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Palestinians want more than just peace

Josh May
Thursday March 21, 2002



I felt compelled to write and express my anger. Today (March 21) was the second suicide bombing by Palestinian terrorists in Israel since the cease fire talks were started by Anthony Zinni. Yesterday the Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for a bomb that killed seven and wounded many more, including many Israeli Arabs. Today the Al-Aqsa brigade blew up at least three Israelis and wounded as many as 40 others as they walked on a street in Jerusalem. The Al-Aqsa brigade is part of Fatah, and both organizations are controlled by and claim loyalty to Yasir Arafat. 

As I sat watching the news of the attack I heard a Palestinian spokesperson on television blame Ariel Sharon and Israel for the latest Palestinian attack. This ignores the fact that 1) Sharon had withdrawn Israeli troops from the territories, 2) Sharon was cooperating and making concessions in the cease fire talks with Zinni, and 3) the terrorist group that claimed responsibility for the bombing is directly controlled by Arafat.. 

Why should Israel negotiate with Arafat? Either Arafat is refusing to stop terrorism against Israelis or he lacks the ability to control his own people. In either case Israel gets only terrorism and rhetoric when it deals with the Palestinians. The vast majority of all Israelis and Jews believe that the occupation of Palestinians by Israel is wrong and needs to stop, but how can this happen when the terrorism doesn't let up for one minute? 

Israel’s greatest fear is that Palestinians want more than a peaceful state in the West Bank and Gaza — they want to destroy the State of Israel. Who can blame Israelis for thinking this — a poll last weekend by the Arab An Najah University in Nablus found that 87.5 percent of Palestinians want to “liberate all of Palestine.” The Palestinian culture is one that makes heroes and martyrs of gunmen and suicide bombers. Palestinians tell their children that they will one day return to their old land in Israel and throw out the Jews who live their now. Palestinians want their own state in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem and they want to overwhelm the Jewish state of Israel. 

They do not understand the nature of the two-state solution imposed by the U.N. Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank combined are the size of New Jersey. Israel is surrounded by hostile Arab countries and hundreds of millions of Arabs who make no secret of their desire to get rid of the Jewish state. 

What has Arafat ever done to reassure Israel and Jews everywhere that the Palestinian people only want a peaceful state to coexist with Israel, and that the Palestinians don’t want to see the destruction of the Jewish state? 

Nothing. I am afraid that until Arafat or someone else on the Palestinian side starts to act like a leader of a future peaceful nation and cracks down on terrorism, there will be no peace. 


Josh May 

Boalt Hall Law School student