- - Thursday, November 12, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

At the receent meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Obama missed a golden opportunity to make progress in resolving the Israeli/Palestinian quagmire when he failed to recognize the real obstacle to peace: continuing demonization of Israel by Palestinian leadership.

This point of view was illustrated in a recent article written by Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the PLO, in the Wall Street Journal. Mr. Erekat accused “colonialist” Israel of “brutal occupation”; being an apartheid state; causing Gaza to be an open-air prison; demanding “submission” by Palestinians, allowing “settlers” to live illegally in what he calls Palestine, etc.

Instead of pointing out the fallacies in such contentions, though, Mr. Obama equated Israel’s actions to defend itself — with Palestinian terrorism — and called for Israel to make concessions, while demanding nothing of the Palestinians.

At a minimum Mr. Obama might have addressed the false charge of “apartheid” by pointing out that citizens of Israel include Jews, Christians and Muslims, who hold positions on the Supreme Court, in the Knesset, in universities (in many cases as professors) and in hospitals (frequently as doctors). He might have even acknowledged that most all “settlements” in the West Bank were Jewish communities/villages/towns for thousands of years with the exception of the period from 1948 to 1967, when Jordan invaded and destroyed every one. Or he might have said that Israel provides Gaza, which is governed by Hamas, with water, electricity and some 850,000 tons of humanitarian supplies per year, despite being periodically attacked by it. Open-air prison, indeed.

Why didn’t Mr. Obama mention that Palestinian leadership must stop their incitement to violence against Israel in the PA school system, in mosques, on radio and TV, and must stop glorifying terrorists who murder innocent Israelis? Has it occurred to him that peace is impossible when generations of Palestinians are brought up on lies and encouraged to murder Israelis who, they claim, stole their land? Aren’t we witnessing, once again, the fruit of this demonization when we witness the current wave of Palestinian terrorism throughout Israel?

WARREN MANISON

Potomac

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