One good way to think about the Arab-Israeli crisis is to examine what would likely happen if Israel met certain requests to immediately pull out of the Palestinian territories. Recently, hours after Israeli troops pulled out of the West Bank city of Jenin, a Palestinian gunman opened fire at a crowded Israeli bus station right outside Jenin, killing three. Palestinian terror has raged against Israel long before the occupation in 1967 and anyone who expects a surge of good will from terrorists in response to an Israeli evacuation needs a good reality check. Some anti-Israel advocates proclaim that Israel’s military actions are equivalent to the very Arab terrorism performed against it.
Sorry to raise the truth, but vehement and arbitrary murder is grossly more heinous and cowardly than that which tries to use restraint, and when Palestinians celebrate in the street for every savage murder of Israelis, it is not the same thing. Amnesty International reports the miserable conditions in the territories but does not report that Palestinian police use Israeli supplied weapons to commit terrorism, that civilians and kids act as round the clock militants, and that terrorists and martyrs are the idolized heroes to much, but not all, of the population.
I would rather not believe these unbelievable circumstances if it wasn’t for the irrefutable proof everywhere. To be sure, you can go to the Hamas website and click the red button labeled ‘Glory Corner’ to receive an extensive listing of Israeli death by terrorism from 1988-1994 which should now include blowing up of 28 Israelis. Then you can ponder how after Israel assassinated the Hamas militant, Mahmoud Abu Hanoud on Nov. 23, 50,000 Palestinians gathered at his funeral to mourn his death and pledge revenge against Israel. Abu Hanoud, who coordinated many suicide bombings which murdered scores of Israelis including 19 teenagers at a nightclub in July and 15 friends and family at a pizza parlor in August, was among the men released by Yasser Arafat this May after he rejected the biggest peace plan ever proposed to him.
The UC berkeley group Students for Justice in Palestine, despite the apparent complexities of ending the occupation, have openly adopted a campaign that succeeds at nothing but defamation. At the group’s recent protest, they defined themselves and their intentions to disgrace Israel, incite hate, emulate hypocrisy, and hinder peace. Statement and signs such as ‘stop Israeli genocide’, ‘ethnic cleansing’, and ‘terrorism’ are not just clearly inaccurate but also emit a cruel insensitivity to the ethnic group they accuse. To wrongly equate Israel to the exact forms of oppression that Jews have systematically suffered from is to completely diminish its history and abuse its name.
More Jewish people were ‘cleansed’ off the Earth in the Nazi Holocaust alone than there are Jews in Israel today and to equate them with Nazis is something shallow and demented. I don’t intend to convince SJP and Stop the War Coalition advocates because it is not my aim to run around in circles with people who reject the legitimacy of the state of Israel and the roots and aspirations of Zionism. Their efforts to rationalize terrorism, to refuse recognition of Palestinian and Arab faults, to claim that they fight against oppression while ignoring many Middle Eastern countries that breed terrorism and oppress their own people suggests to me that they are not interested in dialogue and that they live in some alternate universe.