The Palestinians' Violent Past

[Miami Herald] Ofer Bavly - Arab violence toward Jews in the Holy Land began decades before the State of Israel was established. It had nothing to do with ''occupation'' or ''settlements,'' and everything to do with preventing Jews from establishing their own state on their historical land. After the 1948 War of Independence, Jordan occupied the West Bank, and Egypt occupied the Gaza Strip for almost 20 years. Eastern Jerusalem was in Arab hands, ruled by the King of Jordan. And yet the Palestinians never rose against these Arab states, never demanded independence, never demanded to establish a capital in Jerusalem. In the 1950s and 1960s, Arab Fedayeen terrorists launched dozens of attacks against Israeli civilians. In 1964, three years before any Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the Palestinians established the PLO, which began carrying out indiscriminate terror attacks against Israeli civilians. Recent experience in Lebanon and Gaza shows that whenever Israel made concessions, they were rewarded not with reciprocal concessions, but rather with more violence, terrorism and intransigence. The settlements never have been and never will be an obstacle to peace. History shows that dismantling settlements and making territorial concessions only make the Palestinians hungrier for blood. For the Palestinians, these concessions are a sign of weakness, causing them to launch even more terror attacks. The real obstacle to peace is the refusal of the Arab world to truly accept the existence of a Jewish state on our historic land. Although it occupies one-thousandth of the combined size of Muslim states, Israel's existence in the Middle East is, to most Arabs, unacceptable. They fight not for land, but for our destruction and elimination. Pressuring Israel to dismantle the settlements will not bring peace to the Middle East. It will bring more violence, more terrorism and more Israeli deaths. The writer is consul general of Israel to Florida.

2009-06-30 06:00:00

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