Bruce Ticker says that few people are fooled by Palestinians claiming that their attacks on Israelis are driven by Israeli policy. (“Column: No Anti-Semitism Here“, BJN 4/21/2023.) Unfortunately, that is not true. With the media (even in Israel) speaking of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land and Israeli settlements being an obstacle to resolving the conflict, many people have fallen victim to the false narrative of Israel oppressing the Palestinians. And, by and large, the main victims of this false narrative are the people who began calling themselves “Palestinians” in 1964.
Instead of helping the Arabs of Palestine prepare for the self-rule proposed in the 1947 UN Partition Plan, Arab states went to war, hoping to prevent the emergence of a modern Jewish state in the Jews’ ancestral homeland. Although the Yishuv (Zionist community in Palestine) survived the onslaught, Arab-initiated violence saw Egypt grabbing Gaza and Jordan taking control of eastern Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria (areas dubbed “The West Bank”).
These illegal occupations continued until 1967 when Jordan allied with Egypt and Syria in a war instigated with the open intention of destroying the Jewish state and annihilating her people. Israel prevailed in the Six Day War, liberating land of historic and religious significance to Jews. Yet, in September 1967, Israel offered to withdraw from newly liberated land in exchange for recognition and peace. The Arab League rejected the offer. There is no record of any Palestinian leader urging acceptance of the deal so the
Palestinians could build a state of their own. Since then, Palestinian leaders have also rejected several Israeli and American proposals for ending the conflict.
Following subsequent violence (wars, intifadas, attacks on Israeli population centers and on civilians), Israel signed the Oslo Accords in the mid-1990’s, affording the Palestinians their first opportunity to live under the administration of leaders of their own choosing. For decades, all Palestinians in Gaza have been living under Hamas’ rule and 95% of the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria have been living under the administration of the Palestinian Authority. However, the elected leaders have betrayed their people’s trust, long overstaying their elected terms, enriching themselves by embezzling monies donated for their people’s benefit, and diverting humanitarian aid to efforts to delegitimize and destroy the nation-state of the Jews. They have failed to develop the economy in Gaza and in the portions of Judea and Samaria that Oslo placed under their full or partial control (although the PA uses European Union funding to build illegally on land that Oslo placed under full Israel control). Hamas endangers Palestinians by firing missiles at Israeli population centers from Gazan population centers, a double war crime. The PA incites Palestinians to attack and kill Jews, honoring and rewarding those who answer the call, even announcing that funding its “Martyrs Fund” is the PA’s top financial obligation.
True supporters of a better life for the Palestinians should be urging Palestinian leaders to begin building the infrastructure required by a viable state and start preparing their people for peaceful co-existence with their Jewish neighbors. The Israeli businesses in the Israeli administered portion of Judea and Samaria employ both Israeli and Palestinian workers and serve both Israeli and Palestinian consumers. They should be lauded as the first step toward Two States for Two Peoples, a Palestinian state neighboring the Jewish state with members of minority groups having full civil rights in their country of residence.
Toby F. Block