Shooting ourselves in the foot
Undermining government policies, inhibiting successful acts designed to improve quality of life for its citizens is what the political opposition does in a democracy. But when these destructive actions are reinforced and amplified by the media, when they work against the national agenda, when the majority of the citizens swear by the false concepts the media is shoving down our throats, the outcomes may turn calamitous.
This is the situation we are in at the moment. Someone needs to set off the alarm bells and call the bluff, switch direction, and bring about a turnaround.
Case 1: The huge rallies, the ads, the protests, the outpouring sympathy designed to apply pressure on someone for releasing of Gilad Shalit from Hamas’s captivity do not help the poor kid. They accomplish the exact opposite. They raise the price we must pay for his freedom; they elevate his captors’ status, provide them with powers they would have never assumed, had the media and the public lowered the volume.
The result—Gilad is still in captivity with little hope for being set free—an exact opposite of the protesters’ objective.
Case 2: The world media including many world leaders have fashioned a trendy, misguided perception that the existing state of affairs between Israel and the Palestinians is unsustainable, that time is running out on the current status quo, that a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority is absolutely essential.
Here in Israel people have deemed a peace agreement necessary in being able to move toward a more permanent and a more stable international standing, a more prosperous economy, and a more favorable view of Israel as a fair and just democracy.
These people point to the latest ostensible political tsunami—the Turkish condemnation and threats, the Egyptians’ attack on the Israeli embassy, the Jordanians’ hostile position, a world’s support for the unilateral Palestinians’ move in the UN—as proof of their world outlook. They accuse PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s, claiming that his policies are the root cause for Israel’s isolation.
Truth is, the situation Israel has found itself in lately is not new or unique, and certainly not worse than any past state of affairs. The Jewish state has been living under a cloud of isolation including an existential threat since before its birth. In fact, Israel’s international standing is relatively stable; its economy is growing faster than most of the world’s highly developed nations, and quality of life in the Jewish state is relatively high and reasonably safe—safer and better than at any time in its past one hundred years.
Once again, this flawed assessment is the primary motive behind the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) refusal to negotiate, to compromise. This false urgency weakens Israel’s negotiating position, brings about universal frustration with Israel’s inability to move the “peace process” forward as if this process is a matter of life or death for Israel—not for the Palestinians.
Unfortunately, the status quo is the best “bad” option Israel has at this point in its history. All other options—a single dual-national state with no Jewish majority or a return to the 1967 cease fire line with no security guaranties—are far worse. Israel must adopt the status quo option and sell it to the rest of the world even if most nations refuse to buy it.
Accepting the false notion that time is running out on the present status quo, that the existing state of affairs between Israel and the Palestinians is unsustainable, is a self-fulfilling prophesy. It invites international pressure; it weakens Israel’s resolve, and it might even bear much worse consequences.
Case 3: Erroneously, the world keeps considering Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, as the representative of the Palestinian people. This view is obviously out of touch with reality. There are in fact two separate Palestinian entities, the PA, which is unstable at best, and Hamastan in Gaza , which is not under the PA's influence or jurisdiction. Furthermore, the government in Ramallah may be replaced by a terrorist regime before long, subsequent to signing of a peace agreement with Israel.
Although the Israeli government keeps reminding the world that Gaza is a terrorist nest, the world continues to regard Judea, Samaria and Gaza as the territory of the future Palestinian state following a peace agreement between Abbas and Israel. The contradiction and the insanity of this concept does not seem to register with anyone concerned with the peace process.
How will Israel defend itself against a terrorist state, with which it has signed a peace agreement? Won’t it be much more logical to hang on to the status quo, keep the checkpoints and maintain Israel’s legitimate right for preemptive means in self-defense?
By accepting Mahmud Abbas as the representative of all Palestinians, Israel continues to promote a fantasy. It reinforces a false notion and helps promote the Palestinian demand for a single Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Ignoring the facts that there are two separate (geographically and ideologically) Palestinian entities and the fact that Abbas is potentially replaceable by a Hamas leader is like claiming that Yasser Arafat was worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize, or that the Palestinians want to live in peace next to a Jewish state.
Accepting the imaginary notion that a peace agreement with Abbas would end the conflict with the Palestinians (including the regime in Gaza) and that Israel should strive for a two-state solution is the main reason for the world’s frustration with Israel’s inability to close on a peace agreement with the PA. Israel must make clear to the world that Abbas represents a small sect of the Palestinian people, that peace with Abbas is not peace with the Palestinians, and that peace with Abbas will only inhibit Israel’s ability to guard against Islamic terror practiced or supported by the majority of the Palestinian population in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.