Monday, June 23, 2008


One of the strangest things about what I do is having to combat a certain mentality in society, that the rape victim was somehow responsible for what happened. It's like, she was to blame because she should have known not to be at that place at that time, or to be dressed a certain way, or to get on that particular subway or not to be walking alone in that particular area, like she had no right to be there in the first place. Even more heartbreaking is the way they sometimes get the victim to believe that herself... - my friend Miriam, a rape crisis counselor.

There's a certain warped mentality existing in somebody so desperately wedded to a political agenda, to a certain 'script' that they're willing to bend the truth or willfully ignore certain basic facts when they don't fit..especially if they don't have to live with the consequences. It's especially dangerous when these people have access to media and attempt to infect others.

Nicholas Kristoff provides this week's example, in the Sunday New York Times.

In an oped entitled The Two Israels Kristoff focuses on Hebron and laments what he calls the good Israel, meaning self-loathing Israelis like Leftist columnists like Akiva Eldar,Amira Hass and groups like B'Tselem (the American equivalents would be Frank Rich, David Corn and Code Pink) versus the bad Israel of those evil settlers, the security checkpoints and what he terms the 'oppression' of those poor Palestinians:

"To travel through the West Bank and Gaza these days feels like traveling through Israeli colonies.

You whiz around the West Bank on new highways that in some cases are reserved for Israeli vehicles, catching glimpses of Palestinian vehicles lined up at checkpoints.

The security system that Israel is steadily establishing is nowhere more stifling than here in Hebron, the largest city in the southern part of the West Bank. In the heart of a city with 160,000 Palestinians, Israel maintains a Jewish settlement with 800 people. To protect them, the Israeli military has established a massive system of guard posts, checkpoints and road closures since 2001."

My, my, my...such a lot of unadulterated horse manure in a mere three paragraphs.

I guess Kristoff forgot that the Israelis gave Gaza to the Palestinians with the idea that they would actually use it to build lives for themselves instead of creating a terrorist squat and missile launching ground. Some 'colony', hmm?

And regardless of how it feels to tools like Kristoff, the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria are hardly colonies, since no country had claim to those areas in the first place once the British left. True, the Jews in places like Gush Etzion and Ariel were ethnically cleansed by the Jordanians in 1948, but if that constitutes squatter's rights, then the Israelis have just as valid a claim by retaking the area in 1967. Better in fact, since a significant part of those 'settlements' are merely Jewish communities on land purchased by the Jewish National Fund prior to 1948 that have been rebuilt.

Hebron is a particularly lousy example of a 'settlement'. It's the site of the Cave of the Patriarchs, the burial site of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their wives Sara, Rivka and Leah. It is the second holiest site in Judaism and has stood in Hebron for a mere 3000 years, and the Jews have a purchase agreement and a deed to the Genesis 23:17. Hebron has had a continuous Jewish presence for centuries until 1936, when the Arabs massacred the inhabitants and drove them out of the city while British troops essentially stood by and watched. Most of those Arab squatters in Hebron thus obtained their land by sheer theft. Kristoff also conveniently leaves out the fact that his numbers are skewed - the Jewish community of Kiryat Arba is part of Hebron and has almost 10,000 residents, in addition to the 800 or so Jews Kristoff mentions.

Not only that, but the Palestinians themselves recognized the Jews right to live in Hebron in perpetuity when none other than Yasir Arafat signed the Hebron Accords in January, 1997.

Of course, he was as full of it as Kristoff is, but he did make the deal at the time when he thought it was to his advantage.

Let's look at some more of what Kristoff had to say:

Rima Abu Aisha, a housewife in Hebron, has the misfortune of living in an area near the settlers. When she went into labor, an ambulance could not get the appropriate permissions in time and the baby died, she said.

Even if the Hebron settlement were not illegal in the eyes of much of the world, it is utterly impractical. The financial cost is mind-boggling, and the diplomatic cost is greater.

