A press photographer pictures the damage to the Hotel Park in Netanya in 2002. Credit: Ha”Aretz
A Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up in the hotel killing 30 people (photo credit: REUTERS)

The above photos depict but a few examples Palestinian terrorist attacks against civilians in Israel that led to the construction of a security wall.  Terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians coupled with the chant “From the River to the Sea” promotes the stated objective of the Palestinians’ elected government (Hamas) to destroy Israel and the Jewish people. 

It is a matter of fact that Hamas, from its foundational documents to its daily actions incites Anti-Semitism. From the Hamas charter:

The writers of the op-ed #FreePalestineFromIsraeliOccupation  refer to Israel as a “cancer” – something to be reviled and eradicated. This is exactly what Hamas seeks in its claim for justice for Palestine: This rhetoric sends dog whistles to the tens of thousands of tweets stating “Let’s finish what Hitler started.”  The Palestinians and their government wish to eradicate Israel and the Jewish people. That fact was never denied in their op-ed

Another missed fact by the authors of the op-ed: Why have the Palestinians TWICE rejected a two-state solution?  Because unless and until Israel is no longer, Hamas will not stop. Hamas-led Palestinians deny Israel’s right to exist. “Pro-Palestinian” chants of destruction and hate will not lead to peace. Be clear, peace is not what the writers are shouting for. The saying, “From the River to the Sea” delegitimizes the right of Israel to exist and in many cases when it is used (i.e. in the hands of Hamas) it signifies the genocide of the Jews living in Israel, promoting anti-Semitism. Chanting statements like these move no closer to a peaceful solution between Israelis and Palestinians,. 

Dictionary for the “Woke”

It is disturbing that the writers of the #FreePalestineFromIsraeliOccupation have attached themselves to the repetition of “alternative facts” or revisionist history to suit their support for Hamas-led Palestinians. Here’s hoping the following will help raise the bar:

Dictionary for the Woke Term #1: History

First, a history lesson and in the immortal words of Bill Maher “You cannot learn history from Instagram”, we are going to attempt to provide the historical context for Israel’s security wall.

Here are the facts. This page contains lists of Palestinian suicide attacks carried out by Palestinians and their militant groups, usually against Israeli civilian targets. The use of indiscriminate attacks on civilian populations[1] is illegal under international law.[2]  In 2001 and 2002 there were 40 and 47 suicide bomb attacks ON ISRAELI CITIZENS alone.  Again, because it is acceptable under Hamas tenets to martyr oneself for the Jihad.

The barrier was built by the Israeli government following a wave of Palestinian political violence and incidents of terrorism inside Israel during the Second Intifada that began in September 2000.[5]  And that together with the Iron Dome provide the necessary security to the citizens of Israel. Since the construction of both of these, the government of Israel has provided security for its population and business centers and dramatically reduced these terror attacks.  The writers, without FACTS declare that the Palestinians are defenseless.  Really?  Where did the recently-fired 4000+ rockets come from [not to mention that one-third of these rockets landed on their own people in Gaza and are responsible for killing their own civilians]?  It is the government of Palestine that is responsible for protecting its citizens.  The government they elected has chosen to use money to create a terror society rather than developing an economy for its citizens. They have chosen to build terror tunnels under schools instead of bomb shelters – infrastructure for peace.  Is this Israel’s fault?  No.

Rep. Torres (D-NY) recently said:

We have to be careful not to reduce everything to an overarching narrative. Every country, every conflict has its own history, its own particularity, its own complexity and none of that should be ignored in favor of an overarching ideology that purports to explain everything.

This Hamas tactic to use its citizenry as human shields is problematic not to mention immoral, and illegal under international law. Images of bleeding children, sometimes alone in a street of rubble obviously garner the sympathy of everyone who sees the picture. Rarely do we stop though to reason through the questions of, “what happened “and “why”. Rarely if ever has a journalist on the scene asked, how did the Palestinians amass their arsenal or the funds and materials for a network of terror tunnels. They do not consider that if Hamas can build an underground tunnel network they could equally have built protection for their civilians.  In his interview with Sky News Mahmoud Zahar was quite clear that there can be no negotiations with Israel. What is Israel supposed to do?  Any good government protects its people. It seems like the authors of the op-ed are damning Israel for not having enough casualties.

Dictionary for Woke Terms #2: Indigenous and Occupation

Jews living in the land of Israel dates back all the way over 4,000 years – there has been a continuous Jewish presence since 1200 BC.  There was never a distinct Arab country called Palestine.  There was always a Jewish presence. (https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2017/8/29/brooks-no-stranger-homeland/ ). So the land is not just Palestinian land, but Jewish. No one ever refers to Israelis as indigenous and the op-ed again perpetuates the concept that only the Palestinians are indigenous.  This is a false narrative and wrong.  The authors of the op-ed should read from the Israeli-Jewish perspective about the historical movement to Israel (Israel: A Concise History of Nation Reborn by Daniel Gordis).  It is interesting that the authors can throw around terms like indigenous and occupation as they sit in their homes on land in the OC that was ultimately taken from those who were truly indigenous. 

Dictionary for the Woke Term #3: Apartheid

/əˈpärtˌ(h)āt,əˈpärtˌ(h)īt/ Noun

  1. a policy or system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race.

