Emergency workers search the scene after a blast on a bus in Jerusalem April 18, 2016. (Ronen Zvulun)
Israel: The Canary in the Mineshaft
What happens in Israel sooner or later reaches the rest of us in the West. Israel is the canary in the mineshaft, serving as a warning to the rest of us that calamities are coming our way.
As an isolated outpost of Western civilization in a hostile neighborhood, Israel is the first target of Islamic terrorists, but don’t be fooled—they’re targeting us too.
Once again, Israeli civilians are targets of a concerted terror campaign by Palestinian terrorists. If you’ve been following the news lately, you’ll have noticed that Israeli civilians are being attacked at random by knife-wielding Palestinians. There’s also been a return to random attacks on pedestrians using vehicles as a weapon of choice, as well as the recent jihadi bus bombing in Jerusalem leaving over 20 more casualties to terror, and the discovery of yet another Palestinian terrorist tunnel dug under the border from the Gaza Strip into Israel.
The Palestinians’ grievance this time? Same as always! The Israelis simply won’t agree to commit national suicide by acceding to Palestinian demands to abandon Israel to the tender mercies of Palestinian thugs.
It has been aptly noted that the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. That is as true today as ever. Repeatedly, Israeli officials have been willing to make the difficult compromises to obtain peace only to be met by Palestinian intransigence—and worse.
During the last days of the Clinton administration, for example, Israel was willing to give the Palestinians 98 percent of what they demanded. That sounds like a pretty good deal under any circumstances. The Palestinian response? A resounding NO!
Despite Israel’s going the second mile and more, the Palestinians demanded 100 percent or nothing. It seems Palestinians would rather starve than settle for part of a loaf—even the entire loaf, less one slice.
What type of leader rejects an agreement that gives him 98 percent of his demands? A leader who is not serious about peace! A leader who would rather continue the struggle than reach a solution. A leader who cannot handle the responsibilities that peace would require.
And what followed on the heels of the Palestinian rejection? A Palestinian uprising—called an intifada. Now, get this. The Palestinians are offered 98 percent of what they demand, and they not only reject such an offer, but Palestinian terrorists initiate widespread violence against Israel to punish them for not yielding the final 2 percent. So much for good faith negotiations between the parties.
It appears that we are once again on the verge of another uprising, another intifada. Palestinian leadership has given up on negotiations with Israel. Why? Because Israel will no longer simply yield and yield and yield again in the face of Palestinian stonewalling.
If the Palestinians are serious about peace, they can have it. No one wants peace more than the State of Israel, which has been on a war footing for almost its entire existence as a state. Israel has gone the extra mile to reach peace only to have its extremely generous offers thrown back in its face by Palestinian authorities.
Now is the time for the Palestinians to decide whether they want peace or not. Sadly, I’m betting that this will be one more in a long list of lost opportunities.
In the meantime, we urge you to stand with us and with Israel as we continue to fight for Israel at the U.N., in the international court of public opinion, and with this current administration, which appears to be on the precipice of betraying Israel publicly and dramatically by declining to veto a number of anti-Israel resolutions currently making their way to the U.N. Security Council.