On the Palestinian Problem

    April Passover 2004 Edition            
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On the Palestinian Problem


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Opinion & Society


The Problem Isn't Palestine

by Joe Yudin

Every time a European or American leader declares that the problem here in Israel and the Palestinian territories needs to be resolved peacefully with negotiations according to the "Road Map", they are doing a disservice to both the Palestinian and Israeli people.

Every time a reporter highlights Israel and Palestine as the most important problem to be solved in the Middle East and the world today, he or she is not helping towards finding a solution, but is part of the problem.

The fact is there is only one solution to the bloodshed here in the Middle East and it has nothing to do with settlements, road maps, occupation or fences. The only problem that needs to be addressed here is terror. Once terror ends there will be no reason for occupation. There will be no reason for building fences. There will be no reason for a separation of populations in Israel or the territories. There will be no reason for additional settlements. There will be no reason for transfers of people from their current addresses across artificial borders.

Once terror ends, and all people in Israel and the territories return to civilization, peace will be a cakewalk. By highlighting the false point that an "evenhanded" solution needs to be imposed upon us with pressure by the United States or Europe, the tyrants, thugs, terrorists and dictators are given their scapegoat and an excuse to hold onto power and oppress their own people further.

If Palestinians took to the streets peacefully without violence they would soon be met in the streets by hundreds of thousands of Israelis, and Jews from the Diaspora, ready to take up their cause. If the violence against us ends tomorrow it will take less than a year to finish this conflict for the foreseeable future.

The vast majority of Israelis want peace even if it means giving up the majority of land over the green line. It has been said repeatedly that the majority of Palestinians want peace as well, but the definition of "peace" on the Palestinian street may have a different meaning than that of their Israeli neighbors. For the sake of argument, lets call "peace" an end to all hostilities amongst our populations. Israeli forces can withdraw out of 99% of the Palestinian population centers tomorrow as it had done under the Oslo Accords. The Palestinians however must end terror by disarming the various terrorist groups. So how do we end terror?

One must remember that terror did not begin in this century. Terror has been used against the Jews for millennia. We used to call terrorism pogroms. Christians used to go and see "Passion plays" of Jesus' last day alive, or a church or papal sermon, or by the king's order and then go into the Jewish ghettos to burn, rape and pillage. The Jews left alive would of course move on and settle somewhere else, not having an army to defend them. This terror culminated in the Holocaust.

Prewar Germany however had some interesting guests among them being the Grand Mufti El Husseini of Jerusalem who studied in Germany and then became a "guest" of the fuehrer after being chased out of Palestine by the British for "inciting riots". What were these riots? Between 1929 and 1949 the Palestinians murdered thousands of Jews in their homes and the streets of their villages where their families had been living in some cases for millennia. Many more thousands were driven away. The West Bank was in fact ethnically cleansed of Jews all together, the eastern neighborhoods of Jerusalem included.

The terror did not stop with the artificial boundary called the green line delineated between Israeli and Jordanian-Egyptian forces. It was a ceasefire line, not a border. Palestinian groups, called at the time Fedayeen, were organized, armed and trained by Egypt, Iraq and Jordan with backing from every other Arab state to infiltrate Israel and kill any Jew they could get their hands on. These attacks became officially known as "terror" in the 1960's.

After nearly 19 years of playing this game where over 3,000 terrorist attacks cost hundreds of Jewish civilian lives, constant artillery attacks and a massing of Arab armies along the green line Israel finally hit back with everything they had. The result was the capture of the West Bank, Gaza, Sinai and the Golan, but it also ended a high rate of terrorism inside Israel and the conquered territories. The terrorists fled to Jordan where they were kicked out by King Hussein. They then fled to Lebanon where they were kicked out by Ariel Sharon, fleeing to Tunisia.

For a period of time terror in Israel declined although international terrorism grew. As the Palestinians found it hard to attack Israelis under occupation, they found it easier to attack Israeli and western targets abroad. And that is exactly what they did bringing their cause to the center of the world stage and gaining support from scared Europeans, radical socialists and the Soviets. Terror was working. Yasser Arafat who called for nothing but the destruction of the state of Israel in the 70s and 80s gallivanted around Europe, dining with its leaders and gained a seat at the UN with "special status".

But the Americans were having none of it. President Ronald Reagan got tough with the terrorists bombing Libya and severing ties with Iran. President Bush (the First) launched the first Gulf War which continued Regan's tough policy in the Middle East. The Arab-Israeli conflict as it was called then was no longer in the world's spotlight.

The Intifada was petering out. Terrorism against Israel was at an all time low. One million Russian Jews were making Aliyah and settlements were expanding at an unprecedented pace. As a result Arafat changed his tune from his headquarters in far away Tunis and played his last card. He "accepted" Israel's right to exist (not as a Jewish state however) and called for negotiations after the Gulf War.

The Oslo Accords brought Arafat back from the dead. The PLO moved from exile in far off Tunisia and into the West Back and Gaza. Terror was supposed to stop under Arafat's thumb, but instead as we all know it increased tenfold.

Every year Israel withdrew from more territory and every year the terrorists became more bold. As Israel retreated more Israelis were murdered, Arafat cried foul and pressure was put on Israel to withdraw even further. In the aftermath of 9/11 and as the second "Intifada" raged and Jews were slaughtered at a rate unseen since 1948 even more pressure was put on Israel to withdraw. Terror works it seems.

So again I put forth the question: How do we end terror? The answer is simple. No negotiation with terrorists. No agreements with terrorists. No talking with terrorists. No retreating from terrorists. We need to fight evil not negotiate with it.

When the Palestinian people have had enough of being led by the nose by the devil himself, then they will revolt and choose their own leaders who will stop the terror and make peace with Israel the very next day. So world leaders and reporters should do us all a favor here in the Middle East and leave us be. When the Arab people are ready for peace, they will find that the door is wide open to them, and we can settle this dispute peacefully once and for all.

Joseph Yudin was born and raised in Wyckoff, NJ. and has been living in Israel for 12 years. He is a sergeant in the IDF paratrooper reserves and is a licensed tour guide. He can be reached by e-mail at joe_yudin@hotmail.com.


from the April Passover 2004 Edition of the Jewish Magazine

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