Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

4 Nissan 5761 - March 28, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Opinion & Comment
Still Struggling to Exist

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 talks.

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 Mediterranean.

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.

All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.