Now the situation is that Israel, or prime minister Sharon,
is said to demand the cessation of terror as against the
Palestinians who demand that Israel ease the blockades of
their cities and the other restrictions that were placed
upon them. One demand against the other. This is absurd.
The demand that the Palestinian terror cease should not be
ascribed to Israel. It is the demand of modern civilization.
The random attacks of the Palestinians -- murderous shooting
and bombs in the middle of populated areas without any
strategic goal aside from doing damage and hoping that this
will bring them benefit at some point -- is an approach that
should be abhorrent to every civilized person today. The
entire Western approach is that violence and warfare are at
worst tactical means in order to establish a better
negotiating position, but that eventually the goal is to sit
together, to talk together and to reach, together, some sort
of arrangement that both sides can live with.
This is an approach that has never been accepted by the
Palestinians. To be sure, in the first Oslo Agreement the
Palestinians officially signed that they renounce violence,
but since then (more than seven years) they have constantly
declared that if the "peace process" does not work out for
them they will go back to terror.
The textbooks of the Palestinian Authority, those that they
use and those that they have written themselves,
indoctrinate the children to fight and sacrifice for the
"Palestinian homeland." Israel as an entity does not appear.
The Palestinian Authority runs summer camps for hundreds of
children that teach them to use weapons. Religious
authorities speak openly of Jihad, a Moslem holy war,
against Israel. And throughout, Palestinian leaders from
Arafat on down have spoken of terror as a fallback to the
Clinton "peace process" in case things do not work out.
This is perhaps the most telling fact. It is the opposite of
what modern civilization expects: rather than violence as a
last-ditch option to be used sparingly and reluctantly, the
Palestinians always viewed violence and terror as the policy
of choice if they were not satisfied with the results of the
Faisal Husseini, generally considered a moderate, also said
during a recent speech in Beirut that the Palestinian
Authority still has as its "strategic goal" the creation of
a Palestinian state stretching from the Jordan River to the
There is an asymmetry, a severe imbalance, in the demands of
Israel and the Palestinians. Israel "demands" basic
acceptance of the minimal conditions for approaching a
dialogue, while the Palestinians "demand" Israel's
destruction. Any retreat, or even the slightest appearance
of a retreat, from this Palestinian insistence on
destruction is considered a great concession.
More than seven years after Oslo, Israel finds itself having
to talk about stopping terror and its right to exist, while
the Arabs murder us -- and the world condemns Israel for
excessive use of force.
Realistically, as elementary as it would seem to set things
right, we do not expect any change. This is our life and
this is what we must deal with -- until the coming of
Moshiach Tzidkeinu, may it be soon.