The Palestinians the international media don’t talk about — and the reason why.

How can we explain the international community’s indifference to Palestinian suffering? Every day, angry bands of protesters burn the flag of Israel, call for the destruction of the Jewish state and insist that Israel and its Jewish citizens be shunned from polite society and thrown out of the global economy all in the name of opposing “the Occupation.”

Although the breathless protesters insist that all their efforts are directed toward the Palestinians, as it works out, none of their assaults on Israel have improved the Palestinians’ lot. To the contrary, their protests have given a free pass to those that do the most to harm Palestinians.

The angry, hateful protests against Israel tell us nothing about either the history of the Palestinians’ relations with the Jewish state or their present circumstances.

And what are those circumstances? Consider the stories of two different groups of Palestinian prisoners.

The first story relates to the Palestinian terrorists imprisoned in Israeli jails after being tried and convicted of engaging in terrorist attacks against Israel.

Led by terrorist mastermind Marwan Barghouti, who is serving multiple life sentences for killing multiple Israelis, in April more than a thousand jailed terrorists opened a hunger strike demanding an improvement in their prison conditions.

The New York Times published an op-ed by Barghouti and massively covered the strike. Numerous other marquee media organizations similarly provided sympathetic coverage of the event.

Hidden beneath mountains of column inches was the basic fact that the terrorists’ demands made clear that their strike was ridiculous.

They weren’t demanding food. They weren’t demanding fair trials or the right to speak to their attorneys.

They were demanding that Israel add 20 new channels to their standard, free cable television access.

They demanded that Israel let them have telephones in their rooms.

They demanded that Israel buy them air conditioning units.

In other words, they were demanding that Israel treat them better than it treats its own soldiers.

The second prisoner story is the story of the 12,000 Palestinians that have been jailed in Syrian regime prisons since the start of the Syrian civil war. These men, women and children are denied sufficient food and water. They are subjected to torture. Several cases have been reported of Palestinian female prisoners being subjected to gang rapes. More than 500 Palestinians have died in jail. More than 500 Palestinian children are behind bars.

And the plight of the Palestinians on the outside is no better.

Nearly 4,000 Palestinians have been killed by regime forces since the start of the war. Yarmouk refugee camp has been all but depopulated. Whereas before the war began in 2011, more than 120,000 Palestinians resided in the camp just 8 km. from central Damascus, today a mere 20,000 remain. Those who remain have been besieged by regime forces for nearly three years. They have been starved and parched. Running water was cut off years ago.

And yet, the only journalist who has consistently covered the story is Palestinian affairs correspondent Khaled Abu Toameh, writing for the niche website of the Gatestone Institute.

As Abu Toameh noted in a report on the Palestinians in Syria last August, the leaders of the PLO and the Palestinian Authority like their sometimes-rivals- sometimes-partners in Hamas have refused to intervene on their behalf.

To the contrary, the PLO happily reopened its embassy in Damascus last year, despite the fact that it is accredited to a regime that is slaughtering the people that the PLO claims to represent.

Abu Toameh wrote bitterly, “The Palestinians of Syria would have been more fortunate had they been living in the West Bank or Gaza Strip. Then the international community and media would certainly have noticed them. Yet when Western journalists lavish time on Palestinians delayed at Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank, and ignore barrels of explosives dropped by the Syrian military on residential areas in refugee camps in Syria, one might start to wonder what they are really about.”

This week we got reminder of what this is really about from an odd source.

During his interview with NBC’s Megyn Kelly, Russian President Vladimir Putin grew exasperated with Kelly’s repetitious line of questioning about whether or not Russia colluded to get President Donald Trump elected last November.

After repeatedly denying Kelly’s allegations, Putin insisted that the Russian-US elections narrative is simply a conspiracy theory invented by Democrats and their allies to avoid the blame for Hillary Clinton’s defeat.

In Putin’s words, “It’s easy to say, ‘It’s not our fault. It’s the Russians. They intervened. They interfered.’” Putin then compared the anti-Russian conspiracy theory to antisemitism.

