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Thursday, March 16, 2017

 Vic Rosenthal's Weekly Column


If you’re not catching flak, then you’re not over the target. And one good way to know that we are scoring points is when our enemies start screaming bloody murder.

So back in 2002, when Israel started building its security barrier, the PLO and its fellow travelers had fits. They had lots of excuses – it was inconvenient for them, it was built on “their” land, it was an “apartheid wall,” it was ugly, and on and on; but the real reason was simple: by making it easier for us to stop terrorists on their way to our buses and restaurants, we took away their best weapon. I know: my son was in the police counter-terrorism unit at the time, and they were going 24/7 to intercept and stop the bombers who were trying to murder us on almost a daily basis. The barrier made their job much easier.

This applies in many areas, not just physical barriers and military tactics. For example, how the Israeli Left squealed in pain when the Knesset passed a law that demanded transparency for foreign-funded NGOs! Even though the law was a pale version of what had been originally proposed, the idea that our country would dare to protect its sovereignty against foreign subversion, subversion that was a meal ticket for hundreds of operatives that spent their days provoking security forces and filming the interactions, informing to the PA about Arabs who considered selling land to Jews, filing lawsuits against the government and the IDF, petitioning the Supreme Court to dismantle Jewish communities – the very idea made them furious. It was undemocratic to let people know that anti-Israel governments in Europe were paying them!

Or what about the recent anti-BDS law? Among others, it’s the progressive Jewish community in America whose ox is being gored this time: the ones like Rabbi Rick Jacobs of the Union for Reform Judaism, who love Israel so much that they want her to be better, which they are trying to achieve by boycotting products from “settlements” in order to force her to create another Hamastan next to Route 6, so terrorists can hit the airport and Kfar Saba with mortar shells. How undemocratic it is to say that non-residents of our country who are (either deliberately or because they are useful idiots) working to help destroy it may not sit on the beach in Tel Aviv!

But one of the best examples of the hypocrisy of the Arabs and their friends is their spluttering reaction to this recent remark posted by Avigdor Lieberman on his Facebook page (Hebrew, my tr.)

At the threshold of a new attempt to start up diplomatic negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, we must learn the lessons of the past, and the first lesson is: every attempt to solve the Palestinian issue on a land-for-peace basis is bound to fail. 

The only way to a sustainable agreement is through the exchange of territory and population as part of a larger regional peace deal.

It is unthinkable that a homogeneous Palestinian state will be established without a single Jew – 100% Palestinian, and that despite this, Israel will be a bi-national state, with 22% Palestinians.

There is no reason for Sheikh Raed Salah, Ayman Oudeh, Basel Ghattas or Haneen Zoabi to continue to be Israeli citizens.

Lieberman has expressed similar ideas before. It’s essential to understand that he is not advocating that Arabs be expelled from their homes in Israel. His plan is that borders between Israel and a future Palestinian state should be drawn so that large Arab populations that today are in Israel – such as in the ‘triangle’ area near Umm al Fahm – would fall in Palestine, and Israelis today living across the Green Line will be in Israel. Such a trade would not require anyone to move, and would allow Arabs to live under Palestinian sovereignty and Jews under Israeli rule.

Leaving aside the legal complexities, one would think this would appeal to the Arabs. Don’t they want self-determination?  Unsurprisingly they hate it, calling it “racist and fascist.” 

MK Basel Ghattas, who is presently facing charges of smuggling cellular phones to imprisoned terrorists, did his best to prove Lieberman right, saying,

…there is no doubt that Lieberman, an immigrant from Moldova, doesn’t understand the meaning of a homeland or its native people.

Under any possible future settlement there will be neither room for any land-grabbing settlers in a Palestinian state nor any room for racists the likes of Ivet [Lieberman’s Russian name]. The Palestinians living today in Israel are the masters of the land, and Lieberman is just a passing guest. 

According to Ghattas, Lieberman doesn’t understand that the land belongs exclusively to Arabs, that the descendants of Arabs who settled here in the 19th and 20th centuries are “natives,” while the Jews living in places mentioned in the Bible are “land-grabbing settlers.”

Ha’aretz, in an editorial, wrote,

The defense minister believes that hundreds of thousands of Israeli Arab citizens don’t really belong to the state and should be transferred from sovereign Israeli territory to another country because of their ethnic affiliation. Practically speaking, under the guise of seeking a “sustainable arrangement,” Lieberman wants to convey to the state’s Arab citizens that they aren’t wanted by the State of Israel and that their citizenship is temporary and conditional. …

Lieberman knows that the right of those born here to maintain Israeli citizenship is no less than that of a Jew who is naturalized by way of the Law of Return. It’s not only that the idea of creating an Israel “cleansed” of Arabs is warped, but that even raising it as an option is unacceptable.

The word “transfer,” which usually refers to forced resettlement, is inflammatory, but that is how the editors of Ha’aretz like it. Nevertheless, their argument is faulty. Ha’aretz and the Arabs both want a chunk of sovereign Israel to be torn off and given to the PLO. So if boundaries need to be drawn, is it not more reasonable to do it on the basis of the ethnicity of the population? Wouldn’t it be better for everyone if Palestinians were ruled by Palestinians and Jews by Jews? Why are the 1949 armistice lines a better choice? Why is physical expulsion of Jews from their homes acceptable, but drawing the border to include Arabs in the Arab state not?

Ha’aretz thinks that Lieberman’s proposal is just a stunt to make the Arab citizens of Israel feel unwanted. I don’t support Lieberman’s idea myself, for various reasons, including that it really does insult Arab citizens of Israel, many of whom – with notable exceptions, as Lieberman made clear – are loyal and productive citizens of the state. But whether or not you think it should be implemented, it makes a very important point: it emphasizes the blatantly racist nature of the PLO demand for a Palestinian state without any Jews in it. What’s sauce for the goose, in other words, should also be sauce for the gander.

And let’s face it: why do the Arabs prefer to live under Jewish sovereignty? Of course the answer is that they know very well that despite the alleged “discrimination” and “racism” of Israel, they are and will continue to be far better off in almost every way as Israelis than under the kleptocratic, corrupt, unjust and violent regime of a PLO or a Hamas.




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