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Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Delusional American Jewish Left

I don't know what it will take to make leftist American Jews wake up and smell the coffee. I'm not convinced that anything can make them realize that the 'Palestinians' are just not interested in co-existing with the Jews in the Middle East - now or at any time in the future.

Case in point, one Seymour Reich whose op-ed is printed in today's Jerusalem Post. Mr. Reich is "president of the Israel Policy Forum and past chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations."

Mr. Reich is upset that the United States Congress has before it bipartisan legislation that does not advance - in his words - "all parties toward the goal of an Israeli and a Palestinian state living side-by-side in peace and security, at the same time that it prevents the PA and other Palestinian groups from using American dollars to further the goals or methods of Hamas." Mr. Reich objects to both the House bill (introduced by Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Tom Lantos (D-CA)) and the Senate bill (introduced by Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Joe Biden (D-DE)):

The House bill would, among other things: make it illegal to give direct aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA), cut funding for all other programs except humanitarian programs unless the president provides a national security waiver, cut all ties to the PA, forbid PA affiliates to travel anywhere outside of a small area around the UN, and make it illegal for the PA to have any official representation in Washington. These rules would apply unless the PA and Hamas meet a host of conditions. The White House and State Department oppose this bill. [What a shock. The State Department has long been dominated by Arabists. It wouldn't surprise me if the State Department started advocating a one-state solution with the Jews in the sea. As to the Bush Administration, as was noted in Caroline Glick's article that I posted earlier today, they are just following the weak lead that they being given by the front-running Kadima Achora party, that cannot wait to expel more Jews from their homes - so long as the Jews being expelled are 'settlers' and not the denizens of Ramat Aviv Gimmel. CiJ]

The new Senate bill allows the American government a little more leeway in dealing with Palestinians and has somewhat less stringent requirements for the new Palestinian government.

A weakness of both bills is the great difficulty the US would have supporting programs sponsored by non-governmental organizations in such areas as job creation, women's education, infrastructure-building, micro-enterprise and other ways to improve the quality of life of Palestinians. Such programs, particularly when associated with groups that believe in a two-state solution and that renounce violence, should be funded because they provide Palestinians with pride and hope and are essential to the eventual achievement of two states living side by side in peace and security.

Mr. Reich seems to be missing two basic concepts: First, that money is fungible. Money that is given to the 'Palestinians' for 'humanitarian needs,' especially money given to the 'Palestinian Authority' and entities associated with it, is money that is freed up for spending by the 'Palestinian Authority' - which is in the process of being brought under the control of Hamas - for terrorist activities. Second, the 'Palestinians' knew exactly what Hamas stands for and what their program is when they voted for Hamas. Let's stop pretending that this was just a vote against a 'corrupt government.' Let's stop treating the 'Palestinians' like babies or imbeciles. They knew exactly what they were choosing when they chose Hamas. It's time to stop making excuses for them and time to make them start living with the consequences of their actions.
LEADERS IN Congress and the Bush administration - and of American Jewish organizations pressing Congress to act (too hastily, in my view) - must keep in mind that the Palestinian perception of American actions will help determine whether or not these actions are effective. If American measures are viewed as punitive, they could subvert our country's goals of attaining a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and promoting peace and democracy in the Middle East.

In other words, if the 'Palestinians' see that they are going to have to pay the consequences of their actions, they aren't going keep playing the game that they might eventually agree to a 'two-state solution' for a few years. As if the 'Palestinians' are at all interested in 'peace' anyway. Views like Mr. Reich's - which are unfortunately the views of much of the Israeli left (at least those of the Israeli left who are still living here and are still semi-sane) - show both the United States and Israel (and especially American Jewry) as being soft and weak, which is exactly what militant Islam wants them to be. Yes, Mr. Reich, militant Islam. That's what Hamas represents, and that's who is now the dominant entity in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

Mr. Reich then goes on to list six 'goals' that he thinks should be adopted by US policy. The fifth one has what those of us who learn Gemara call a "stira minei u'bei." In other words, it is self-contradictory:
The US must strive to isolate Hamas as long as it holds fast to its rejectionist ideology and refuses to accept Israel's right to exist. At the same time, we need to consider the possibility that Hamas will continue to refrain from terrorist attacks even without a formal agreement. Americans must appreciate just how important it is to Israelis that their personal safety and daily normalcy are maintained. An informal truce with a Hamas-led PA would not be enough, and we ought to be concerned that Hamas will take advantage of this period of quiet to boost its military capacity. But a truce is also not something to be dismissed.

I disagree. Hamas is not refraining from promoting terror: it is being stopped by the Israel Defense Forces from doing so (and that only by the Grace of God). The fact that Hamas does not carry out a terror attack on any given day is not indicative of an ideological change, but rather of a combination of God watching over us, the IDF doing a tremendous job of being vigilant, and possibly Hamas' political convenience. Hamas continues to be committed to 'resistance' against Israel, and continues to be unwilling to recognize the State of Israel or the right of Jews to live in the Middle East. According to the Jerusalem Post,

Hamas's platform, published on a Palestinian website on Saturday, called the conflict with the "Zionist enemy" ongoing, and defined Israel as an "occupying power," Israel Radio reported. Hamas blamed the "Zionist government" for allegedly "sabotaging" negotiations [between it and Fatah. CiJ].
They don't sound to this Israeli like they have any peaceful intentions. While it is important to us that our "
personal safety and daily normalcy are maintained," most Israelis are not naive enough to believe - as Mr. Reich believes from the comfort of the United States - that Hamas is doing or will do less than all it can to make sure that our personal safety and daily normalcy are not maintained.

Let's stop fooling ourselves: Hamas is not going to make peace with us and by voting for them the 'Palestinians' have shown that they are fed up with the 'peace game' too. It's time to act and react accordingly.


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