“It’s like antisemitism,” Putin explained. Anti-Jewish conspiracy spinners use the Jews as a means to deflect blame for their failures. In his words, “‘The Jews are to blame.’ You’re [not] an idiot. Because ‘the Jews are to blame.’” Putin’s statement is important for two reasons.

First, the former KGB chief knows a thing or two about antisemitic conspiracy theories. Russia has played an outsized role in inventing them for precisely the reason that Putin gave – blame deflection.

It was a precursor of the KGB, the czar’s secret police, that wrote the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion which purported to expose a Jewish world conspiracy to control humanity for nefarious ends.

And in 1949, it was the KGB that created the antisemitic conspiracy that has animated and controlled Western discourse on Israel ever since. It was then that the Soviets invented the term “anti-Zionism,” and began referring to Jews as Zionists.

And this brings us to the second noteworthy aspect of Putin’s discussion of antisemitism. The KGB rebranded Jews as “Zionists” and antisemites as “anti-Zionists” to rescue antisemitism as a tool of political warfare from the ruins of Auschwitz.

Until then, it was socially unacceptable to hate Jews.

After the KGB moved to pan Zionism as a form of colonialism and imperialism, it became fashionable again.

What Putin explained in his remarks is that conspiracy theories are not accidental occurrences.

They are deliberate, premeditated acts of political warfare that serve specific political purposes for their creators.

Anti-Zionist conspiracies, like their traditional anti-Jewish antecedents are particularly attractive because Jews are such an easy target.

Their small numbers and the ease with which they can be singled out makes them natural targets of conspiracy mongers.

After all, who will stand up for Israel and the Jews? Jews, of course, have no credibility as defenders of the Jewish state, because, well, they’re Jews.

As for non-Jewish defenders of Israel – they can dismissed as hired guns or religious fanatics or discredited in any number of other ways.

Sadly, while Putin has no compunction about standing up to the anti-Russia conspiracy spinners, with each passing year, the American Jewish community has had more and more difficulty recognizing that they are the target of a conspiracy theory and acting appropriately. Rather than stand up for Israel and against its detractors, more and more American Jews have joined them.

And those who do not join them try to get out from under the conspiracy web by pretending that it is a rational argument, rather than a conspiracy.

Indeed, increasingly, American Jewish organizations make distinctions between Israel and Judea and Samaria. They don’t take their tours beyond the 1949 armistice lines. They say that boycotts of Jewish products made beyond the lines are legitimate.

They try to “dialogue” with anti-Israel activists and blackball Israeli conservatives.

And lo and behold, it doesn’t work.

It doesn’t work because it cannot work. Because the conspiracy mongers are not interested in compromising, they are interested in delegitimizing the very notion that Jews can argue with them.

The toll this has taken on the American Jewish community was clearly in evidence this week at the Israel Day Parade in New York.

15 years ago, some 100,000 area Jews marched in the parade. This year, official counts put the number of marchers at 40,000. A disproportionate number of them were Orthodox.

Fifty years after the Six Day War, Israel has become a hard subject for American Jews to discuss not because it is hard on the merits to defend, but because the conspiracy theories which have taken control of the non-Jewish discourse on Israel have captured the American Jewish discourse as well.

The most pressing duty of the American Jewish community then is to finally recognize the nature of the battle they are beset by and fight it as hard as they can.

The long-suffering Palestinians will no doubt thank them for doing so.

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

The Humanitarian Paradigm – Answering FAQs (Part 1)

Dispelling doubts as to the feasibility (and morality) of largescale, financially incentivized emigration as the only non-kinetic approach to resolve the Israel-Palestinian impasse.

Consideration should be given even to the heroic remedy of transfer of populations…the hardship of moving is great, but it is less than the constant suffering of minorities and the constant recurrence of war

President Herbert Hoover, The “Great Humanitarian”, in “The Problems of Lasting Peace”.


With all the money that has been invested in the problem of the Palestinians, it would have been possible long ago to resettle them and provide them with good lives in Arab countries.  Andrei Sakharov, cited in “The New Republic, June 22, 2009.