Perhaps greatest of all is the cost for any hope of a peaceful settlement: the barriers and checkpoints have undermined Palestinian moderates like President Mahmoud Abbas and have empowered Hamas. Polls show that two-thirds of Palestinians now approve of terror attacks against civilians in Israel, up from 40 percent in 2005.

Isn't it cute how Kristoff unquestioningly accepts some Palestinian folklore about a dead baby ladled out to a sympathetic western journalist without any objective proof? Probably never heard of Mohammed Al-Dura, Gaza Beach or the so-called 'Jenin Massacre'. He also convenietly forgets about the many times the Palestinians have used Red Crescent ambulances and supposedly ill women and children as decoys to smuggle homicide bombers and terrorist killers past checkpoints and into Israel.

Of course, there have actually been dead babies in Hebron. One of them was little 10-month-old Shalhevet Pas,(z"ll) who was deliberately targeted for murder while in her stroller by a sniper in the Tanzim, part of Fatah's Palestinian 'moderates'...who Mahmoud Abbas insists on being freed as part of any peace agreement.

What people like Kristoff don't see - what they don't want to see - is that whenever the Israelis lift their security arrangements to allow the Palestinians more movement, it's simply a green light for the murder of more Jews. That's why there are checkpoints, restricted roads and an IDF presence...because the Palestinians have made a holy and heroic deed out of murder and because people like Shalhevet Pas need to be protected.

Kristoff is right about one thing. Protecting the Jews in Hebron is difficult and expensive. But the alternative is a lot more expensive.

Were there any missiles or mortar rounds flying into Israel from Gaza before the IDF presence and the 'settlers' were removed? Take the Jews out of Hebron and the West Bank and watch what happens.

Of course, none of this fits the convenient script Kristoff and people like him have adopted.

I would likewise love to know where he gets his statistics indicating that the Palestinians were less radicalized in 2005 than they are today.I've been following those stats for a decade, and I've never seen anything like the numbers he cites.Considering that the Palestinians overwhelmingly endorsed Hamas in the January 2006 elections,less than a year after he claims they were less genocidal I think his source is about as reliable as the supposed dead Palestinian baby.

The Palestinians have proven again and again and again that most of them have no interest in the idea of two states for two peoples - they want it all, and a big part of that is delegitimizing the Jewish claim to the land and replacing it with their own...which is why they're so interested in getting their blood stained hands on Hebron and the Jewish holy sites in Jerusalem. People with warped perspectives like Kristoff and the 'good Israelis' he cites are aiding and abetting that kind of genocide, no matter how much they might be living in denial.They're within their rights to feel that way, but I simply would prefer they be honest about it.

The Palestinians regard their war with Israel as a tribal conflict, and were they to prevail, they would massacre every Jew they could get their hands on, while people like Kristoff shake their heads and deplored the 'cycle of violence' since they have no understanding of the way most of the Palestinians think except through their own warped frame of reference.

That's the basic reason the two state solution people like these are so exercised about will never work, in case you were wondering - because they refuse to hold the Palestinians accountable for their murderous tribal mentality and or to make them pay a significant price for it. Until they do, there's absolutely no incentive for the Palestinians to change in the least.

A peace agreement with any real meaning shouldn't be predicated on the idea that Jews or Arabs have to be ethnically cleansed from a given area, but that Jews and Arabs can actually live together no matter where the borders are drawn. The Israelis had already proven themselves capable of doing that in pre-1967 Israel, and the very reason they avoided tossing the Arabs out of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria after the Six Day War was because, like Kristoff, they didn't understand the tribal mentality that drives most of the Palestinians. They gambled on the idea of peace with their neighbors and lost, and there are a lot of Jews who would be alive today if they had simply pushed most of the Arabs in the West Bank over the Jordan River into the Palestinian state of Jordan the British established for the Arabs in 1923.

People like Kristoff want them to throw good money after bad, and create more restricted Jew-free neighborhoods in the Middle East while endangering what's left so he can applaud the `good Israel'. He won't be anywhere to be found when the corpses start piling up afterwards. People like him almost never are.

That attitude is not only downright stupid, but dangerous.

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