If it’s time for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be creative, as was asserted in Francine Klagsbrun’s opinion piece last week, it’s time for the author and Israel to learn from history, or be doomed to repeat the disasters of appeasement. Moral relativism is now in ascendancy, so that there is the equivalence of the Israel narrative and the Palestinian narrative, no true or false, no right or wrong, but never let the facts get in the way.
You would never know from Klagsbrun of the Oslo process and its violations by the Palestinians, but after giving the Palestinian Arabs autonomy and possession of 93 percent of West Bank land, Israel inherited the intifida, suicide bombing, terror, continued incitement and hateful indoctrination of their population. This occurred despite the fact that Prime Minister Ehud Barak was ready to give up almost all of the West Bank and half of Jerusalem.
Since this offer was too good to refuse, the Palestinians did. Then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had to come back again with more capitulation, throwing in elements of “a right to return,” and close to Abba Eban’s Auschwitz borders, but the inevitable refusal by Fatah and Hamas, in accord with their charters, should be a lesson of history.
How much more creative can Netanyahu be, but to accept the reality that the Arabs will never recognize a Jewish state. The settlement issue is a canard. When Jordan was in control of the West Bank from 1948 to 1967, there were no settlements there, and the Palestinian Liberation Organization was set up in 1963 to liberate Israel. In fact, in none of the agreements signed by the PLO were Jewish communities in the West Bank ever prohibited. No one believes that if there were no settlements, there would be security for Israel. It’s precisely because there are Jewish communities in the Judean hills and along the Jordan River that Israel is secure.
The last refuge of the postmodern Zionists is what Yoram Ettinger has called “the demographic scare campaign,” presumably necessitating the creation of the Palestinian state, a terrorist one at that, with Hamas in the wings. As Ettinger has demonstrated, “from a minority of 8 percent in 1900, and 33 percent in 1947, Jews have become a solid majority of 67 percent (excluding Gaza) west of the Jordan River. What has been creative is the ‘dogged determination’ of Jews to build more and more in asserting their historic, moral and legal claim to the land.