The Real Dividing Line in Israel-Palestine
While Hamas's outrageous acts of terrorism should be condemned unconditionally,
one must not confuse what is really at issue in the Holy Land. The choice is not one hardline faction or the other; it is between the fundamentalists on both sides and all those who still believe in the possibility of peaceful co-existence.
A first consideration is the absolute despair that characterizes the lives of most Palestinians. Recall the spate of isolated suicidal attacks on the streets of Jerusalem
An ordinary Palestinian would approach a Jew, pull out a knife, and stab the victim, knowing full well that he or she would be immediately killed. There was no message in these “terrorist” acts, no shouts of “Free Palestine!” Nor was there any larger organization behind them. They were just individual acts of violent despair. Things took a turn for the worse when Biny
amin Netanyahu formed a new
government by allying with far-right, pro-settler parties that openly advocate annexation of Palestinian territories in the West Bank. The new minister of national
“My right, my wife’s right, my kids’ right to move around freely [in the West Bank] is more important than that of the Arabs.”
extremist anti-Arab parties that had been designated as terrorist organizations following the 1994 massacre of Arabs in Hebron.
“The Jewish people have an exclusive and inalienable right to all parts of the Land of Israel. The government will promote and develop the settlement of all parts of the Land of Israel – in the Galilee, the Negev, the Golan and Judea and Samaria.”
In the face of such commitments, it is absurd to reproach Palestinians for refusing to negotiate with Israel. The current government’s own official program takes negotiations off the table.
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