By John Aravosis, political consultant and freelance journalist.
March 29, 2002
Contrary to popular opinion, the Palestinians are the luckiest SOBs on earth.
Why? Because if they were intentionally murdering civilians in any country
other than Israel, they’d have been annihilated a long time ago.
Palestinian deadly attacks in the past week
3/29/02 Suicide bombing at Jerusalem market
3/29/02 Two Israelis shot dead
3/28/02 Gunman enters Israeli settlement
3/28/02 Suicide bomber kills 19 in Passover feast massacre
3/27/02 Terrorist kills two international observers
3/26/02 Palestinians detonate car bomb
3/22/02 Bomber strikes toy shop
3/22/02 3 Israelis killed in market bombing
While it’s not very PC (politically correct) to say so, the region’s only capitalist
democracy has shown more restraint over the past 18 months than it’s given
While Palestinian terrorists have intentionally attacked civilian targets in Israel
with the intent of killing as many innocents as possible – including recent
attacks on a young girl’s Bat Mitzvah, and a private Passover dinner – the
Israelis have targeted their attacks at military and police and other governmental
structures of the Palestinian authority, or at the individual terrorists themselves.
Have some civilians died as well in the Israeli attacks? Sure. But there is
a big moral difference between intentionally targeting small children for death,
and targeting known terrorists who hide among children.
And in any case, the events of the past two weeks clear up any moral
confusion there might have been as to who is right and who is wrong in this conflict.
Israel has been meeting with US negotiators in attempt to broker a
cease-fire with the Palestinians. And in spite of repeated Palestinian suicide
attacks against Israeli civilians in the past two weeks, Israel has agreed not to
And what has Israel’s patience and show of goodwill gotten it?
More dead civilians and the world’s scorn.
I am not so naive as to suggest that war is the answer to Israel’s problems. But
peace doesn’t seem to be helping much either. And all the Arab and European
calls for the US to pressure on Israel to negotiate in good faith – as though
Israel were the sole problem here – have now come to naught. The US put
pressure, Israel responded by calling off the dogs, and the Palestinians are
taking advantage of Israel’s quiescence to blow the hell out of them.
Now don’t get me wrong. I have no love for Ariel Sharon. I suspect he had no
qualms about getting Israel into this conflict in an effort to stymie any possible
peace settlement that might lead to the creation of a Palestinian state.
But the slate was wiped clean, in diplomatic circles, when Israel came to
the table willing to talk about peace, and the Palestinians continued to blow up
small child after small
The Palestinians need to prove to the world that they’re mature enough to
actually negotiate a cease-fire without constantly dropping bombs on the guy
they’re talking to, especially when the other guy isn’t returning the fire.
The Palestinian actions of the past two weeks are just plain stupid, and
say to me at least, that they can’t be trusted to have enough maturity to be real
negotiating partners. I’m all for the song about why we should pity them, and
that’s great – they’ve had been treated badly, as have the Jews for over 3,000
But now they’re playing with the big boys, and if they’re going to get
that state they’ve always wanted, they’re going to need to start acting like
adults, take off their shoe bombs, and negotiate in good faith, which currently
they are not.
What do I propose?
It’s time for the Arab governments and their European lapdogs to put up or shut
up. For far too long they have been whining (with more than a scent of
anti-Semitism) that Israel and the United States have been the impediments to
peace in the Middle East.
Now that Israel and the US have both made a valid effort to resolving
the region’s problems, it’s time for the Arabs and the Europeans to show that
they too have an interest in peace.
Arab and European governments must put their own pressure on the
Palestinians to stop the violence, now.
Lest Israeli patience finally run out, and the Palestinians and their
all-too-comfy Arab neighbors learn how bad things really can get when the
region’s only military superpower gets pushed too far.