Wednesday, October 26, 2011

No Hope for a Negotiated Settlement with Fatah

I was aggravated when somebody suggested that Hamas showed an act of moderation when they demanded that 1027 criminals be released before granting Gilad Schalit his inalienable rights of life and liberty. Hamas abused the system openly.  But Fatah is, in a sense, even worse.  At least you know where you stand with Hamas. Fatah is in a constant game of subterfuge when they speak and only admit the truth when they believe the press is not listening.

Abbas tipped his hand as a terrorist in diplomatic clothing, as brilliantly pointed out by the Prime Minister.   In his recent speech at the U.N., Bibi said,
   "President Abbas just stood here, and he said that the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the settlements. Well, that's odd. Our conflict has been raging for -- was raging for nearly half a century before there was a single Israeli settlement in the West Bank. So if what President Abbas is saying was true, then the -- I guess that the settlements he's talking about are Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jaffa, Be'er Sheva.  Maybe that's what he meant the other day when he said that Israel has been occupying Palestinian land for 63 years. He didn't say from 1967; he said from 1948. I hope somebody will bother to ask him this question because it illustrates a simple truth: The core of the conflict is not the settlements.  The settlements are a result of the conflict."

Former President Bill Clinton said that there has been no one more ready to speak peace than Abbas among the Palestinian Arabs. Which illustrates my point that if this foot dragging, obfuscating Abbas who flees from sincerity in negotiations is the very best of the leaders of the Palestinian Arabs, then there is no hope for a negotiated settlement with the Palestinian Arab people.  Unilateral Israeli actions are the only option that remain.  I have advocated that the next action should be naturalizing the non terrorists among the Palestinian Arabs, while bringing the terrorists to justice.

PM Netanyahu's only error was to say that there will not be peace if  he cannot sit down and negotiate with Abbas.  That is not true.  There actually cannot be peace so as long as Israel continues to believe that negotiations with terrorists can lead to peace.

The main role that Abbas now serves is to be the one who slanders his Israeli benefactors before the world stage. How does that advance peace?  How does that increase security? 

Israel has legitimate claims to all of the land that the Palestinians reside on and those claims would have to be forsaken by Israel for the Palestinians to gain a legal claim to the land.  Without facing that truth, there can be no justice.  Remember that for a case of questionable rights, the PLO has claimed an absolute right of blood vengeance against those who disagree with them. 

The onus has been on the Palestinian Authority to prove it can live among civilized nations. Not merely corruptly run an economy, nor insincerely manipulate the world press.  Perhaps that is enough for some of their less than righteous third world friends at the U.N., but that is not what civilized nations do.  God has allowed history itself to ask of the leaders of the Palestinian Arabs of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, could they, in the course of 18 years of negotiations, stop killing people for even one year? ...They have failed that test.

Because peace depends on truth and justice, Abbas will never find it.  And President Clinton said that Abbas is the best that the Palestinian Authority has to offer.  So that even if you were to hold elections today, there is no reasonable expectation that there will be anything but a worsening of the possibility for a negotiated settlement.  This is why PM Netanyahu seeks international pressure on Abbas to be flexible.  What other hope is there?  But this is not the cure to the disease, this is that very thing which sustains the malady. 

Every day that Israel tries to negotiate rather than dismantle the terrorist infrastructures, they are putting their own citizens in jeopardy; on a daily basis.  For what?  And if Abbas is the best and the best is not sincere about a negotiated settlement, then what does that mean?!

Unfortunately this brings us to one conclusion...

So long as the Palestinian Authority exists.  Peace will not.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Legislation to Avoid Future Long Term Captives

How ironic that the radicalization of the Egyptian government led to an act of chesed/kindness as negotiators, that aided in the safe return of Gilad Schalit, albeit for sinister intent. Egypt, without the moderate Mubarak, desires to strengthen Hamas over Fatah, and they got their way with the release of key Hamas operatives from Israeli jail cells. Another victory for radicals was also scored when Hamas won a PR victory at America's expense.  They placed an onus on the Obama Administration to explain the delayed release of the physically ill Jonathan Pollard or appear more cruel than Hamas was to Schalit.  Hamas perhaps hope to seem more reasonable and diplomatic than the USA, even though the USA is the pinnacle of Western Civilization, and Hamas is merely a terrorist organization. It may deflate the wind in Hamas' sails if Pollard were to be released soon, so if for no other reason, perhaps it's time to expedite Pollard's release to improve America's foreign standing.

* * * * *

Before Gilad's release, I began to write an appeal to members of the Israeli government to not transfer the 1027 terrorists to Hamas for Gilad Schalit's safe release, but I reconsidered and did not publish it. As the Talmud says,  In the same way that it is a Mitzvah to say something that will be listened to, it is also a Mitzvah not to say something that will not be listened to. (Yevamos 65b) The time was not right for a reminder of how bad it is to refuel Hamas. But as the great relief of Gilad being home sinks in, the great danger the government risked will sink in as well.  When emotions no longer rule policy, lawmakers will face the need to do something to avoid this from ever happening again. At that point, I could present my philosophic position of national security before nobility without seeming callous to the plight of Gilad Schalit, nor to the emotional sensibilities of those who prayed for him, and I was one of them.

Repeat after me, "it is wrong to release unrepentant murders out onto the streets for any reason."  You want to get someone from the clutches of a group of terrorists? King David attacked kidnappers (I Samuel 30), he did not negotiate with them. Have a SWAT team ready to go behind enemy lines, if necessary. Then declare a shoot on sight order against all terrorists in the targeted zone/neighborhood while also offering freedom from death and even amnesty of any form of prosecution of those suspects who protect the hostage. This will allow a reasonable chance that the hostage would survive such a paramilitary operation.

But how to avoid needing such emergency measures?

I suggest two simultaneous pieces of legislation. Instituting a death penalty for terror attacks, and passing a law forbidding future prisoner exchanges involving terrorists could be the preventative measures that Israel needs. 

If the Knesset only passes a death penalty against future acts of terrorism, it would not change the fact that Israel has over 5000 Palestinians in her jails, prodding Palestinians to attempt another kidnapping, God forbid. 

If the Knesset only passes a prohibition on prisoner exchanges, in the face of the disproportionate nature of the current capitulation to terror (albeit for the noblest of reasons), Palestinians could assume that such a law prohibiting exchanges could be repealed in the face of a new peak in national emotions. 

Only by passing both measures at the same time, could a mere change of law help prevent future kidnappings of Israelis.  For then it would be clear that a new day had dawned in the State of Israel. May it soon be so, by the grace of God.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gilad Schalit is FREE!

Baruch HaShem/Thank God, that Gilad is back home at last, and it is sure a relief to have him safe again. For the sake of the national psyche, it is good to zone out from all the politics of the matter and enjoy the formerly endangered lost soldier's redemptive return home to safety.

This festival of Sukkos/Sukkot/Tabernacles is called "yom simchasaynu / day of our joy", so let us allow it to be so and let's consider the implications of this trade with Hamas on another day. Today would have been his 1941st day in armed captivity, but HaShem/God had other plans.