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So Mr. Muhse’in tells us that it is not the “settlements,” it is not the water rights, it is not the borders, it is not Jerusalem, and it is not even the so-called “Palestinian refugees” that stoke the violence. The violence comes from the unabashed, unrelenting, and unmitigated commitment of Arab leaders to destroy Israel. The concepts “Palestinian People” and “Historic Palestine” and “Palestinian national self-determination” are all hoaxes, fictions invented to facilitate the Arab terrorist destruction of Israel and to legitimize the terrorism.
So what you call Prime Minister Netanyahu’s “hard line” decisions about “settlements” are in reality the reasoned and rational realpolitik of Israel’s leaders’ need to face intractable Arab genocidal enmity.
I was quite taken aback by your suggestion that “nothing is more corrosive (to the peace process) than Israel’s growth of settlements.” Are you serious?
I most sincerely urge you to reassess that statement. Recall, for example, the c. 10,000 qasam rockets from the Gaza Strip after Israel unilaterally and unconditionally vacated the Strip in a globally unprecedented peace-making gesture; or Abbas’ promise to escalate the conflict after he gets his state from the UN; or the cold-blooded murder of Israeli civilians near Eilat just a few weeks ago by terrorists infiltrating from the Sinai peninsula, or the brutal murder of a father and infant son in the West Bank just a few days ago; not to mention Hamas’ endless relentless diatribe of annihilation and rhetoric of genocide. Bombings and arson and kidnapping and torture and murder and attempted mass murder and threatening genocide are far more corrosive to peace than building apartments.
So, is Israel its own worst enemy? No! Mr. Kristof, it is not. It should be rather obvious that Israel’s worst enemies now are Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Hezbollah, Fatah, the PLO, Islamic Jihad, the PFLP, the DFLP, the PFLP-GC, Ansar al-Islam, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Hizb-ut-Tahrir, Jayyish al-Jihad, and Sayyif Allah, to mention just a few. Next in line as worst enemies are the Arab confrontation states, quiescent now that they are engaged in their “Arab Spring,” but ever ready to scapegoat and demonize Israel; and, were there ever to be even a reasonable hope of victory, to attack Israel with all the vigor they could muster.
Then comes Turkey, once a sotto voce ally of Israel; but since the ascent of its Islamist government led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a development which you seem not to have noticed, given your assertion that Turkey is “…Israel’s most important friend in the region” (but don’t feel too bad, our own Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta seems also not to have noticed), it has officially declared war on Israel by announcing that it will send Turkish warships into Israel’s coastal waters to support flotillas of wannabe blockade-busters heading for the Gaza Strip.
The tragic and bitter reality is that the so-called Palestinian national movement is the only one of its kind in the entire world and across all of world history whose only operative paradigm is terrorism, and whose unique and unrepentant goal is the destruction of a sovereign state and the genocide of its Jews. If these terrorists would lay down their weapons, there would be no more violence. If Israel would lay down her weapons, there would be no more Israel.
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