Redefining Peace in the Middle East
By Hank Levy
By this time, it should be clear as crystal, that neither Hamas nor Hezbollah nor Moslem extremists nor Moslem terrorists will ever want to co-existence with nor do they intend to co-exist with the State of Israel. Each one of these groups has one great desire in common with the others and hopes and prays and will do everything in its and in their collective power to bring it about: that there will be no State of Israel.
That long term situation has been joined by a similar brand of anti-Israel focus: For some reason, it seems that every country in the world continues to demand that the State of Israel negotiate a peace agreement that will allow Gaza, the West Bank and a section of the City of Jerusalem to become part of an independent Palestinian State, which would literally be just a stone�s throw from the Jewish State.
Rest assured, there will be no end to such demands. Nor will there be a shortage of United Nations resolutions denouncing every military response that the State of Israel may make to missiles, mortars and rockets fired at Israeli cities and Israeli citizens in those cities, as "disproportionate responses". There will be no end to the cycle of provoking the State of Israel to retaliate against attacks, followed by demands for a cease fire by those who threw the first stone, followed by periods of calm, which only allow the world-wide team of Moslem terrorists to rearm themselves, which, in turn, allows them to launch new acts of violence against Israel.
In 2005, the State of Israel unilaterally left Gaza for its Palestinian inhabitants to do with as they would. The Israeli citizens, who had lived there, left behind lovely homes, and a thriving flower business, and did so with no strings attached. Israel handed over the areas of Gaza that had been in Jewish hands, not destroyed and burnt to the ground but as they had been; in pristine condition.
Since that hand over of the formerly Israeli owned areas of Gaza, Hamas became the driving force in Gaza and has been in complete control of that area. The result: Today, the blooming flower business in Gaza is non-existent. Whatever monies that had been made available for building the Gazan economy was diverted into building tunnels used by Hamas terrorists to smuggle missiles and rockets from Egypt into Gaza and to preparing an elaborate system of booby trapped houses rigged to explode so that any attempt by Israeli forces to reenter the area would lead to the detonation of those houses, which would most probably kill both the Israeli soldiers attempting to enter them and Palestinians who lived in or near those houses.
Let us also remember the continual firing of missiles, mortars and rockets by Hamas at the Israeli city of Sderot. These firings were launched from within mosques; and from within hospitals; and from within highly populated residential areas so that any retaliation by Israel directly into such launch sites, which might lead to any civilian deaths, could be used as a Public Relations opportunity for Hamas. One Palestinian child killed is considered by Hamas to be a good Public Relations opportunity. Two Palestinian children being killed was that much better a Public Relations opportunity. An entire family killed was an absolute Public Relations jackpot for Hamas against Israel.
Does this sound like a peace formula to you?
It is similarly impossible to ignore what the Palestinian and Jewish youth are being taught in their schools, by their families and friends, and by how they interpret their feelings based on the kind of life they are experiencing. Palestinians are taught to hate.
The Palestinian youth are taught to aspire to martyrdom. They are taught that giving up their own lives in order to take Jewish lives is holy and good and just. These messages are conveyed in their schools, in their mosques, by their mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers. They are conveyed in posters, on television, in their newspapers and books, and by their friends. These messages, and only these messages, are everywhere; even in their dreams. These messages are glorified.
The Jewish youth are not taught such hatred in their schools nor in their synagogues. Yet when their homes are under daily attacks from deadly missiles, the stress and mental anguish and fear that they experience can easily lead to hatred of those who wantonly launched those missiles.
An entire generation of Israeli children is facing this state of panic all the time. And so are their parents and their friends and their teachers and their Rabbis. How can this condescension possibly generate a feeling of friendship or hope or even of simple ambivalence towards those trying to annihilate you? How can this be reconciled into a situation where two groups of seemingly different people can live in peace?
We suggest that the relations between the Israelis and Palestinians must not be viewed as the only instance of conflict on our planet. There is a continual state of conflict within many countries and between many countries that have been going on for years or for decades or even longer. That has become part of life on our planet, part of the way things have always been and still is. To have Israel singled out, on a continual basis, as the only place that must resolve its problems to the World�s satisfaction, and to resolve them now is ridiculous. What�s good for the goose is good for the gander. Let Israel have to deal with life under a microscope the same way that other hot spots in the world have to deal with their conflicts; no more and no less. So if this means that peace must be redefined as maintaining the status quo; then, so be it. The world community should not be so hypocritical as to say that the only "peace" it will recognize is a "peace" that will be forcing Israel to share the same land with its sworn enemies who want Israel and the Israeli people eliminated.
Does all of this mean that one cannot strive for a better way in which the Israelis and Palestinians can live?
America just elected and has now inaugurated its first Black President. This would have been unthinkable by our forefathers who established our country. It would have been unbelievable by those that survived our Civil War. It would have been undreamed of even by those who dared to have a dream for people whose ancestors had been slaves and who were themselves at times not treated as equals.
Yet, now, it is an undeniable reality. The impossible has become possible and, more so, that which has become possible has actually occurred. It is almost unbelievable; but, believe it, because, it is true.
There are however, on this planet, some conflicts that will take even more time to be resolved than America electing a Black President. The unresolved differences embodied in the death wish of the world-wide team of Moslem terrorists described earlier for the State of Israel and for the Jewish People can find its roots as far back as the Bible and the story of Jacob and his twin brother Esau.
So, in the meantime, when we talk about "peace" between the Israelis and Palestinians, let us make sure that we are dealing with the reality of the situation and, before we start our discussion, let us please define our terms.
In conclusion, "peace" must mean a fair and equitable peace; period.