Israeli Peacenik Meets the Reality of Palestinian Arab Intransigence

Palestinian youths burn Israeli flags thReprinted from The Elder of Ziyon.

Lital Shemesh is a young, liberal Israeli journalist, considered a rising star in the Israeli media who openly expresses her political aspirations.

She wrote a must-read article from Walla, translated by Baruch Gordon on his blog:

Peace? From the Palestinian Standpoint, There is a Past, No Future

by Lital Shemesh

I participated in the Dialogue for Peace Project for young Israelis and Palestinians who are politically involved in various frameworks. The project’s objective was to identify tomorrow’s leaders and bring them closer today, with the aim of bringing peace at some future time.

The project involved meetings every few weeks and a concluding seminar in Turkey.

On the third day of the seminar after we had become acquainted, had removed barriers, and split helpings of rachat Lukum [a halva-like almond Arab delicacy] as though there was never a partition wall between us, we began to touch upon many subjects which were painful for both sides. The Palestinians spoke of roadblocks and the IDF soldiers in the territories, while the Israeli side spoke of constant fear, murderous terrorist attacks, and rockets from Gaza.

The Israeli side, which included representatives from right and left, tried to understand the Palestinians’ vision of the end of the strife– “Let’s talk business.” The Israelis delved to understand how we can end the age-old, painful conflict. What red lines are they willing to be flexible on? What resolution will satisfy their aspirations? Where do they envision the future borders of the Palestinian State which they so crave?

We were shocked to discover that not a single one of them spoke of a Palestinian State, or to be more precise, of a two-state solution.

They spoke of one state – their state. They spoke of ruling Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Akko, Haifa, and the pain of the Nakba [lit. the tragedy – the establishment of the State of Israel]. There was no future for them. Only the past. “There is no legitimacy for Jews to live next to us” – this was their main message. “First, let them pay for what they perpetrated.”

In the course of a dialogue which escalated to shouts, the Palestinians asked us not to refer to suicide bombers as “terrorists” because they don’t consider them so. “So how do you call someone who dons a vest and blows himself up in a Tel Aviv shopping mall with the stated purpose of killing innocent civilians,” I asked one of the participants.

“I have a 4-year-old at home,” answered Samach from Abu Dis (near Jerusalem). “If God forbid something should happen to him, I will go and burn an entire Israeli city, if I can.” All the other Palestinian participants nodded their heads in agreement to his harsh words.

“Three weeks ago, we gave birth to a son,” answered Amichai, a religious, Jewish student from Jerusalem. “If God forbid something should happen to him, I would find no comfort whatsoever in deaths of more people.”

Israelis from the full gamut of political parties participated in the seminar: Likud, Labor, Kadima, Meretz, and Hadash (combined Jewish/Arab socialist party). All of them reached the understanding that the beautiful scenarios of Israeli-Palestinian peace that they had formulated for themselves simply don’t correspond with reality. It’s just that most Israelis don’t have the opportunity to sit and really converse with Palestinians, to hear what they really think.

Our feed of information comes from Abu Mazen’s declarations to the international press, which he consistently contradicts when he is interviewed by Al Jazeera, where he paints a completely different picture.

I arrived at the seminar with high hopes, and I return home with difficult feelings and despair. Something about the narrative of the two sides is different from the core. How can we return to the negotiating table when the Israeli side speaks of two states and the Palestinian side speaks of liberating Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea? How can peace ever take root in a platform which grants legitimacy to terrorism?

This is not the first time a group of Israelis who pine for peace have met with their liberal Arab counterparts – only to find that they have no counterparts at all.

