Perpetuating the conflict
Op-ed: There was nothing humanitarian about the meeting of Balad MKs with terrorists' families. Their minute of silence in memory of the murderers was a statement of support of terrorism; meanwhile, insisting on holding onto the Arab villages around Jerusalem as part of the capital is pure foolishness. Both only serve to perpetuate the conflict.
The outrage at the three Balad MKs was not about their humanitarian mission to return the bodies of the terrorists and comfort bereaved families. The outrage exploded because of their show of solidarity with the families of the murderers, which was also expressed in a minute of silence in their memory. Odeh, by the way, claims there was no minute of silence. Really? Jamal Zahalka told Danny Kushmaro: "There was a minute of silence, as is the Palestinian custom."
MK Haneen Zoabi explained after the visit that the important thing was the struggle against the occupation. Indeed. Like her party members, she is talking about the 1948 occupation, not the 1967 one. She rejects the Jews' right to have a state of their own. She doesn't just support the "resistance," she also encourages it. And she, the so-called secular woman, also called to "put religious ceremonies and religious institutions in the center of the struggle," as well as "to cancel the security cooperation with the Palestinian Authority and replace it with resistance."
And to those who insist on not getting it, "the resistance" ("al-Muqawamah") is also, and perhaps mostly, terrorism against Jews. And according to Zoabi, "there is no such thing as Palestinian terrorism." Not even the murder of the three yeshiva students. There's only a "legitimate struggle" and "resistance." It's no wonder Hamas views her as a heroine. Zoabi and her friends insist on perpetuating the conflict and perpetuating terrorism, they've been the Palestinians' catastrophe for the past 100 years of conflict. They're leading them from one disaster to the next, and they insist on carrying on.
A mother is a mother?
Razi Barkai claims that mothers on both sides of the conflict have similar feelings. Arad Nir from Channel 2 backed Barkai, claiming that "a mother is a mother." What's happening with some journalists? They're insisting on proving that to them, fantasies are more powerful than facts. And the facts are that the mother of Muhammad Nazmi Shamasneh, who committed a terror attack on a bus at the entrance to Jerusalem in October 2015, gave an interview to Lebanese television. She went there with candy, as an expression of her joy, and also expressed hope that the rest of her sons go up to paradise as shahids (martyrs). This is the reaction of most of the Palestinian mothers over the past few months. Their hatred for the victims is stronger than their love for their sons.
I wish a mother was a mother. The Palestinians' situation, and ours, would've been much better. And worse still, Barkai reduced the meeting of the three Balad MKs with the families of the terrorists to a humanitarian issue of "returning the bodies." He ignored the fact this was another milestone in the struggle against the very existence of the State of Israel, and another show of support of terrorism. He turned the Balad MKs into "rights activists." They didn't even know that's what they were.
It's a bit hard to believe that Barkai, a veteran, experienced journalist, cannot understand his error. A lot can be said about him, but he's not a fool. And despite that, Barkai, a bereaved brother himself, insisted on faux neutrality. He's actually from the United Nations. And just like the UN, he's not confused by facts. He rightfully earned the accusations made against him.
Saving Jewish Jerusalem
Haim Ramon recently founded the Saving Jewish Jerusalem Movement. The movement, which includes a list of veteran politicians, IDF officers and police officers, seeks to separate the capital from the Palestinian villages. It's unclear why they were included as part of the Jerusalem municipality to begin with. The new separation line will reduce the proportion of Arabs in Jerusalem from 40 percent to 20 percent. This is about returning 200,000 Palestinians to their natural place: Instead of a binational city, we'll get a Jewish city.
These are villages no Jew has stepped foot in for years. GPS apps warn drivers not to enter them, and quite rightly so. The residents there don't feel Israeli, and Israel doesn't consider them Israeli either. The "union" with them was the result of the outlining of a municipal border that is completely wrong. Sort of like the outlining of borders in the Sykes–Picot Agreement. There, it fell apart with a lot of bloodshed. We should do what's best for us in order to reduce the bloodshed.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat is against this plan. He presented it as the "division of Jerusalem." But that's not accurate. The Old City will remain under Israeli control. Holding onto the nearby villages is against Israeli interests. That’s not how you keep Jerusalem Jewish. On the contrary. It's about insisting on a conflict-torn and binational Jerusalem.
Israel cannot and should not wait for the Palestinian to be so kind as to rescue us from the disaster of a binational state. We can start by breaking free of the foolishness of a binational city.