Bottom line is that Israel treats their Arab citizens better than any of the surrounding Arab nations.  In February of this year, a law was passed in Gaza that a woman could not travel without a male guardian; the IDF has saved LGBTQ Arabs from being stoned to death or beheaded by their families in Gaza. Which Middle East country recognizes LGBTQ? Israel and Israel alone.

Palestinian women and girls faced discrimination in law and practice and were inadequately protected against sexual and other gender-based violence, including so-called honor killings in Gaza. Nineteen women died in the West Bank and 18 in Gaza as a result of gender-based violence at the hands of the government there, according to the Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC).

In Israel, Arabs:

  1. Have the same voting rights as all citizens
  2. Serve in the government (the Knesset) (12%)
  3. Are gainfully employed

How does this meet the definition of “Apartheid”? Is there real or perceived racism in Israel? Perhaps, but not apartheid.  The authors and others who throw about the term should study up on South Africa.

Further, according to Amnesty International, “On 17 November, the Palestinian authorities in the West Bank announced that they would resume security and civil coordination with Israel, suspended since May, in response to Israel’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank. During the suspension, the Palestinian authorities did not facilitate permits, including for medical patients to transfer from the Occupied Palestinian Territories into Israel, and stopped submitting documents as proof of identity to the Israeli-controlled population registry. The Palestinian authorities also stopped accepting the tax collected by Israel on their behalf – about 80% of their revenue – forcing them to slash the salaries of tens of thousands of public sector employees, including health workers.”

Palestinian judges and civil society actors continued to protest against what they deemed to be significant executive interference in the judiciary and called on President Abbas to repeal laws by decree issued on judicial affairs.

The Palestinian government is preventing movement and oppressing their own people! Not Israel!

Read here about the violence imposed on their own society by the Palestinian government.   Below is just an excerpt:

The Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and the Hamas de facto administration in the Gaza Strip continued to crack down on dissent, including by stifling freedoms of expression and assembly, attacking journalists and detaining opponents. Security forces in both areas used unnecessary and/or excessive force during law enforcement activities, including when imposing lockdown measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees were committed with impunity. Women faced discrimination and violence, including killings as a result of gender-based violence. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people continued to face discrimination and lacked protection. In the West Bank, authorities made widespread use of administrative detention without charge or trial. In Gaza, civilians continued to be tried before military courts. Courts in Gaza handed down death sentences. Palestinian armed groups in Gaza occasionally fired rockets indiscriminately into Israel. Two Israeli civilians were killed after lone attacks by Palestinian individuals.

Dictionary for the Woke Term #4: Genocide

/ˈjenəˌsīd/ noun

  1. the deliberate killing of a large number of people from a particular nation or ethnic group with the aim of destroying that nation or group

The population of Palestine is depicted in the graph below:

Source: https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/state-of-palestine-population/

Where is the support for this claim of genocide and yet the incorrect use of the word is thrown around in a misguided effort to promote the narrative. According to AP and other news outlets, the Chinese government is taking draconian measures to slash birth rates among Uyghurs and other minorities as part of a sweeping campaign to curb its Muslim population, even as it encourages some of the country’s Han majority to have more children. China is committing crimes against humanity in Xinjiang, the north-western region that is home to the Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities.  Where is the outrage there?  How come there is no boycott of Chinese products in response?  Because it simply doesn’t fit the anti-Semitic, eradication of Israel narrative like BDS does.

US Aid is Vital for the US!

All foreign aid to every country by the US has blanket restrictions, including humanitarian restrictions. There is a defined formal process through Congress and the executive branch to launch formal complaints and investigations involving diplomatic channels if there is an alleged violation. Again, this applies to all countries that receive aid from the US – including Israel. Recently introduced legislation attempts to only call out Israel when the guidelines for US aid are already in place, and instead has purely malicious intent to remove the requirements of proper investigation by creating such things as a list of anyone under the age of 18 allegedly killed by Israeli forces – without any regard for whether that “minor” was firing at Israeli civilians or placed as a human shield at a Hamas terror tunnel or rocket installation in a residential neighborhood.  And finally, the topic of aid and appropriations from the US Government (H.R.2590).  Once again the authors are short sighted.  Yes, there is aid to THE ONLY DEMOCRACY in the Middle East.  Think this through.  The US provides aid to Israel.  Israel turns around and is required to use these funds to buy goods from the US which sustains jobs in the defense industry. So if this aid is removed, those defense contracts go away and your neighbor, whose job depends on that defense contract is now unemployed.  The visceral need to have Israel eradicated is clouding the fact that this aid is, at its core, a jobs program.  And further, Israel will buy these assets from somewhere.  She is surrounded by countries that want to destroy her.  It is an existential threat.  So if this aid is denied, Israel will go to other countries  – ask yourself, is it in the best interest of the US as a whole to allow Russia or China to provide this aid?  But no, the authors don’t think that through.  They just want Israel gone. They want to finish the Holocaust.

Bassem Eid – Palestinian Civil Rights Activist is coming to Orange County.  Come and hear him! bassemintheoc@gmail.com

Karen Jaffe has lived in Orange County for the last 20 years with her family.  She is a member of the Jewish community and avid supporter of peace in the Middle East.

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