Yet Abbas is no friend to Israel and Netanyahu also knows this; Abbas is, after all, the man who pronounced that the Palestinians “won’t agree to recognize something called the Jewish state,” and “will never allow a single Israeli to live…on Palestinian land.” But “moderate” is a relative term, and the Israeli government apparently has concluded that presently Abbas is the best of a bad lot and therefore warrants support.
On the surface the Netanyahu’s policy—choosing the least of various evils, so to speak—appears rational. That is, so long as the damage caused by the lesser evil can be limited and mitigated (if not controlled).
And herein lies the essential dilemma: The Israeli government’s assumption is wrong; Abbas’ diplomatic terrorism, in the words of Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, cannot be contained.
Nor will any amount of political maneuvering change this fact. For entangled in the two-decades-long diplomatic black hole colorfully referred to as the “peace process,” the Israeli government’s decision-making strategy—as evidenced by Netanyahu’s ongoing support of Abbas—has invariably been reduced to choosing between varying degrees of terror (diplomatic vs. armed). And there simply is no bright future for a country whose options range from bad to worse.
Therefore, the charade has to stop, before the cumulative negative effect of pursuing for twenty years a destructive policy—making endless concessions and goodwill gestures in a futile attempt to appease evil—reaches a critical mass leading to “reactor” meltdown.
Which brings us back to Abbas’ repeated and self-serving denials of Jewish history.
The Jewish People’s millennia-old connection to the Land of Israel is the foremost justification for the current and ongoing existence of a Jewish state on that land. If the Jewish People never resided in Israel, so the logic of its enemies goes, then there is no reason for Jews to be there today or to remain there tomorrow. Moreover, it is the Jewish People’s historical connection to its Land which forms the basis of the 20th-century legal validation of the Jewish state.
Remove Abraham from the equation and there is no Balfour Declaration and no British Mandate.
It is this fundamental historical connection that Abbas, along with his financiers and sympathizers worldwide, is attempting to whitewash, with the aim of delegitimizing Israel out of existence.
And, alas, it is working.
Consider, as but one of many examples, South Africa’s recent decision to modify its labeling of products originating from the West Bank so as to exclude the “Made in Israel” tag.
Then consider that the West Bank is in fact located in a geographic region historically known as Judea and Samaria, a portion of the Land of Israel from which the word Jew is derived.
This is what happens when Jewish history is denied and reality is altered.
And, quite frankly, it is hypocritical for the Israeli government to be up-in-arms over Pretoria’s move. For the Israeli government itself supports the ongoing governance of the very man spearheading the campaign of de-legitimization which results in such anti-Israel episodes. In other words, every time the Israeli government absurdly portrays Abbas as a “moderate,” it invites anti-Israel forces such as South Africa to express their hostility. For, if Jerusalem is “occupied Palestine” as Abbas contends, and Israel is seen supporting Abbas, then certainly the West Bank is occupied too and South Africa has every reason to adopt the Palestinian leader’s position by labeling products accordingly.
This is the twisted logic that makes it reasonable to presume that, unless Israel begins to prevent Abbas and his minions from actively waging their war, in the not-too-distant future countries will begin designating products manufactured in Jerusalem as “Made in Palestine.”
In this respect, it is imperative for Israel to extricate itself from a process whose strategic paradigm consists of opting for lesser evils, and whose inevitable outcome is the country’s de-legitimization.
At any rate, peace cannot be forged with the Palestinians so long as their leadership continues to deny Jewish history; which is, quite literally, an attempt to erase Israel from the pages of time.
(Charles Bybelezer, formerly a Publications Editor at the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, recently moved to Israel to begin working as a Breaking News Editor at the Jerusalem Post.)
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