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  • And So It Goes…

    One day ALL of the Israeli leftist "Peaceniks" will "get it." But first they must realize that if they lose their state, THEY HAVE NO WHERE ELSE TO GO. The NGOs in the West use them to promote a cause that is not just detrimental to all Israelis (Jews and non-Jews alike), but that is deadly. Even the Israeli Arabs and residents of Gaza and the PA territory know that if Israel disappears, they will be left with Islamic fundamentalist chaos or a collection of areas ruled by ruled by ruthless gangs. They will have no source of income or aid. Once Israel is "defeated" the monies from the West and rich Arab states disappears because there is no more need to keep up the pretense of their "victimhood." Palestinians are a hated people in the Arab world and are considered to be a useless drain. As for the leftist Jews, once Israel is gone, they will be stateless since their "skills" are no longer needed. Europe doesn't want them, the US doesn't need them and in every other "free" country, their presence will be a provocation to a growing Muslim youth problem.

    • EthanP

      The left is an ideology that transends Nation and Religion. In a way it is a faith. Look at all of the Communists of Western nations who supported the USSR despite it's obvious brutality. Jewish leftists are Leftists first. Only Jews or Israelis by accident of birth.

      • And So It Goes…

        That's true but the "Jewish" communists learned shortly after the revolution that while THEY considered themselves worthy soldiers of the cause, their non-Jewish Russian colleagues did not. The list of persecutions of the Jews by the communists is extensive. Not to mention the Jewish darling of the Revolution, Leon Trotsky, who was murdered when he was no longer of use. The Israeli leftists may consider their Jewishness an accident of birth but the Arabs do not care. There are many examples of leftist Israeli Jews who have been beaten, stabbed, imprisoned and murdered by the very people they were so dedicated to helping. As I stated, leftist Jews may consider themselves leftists first and foremost but the rest of the world sees them as JEWS! Hitler did not care if a Jew was religious, secular or even an atheist. Nor did he care if a Jew had converted to Christianity or was born Christian but had Jewish ancestry. To the Nazis, they were all JEWS.

  • AdinaK

    The Israeli left is mired in "peace" blinders, and its price is "peace" at all costs. But we dare not chalk up their actions to misinformation because this would be letting them off the hook.

    Much time, energy, angst and blood has been spilled to disabuse them of their delusions. However, NOTHING seems to work. As such, whatever shakes out their way is more than just desserts. The full effects of their "never say die" to "peace" has been an unbearable price to pay –

    Bottom line: they must be held to account – the peace peddlers!

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel

  • rivkah f.

    It would be very interesting to know which organizations and/or countries sponsor and finance this "Dialogue for Peace" and what their intentions are, what game they are playing and whom they are trying to influence. But I am not surprised that the Israelis who expect to find a partner are disappointed. They should have known better.

    • EthanP

      Somewhere behind most of these groups, you'll find George Soros.

  • Chezwick

    All well and good. Let these Israeli liberals go back home and inform their friends, comrades and family what they've seen and heard….and may the expiration of naivety expand exponentially.

  • Bert

    Again we must confront the problem of Jews never learning from history. The Arabs are steadfast and consistent in their total rejection of peace with Jews. We did not need yet another 'dialogue' to show what has been evident for decades. It is the Jews who are unrealistic in endlessly repeating the same nonsense of 'compromise' and dialogue and expecting a different outcome. Einstein defined this as insanity.
    It is the Jews who fail to tell the truth that the entire 'Palestinian' narrative is a giant lie to justify their total war against Israel. It is the fault of the Jews that most are too debased and too cowardly to tell the simple truth that the Arabs do NOT belong inside Israel!! It is also unfair to the Arabs for the Jews to talk 'two states' which can only lead to more bloodshed for both Jews and Arabs.
    The best thing for the Arabs is to be told the blunt truth that their cause is a giant lie and their only future is to emigrate. If 850,000 Jews can survive expulsion from Arab lands and be taken in by Israel the same rule should apply to Arab occupiers inside Israel.
    The Torah clearly warned about making this mistake but Israeli leaders are secular and do not take the bible seriously no matter how often their secular nonsense fails to solve anything.

    • Ron

      Nahhh. The best thing is to crack their skulls and do to them exactly what they plan for us.

  • Brujo Blanco

    Jews and other non Muslims need to know who our enemies really are. Christianity and Judaism have principals in common. Both have a belief in doing no harm. If the Muslims put their arms rest fighting would stop. If the Christians and Jews did so they would be killed.

