Palestinian media and educational system, and the fact that
hundreds of Hamas murdered were released at the height of
the violence, it would seem that it is clear that there are
new facts that must be faced.
Yet some, including the highest echelons of the ruling
cliques, want to continue as if nothing has happened.
In the past, when the head of the Palestinian Authority
spoke in Arabic of Jihad (a holy war) the Israeli
Left dismissed it as "just talk" meant for internal
consumption and not an expression of serious intent. Now
that Arafat is carrying out Jihad and says so, this
interpretation has been falsified -- yet they persist in
their optimistic assessments that the other side "really"
Under explicit agreements signed in Oslo and several times
thereafter, the Palestinian Authority undertook to educate
their people to peace. Instead their media and schools
constantly glorify martyrdom and teach that they should be
ready for war in order to "liberate" Palestine. For example,
a tenth grade textbook teaches "Martyred Jihad
fighters are the most honored people after the
prophets," and such sentiments are common starting at the
youngest ages. Aside from the fact that such teaching
violates written commitments, it certainly makes one suspect
that peace is not the true goal of a people that brings up
its children on such sentiments.
Throughout the territories, various new roads were built to
provide supposedly safe routes for travel. The problem is
that most of those bypass roads were designed to minimize
rock throwing, but little attention was paid to threats from
small arms. Now that the main threat has turned out to be
shooting from small weapons, they simply propose to build
roads to bypass those bypass roads.
Our heart goes out to those who now live in daily danger and
we pray for their safety, as we pray for the safety of all
acheinu Beis Yisroel in danger, wherever they are. At
the same time, it seems that, albeit in a different way,
many of those who live in settlements among Arabs are also
unwilling to face the situation as it is.
Those who live in the settlements constantly stress that
they are living in situations in which they face constant
and serious threats, Hashem yeracheim. But if so, one
would expect that they respond the way good Jews do when
faced with a situation of pikuach nefesh: they act to
remove themselves from the threat, and they refrain from
acting or traveling in ways that put them into greater
danger. Certainly in such a situation they would not insist
on behaving as if there is no danger, simply because it is
their right to do so. Precious Jewish lives are at stake.
Failure to do this shows that, no less than the Left, they
do not confront the realities and live accordingly.
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