Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

29 Nissan 5762 - April 11, 2002 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Opinion & Comment
Where is the Incipient Palestinian State?

If the Palestinians are struggling to found a state of their own, they have given no indication of this. Aside from foreign language press interviews, none of their words and deeds is consistent with such a goal.

For eight years they have had a significant amount of control of their destiny in the Palestinian Authority that was set up under the Oslo Agreements. Yet the only consistent policy they followed was one of extensive preparations for death, terror and destruction.

Every privilege they were granted was exploited for this end and for this end only. VIP passes that allowed leaders to travel through checkpoints freely were used to smuggle arms. The helicopter given to Yasser Arafat for his dignity as the head of state was used to smuggle explosives. Even medical mercy vehicles were used to smuggle and transport weapons. There was no legitimate need for this. Whatever was necessary for them to perform normal police duties was given to them by Israel. The extra weaponry -- which was specifically forbidden to them by the agreements signed by the Palestinians -- was only gathered, it is certainly clear in retrospect, in order to attack and murder Jews in Israel.

No social, communal or even government institutions were set up. Corruption was rampant in the upper echelons of the Palestinian Authority, meaning that those in power pursued only the goal of enriching themselves and not of founding a state.

Foreign money was provided to set up Palestinian television and radio stations, to foster an indigenous culture. But the content of what was broadcast had no new Palestinian sense of building a community. Rather it was a consistent message of hate and intolerance for Jews and the honor and importance of dying in order to advance the Palestinian cause.

For a few years they continued to use the Jordanian textbooks that preached hatred of the Jews. Finally the new textbooks they developed themselves with money from the European community arrived. Though they do include a minimal statement of tolerance for Christians, there is nothing positive about Jews, and there remains plenty of talk to the elementary- school-age children of martyrdom, which means suicide attacks.

The official Palestinian press publishes front page notices of "successful" suicide attacks (meaning that Jews, in this case a mother and her ten year old daughter, were murdered): "With great pride and esteem, and with faith in the destiny determined by Allah, the Hamas movement Alkassam in the district of Jenin is happy to notify the Arab, Islamic nation and our jihad-fighting Palestinian people that the heroic Martyr . . . carried out the brazen suicide attack in Hamra in the [Jordan] Valley, . . . " (Al Ayyam, February 10, 2002, as quoted in Palestinian Media Watch Bulletin of Feb 11)

This "pride and esteem" is also reflected in the behavior of the family of the murdered, which celebrates the horrible achievement.

Such an education and building such a community cannot lead to the building of a peaceful society. The best and brightest Palestinian youth dedicate themselves to murder -- of Jews and of themselves. Aside from that there is nothing Palestinian -- no songs, no literature, no communal institutions -- that can show a positive side. Palestinian society is headed towards self-destruction, quite the opposite of building a humane society that deserves a place in the family of nations.

Last week, U.S. President Bush said it clearly: "There is no way to make peace with those whose only goal is death."

What is the solution? The Jews, all the Jews, should use our "secret weapon": the power of prayer to the Ribono Shel Olom.

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