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
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.
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
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
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
from the April Passover 2004 Edition of the Jewish Magazine