The Europeans and the Americans are condemning us again. The United Nations is upset. The Arabs are adamant – it’s the settlements that are the deterrent to peace.
It’s not the settlements.
There were NO settlements in 1948 when the powerful combined force of more than five nations invaded the newly declared State of Israel. The goal was clear – they said it with their own mouths at a time when politically correct was a non-existent concept, genocide was still fresh on the minds of most humans, and the Arabs weren’t smart enough to temper their English messages. They would, they promised – push the Jews into the sea. That’s right – the sea. Human beings can’t live in water (ask Tevye). It was a promise to murder the Jewish inhabitants of Israel – then…and now, Stupid.
They geared themselves up for another war just 7 years later – in 1956. And 11 years after that in 1967. No settlements. Not the reason.
In 1964, the Palestine Liberation Organization was founded. It’s goal was clear and it had NOTHING to do with the settlements. Their fundamental goal was clear. The terminology had changed. It was to wipe Israel off the map of the world. They had gotten smarter. They understood that only in Arabic could they promise to make Israel Judenrein. They targeted not the “people” but the dream. Jews, have a right to live – just not in Israel.
For decades, they attacked us – in Jerusalem, in Tel Aviv. In Netanya. In Haifa – not settlements, except in the honest minds of the Arabs. Because that is the truth.
In 1989, they attacked a bus near Kiryat Yearim – 16 dead. Not a settlement.
In 1994, they attacked Hadera, Afula, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Netzarim – one settlement and four cities. It was all because of the settlements? Really? One out of five?
In 1995, it was four attacks – Jerusalem, Beit Lid (near Netanya), Ramat Gan (near Tel Aviv), and Kfar Darom (settlement). One out of four?
In 1996, it was another four attacks – Ashkelon, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem (twice). So their complaint was only against settlements? Seems to me they were aiming at something else entirely and the safest place to be was the settlements.
In 2001, there were 40 bombings…Or Yehuda, Kfar Sava, Netanya, Jerusalem. One in a Gaza community (which were destroyed in 2005) and the Erez checkpoint into/out of Gaza was bombed twice. A school bus in Nablus was attacked as well.
In 2002, the worst year on record according to Wikipedia, there were 47 bombings…six in settlements (Efrat, on the Dead Sea road just outside Jerusalem, etc.)
It wasn’t about the settlements when they attacked the Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv in 2003 or anywhere else. The vast majority of the time, it was Israelis and not settlers; it was Israel “proper” and not the settlements. This “Jesus complex” that they died for “us” is just wrong. All the victims of Israel’s long conflict with the Arabs…Palestinians, Egyptians, Jordanians, Syrians, etc. – all died for the same reason. They. Do. Not. Want. Us. To. Live. Here.
They attacked us in Munich in 1972, in Buenos Aires in 1994, in Bulgaria in 2012. It wasn’t about the settlements. Not the reason. But the Arabs continued to get smarter; and we continued to get dumber.
So what makes you think it’s the settlements?
We shall never stop until we can go back home and Israel is destroyed… The goal of our struggle is the end of Israel, and there can be no compromises or mediations… the goal of this violence is the elimination of Zionism from Palestine in all its political, economic and military aspects… We don’t want peace, we want victory. Peace for us means Israel’s destruction and nothing else.
- As quoted in the Washington Post (March,1970).
Four years after the 1967 war, years after the first settlements had been established and not a word from Arafat about them. The end of Israel, not the settlements, meant victory for Israel. Maybe he was having a bad day and just forgot?
Peace for us means the destruction of Israel. We are preparing for an all-out war, a war which will last for generations… We shall not rest until the day when we return to our home, and until we destroy Israel.
- As quoted in The Times, UK (August, 1980).
Ten years later, same message. And ten years later again. It only gets better…here, Arafat admits the truth – but we, like so many, are just too blind, naive, and stupid to understand the clear message he gave us.
