Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Israel And The Palestinians: How To Send A Message
Amid all the other news, it's been a bit undereported that Israel was faced with two terrorist attacks at the hands of the Arabs who identify themselves as Palestinians. And they cost the lives of two IDF soldiers.
One of them was 20-year-ol Tomer Hazan,(HY"D) an Air force sergeant and a Bat Yam native, who was murdered by an Arab named Nidal Amar, who lived in the Arab village of Beit Amin, just south of Qalqilya. Amar worked illegally at an Israeli restaurant where Hazan also worked part-time and the two apparently had struck up something of a friendship.Somehow, Amar talked Hazan into getting into a car with him, murdered him and threw his body down a well. Amar later told the Shin Bet after his arrest that he planned to swap Hazan's body for the freedom of his brother, a Tanzim (Fatah) terrorist incarcerated in Israel for murder. The Shin Bet is still investigating, and there are good indications Amar wasn't alone in putting this together.
A number of Israelis protested furiously outside the restaurant, angered that they would hire a shabahim (illegal Palestinian worker).
The other soldier was Sergeant Gabriel Gal Kobi,(HY"D) a 20-year-old from the Givati Brigade who was murdered by a Palestinian sniper in Hebron while guarding a religious site, the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron Sunday evening.
Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Cave of the Patriarchs, the Me-Harat ha-Machpela, is one of Judaism's most sacred sites, originally purchased by Abraham and the resting place of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah, the Jewish patriarchs and matriarchs.
Hebron itself is one of Judaism's four Holy cities, and was largely populated by Jews until 1929, when the Arabs launched a horrific pogrom on Hebron's Jews, butchering women and children while the British authorities essentially stood by and watched.
The Me-Harat ha-Machpela is also the site of a small mosque put up by the Arabs during Saladin's brief sojourn in Palestine, and the Israeli authorities have attempted to share the facilities since 1967, but with poor results, since Islam doesn't share well with others.
Sukkot is a popular time for Jewish pilgrimages to the site. Sergeant Gabriel Gal Kobi's job was to provide security to make sure his fellow Jews could worship in peace. It cost him his life.
Since this took place in the midst of the so-called peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the Israelis were expecting at least a pro forma condemnation of the killings by the PA's unelected dictator Mahmoud Abbas, and were surprised when it wasn't forthcoming.
What happened next is illustrative of a number of things.
Israeli Pm Netanyahu decided to send the PA a message and okayed something that had been on hold for years. He allowed the legal Jewish owners of a large house overlooking the Cave of the Patriarchs to occupy the property:
Hebron Jews can move into a building next to the spot where a Palestinian sniper killed an Israeli soldier on Sunday evening, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said just hours after the attack in a statement that spoke of the need to fight terror and support West Bank settlements.
His decision expands the Jewish areas of the West Bank city, and allows an Israeli civilian presence in a Palestinian neighborhood next to the Cave of the Patriarchs.
Just past midnight, Netanyahu said, “Those who attempt to uproot us from the city of our forefathers will achieve the opposite effect. We will continue on one hand to fight terror and to harm terrorists and on the other hand to strengthen settlements.”
This, of course was supposed to send a bold message to Abbas and the PA that terrorism against Israelis would not be tolerated. Did it? That's worth taking a closer look at.
Abbas and the other Arabs who describe themselves as Palestinians regard the conflict with the Jews as a tribal one, and the goal has never been peaceful coexistence, but total victory and a Jew-free 'Palestine' from the Jordan to the Mediterranean. Abbas and Arafat have both said this numerous times, as have most of the other members of the Palestinian cabal. It's a zero sum game.
In this kind of war, anything goes - kidnapping, ethnic cleansing, rape,brutally murdering civilians, inciting racial hatred, disinformation, torture, blatant deception on agreements, even murdering some of your own civilians and blaming it on your enemy for the benefit of the media narrative. Just look at how the Arabs wage war between themselves, let alone against Jews or other infidels. As Arafat once famously said, "I've killed for my cause. Don't you think I would lie for it?"
With that in mind, let's re-examine what's happened, from a Palestinian point of view.
To Abbas and company, the two young Israeli servicemen who were murdered in terrorist attacks are just two less Jews they have to deal with, certainly no cause for distress. While a 'condemnation' might be forthcoming (in English, of course,not Arabic), it's certainly not a given, but a concession to be paid for. No Palestinian has ever been arrested, let alone jailed by the Palestinians for murdering a Jew. Before Abbas, would say anything of the kind, he'd be looking at the Israelis, or more likely U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry asking, 'What's in this for me? What's my payback?'
Netanyahu's response to the killings is also interesting.He finally allowed Jews to move into property they owned anyway, something they purchased and had a legal right to live in, in the midst of a city filled with stolen Jewish homes illegally occupied by Arabs. That's a good thing as far as it goes, but even just doing that much took years and a couple of terrorist attacks to accomplish.
While Abbas and Palestine groupies in places like Washington DC and London will condemn what Netanyahu did as 'provocation' and 'unhelpful to the Peace Process', the Arabs will actually understand this, in a bemused sort of fashion. After all, if they had the power, they'd occupy every Jewish home in Israel after ethnically cleansing the inhabitants.The fact that the Jews finally are moving into a property they bought years ago is useful propaganda to them, but it doesn't send a message that killing Jews won't be tolerated. In fact, it merely starts the wheels turning on plans for another 'operation' against the new inhabitants.
When you perform actions meant to send a message, it's of the greatest importance that your message be clearly understood.
So, now that we understand that, what would a clearly understood message look like? While neither of these is likely since Netanyahu is obviously constrained by the need to appear to placate the anti-Israel Obama Administration, there are two ways I can think of to send a clear message to Abbas and the Palestinians that killing Jews is a really bad idea from the cost versus benefit standpoint.
The first effective message that could be sent is simple annexation. Hebron right now is divided into two sections, H1, which is under Israeli control and H2, which is under Palestinian control. Israel annexing the entire city, removing the current Palestinian population to PA territory and opening all of Hebron to Jewish settlement, (something that should have been done after 1967 anyway) would send an unmistakeable signal to Abbas and the Palestinians that murdering Jews has a stiff price.
Much less dramatic but just as effective would be a message involving the convicted murderers Israel has incarcerated for terrorist activities.
Israel has no capital punishment, so again this is unlikely without special legislation, but if the Israelis could change their laws to allow it in special circumstances, they could simply hang ten convicted Palestinian killers for each of the two murdered Israelis and throw their bodies in the sea.
Can you imagine what a clear and understandable message that would send to Abbas and the Palestinians? Especially since Abbas has called these killers 'holy martyrs' and made them a cause célèbre to his people?
I assure you, sending these kind of messages would do more to ensure peace and save lives then all of the decades of negotiations since the farce of Oslo.
Communication is the key. And even a puppy can learn to understand pretty quickly that bad choices entail consequences.