Mona Charen, at National Review Online, offers a picture of what people like the general secretary of the World Council of Churches refuse to understand. Peace between Israel and the Palestinians is not as simple as removing the settlements or ending the occupation. There is a sickness eating away at the heart of Palestinian society, and until that is addressed and dealt with, peace will not come no matter what Israel does. A few excerpts:
Hamas sent a greeting card to the quintet of leaders meeting in Washington, D.C., this week to initiate negotiations about a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. In a well-planned ambush, they killed four Israeli civilians near the city of Hebron, two men and two women (one nine months pregnant), creating seven orphans. The murderers escaped, and may perhaps have videotaped the atrocity. In Gaza that evening, 3,000 celebrants clogged the streets, waving flags, setting bonfires, passing out candy, and carrying their children on their shoulders. If there is videotape, it will presumably permit the revelers to relive the pleasure, even as the video of Daniel Pearl’s beheading has circulated on the Internet.
While the Palestinian Authority did condemn the attack, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad did so, he explained, because “the operation went against Palestinian interests.”
Not, mind you, because it is wrong to kill civilians or pregnant women. It just wasn’t tactically warranted.
In the course of the past few months, the PA has named a square and a children’s summer camp in honor of a terrorist who murdered 37 Israeli civilians on a bus, and provided a hero’s funeral to Amin Al-Hindi, one of the terrorists who kidnapped and murdered eleven Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. The official PA newspaper described Al-Hindi as “one of the stars . . . who sparkled at the sports stadium in Munich.” Both Abbas and Fayyad attended the funeral.
Because the murderers of Jewish civilians is a hero in Palestinian society, rather than a war criminal or terrorist.
Just this week, the PA’s minister for prisoners’ affairs presented an award called the Shield of Resoluteness and Giving to Um Yousuf Abu Hamid. Her accomplishment? Four of her sons are serving long sentences in Israeli prisons for committing terrorist attacks. Handing her the plaque, the minister intoned: “The Palestinian mother is a central partner in the struggle, by virtue of what she has given and continues to give. It is she who gave birth to the fighters, and she deserves that we bow to her in salute and in honor.”
A Palestinian children’s-television program instructs its viewers that all Israeli cities — including Haifa, Lod, Ramle, and Acre — are “occupied Palestinian” cities. Another show aimed at children, which often dispenses advice like “drink your milk” and “obey your parents,” also advised a young viewer named Saraa that “all Jews must be erased from our land. . . . We want to slaughter them, Saraa, so they will be expelled from our land. . . . We’ll have to [do it] by slaughter.”
That is the reality about which Olav Tveit and his predecessors have had nothing–absolutely nothing–to say. That is the reality that stands between the people of the Holy Land and peace, and no amount of wishing it away will make it disappear.