One thing I must surrender: The Palestinians are determined.
Did anyone notice that they have been relatively quiet recently although September is already upon us?
There were several pronouncements by the PA they would never recognize Israel as a Jewish state, but really not much more.
So what is in store for Israel later this month?
Israel has been relatively distracted by the “social revolt” that is now subsiding. The summer is over, school is back in session and life has to return to its normal course. The days of summer happenings at tent cities were full of attractions, but every party comes to an end.
Israeli politicians were on missions, seemingly targeting African countries for support. While this path allowed them to travel and accumulate miles and overseas expenses, the sum total of this effort is quite meaningless. In fact, it promotes a false sense of security and a notion that “we have done everything possible, but the Palestinians are simply stronger.”
It is a defeatist attitude from the very start.
I am reminded of the month leading up to the Turkish Terrorist Flotilla. Israel did nothing, ignored all available open sources and played into the hands of its enemies. Five Israeli elite soldiers were injured, nine terrorists killed, Israel relaxed the “siege” and so was seen as having capitulated to pressure, Turkey downgraded its diplomatic relations with Israel and a UN report was published concluding that Israel acted within its rights, but too aggressively. There was also an Israeli commission of inquiry.
Could Israel have done anything differently? Clearly. This was seen with the thwarted flotilla and flytilla that followed.
It has now been a good several months, a solid period of time by any account, for Israel to prepare for September. On the 20th of this month, the UN General Assembly is expected to recognize “free and independent Palestine.” Many countries have already committed to this course of action and several have already taken the necessary steps to recognize Palestine. Even the Israeli Ambassador to the UN has admitted that it is a solid eventuality.
Recognition of Palestine with recognized international borders will de facto create a new state, one that never existed, by tearing apart a portion of Israel. Imagine the Turks’ reaction if the UN were to take a fifth of Turkey and declare it “Land of the Kurds,” or China’s reaction to international recognition of Tibet? Except with Israel everything is permissible, and Israel is not fighting back.
It is much, much worse than it seems.
Many Israelis, mainstream media and politicians from across the aisle do not view Judea and Samaria as an integral part of Israel. For them, the more than 330,000 Israelis living there (not counting Jerusalem) are a security and financial burden. They still use the word “Settlers” to refer to them, and truly resent their presence.
Other than the Arab Spring of 2011, processes take a very long time to mature. The discussions about Israelis living in Gaza, or at the outskirts of Gaza, have lasted for many years. In 1989 or 1990 I went on a tour of Gaza, for I wanted to see with my own eyes and experience what Gaza was all about. Analysis was conducted at that time in the Israeli military if the resources invested in protecting the “settlers” were justified. Slowly the realization that Israelis should be uprooted started deepening. It all sounded reasonable and logical, leading to the 2005 unilateral “Disengagement.”
This is not a question of lacking institutional memory or not knowing one’s own history. Here, in the span of one generation, Israelis initiated a critical mistake and are about to repeat it now. The mystery is that Israel’s actions are neither a result of desperation nor of utter stupidity (even though they seem so). And yet, Israel is ready to commit the very same suicidal step again.
First it was Gaza, next Judea and Samaria, and to top the move, Jerusalem will be sacrificed on the same altar, and with Jerusalem – God. Israelis give up their very identity, every right they have and soon, they will give up on their very being too.
The Palestinians are determined, and the Family of Nations has already decided to accept them as equal. Israel, its Government, Foreign Ministry and citizens are too busy debating the merits and possible courses of action. The favorite choice is, as all too often, inaction. There is a small bit of meaningless fanfare, but overall they are simply doing nothing of substance. Severing ties, annexing the area, expelling non-citizens or other measures are not even considered and are readily dismissed as extreme-right-wing-fanatical ideas, option that will never be exercised.
Until Israelis feel pogroms once again. At first, these would be dismissed too, for the immediate defenders are those “Settlers” in the “Occupied West Bank.” It already happened, but it was just one family on Friday night. Two young Palestinian males entered their home and butchered the young couple and three of their kids, the youngest three months old. They cared not of the horror of their actions as it was all justified in their minds. Since the Jews are “Settlers,” “evil pigs and apes,” “filth that needs to be removed and exterminated.” It will spread on.
The Palestinians refuse to recognize Israel for what she is, the one and only national home of the Jewish People. They boycott Israeli goods and services, but Israel stubbornly continues to supply them. Their rhetoric and actions are clear and unambiguous, but Israel refuses to do what is necessary for her own survival.
So when the question is asked: Why did Israel do nothing? Or, why does Israel continue so stubbornly to ignore all the signs, the answer is obvious: “Never Again” is a slogan that sounded good for some seven decades, but the distance of time and space has removed Israelis from the true intention behind that promise. Thus, it is bound to happen again, this time not on European soil, but in the Land of Israel.