No Linkage Between Settlements and Peace
By Gad Nahshon
View of Maaleh Adumim and the Jordan River Valley from Mount Scopus in Jerusalem. No linkage to peace.
Photo: Kanan Abramson
The aggressive anti-Israeli propaganda is growing from within by the Israeli extreme left and, of course, from abroad, including some of Israel's friends, many U.N. members, African, Latin-American and some European countries. Many Muslim or Arab countries, such as Iran, do not deny their hate and often do not deny their desire to annihilate Israel as a Jewish state. It is a new modern form of genocide.
Generally speaking, most of them, at least, condemn Israel as an 'illegitimate imperialist power', which systematically occupies Arab's lands in the Middle-East since the late 19th century (Zionist Pioneers), from 1917-1948 and then after the 1967 victory. Palestine and trans-Jordan lands belong only to the Palestinian people according to their beliefs. The anti-Israeli so-called moderates focus on the 1967 settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem. They are also focusing on cities such as Maale-Adumin and Ariel.
The anti-Israeli camp is also condemning the process of building over there. They try to isolate Israel, dreaming at least, slowly and then by all means possible, to dismantle Israel as a Zionist imperialist state. For them, Israel is not a Jewish state. They are against 'The Law of Return'. The year 1948, the establishment of Israel is, for them, their 'Nakba' (Holocaust). Nothing like the recent 'Shalit syndrome', the releasing of more than 1,000 terrorists from jails can change their belief or dream. For them, it is just a sign of weakness. Perhaps their minimum plan is to reduce Israel to a small Jewish ghetto which, without the Law of Return, would disappear inside the Muslim ocean.
The conclusion is that this anti-Israeli Arab dream has nothing to do with settlements from their point of view, but rather a dream of extenction and annihilation, destroying the entire Israeli population. The Olim (immigrants) would then be looked at as just settlers who established their cities, or their settlements, in Palestine!
Recently, they presented Benjamin Netanyahu as an enemy of peace. They presented the cabinet of the Likud Party as the enemy of the Arab-Palestinian-Muslim people. But they ignore two facts: The Likud won the Israeli election in May 1977, ten years after the 1967 War. The settlements in the West-Bank and in the Golan Heights were originally established by the Left, not by the Right. The Labor Party, and Rabin, the fighter for peace, who supported the establishment of Maale-Adumin, a security act to defend Jerusalem! Today even the U.S. State Department fights against Israel building more homes for its residents! How can Israel sign peace agreements?
Let's discuss one more aspect of Israel's means of survival inside the Middle East Muslim ocean. Let's assume that Mahmoud Abbas, the 'Fatah Party' leader, Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, would establish a free, UN authorized, independent member state. (A small achievement for the PA has been gaining membership in U.N.'s UNESCO). How can Israel sign a peace agreement with Abbas who even refuses to recognize Israel as a legal state or as a Jewish state and, who fights for a Palestinian 'Law of Return,' which would be a demographic massacre of Israel?
It is clear, today, that Hamas, by opposing Abbas, is trying to establish a new Palestinian state. It appears that they killed all of Abbas' Fatah members in the Gaza Strip. Gaza is not a small marginal land. It has at least more then 1,500,000 Muslim citizens. Abbas failed to integrate Gaza into his regime. Hamas has its regime, its policy and its ideology. Hamas is a Muslim Brotherhood regime. It has aid and help from Arabs and Muslims such as Iran, terrorist movements such as Hezbollah and others. Hamas has help from Muslim Brotherhood movements from many countries such as Egypt. Hamas is a Shariah-Jihadist entity. Furthermore, it enjoys aid and moral support from many European countries. It enjoys aid from many international organizations (the Red Cross is boycotted…) under the cover of helping the poor Palestinian people in Gaza Strip.
Suddenly the cruel, hypocrite world is expressing love to these people. One must believe that the world is not motivated by the dream of annihilating Israel. In addition, the media, led by the New York Times, has stopped defining Hamas as a terrorist movement! Hamas is being introduced as a Militant Muslim Movement. Militant? Hamas has only one main target! Annihilating and destroying Israel! At least, in comparison to the anti-Israeli camp (there are exceptions like Iran), Hamas is honest. Their first target and dream is to destroy Israel! This is a terrorist obsession with no compromises. Well, friends of Hamas, who are not also anti-American, tend to ignore the facts, the essence of this terrorist state!
Again, the fact of Hamas' goals and Muslim dreams has nothing to do with settlements. Hamas ignores Abbas and his policies. Hamas does not have secrets nor engages in cynical double talk like Abbas. Their goal to assassinate Israelis and Jews are openly clear. Taliban's goals are to kill soldiers. Hamas' goals are to murder Israelis, women and children. Hamas targets school buses! Hamas attacks cities such a Beer-Sheva and Kibbutzim non-stop. The Negev, the south of Israel, is in a state of emergency! There is need for more means of defense. Recently, Hamas used missiles and rockets. It is not clear if the Iron Dome is the best available answer to these Hamas attacks.
Recently, Ashkalon and Ashdod, cities north on the beach were attacked. Of course Hamas ignores Abbas and his goals. It feels a sense of superiority and a sense of greater international recognition and countries such as Turkey are willing to help it against the Israeli blockade. Settlements? Arik Sharon made a mistake by evacuating all of the settlements from the Gaza Strip. Did it change, even a little, the image of Israel? Of course the answer is negative. Hamas said that it shows Israel's weakness. This fact was used to improve Hamas' attacks on Israel. Abbas did not condemn Hamas' attacks!
What do settlements have to do with this reality of massacring Israeli civilians? There is another chapter in Palestinian history: 1) Hamas has a few ministers in Abbas' cabinet; 2) Hamas won the last election in the West-Bank and it can win it again; 3) Hamas has the potential of occupying the West-Bank; 4) Hamas can push out Abbas who is a weak leader. It can even murder him; 5) Hamas can integrate trans-Jordan into the West-Bank. There are many Palestinians in the Jordanian Parliament.
To conclude: 1. The settlements have nothing to do with peace in the Middle East; 2. Israel should not and can not sign agreements with the Palestinians leading to two states in the horizon. Today, even a temporary peace with Abbas has nothing to do with Hamas' goals!
We need a balanced approach to the issues of peace, existence, survival, security and defense. Of course, there is the subject of national psychology. Dr. Yafa Eliach, a Holocaust expert and the founder of the first Holocaust Museum in the USA located in Brooklyn, remarked to me: "The 1973 Yom Kippur War brought back the Holocaust memory, a fear of a second Holocaust." There are national traumas but in reality Israel must do anything to defend its life and its future. The lesson is clear: we should not repeat the terrible past of the Jewish nation and people!
In the autobiography of Moshe Yaalon, Israel's former Chief of Staff of the IDF (Tzahal in Hebrew), today a Likud minister in Netanyahu's cabinet he wrote that all of his family and friends, living in Kiriat-Haim, were members of the Labor Party and, social democrats. The city, near Haifa, was controlled by the Labor Party. He joined the youth movement that was social democratic one and was almost a member of a new Kibbutz near the Dead Sea. He joined the Likud Party and remarked: "I can not sign any peace agreement with Abbas because I cannot trust them. Period!"