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The ceasefire between Israel and Hamas continues today, with some saying a long-term agreement is possible, while others say the sides are apart. Either way, it seems that despite the military defeat it has suffered at the hands of the IDF, Hamas hasn’t completely been beaten. At Commentary, Jonathan Tobin writes that Hamas’ grip on the people of Gaza isn’t slipping because of the Palestinian insistence on war on Israel and the terror organization’s control over both the press and possible political dissent:
Though no one in Gaza had to like the results of the fighting, Hamas’s political stock may actually have gone up due to the perverse culture of Palestinian life. Throughout the last century Palestinians have always given the bulk of their support to whichever faction proved to be the most violent. That dynamic kept Yasir Arafat at the top of the Palestinian pyramid and has inspired the ongoing competition between Hamas and Fatah in the last generation. Since Palestinian national identity has always been inextricably linked to their war on Zionism, peacemaking has always been political poison. Instead of concentrating on development or providing services for their backers, Hamas and Fatah have both concentrated on demonstrating their belligerence, with even moderates like Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas understanding that agreeing to recognize the legitimacy of the Jewish state is simply impossible. That’s why no matter what Hamas does it appears that Gazans will blame their suffering on Israel.
As for possible dissent, it should be noted that the one demonstration held in Gaza against Hamas was met with a stern response. Those involved were executed. That is where the iron rule comes in.
Throughout history, tyrannies have only fallen when they are ready to liberalize, not when they are still prepared to spill the blood of their people. The French revolution happened during the reign of the least tyrannical of the Bourbon kings, not under that of the most bloodthirsty. The Soviet Union fell after glasnost and perestroika, not…Read More » Comments (16) »
Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 at 8:18 AM | Stand For Israel
The kidnapping and murder of an Arab teenager in Jerusalem this week is horrifying. It is disturbing to consider the possibility that one of my people could have committed such a heinous act. Though the international press and the Arab world have already condemned Israel for the murder of the Arab teen, the police are still investigating other possibilities. Families defending their honor and feuding between Arab clans often result in bloodshed, so it’s important to let Israeli authorities complete their investigation before rushing to conclusions.
If the investigation does find that the boy was killed by Jews, make no mistake, the perpetrators will be treated as terrorists. A massive public outcry from the media, politicians, and amateur pundits will be heard for months. But no such reaction over the murder of the three murdered Israeli teens – Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali – can be expected from the Palestinians.
This highlights the difference between the Israeli and Palestinian cultures. In general, Israelis do not want to harm the Palestinians, and would trade land for peace if the other side was willing. It’s true – we do have our radicals who would hurt Palestinians as revenge for decades of terrorism. However, this group of extremists is small, it is shunned by Israeli media and society, and when members of this group do act against Palestinians, Israel’s security forces and justice system punish them for their crimes.
On the other hand, Palestinians routinely rejoice at the news of a “successful” attack against Jews. Sure, there are decent Palestinians who condemn such actions, but unfortunately they are outnumbered by their counterparts.
Anti-Semitism and support for terrorism amongst Palestinians is the product of Palestinian culture and many years of propaganda in the Palestinian media. But to say that Jew-hatred is merely a reaction to the creation of the state of Israel is to deny over a thousand years of Jews living in fear and persecution in Arab lands.
Yes, we certainly condemn the murder of the Arab teen in Jerusalem, and…Read More » Comments (2) »
Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 at 2:53 PM | Stand For Israel
It has now been two weeks since the three Israeli teens were kidnapped, and much of the world seems to care very little. Writing at Commentary, Jonathan Tobin wonders if this is partly due to the fact that the boys’ yeshiva (religious school) is located in the West Bank, giving a lesson on the historical Jewish presence in the Gush Etzion area south of Jerusalem:
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That this territory is the heart of the historic Jewish homeland to which Jews have legal, religious, and moral claims is something that is almost never discussed …
If the Palestinians wish to live in peace with Israelis, they must come to terms with the permanent nature of the Jewish return to the country and give up fantasies of Israel’s elimination. Even more to the point, if they wish Israelis to come to terms with the reality of Palestinian nationality, the abduction of the Etzion yeshiva students is a good occasion for them to stop ignoring or denying Jewish history.
Monday, June 30th, 2014 at 8:43 AM | Stand For Israel
As people across the world longingly pray for the three kidnapped Israeli teens, those living in the Holy Land face a far greater emotional toll. The Algemeiner brings us this piece on Israeli surgeon Dr. David Mishali, who operates on Palestinians while his son is a classmate and friend of one of the abducted boys:
Mishali shared his internal deliberations on an impossibly complex reality, one in which he will operate on the infant child of a young Palestinian couple from Hebron – one of the prime areas security officials suspect the youths are being held captive.
Making the irony even more agonizing is the fact that Mishali’s own son is friends with one of the kidnapped youths, and is exposed to the same dangers, since the two attend the same religious high school …
“And sometimes, along the way, they’d hurl rocks at me – and it never moved me, that I’d travel to operate on a Palestinian child; that I’d operate on the son of a ‘Hamasnik’ in Gaza,” he says, passing an IDF checkpoint on his nightly route to the medical center.
We admire the compassion that this doctor shows, saving the lives of those who very well could be doing harm to his family, friends, and fellow Israelis.Comments (0) »
Thursday, June 26th, 2014 at 2:09 PM | Stand For Israel
Anyone still wondering why twenty years of peace negotiations have led nowhere needs to look no further than the Palestinian reaction to the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers. I assume even the biggest supporters of a two-state solution never thought Israelis and Palestinians would necessarily learn to love one another. Yet, many wrongly perceived that the conflict was about territory – that the Palestinians simply wanted a land of their own, and had not deeply ingrained national hatred towards the Jewish people as a whole.
But events like this shatter this optimistic view of the conflict. I’m not sure when the hand gesture of index and middle finger raised to form a “V” – which originated as the “V for Victory” sign used by the allies during World War II and was later adopted by counterculture activists in the 60s as the “peace” sign – was co-opted by terrorist sympathizers. But now every time an Israeli bus, pizza parlor, or hotel lobby is blown up – or when innocent Israeli teens are kidnapped – Palestinian men, women, and children celebrate in the streets by brandishing this sign that not so long ago in the West symbolized the victory not of terror, but of justice, and a call for peace, not war and hatred.
Today, Palestinian children have been taught a new salute, this time raising three fingers, one for each of the Israeli teens kidnapped last Thursday night. They even call this salute the “Three Shalits,” named after Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier who was kidnapped and held by Hamas for five years. This should anger anyone with a shred of decency and conscience. No one should ever relish the kidnapping of teenagers, even if they are his enemy’s children.
If this sad incident highlights anything, it is that Arab anti-Semitism in general, and Palestinian incitement and hatred of Jews in particular, is the core cause of the ongoing conflict in the Holy Land. To dispute this fact one needs to adopt…Read More » Comments (26) »
Wednesday, June 18th, 2014 at 8:42 AM | afarkas