The Zionist Conspiracy
Wednesday, February 18, 2004
Stupid Column of the Week
In this week's Jewish Week, Aaron Ziegelman mentions that he "attended the launch of the Geneva Accords" and that the Palestinians in Geneva "were the cream of their society: Fatah officials, government ministers or former ministers, prominent businesspeople, lawyers, doctors and academics."
As Palestinian society glorifies terrorists and terrorism more than any other, Ziegelman is right that officials of Fatah - the original and leading terror group headed by Yasser Arafat - are "the cream of their society." But that's precisely the problem.
Indeed, at the Geneva Accord ceremony that Ziegelman flew to, Palestinians took turns bashing Israel. The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel was referred to as "an apartheid state," a Palestinian speaker called Sharon a "fascist," and Zuheir Manasra of Fatah defended Palestinian terror as legitimate: "The Palestinian fight is a fight for peace," he said.
Ziegelman argues, fairly, that if Palestinian "moderates were to gain influence and power, clearly it would be in Israel's interests" and concedes that "Arafat and his cronies from Tunis are not partners worth talking to." He also is not wrong to criticize "Israeli and American Jews who oppose any territorial compromise." Unfortunately, his article suggests that anyone who opposes full acquiescence to Palestinian territorial demands belongs in the rejectionist camp. He writes that "Even Likud leaders like Ehud Olmert are saying that the solution of two states with well-defined borders is the only way to ensure the survival of a majority Jewish democracy," forgetting that Olmert completely rejects Geneva, and wants to keep about 25 percent of Judea and Samaria, along with all of the Old City of Jerusalem.
While deploring overwhelming Palestinian support for violence - including by "moderates" - Ziegelman cites a December poll of Palestinians in which, he writes, 77 percent "favored reconciliation between the two peoples after reaching a peace agreement with Israel, 87 percent supported 'open borders between two states' and 83 percent endorsed a 'mutual cessation of violence.' And if there were an agreement to stop violence, 53 percent would support a crackdown on those who would continue violence."
As a result, he concludes, "The evidence is fairly clear: For most Palestinians, armed confrontation is viewed as a short-term tactic leading to an end to the occupation and, eventually, to two states, not one."
Ziegelman neglected to mention other aspects of the same poll suggesting just the opposite, including the following:
- 63 percent rejected the notion that under an agreement "An independent Palestinian state would be established in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip; the Palestinian state will have no army, but it will have a strong security force. Both sides will be committed to end all forms of violence directed against each other."
- 72 percent rejected Palestinian compromise on the refugee issue.
- 55 percent rejected the statement that "When the permanent status agreement is fully implemented, it will mean the end of the conflict and no further claims will be made by either side. The parties will recognize Palestine and Israel as the homelands of their respective peoples."
- Even if the Palestinian state would have sovereignty over land, water, and airspace, 76 percent rejected the presence of a multinational force and Israeli maintenance of two early warning stations for 15 years.
- Not only did 87 percent as Palestinians support the murder of IDF soldiers and "settlers," 48 percent supported continued terrorism against Israeli civilians within the Green Line.
- 88 percent rejected adopting a "school curriculum in the Palestinian state that recognizes Israel and teaches school children not to demand return of all Palestine to the Palestinians," even after the implementation of a full peace agreement.
- 54 percent reject outlawing incitement against Israel, even after the implementation of a full peace agreement.
- According to the poll, the two most popular Palestinian leaders were Yasser Arafat and Hamas leader Ahmed Yassin. A majority supports either Arafat or Yassin as the President of the Palestinian Authority.
If Ziegelman would have mentioned at least some of these poll findings instead of just those that he likes, I'd strongly disagree with his premise, but at least he'd have made an honest argument. Instead, he cited the few potentially positive aspects of the poll, while ignoring almost all of what he didn't want to hear and ultimately distorting the poll itself.
Ziegelman also writes:
Even if the worst happens and the Palestinians in charge do not completely destroy all the terror cells, their state would still lack the kind of army needed to threaten the existence of Israel, one of the top military powers. Whatever threat they might pose pales in comparison to a more serious and current threat: Palestinians will soon outnumber Jews between the Jordan and the Mediterranean.
Even if it were true that the Palestinians could not threaten the existence of Israel, following the implementation of something like Geneva, the IDF would no longer have a presence in Judea or Samaria and would have much less ability to stop terror. Furthermore, half of Jerusalem would be under PA control, including the gates to the Old City, greatly worsening the already precarious security situation there. Nor would Israel have control over the borders with Egypt and Jordan.
Ziegelman's mention of Israel's demographic problem is trendy but misleading. There is no intention by any but the most extreme in Israel to ever annex the heavily populated Palestinian areas. While the demographic situation cannot be ignored, it can be alleviated in ways other than a withdrawal to the '67 borders.
In any event, as the poll shows, Palestinians are willing to support a two state solution only if refugees are allowed to flood Israel. The result would be the destruction of Israel via ostensibly democratic means.
Aaron Ziegelman may be well intentioned, but his naive impressions about a society that glorifies mass murder, and his glossing over of data that conflicts with his opinion, render the column he wrote while wearing his rose-colored glasses to be quite off base.