The PLO will now concentrate on splitting Israel psychologically into two camps… We plan to eliminate the State of Israel and establish a Palestinian state. We will make life unbearable for Jews by psychological warfare and population explosion. Jews will not want to live among Arabs. I have no use for Jews. They are and remain Jews. We now need all the help we can get from you in our battle for a united Palestine under Arab rule.
- As quoted in the Jerusalem Post, 1996
The main difference between 1996 and now has never been a sudden awareness with the Palestinian camp that Israel is here to stay and they have to adjust their goals. Rather, what has changed is the utter stupidity of the Israeli political leadership on the left, center, and even some of the left-leaning rightists who believe that Abbas or Haniyeh are any different.
Palestine is from the sea to the river, from Rosh HaNikra to Rafah. The siege will not change our belief, wars don’t cause people give up resistance and resistance leaders. We will not recognize! We will not recognize! We will not recognize Israel!”
- December, 2010 in a rally in Gaza
Of course, we all admit that Ismail Haniyeh is a lunatic, an extremist. No one can take him seriously and you can’t call him the voice of the Palestinians, right?
Wrong. According to a recent poll (September, 2014), Haniyeh would receive 61% of the total Palestinian vote, to replace Abbas as President. At least, Haniyeh is being honest – too honest for most Israelis, Europeans and Americans who continue to beat the drums – it’s the settlements, stupid. It’s the settlements.
No, it’s not.
It never was – not in 1964 when the Palestine Liberation Organization was founded, not in 1948 when they chose war. Not 10 years ago, not 5, and not now. It was NEVER about the settlements.
What has changed is not the goal, but the rhetoric because what the western world has failed to do, the Arabs mastered long ago. It is the science of rhetoric; the belief that you can fool all of the people some of the time. In desperation, people will believe words over logic and someone “sincerely” stating something over pictures.
They shot 5,000 rockets at us just a few months ago. Not one rocket hit a settlement (unless you count the rocket that almost hit the Bedouin encampments not far from Maale Adumim) and about 4,995 of them were never aimed at a settlement in the first place.
Ayaan Hirsi Li (Google her) spoke before the President’s Conference a few years ago and in the middle of a debate between left wing American speakers and left wing Israeli speakers, she quietly said the truth, “Even if you give them Jerusalem, EVEN if you give them Jerusalem, there will be no peace.”
Arafat succeeded in his promise. With the help of successive generations of Israeli leaders and the Israeli media, Israel has been divided into two camps. When a Jew is shot over that absurd marker on the map, when a Jew chooses to live to the east of Jerusalem and not the west, violence becomes their own fault. The news is quick to label them as settlers and the Arabs have a party because they, at least, understand that they got away with murder. Only when the attack is beyond horrific, as with the Fogel family massacre, does Israel begin to think that maybe what drove the Palestinian to murder little Hadas Fogel wasn’t because she was a settler.
But sadly, the stupid returns quickly. The outrage that the Palestinian Authority, against all evidence – including bloody footprints that led to the Palestinian village – were quick to blame Thai workers fades as soon as Abbas issued a mediocre condemnation that the left is so desperate to hear. Validation that the targets really were settlers so it isn’t so bad.
“We repeat today that we are with the establishment of a Palestinian state on any liberated part of Palestinian land that is agreed upon by the Palestinian people, without recognizing Israel or conceding any inch of historical Palestine.”
- Ismail Haniyeh, 2011
The truth of the Arab-Israeli conflict is that it has never been about land, or to be more accurate, part of the land. They will never settle for Gaza, which they already have, and the West Bank. They will never settle for the Galilee or East Jerusalem. They will only settle when they have Haifa and Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Beersheva, Netanya and Eilat.
Until Israelis are ready to accept that truth and begin negotiations from THAT standpoint, there will never be any movement towards any long term understanding. It is NOT about the settlements, stupid. It is about Israel. It always has been and always will be. They do not accept us here – not then, not now. The only question is will they ever.
It is about Israel, stupid.