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
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
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
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.