Can Friedman sincerely suggest that a Palestinian plan promising peace, waved in Israel’s direction after 65 years of Arab terrorism, wars, rejectionism, hate speech, hate teach, and hate preach would give Israelis any sense of strategic security?
Then he suggests that if the Palestinians could capture the “moral high ground” with a peace plan that accompanies their “non-violent resistance,” Israel would suffer “moral insecurity” and be more amenable to cooperation with the PA leadership.
But just how far up must Palestinian leaders climb to reach a “moral high ground” from their current moral depths of hundreds of suicide bombings; 12,000 qasam rockets; mass murder and attempted mass murder of thousands of civilians; inculcation of Jew-hatred and suicidal fervor in innocent Arab children; and incitement to genocide? And how does waving a map facilitate this climb? And why would such a map, proffered at this point in the history of the conflict, create any “moral insecurity” among Israelis?
Barghouti’s mass-murder terror attacks took place in the immediate aftermath of an Israeli peace offer that was not much different from the new “map” that Friedman thinks the Palestinians should be offering. Arab and PA leaders have rejected 31 peace offers since 1937, answering many with war and terrorism, and all with rejectionism and threats of annihilation. Are the odds any better now that Hamas, whose unabashedly ballyhooed purpose is the destruction of Israel and the genocide of its Jews, is working to form a coalition with the PA? It seems crystal clear that Israel loses no moral high ground, experiences no moral insecurity, by being suspicious.
Coming from an internationally recognized expert on the Middle East, these errors and omissions raise obvious, but painful, questions. Can he not know the Hamas-PA genocidal end game? Is he so ignorant of this conflict’s history that he does not realize that Israel has traded, or offered to trade, land for peace seven times in the past 65 years[i] only to discover belatedly that five of those seven were actually “land for more terrorism” deals, and the other two trades may now be headed down the same path?
He cannot not know. Yet he chooses not to include these disturbing facts in his analysis. Why? Perhaps because of what the second of his “twofers” reveals:
One reason the Arab world has stagnated while Asia has thrived is that the Arabs had no good local models to follow — the way Taiwan followed Japan or Hong Kong.
Why do Arabs need local models? Cannot the Arab world follow the models of Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, or Thailand? Moreover, there are local models: Turkey and Israel!
By pretending that Arab countries would be peaceful, flourishing economies if only they had local models, Friedman has fabricated a palpably transparent excuse for the deeply evil commitment of many Arab leaders to the subordination of their nations’ economic priorities (much to the detriment of their own people) to an endless war against Israel until “victory or martyrdom.”
Making excuses for evil is complicity.
Complicity with evil is evil.
[i] 1. Territories conquered in the 1947-9 war, offered in exchange for peace at the 1949 Rhodes Armistice conference. Arab leaders rejected the offer, choosing instead to continue hostilities in the form of terrorism.
2. Territories conquered in the 1967 war, offered in exchange for peace at the UN in December 1967. Arab leaders rejected the offer, declaring instead “No recognition, no negotiations, no peace.”
3. All of the Sinai to Egypt in 1982, in a peace agreement now on the verge of being abrogated by the new Muslim Brotherhood-dominated government in Cairo.
4. The Oslo Accords, 1993, in a “land for peace” deal that was really a “land for Arafat’s launching what he hoped would be the last great final jihad” deal.
5. Land east of the Jordan River to King Hussein of Jordan, 1994, in a peace agreement now in question due to the instability of Hashemite rule thanks to Muslim Brotherhood agitation in Jordan.
6. The withdrawal from Lebanon, 2000, which was supposed to be Israel’s acquiescence to Hezbollah’s demand for Lebanese liberation; but which instead empowered Hezbollah to take over Lebanon and use it as a launching pad for terror attacks against Israel.
7. The withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, 2005, which was supposed to jump-start the peace process, but instead gave Hamas free rein for its reign of terror against southern Israel.
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