BLOG 393 April 30, 2018
The past several weeks have reported the seemingly endless story of struggle in Israeland with the Palestinians. A border uprising in Gaza has sent hundreds of Palestinian protesters surging toward the Israeli border and checkpoints. Or course, the Israelis were armed opposition and the result was at least three Palestinians killed and 611 wounded.
Hamas is always behind these attacks from Gaza. The terrorist organization broke with the PLO some years ago and still battles for control of the entire West Bank. They periodically use demonstrations to cover their tracks while forcing these skirmishes. Recently, throwing rocks and burning tires has become a weekly ritual at the wall between Israel and Gaza. IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) are always prepared 24-7.
In this last go- round, demonstrators starting trying to cut the wire meant to hold them back. At that point, Israeli tanks wheeled into action and fired tear gas. The protestors dispersed.
Often these encounters are meant to embarrass Israel and bring psychological pressure on the west. The picture always portrays highly armed Israeli soldiers confronting poor Palestinians who have nothing but stone throwing children to protect themselves. Uninformed Americans make an easy target.
The real truth is that the Palestinians won’t settle with Israel because their actual goal is to drive Israel into the ocean. The leader of Hamas has made himself into an extremely wealthy man who manipulates rather than leads toward a positive end. Since my first visit to Israel in 1968, I have watched Israel expand and grow from a struggling people to one of the premier countries in the Middle East and the world. At the same time, the Palestinians have not even been able to pay their daily bills without international assistance. If Israel stopped giving the tax money collected on their behalf, their government would sink in a week.
Get the picture?
Israel is not always right and the Palestinians are not always wrong. Both sides have made serious mistakes. However, time has not been on the side of the Palestinians. Their refusal to bargain to an honest settlement has only cost them and continues to marginalize their cause.
The never-ending presidency of Mahmoud Abbas with still no elections in sight helped create the problem of a separation between Ramallah and the Gaza Strip. When President Donald Trump decided to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem, the Palestinians screamed, hollered, and threatened everything but World War III. However, the rest of the Arab world looked the other way. They know the truth about Abbas and the Palestinians.
What’s next? Probably more demonstrations then everyone goes home. There will be a few shouts of “shadhid” (Arabic for martyr), then the noise will fade. Just another day at the office.