Israel’s victimization continues

As an immediate disclaimer to the invective I am sure to receive after this column, let me officially state that I do not hate Arabs, Palestinian Arabs or Muslims.

I actually rather like most individuals I meet from these groups and deeply regret the historical coincidences that have made their people clash with mine. I do not support the invasion or occupation of any Middle-Eastern country ‘- especially my own.

Over winter break the Israeli Defense Force deployed into the Gaza Strip to injure ‘- if not cripple or destroy ‘- the popularly-elected terrorist organization, Hamas. When I learned of this, I thought for a moment that I was in a bizarre parallel universe, because until I did some digging I didn’t actually see a report of Israel going to war.

Instead, I found out about the war from reading various accusations of war crimes and genocide levied against Israel.

Now, I don’t know how others think, but in my book an attempted genocide actually puts a dent in the demographic figures of the civilian population.

This war’s casualties were only 50 percent civilian from a total of 1300 dead ‘- a better rate than any war ever fought by, say, the United States.

Civilian collateral casualties do not engender a war crime where leaders have declared their pride in ‘having created a human shield of women, children, and the elderly’ and that ‘for the Palestinian people, death became an industry at which women excel and so do all people on this land[.]’ (Fathi Hamad gave this speech on Feb. 29, 2008).

Admittedly, using white phosphorous weapons is a war crime and the people responsible should serve life sentences to prison. But my point is made: There is neither genocide nor ethnic cleansing occurring in the Israel-Palestine area. Israel defended itself against Hamas’ years of rocket attacks after the ceasefire ‘- which Hamas violated endlessly ‘- expired.

After this war I have seen and heard an endless number of demands that Israel quickly make peace with the Palestinian Arabs. However, I feel that at this point, one should not ask how Israel can make peace but with whom they could possibly make it.

A question needs asking: Why do people continue to support these terrorists against the Israelis, who not only are the only Jewish state in the world ‘- unlike the twenty-two Arab states ‘- but have built a thriving First World society despite constant attacks upon them?

The answer is a decades-long propaganda effort by Arab and Muslim states in favor of the Palestinian Arab claims.

The basic idea has been the same as the efforts that gave Americans the Bush Administration: slowly dragging the mainstream in a single direction until people consider normal ideas once found on the lunatic fringe.

In 1948 or 1967 nobody would have acted as though the Palestinian Arabs had any right to destroy Israel for their own national aspirations. However, the Palestinian Arabs’ (and their leaders’) continued use of combat tactics that deliberately create civilian deaths and obstinacy to even the most reasonable peace proposals (peace proposals that Egypt and Jordan have had the good sense to accept) have created a facade of victimhood.

Yet it is utterly false: Yasser Arafat rejected a peace offer at Camp David that would have given the Palestinian Arabs a state of their own consisting of 91 percent of the West Bank, all of the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem as a capital ‘- without making any counterproposal ‘- because the proposal would not give Palestinian Arabs a ‘right of return’ into Israel.

Obviously, this would have forced Israel to make a sadistic choice between its Jewish character or its democracy; Israel could not have accepted any such deal. Still, the Palestinian Arabs could have had peace and a state of their own in the year 2000, but they rejected it in favor of the Second Intifada because they would only have obtained one Palestinian state instead of making Israel into a second one.

Unfortunately, most of the world lacks the wisdom to respond in any way but with agreement when presented with the ‘victimhood’ portrayed by Palestinian media (some of which is fabricated).

The sheer, near-comedic incompetence of the Arab and Muslim terrorists only seems to add to their pretense as righteous victims of Israeli aggression. Again, Israel finds itself compelled to create ‘peace’ with a party rejecting every reasonable effort at peace and aiming, however ineffectively, for nothing less than the destruction of Israel and the extermination of Jews everywhere (as stated in Hamas’s charter).

Ergo, the world should cease asking Israel what they will do for the Arabs, and instead ask why Israel should trust the Arabs enough to make even another ceasefire. I can’t say I know what the solution will or must be, but for those interested in the issue, I will be posting more thorough and comprehensive opinion pieces on this issue on the Daily Collegian’s Ed/Op B
log, and anyone wishing to debate the issue with me or begin ad hoc peace negotiations can email me to start arranging an appearance on UMass Yak-Back.

Eli Gottlieb is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at [email protected].