Monday, 30 June 2014

Kidnapped Israeli Youths Found Murdered. Do the Palestinians Really Want Peace?

After more than two weeks, the search for three Israeli teenagers, Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach, who were kidnapped by members of the Islamist terrorist group Hamas, came to a horrible ending when soldiers from the IDF found their bodies in a shallow grave near Hebron.  Apparently, they were killed shortly after they were abducted (see: Security Forces Find Missing Teens' Bodies in the West Bank).  Upon hearing of this atrocity, I asked myself as I have so many times: Do the Palestinians really want peace?  After today, I have never been so adamant in answering myself with a firm no.  But it's not just this cold-blooded murder of three innocent teenagers that has made me cynical about peace prospects over the last month or so.

A Pact Made With Terrorists

About a month ago, Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, announced that he had reached a deal for a unity government with Hamas, the Islamist terrorist group bent on destroying Israel, which has ruled over the Gaza Strip after pushing out Abbas' forces in 2007.  For more than 20 years, Hamas has made a name for itself with a series of violent attacks that have targetted and killed mostly Israeli civilians.  Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu immediately condemned the new pact, saying that Abbas chose peace with terrorists rather than peace with Israel.  But most of the international community disagreed with him.  Instead, leaders from around the world, including the United Nations and the European Union, praised the new Palestinian unity government and asked the Israeli government to support it.  They had bought into the Palestinian assertion that the new government would follow a path of non-violence and seek a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  See, for example:

UN Envoy Visits Gaza in Nod to Palestinian Unity

European Commissioner to Israel: Support Palestinian Unity Deal 

Then, on June 12, 2014, three Israeli teens were abducted.  The Israeli government immediately suspected Hamas and towards the end of the month, it named two suspects in the kidnapping, both of whom were Hamas members (see: Israel Names Two Prime Suspects in Teens' Abduction).  Prime Minister Netanyahu found himself vindicated in the face of the naive international community.   So much for the path of non-violence.

Polls Show Palestinians Don't Want Peace

Even before the kidnapping, there appeared to be little appetite on the part of the Palestinians for peace.  In fact, earlier in June, a Palestinian research centre in the West Bank, known as the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion, released a poll that showed more than half of Palestinians surveyed said that they opposed restarting peace talks with Israel (see: Poll: 56% of Palestinians Oppose Renewing Talks With Israel).  The poll did note that Palestinians opposed a renewal of talks based on Israel's refusal to release Palestinian prisoners and stop building in the West Bank.  But why blame the Israeli government for not releasing prisoners when doing so often leads to fatal results for Israeli citizens?  See, for example:

Israeli Killed on Passover Eve was Murdered by Palestinian Freed in Shalit Deal

In fact, as one Israeli journalist wrote, more than one hundred Israelis were murdered by ex Palestinian prisoners that were released in deals prior to the prisoner swap that saw Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit freed from Hamas captivity (see: Shalit Campaign was a Hysterical Surrender to Terror).  So contrary to what the Palestinians tell Israel and the international community, freeing their prisoners will not lead to peace - it will only lead to more murdered Israelis.  Freezing construction in Israel's West Bank communities will not lead to peace either.  It certainly didn't when Israel evacuated the Gaza Strip and uprooted thousands of Israelis from their homes.  On the contrary, the only thing Israel got for handing land back to the Palestinians was barrage after barrage of rocket fire on its peaceful towns and cities.  

Many Palestinians even readily admit that they're no longer interested in a two state solution and a majority of them want their "resistance" to continue until they "liberate" all of Palestine from the Jordan river to the Mediterranean Sea (see: Poll: Most Palestinians Reject Two-State Solution - and Violence).  This poll does indicate that most of the Palestinians currently don't support violence against Israel.  And as we know, President Abbas did publicly condemn the kidnapping of the three Israeli teens.  Meanwhile, however, the Palestinians don't seem to practice what they preach.  Instead, they condone the terrorism perpetrated by Hamas, happily passing out candy to celebrate the kidnapping.  Indeed, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip view terrorists killed in attacks against Israel, not as villains, but as heroes.  As for Abbas' public condemnations, they are little more than hot air and have just as little meaning as the late Palestinian leader, Yasir Arafat's condemnations did every time his fellow Palestinians committed an act of terrorism against Israeli civilians, killing and maiming as many as they could.

I have tried to remain optimistic about peace prospects, but time and time again my hopes and the hopes of countless others are dashed.  Why?  Because the Palestinians refuse to end their love affair with terrorism.  And until they do, there will not be peace.




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