Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

24 Shevat 5762 - February 6, 2002 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Opinion & Comment
Reversing Oslo?

In Sunday's New York Times there was a piece signed by Yasser Arafat (though it hardly reflected his usual style of speech) that insisted that the Palestinians are ready to end the conflict, to sit down with any Israeli leader and to fight Israeli military power with the power of justice.

What a wonderful vision of peace. We hope that it is repeated in Arabic and forms the basis of Palestinian policy. Important parts can be implemented unilaterally -- and should be implemented if anyone is to take it seriously since the piece in the Times implies behavior that is radically different from what we have seen so far from Arafat and from other Palestinian leaders.

Incitement continues in Palestinian media and in its educational system. Children are told repeatedly how glorious it is to die for Palestine and they are told that the Jews are their enemies. The new sixth-grade textbook written by Palestinians writes, "Brotherly love and tolerance between Muslims and Christians prevails in the Palestinian society; The Palestinian people were expelled from their land by the Israeli occupation of Palestine, were exposed to massacres and forced to leave to the surrounding countries." Israel does not appear on any maps. Antisemitic stereotypes are rife and the textbooks emphasize the importance of confronting enemies.

Where it counts, the Palestinians have not shown a basic desire for peace.

Aside from occasional -- and grudging -- pronouncements in English for the international media that they want peace, the reality of intense incitement to hatred continues in Arabic; shooting and bombing continue on the ground. Through chasdei Shomayim most incidents end without harm, but it is not from lack of Palestinian trying.

And they are constantly escalating their efforts. Last week a rocket attack was narrowly averted. Had the arms ship Karine A gone through it would have given them extensive new capabilities that would have had horrible results, Rachmono litzlan.

There is no doubt that if choliloh the terrorists begin to actually launch rockets it will require a significant shift in Israeli counterefforts. Weapons that have a range of 7-10 kilometers need new countermeasures.

When the Right warned that the guns given the Palestinians by the Israeli government would one day be used against Israelis, the Peace Camp related to them almost as if they'd gone mad. They said that the Palestinians would not dare to shoot at Israelis since they would have too much to lose.

Now it is clear that the Palestinian strategy is based on the assumption that the only way to achieve anything is through the use of murderous force. Their own talk to the contrary only shows how little they respect what they say for Western ears.

Some of the warnings of the opponents of Oslo have not yet been fulfilled. But they also said that eventually Israel would have to reconquer the territories in order to ensure its security.

Today, the threats are so imminent and so serious that no one can rule this out. There is no one today -- even in the realistic Right -- who wants to renew Israeli rule of Gaza, Shechem (Nablus) or Jenin, but the possibility that this might happen at some point, is far from imaginary.

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