The rise in the number of international migrants reflects the increasing importance of international migration, which has become an integral part of our economies and societies. Well-managed migration brings important benefits to countries of origin and destination, as well as to migrants and their families-. Wu Hongbo, UN Under-Secretary-General, 2016.



Followers of this column will recall that for well over a decade I have promoted what I have designated: “The Humanitarian Paradigm” (HP).  This paradigm prescribes, among other things, large-scale financially incentivized emigration of the Palestinian-Arab population, resident across the pre-1967 lines, as the only comprehensive, non-kinetic policy blueprint that can enable Israel to adequately address both the Geographic and the Demographic Imperatives, which it needs to contend with in order to endure as the nation-state of the Jewish people.


Unfounded skepticism


Several reservations have been raised regarding my proposed prescription on various grounds, including skepticism as to its economic affordability, political feasibility and moral acceptability. Some have claimed that an alleged sense of “intense nationalism”, social pressures, and fear of retributory fratricide will preclude any chance of large-scale emigration of Palestinian-Arabs.


Such skepticism flies in the face of logical reasoning, historical precedents, empirical findings and the revealed preferences of significant segments of the Palestinians-Arabs themselves.   


Accordingly, in the ensuing paragraphs I will attempt to address these reservations, show them to be largely unfounded, and demonstrate that the HP is not only eminently feasible but unequivocally imperative if the Jews are to preserve their national independence and political sovereignty.


But before addressing the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) regarding such feasibility, allow me to convey—in brutal brevity—what sets the HP apart from ALL other proposals for resolution.


This differentiation resolves chiefly around two elements: (a) the atomization of implementation; (b) the de-politicization of context.


With regard to the former, since the envisaged compensation will be offered directly to individual family heads/breadwinners, no agreement with any Arab collective (whether state or sub-state organization) is required—merely the accumulated consent of fate-stricken individuals, striving to improve their lot.


With regard to the later, this reflects a sober recognition that, after decades of effort, involving the expenditure of huge political capital and economic resources, there is no political formula for resolution of the conflict and efforts should be channeled into dissipating the humanitarian predicament of the Palestinian-Arabs.


FAQ 1: How much will it cost?


One of the most common queries raised as to the practicality of the HP is the question of cost.


In addressing this issue, it is important to keep three things in mind:


(a) The absolute cost of implementation is irrelevant; (b) There is inherent difficulty in reaching precise estimates of the required outlay; however (c) There is no need for fine-tuned precision estimates, since political resolve is the real constraint on implementation– not economic resources.


As to the first of these points, it is crucial to grasp that the absolute cost of the proposed measures is not really the issue, but rather the comparative cost, relative to other proposals – including the two-state formula – whose implementation is also certain to entail an ongoing multi-billion dollar price tag. Indeed, one of the few (arguably, the only) comprehensive study of the overall cost of the Oslo Process suggests that by 2014 it inflicted expenditures—excluding the cost of the 50-day long Operation Protective Edge—of almost a trillion shekels (a quarter trillion dollars) on Israel’s economy—producing nothing but trauma and tragedy for Jew and Arab alike.  

As to the second point: The overall cost for large-scale relocation and rehabilitation of the Palestinian population across the  pre-1967 lines clearly depends not only on the scope of emigration grants offered, but on the  actual size of the Palestinian-Arab population in Judea-Samaria and Gaza.  In this regard there is fierce ongoing debate regarding the true population figures for Judea, Samaria and Gaza – with a discrepancy of well over a million between competing estimates.


Calculating Costs (cont.)


Fortunately, precise appraisals of the required costs are not essential for assessing the affordability of the HP. Rough order-of-magnitude estimates are sufficient for this purpose. Indeed, as we shall see, the amounts required are dwarfed by the expenditures on other international ventures—which, predictably, produced results which, charitably, can be dubbed “disappointing”.


