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Photo: Gettyimages
Arafat, Peres, and Rabin. (Photo: Getty Images)
Photo: Gettyimages
Ben-Dror Yemini
Even hope won't help
While a peace initiative won't help at the moment, one is needed nonetheless. And while Israel's treatment of Palestinian's may not be perfect, those searching for an apartheid situation should look toward Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon.
We need patience, we shall overcome, said Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon. He's right. We were in a much more frustrating situation during the Second Intifada. It was much more violent. And the circumstances were different. It began when the government of Barak-Peres-Sarid-Ben-Ami controlled Israel. The most dovish government in Israel's history. The government that agreed, for the first time, to a Palestinian state and a divided Jerusalem. It didn't help. Violence broke out in full force.

 

 

Israel tried everything. It made a historic shift in the adopted compromises. And the deeper it's concessions went, the more severe the violence became. After Arafat rejected the Clinton plan, Israel was dragged into the conflict with clean hands. It was not easy. It was scary to sit in cafes or take the bus. These were difficult and frustrating years. But Israel overcame. It beat the terrorists.

 

Yossi Sarid with Yasser Arafat in Gaza in 1998. (Photo: Reuters)
Yossi Sarid with Yasser Arafat in Gaza in 1998. (Photo: Reuters)

 

What is important to remember is that the claim that despair causes terrorism is not consistent with reality, because that proposal for a country and hope did not help. The response was terror attacks and machine gun fire toward Jerusalem's Gilo neighborhood. And the disengagement later did not lead to any relaxation. On the Palestinian side there is despair, but that despair is a function of the illusions they have of defeating Israel, which remain unfulfilled. The despair is homemade; it is not an Israeli product.

 

Force alone will not solve the problem, said the Vice President of the United States Joe Biden, who visited Israel this week. He's also right. Even a generous initiative by Prime Minister Netanyahu will not help, but Israel needs such an initiative. It probably will not lead to peace, but it will strengthen the righteous front, and this is an important front.

 

US Vice President Joe Biden with PM Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo : Amos Ben Gershom, Israeli GPO)
US Vice President Joe Biden with PM Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo : Amos Ben Gershom, Israeli GPO)

 

There is a fascinating bond between Price Tag activists and the heads of Balad and Hadash. Both sides are doing everything to make their own side, Jewish or Arab, unbearable to the general public, especially the parts of the general public that belong to the other side's camp. The opposition by Balad and Hadash to the Gulf States' decision to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization was accompanied by the stunning justification that since Hezbollah is against the occupation, it is therefore worthy of support.

 

Balad party members meet with families of terrorists. (Photo: Arab media)
Balad party members meet with families of terrorists. (Photo: Arab media)

 

Hezbollah is indeed opposed to the occupation, but this is not opposition to Israeli rule in the territories, it is opposition to the occupation of Tel Aviv and Ramat Hasharon. Hezbollah is part of the government in Lebanon, said the Secretary General of the Hadash party, in an attempt to justify the move. He is right. Hezbollah is the most powerful force in Lebanon. It basically rules Lebanon. And Hezbollah, like previous Lebanese governments is part of the policy of apartheid in all respects against the Palestinians in Lebanon. Palestinians there, by all humanitarian criteria, can only dream about the living conditions of the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria. They suffer from restrictions in the areas of education, residential expansion, a large part of jobs in the labor market, and more. They are also deprived of citizenship. This apartheid never generated large protests, and certainly not an "Apartheid Week."

 

But Balad and Hadash are for Hezbollah.

 

Still, there is a difference between Knesset members and the price tag hooligans the former are leaders of the Arab public, the latter did not pass the election threshold. Balad and Hadash have no interest in reconciliation. They have an interest only in deepening the conflict. They are not in favor of the Palestinians. They are against Israel. The “enlightened ones” who supported them in the last election should take notice.

 

BDYemini@Gmail.com

 

 


פרסום ראשון: 03.12.16, 12:43
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