Dear Letter to the Editor:
Bruce Ticker is mistaken if he thinks the Palestinians seek a state of their own co-existing with the nation-state of the Jews. (“Bye Bye Bibi (We Can Hope)” boulderjewishnews.org December 21, 2023) Instead of working to develop the economies of areas Oslo put under their administration, Palestinian leaders have embezzled monies donated for their people’s benefit and diverted humanitarian aid to their efforts to destroy Israel. They flatly rejected proposals from left-wing PM Ehud Barak (2001) and centrist PM Ehud Olmert (2008) which could have led to the establishment of the first-ever-to-exist Arab State of Palestine on essentially all the disputed land, even with the possibility of shared governance in parts of Jerusalem. Nor did any Palestinian leader engage with PM Benjamin Netanyahu when he first described (Bar Ilan, 2009) his vision of a demilitarized Palestinian state being formed alongside Israel. With Hamas threatening to inflict repeated October 7’s on Israel’s people, the Jewish state’s only choice is acting to dismantle Hamas.
Sadly, much of the world has accepted the Palestinian claim that Israeli communities on the disputed lands are obstacles to resolving the conflict. But Israel’s unilateral withdrawal of all Israeli security personnel and Israeli civilians from Gaza did not bring peace. It was reciprocated by an increase in the number and types of attacks on Israeli population centers from Gaza. And the Palestinian BDS movement even seeks to shut down Jewish businesses in Area C (under full Israeli control per Oslo) because those businesses are living proof that the two peoples can get along; the businesses employ both Israelis and Palestinians and serve both Israeli and Palestinian consumers.
While I don’t condone vigilantism, it must be acknowledged that “settler violence” against Palestinians is a reaction to a long record of attacks on Israelis by Palestinians (for which the Palestinian attackers earn lifelong stipends via the PA’s Pay For Slay program). Pay4Slay_Fact-Sheet-FINAL.pdf (emetonline.org)
The Israeli judiciary has a long history of investigating Israeli leaders. A ten-year probe of Avigdor Lieberman failed to produce even an indictment. Years of investigation into Netanyahu’s alleged improprieties have resulted in a prolonged trial which may ultimately be dismissed for lack of evidence. Bibi’s defenders have long asserted that the court is trying to criminalize normal politicking and prevent the government from functioning. Fergenson: Cases against Netanyahu are ‘designed to smother Israeli voters’ | JNS | clevelandjewishnews.com
Netanyahu allowed Qatari money to be delivered to Hamas in the hopes of turning Hamas into a responsible governing body which would attend to the needs of the people living under its administration (just as Biden hoped lifting sanctions on Iran and releasing funds to the Mullahs would eventually improve the lives of Iranians). These schemes don’t work. It’s not right to criticize Israel for attempting to avoid war while also complaining that Israel is killing too many civilians and ignoring the facts that Hamas’ casualty figures don’t distinguish between combatants and civilians or note that some of the dead children may have been combatants. (Hamas runs summer camps that give youngsters weapons and teach them how to use them).
Many Israelis feel that Israel’s judicial system needs reform. That doesn’t mean that the reform being considered prior to October 7 was the correct course to follow. I pray that Israel will someday have true peace so that the proper balance between the Knesset and the judiciary can be established and that the electoral system can be adjusted so that more stable coalitions can be formed and the voters will be able to hold Members of Knesset responsible for keeping promises made at election time.
Of course, major errors were made prior to October 7. One wonders whether the uptick in West Bank violence might have been coordinated between Hamas and the PA so that Israel would fool itself into believing that Hamas no longer posed a threat. I hope Israel’s leaders have learned their lesson. Ignoring reports from those appointed to monitor the border can imperil the very existence of the Jewish State.
Israel is fighting a just war against an aggressor which uses the people it is supposed to protect as human shields. We need to keep telling Israel’s side of the story. Israel’s just and moral war – JNS.org
Toby F. Block