As I do not wish to become embroiled in an argument as to the real size of the Palestinian-Arab population, and as the envisaged financial grants would be distributed per family unit, I shall sidestep the issue and take as my point-of-departure a figure of 850,000 families (just over 60% in Judea-Samaria). This is far closer to the official Palestinian figures than to the alternative, more optimistic (and plausible) demographic estimates, which are almost 300,000 families lower! Assuming an average emigration grant of US$250-300,000 per family (which is roughly 100 years of GDP per capita in Palestinian terms) this would amount to a total budget of US$200-250 billion for the full implementation of the HP project.


While these figures might appear somewhat daunting, two points should be borne in mind: Today Israel’s annual GDP is approaching US$300 billion. Accordingly the total outlay would be 8-10 months of GDP.


Assessing affordability (cont.)


Spreading this over, say, a decade-and-a-half (considerably less time than has been invested in the fatally flawed two-state endeavor) this would amount to 4.5-5.5% of total GDP. Accordingly, even if Israel was to bear this economic burden on its own, adding it  to the current levels of defense spending (5-6%), the economic burden would not reach the defense expenditure, as a percentage of GDP, through much of the 1980s and the first half of the 1990s (11-15%).         


Moreover, if the wider international community could be induced to help shoulder the task, the entire enterprise could be completed far more rapidly, at a cost which would be virtually imperceptible, amounting to a mere fraction of a percentage point of the GDP of the OECD nations.


It must be firmly emphasized that the sums referred to here are inconsequential in global terms. Indeed, they pale into insignificance when compared to the multi-trillion dollar cost of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, of which over 90% was spent after (!) Saddam Hussein was apprehended and the Taliban dislodged, and which, even by most benign assessments, produced, at best, meagre results.


Accordingly it would appear that financial resources for a program that would cost considerably less than 10% of the cost of those engagements is not a real impediment to its implementation.


FAQ 2: Is large-scale financially-induced Palestinian emigration feasible?


Of course, no-one knows precisely how many Palestinian-Arabs can be induced to emigrate without putting the matter to test. However, available evidence strongly suggests that extensive emigration is indeed eminently feasible. And there is certainly far more empirical support for it than there is for a stable two-state outcome.


A survey I commissioned as far back as December 2004 for the Jerusalem Summit, and conducted by a leading  Israeli polling institute, in collaboration with a well-known Palestinian center, showed that over 40% of the Arab residents of Judea-Samaria had actively considered emigration, while up to 50% did not discount such a possibility – even without being offered any material inducement. When the question of material compensation was introduced to encourage such emigration, the figure rose to over 70%!


It appears that this sentiment has only grown stronger over time.


Since then, a veritable slew of opinion surveys has emerged from Palestinian institutes showing a keen wish among the Palestinian-Arab population to emigrate. Thus, in 2007 the New York Times cited polls for Birzeit University, showing “35 percent of Palestinians over the age of 18 want to emigrate. Nearly 50 percent of those between 18 and 30 would leave if they could”.


Feasibility of financially-induced emigration (cont.)


Indeed the desire to emigrate grew so wide-spread that the Palestinian Authority’s mufti felt compelled to issue a  fatwa forbidding Muslims to leave, and berating the fact that “Many are continuing to rush to the gates of the embassies and consulates of the Western nations with requests for visas in order to reside permanently in those countries.”


Current polls conducted by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research show, regularly and repeatedly, that between 25-35% of the Arab residents of Judea-Samaria and 45-55% in Gaza wish to emigrate permanently.

But perhaps more compelling than the findings of any poll are the revealed behavioral preferences of the residents of Gaza, who are paying massive bribes to extricate themselves from the grim realities of life there, risking drowning at sea in rickety boats, desperate to seek a better life elsewhere. These headlines in Al Jazeera and Al Monitor bear poignant testimony to their predicament and despair:  Palestinians paying thousands in bribes to leave Gaza; Escaping Gaza, hundreds of Palestinians drown; Gaza’s intellectuals are fleeing abroad.

Surely then, establishing an orderly system of ample financial aid to enable them to extricate themselves from the dire situation which the misguided attempt to foist statehood on them has precipitated, would  be eminently more humane, moral and pragmatic.


FAQ 3: But who would accept them?


One of the most frequently asked questions regarding the feasibility of the HP is “Which countries will accept them?”