  • http://frontpage richard sherman

    What a shock! If liberals would study the appropriate sections of the Koran…especialluy SURA 2.106 which abrogates(eliminates) all the so called “tolerant” sections of the Koran..they would get the same reality sandwich this liberal Jew got…The only Jews Muslims like are dead Jews.

    • EthanP

      I had the honor to be a student of Raphael Patai. He would translate passages from the Koran in class. Usually in response to some pro Palestinian comment. The class was always shocked by what it said.

      • Raymond in DC

        Mordecai Kedar, from Bar Ilan University, was famously interviewed (in Arabic) on Al Jazeera. At one point Kedar reminded the interviewer that Jerusalem isn't mentioned even once in the Quran. "Yes it is!", insisted the interviewer, but even with the help of his off-stage colleagues couldn't provide a single reference because there is none. The interviewer was left crestfallen. I don't think Al Jazeera was anxious to have Kedar back on their program.

  • metatron2

    HELLO!!! You cannot have a dialogue…you cannot negotiate…with crazy people. It just doesn't work. It never has. Pretending that the Muslim side is rational is an exercise in futility. If it worked, it would have worked many many years ago…aeons ago. It just doesn't work. Forget about it!

  • RiverFred

    Until Muslims categorically renounce those verses of the Koran that call for global imperialism by military force and the mandatory imposition of sharia law on all people of the world, it is ideologically impossible for any Muslim country to be friends with any non-Muslim country, and the sooner we realize that the better.
    To be a good Muslim you must follow the Koran which calls for Islamic world domination and sharia law, this ideology will never change. Unfortunately the White House just doesn’t get it and prefers to believe in a future utopia Marxist la la land, a ‘change’ that will never work.

    • Dhimmi Hillary

      The white house does get it. But Caliph Obama is a muslim.

  • Tom Billesley

    There's a scene in the movie "Independence Day" that comes to mind. The aliens have launched a devastating unrelenting attack on Earth's cities. The US president, wanting to open a dialogue, asks a captured alien. "What do you want? what would you have us do?". The alien's answer is "die".

  • EthanP

    Better late to the truth than never.

  • Gcbc

    The only way to solve this problem is to demand that Palestinians go back to where they belong. Jordan and Egypt. They are only there because they work as an irritant for the rest of the Arab nations against Israel. Unless Israel decides to send them back the situation will continue and get worse. Obama plans to give Jerusalem to the Palestinians. This conference is more of the evidence needed to prove that there is no point in negotiating, they want Israel eliminated. They are taught from birth to hate the Jews because the Qur'an says so. They need no other reason and this will not change because it's in their holy book.

    • Lady_Dr.

      I agree with everything you say – except this: the Palestinians are not just descendants of Jordanians and Egyptians but people from as far away as Afghanistan and Morocco who arrived, mostly after 1918. There are no historical "Palestinians" and as to the people of Jordan, well I think they are 70-80% "Palestinian" and their king is the king of the "Hasmite Kingdom of Jordan." What does that mean, the Hasmites were rivals of the Saudi family in Arabia, the British settled on the Saudis to rule Arabia and moved the Hasmites to Amman, capital of "Transjordan" which was part of the British mandate, the rest becoming the modern nation of Israel. Anyone who studies the history of the area must come to the realization that there are the "Palestinians" are a made-up people used as a weapon against the Jews by the other Arabs.

  • Lady_Dr

    Churchill said, "The Hun is at your throat, or at your feet." The Arabs are a lot like the Huns, and we need to put them at our feet instead of having them at our throats.

  • FactsRule

    Not one of the Israelis is aware of the nature of the genocidal Arab Muslims illegally permitted west of the Jordan River by Israel's suicidal leaders for 46 years.

  • Cassandra

    nad so now the gangrene of leftism is infecting Israel. But where will these leftists go if Israel is lost. Europe does not want them they promote Islam and hate Jews. in the USA Obama lets in Muslims and not Christians and not Israelis Jews. Good luck you stupid and treasonous people.Without Israel you will be dead.