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Friday
Mar082013

BEHIND THE 
ANXIOUS HEADLINES 

The whole world now sees that steps taken by the government of Israel aren’t worth the newspaper on which they appear. If these are the harshest measures the Israelis can devise against the Palestinian Authority, then why should anyone on the Arab side want to show us respect and refrain from harming our soldiers?

Translated by Michoel Leib Dobry

1.

If the assessments and headlines coming out of the defense community are correct, something bad is happening in Yehuda and Shomron. Certain estimates claim that we are on the verge of another intifada r”l. In other words, there will be another Arab uprising in Yehuda and Shomron, threatening to end the relative quiet in the region. It’s interesting that every “spontaneous” Arab uprising is always accompanied by headlines warning that it’s about to happen.

The official reason for the current unrest is the freeze in diplomatic negotiations (as if when there were intensive talks with the terrorist organizations the situation was quite different). They really don’t need another excuse to start more waves of cruel violence. In the final analysis, they always found some reason. Once, the intifada broke out over the “radical right-wing in Israel.” The next time, it was Sharon going up to Har HaBayis and the failed peace summit at Camp David. It seems that the Arabs are always sitting on the sidelines, waiting to plan the next uprising. The events that pave the way for more violence are merely chance opportunities utilized for that purpose.

It’s not exactly clear what’s causing all the agitation this time, but the feeling of confrontation is definitely there. Naturally, the political left-wing is seeking to take full advantage of the situation in order to pressure the government to start direct negotiations with the terrorist organizations. None of them seems to understand the connection between the raging violence in Yehuda and Shomron, the issue of Palestinian statehood returning to the national agenda, and the capitulation to the terrorists.

According to the reports, the prime minister intends to make a series of public relations “gestures” to the Palestinian Authority, leading up to President Obama’s visit to Eretz Yisroel. Among the expected gestures, the prime minister will remove the army roadblocks, after he has already transferred tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority. The symbolic steps made after the Palestinians’ unilateral declaration of their independent state before the United Nations have now dissolved into nothingness, after Netanyahu quietly disregarded them with the help of media silence, thereby avoiding a conflict with right-wing Knesset Members.

2.

After Netanyahu renewed the construction freeze in the area between Maale Adumim and Yerushalayim, he made it clear that he really doesn’t plan on implementing the only practical steps capable of providing a response to the Palestinians’ unilateral actions. As a result, the prime minister has turned Israeli policy into a sad joke, as the whole world now sees that steps taken by the government of Israel aren’t worth the newspaper on which they appear.

If these are the harshest measures the Israelis can devise against the Palestinian Authority, then why should anyone on the Arab side want to show us respect and refrain from harming our soldiers?

In practical terms, the prime minister has proven that he has no intention of standing proudly against any effort to harm our national defense. With the unilateral declaration before the UN, the Palestinian Authority allowed itself to take an unprecedented step in contradiction to the Oslo Accords, essentially invalidating them. Yet, it’s specifically Israeli policy that continues to embrace the Palestinians, as the prime minister recently chose to proclaim once more that he still adheres to the ideology outlined in his speech at Bar-Ilan University, including the principle of ch”v a two-state solution.

If these gestures have not been enough, the prime minister gave the Palestinians another gift: designating a “peace minister” with the responsibility for advancing negotiations with the terrorists. And who is this “peace minister?” It is none other than the former foreign minister who proposed territorial compromise on Yerushalayim and was even prepared to offer make far-reaching offers of appeasement to the Palestinians. If this is the person whom Mr. Netanyahu has chosen to conduct the negotiations, why aren’t we hearing about another expected uprising in Yehuda and Shomron? This is exactly what happened after then-prime minister Ehud Barak offered Arafat (may his name be erased) at Camp David a virtually complete withdrawal to the June 4, 1967 borders. Barak proposed then the same thing that Ms. Livni is offering now. Yet, the Palestinians were not prepared then to come to an agreement on an end to the conflict, and they’re not willing to do so now. We can only hope that things will turn out differently this time.

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