After visiting Israel in the Fall of 2005, I saw firsthand the hope and the cost of trusting a land-for-peace trade with the Palestinians.
Debbie Rosen, a Gush Katif resident and one of the last to leave Gaza after the Israeli expulsion, observed: "Some feel...that we must sacrifice for the cause of peace. We used to have good relations with many of our Arab neighbors. Five thousand Arabs wanted us to stay because they worked for us. Now, their jobs are gone, and they will have to sign up for charity with Hamas just to get by. Does that advance peace?"
Another business owner in Gaza left his business to his former Palestinian workers. But in months, Hamas had dismantled the business. Hamas wanted his workers dependent, not successful. Israel isn't just dealing with terrorists, but a terrorist government.
Going with an Arab taxi driver from Jerusalem to Palestinian-held Bethlehem, we saw posters honoring the recently deceased Yasser Arafat. We asked the driver about Arafat. He replied, "All the money Arafat got was used to create a casino and add to his Swiss bank account. The American money did not help the people. With Abass, it's too soon to tell. But the people are still not getting any money."
Will the $47 million in humanitarian aid sent by the Obama administration to help the Palestinians result in more tunnels, more missiles, or tangible food and support for those left wounded and homeless? History would suggest continuing violence and attacks.
As long as Palestinian schools leave Israel off their maps, their TV ads promote and justify suicide attacks, and their charter supports the total destruction of Israel, there'll be no peace. Hamas does not want a two-state solution. They want a one-state solution. They want Israel gone.
Justus Weiner, a Jewish human rights lawyer, said: "They talk of 'Cycle of Violence' with no distinction between the fireman and the arsonists. They are both there at the fire but one caused it. They claim to be the 'Victim' while being a true 'Victimizer.' ... Sometimes force is the only answer. This is not just our problem. It's fast becoming the world's problem-The bombings in Bali, the riots in France, and the Twin Towers in New York." How many terrorist attacks could now be added to his decade-old warning? How many more missiles have been sent into Israel from the land they gave up for "peace?" Itamar Marcus from
Palestinian Media Watch observed, "Watching Islamic controlled TV is an eye-opening experience. Ads state that all sins are forgiven in suicide, and you will marry 72 dark-eyed virgins. Death by suicide is a joyous wedding to 72 virgins, not a funeral. Another public service ad suggests that when a mother loses one son, they should give the cry of joy and give a gun to their next son so he too can bring the mother joy.... The brain washing continues daily."
Would you give up land so that those who wanted to destroy you are closer to your businesses and homes?
Ron Dermer, Israel's Ambassador to the US, said recently on Fox News, "We do everything to keep their civilians out of harm's way. They do everything to keep people in harm's way. Everything is done to keep civilians around targets to increase collateral deaths." Why? Because they know that the steady stream of civilian casualties shown on worldwide media delivers sympathy and calls for an end to Israeli "attacks."
A speech circulating the Internet by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has proven to be a hoax. It now deserves to be delivered to the world: "We are offering you now one last chance. Within 24 hours, all rocket fire - and I mean all rocket fire - will cease. Completely. Forever.... If you fail to meet our ultimatum, we are coming in, and, with God's help, this time we will not leave. Every centimeter of land that we conquer will be annexed to Israel, so that there will never be another attack launched at our civilians from there.... The moment you announce that you are laying down arms, we will halt our advance, and there we will draw our new borders. If you continue to attack our citizens, we will continue to roll southwards.... It pains me deeply that your civilians will be made homeless. But we did not choose this war; you did."
The words of former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir remain true, "Peace will come when the Arabs love their children more than they hate us."