7. The Policy of Resentment and Hate
The refusal to address the condition of the Palestinian refugee population is – and has always been — a calculated Arab policy, intended to keep the Palestinians in a state of desperation in order to incite their hatred of Israel for the wars to come. Not to leave anything to chance, the mosques and schools of the Arabs generally — and the Palestinians in particular — preach and teach Jew hatred every day. Elementary school children in Palestinian Arab schools are even taught to chant “Death to the heathen Jews” in their classrooms as they are learning to read. It should not be overlooked, that these twin policies of deprivation (of the Palestinian Arabs) and hatred (of the Jews) are carried out without any protest from any sector of Palestinian or Arab society. That in itself speaks volumes about the nature of the Middle East conflict.
All wars — especially wars that have gone on for fifty years – produce victims with just grievances on both sides. And that is true in this one. There are plenty of individual Palestinian victims, as there are Jewish victims, familiar from the nightly news. But the collective Palestinian grievance is without justice. It is a self-inflicted wound, the product of the Arabs’ xenophobia, bigotry, exploitation of their own people, and apparent inability to be generous towards those who are not Arabs. While Israel is an open, democratic, multi-ethnic, multicultural society that includes a large enfranchised Arab minority, the Palestine Authority is an intolerant, undemocratic, monolithic police state with one dictatorial leader, whose ruinous career has run now for 37 years.
As the repellent attitudes, criminal methods and dishonest goals of the Palestine liberation movement should make clear to any reasonable observer, its present cause is based on Jew hatred, and on resentment of the modern, democratic West, and little else. Since there was no Palestinian nation before the creation of Israel, and since Palestinians regarded themselves simply as Arabs and their land as part of Syria, it is not surprising that many of the chief creators of the Palestine Liberation Organization did not even live in the Palestine Mandate before the creation of Israel, let alone in the sliver of mostly desert that was allotted to the Jews. Edward Said, the leading intellectual mouthpiece for the Palestinian cause grew up in a family that chose to make its home in Egypt and the United States. Yasser Arafat was born in Egypt.
While the same Arab states that claim to be outraged by the Jews’ treatment of Palestinians treat their own Arab populations far worse than Arabs are treated in Israel, they are also silent about the disenfranchised Palestinian majority that lives in Jordan. In 1970, Jordan’s King Hussein massacred thousands of PLO militants. But the PLO does not call for the overthrow of Hashemite rule in Jordan and does not hate the Hashemite monarchy. Only Jews are hated.
It is a hatred, moreover, that is increasingly lethal. Today, 70 percent of the Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza approve the suicide bombing of women and children if the targets are Jews. There is no Arab “Peace Now” movement, not even a small one, whereas in Israel the movement demanding concessions to Arabs in the name of peace is a formidable political force. There is no Arab spokesman who will speak for the rights and sufferings of Jews, but there are hundreds of thousands of Jews in Israel – and all over the world – who will speak for “justice” for the Palestinians. How can the Jews expect fair treatment from a people that collectively does not even recognize their humanity?
8. A Phony Peace
The Oslo peace process begun in 1993 was based on the pledge of both parties to renounce violence as a means of settling their dispute. But the Palestinians never renounced violence and in the year 2000, they officially launched a new Intifada against Israel, effectively terminating the peace process.
In fact, during the peace process — between 1993 and 1999 — there were over 4,000 terrorist incidents committed by Palestinians against Israelis, and more than 1,000 Israelis killed as a result of Palestinian attacks – more than had been killed in the previous 25 years. By contrast, during the same period 1993-1999 Israelis were so desperate for peace that they reciprocated these acts of murder by giving the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza a self-governing authority, a 40,000 man armed “police force,” and 95 percent of the territory their negotiators demanded. This Israeli generosity was rewarded by a rejection of peace, suicide bombings of crowded discos and shopping malls, an outpouring of ethnic hatred and a renewed declaration of war.
In fact, the Palestinians broke the Oslo Accords precisely because of Israeli generosity, because the government of Ehud Barak offered to meet 95 percent of their demands, including turning over parts of Jerusalem to their control — a possibility once considered unthinkable. These concessions confronted Arafat with the one outcome he did not want: Peace with Israel. Peace without the destruction of the “Jewish Entity.”
Arafat rejected these Israeli concessions, accompanying his rejection with a new explosion of anti-Jewish violence. He named this violence — deviously — “The Al-Aksa Intifada,” after the mosque on the Temple Mount. His new jihad was given the name of a Muslim shrine to create the illusion that the Intifada was provoked not by his unilateral destruction of the Oslo peace process, but by Ariel Sharon’s visit to the site. Months after the Intifada began, the Palestine Authority itself admitted this was just another Arafat lie.
In fact, the Intifada had been planned months before Sharon’s visit as a follow-up to the rejection of the Oslo Accords. In the words of Imad Faluji, the Palestine Authority’s communications minister, “[The uprising] had been planned since Chairman Arafat’s return from Camp David, when he turned the tables on the former U.S. president [Clinton] and rejected the American conditions.” The same conclusion was reached by the Mitchell Commission headed by former U.S. Senator George Mitchell to investigate the events: “The Sharon visit did not cause the Al-Aksa Intifada.”