I find this question particularly puzzling – especially given today’s realities of massive global population flows. Indeed, the UN recently published a report on global migration, revealing that in 2015 there were almost a quarter-billion migrants globally (up 40% since 2000), the majority of which were motivated by economic considerations. Thus it is difficult to understand why an envisaged yearly increase of a fraction of 1% in this number over the next decade would be such an inconceivable event.


Moreover, it should be recalled that, in contrast to many other migrants, the Palestinian-Arab recipients of generous relocation grants would not be arriving as a stream of destitute refugees.  Rather they would be arriving in an orderly fashion as individual immigrants of relative affluence by global standards, who traditionally have brought great benefit to the host countries that have accepted them.


In addition, the funds the Palestinian-Arab newcomers would bring with them would constitute a very significant influx into the host countries’ economies. Indeed, for every hundred Palestinian families admitted, the host country could count on the influx of around US$25-30 million into its economy. Absorbing 2,500 new Palestinian-Arab family units could mean the injection of up to three-quarter billion dollars into the host nation’s economy.


Who would accept them? (cont.)

Consider the following example, which if not entirely realistic, is instructive in conveying the principle involved.


Suppose Indonesia – the world’s most populous Muslim country – were to open its gates to the Palestinian-Arabs across the pre-1967 lines, who, in turn, decided to emigrate to that country. This would entail an increase of a little over 1% of the Indonesian population (around 270 million) but an influx of over US $ 250-300 billion into the Indonesian economy, where total GDP is around US $ 900 billion. Moreover, each of the Palestinian breadwinners would arrive with a sum worth around 80 years of Indonesian GDP per capita (around US$ 3,500)  – the equivalent of over US$ 4 million in the US. Accordingly, they would in no way be impoverished refugees, or a burden on the local society/economy. Quite the opposite. They would be rather well-to-do individuals, capable of making a positive contribution to their new homeland


It is of course unrealistic to believe that all the Palestinians would head for a single destination. However if Palestinian-Arab emigration was distributed over several countries, they could be absorbed, resettled and rehabilitated with very little difficulty by a number of host nations with compatible domestic socio-cultural and religious environments – with the financial benefits accruing to these host nations being proportional to number of Palestinian-Arab immigrants they accept.


Next week…


Given the crucial importance of this issue, I intend to continue this response to FAQs regarding the HP and to address further economic aspects, the question of threatened fratricide and the moral superiority of the HP over all other proposed policy prescriptions. Until then Shabbat Shalom.


…and bring peace to the Middle East.

In 1990, there were half as many Palestinians as Kuwaitis in Kuwait. Two years later there were almost none.

With the support of the international community, some 700,000 Kuwaitis expelled hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their country. If they had not done it, basic arithmetic shows that the Palestinians would have outnumbered Kuwaitis in Kuwait in a generation.

The Palestinians of Kuwait were kidnapped, tortured and killed.  “Kill a Palestinian and Go to Heaven,” became the slogan. When Kuwait was “liberated”, tanks and armored vehicles were sent into the Hawally suburb of Kuwait City known as Little Palestine. Half the buildings were knocked down by bulldozers. Some detained Palestinians were buried in mass graves. The vast majority, including those who had been born in Kuwait, were deported or forced to flee a land they had lived in for a generation.

The violent ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians went mostly unremarked. While the Kuwaitis were ethnically cleansing their Palestinians, they continued to fund Palestinian terror against Israel and condemn Israel for violating the human rights of those they were deporting.

And the world shrugged.

President George H.W. Bush defended Kuwait’s actions. “I think we’re expecting a little much if we’re asking the people in Kuwait to take kindly to those that had spied on their countrymen that were left there,” he said. This was in the same press conference in which he condemned Israeli “settlements.”

A year later, Israel expelled 400 Hamas members.  Every human rights organization was outraged. The State Department “strongly” condemned Israel. And Israel was forced to take them back.

The Kuwaiti Nakba isn’t much remembered. There are no rallies full of old women clutching house keys to lost homes in Hawally. They had made a bad bet by backing Saddam Hussein. And paid the price for it.

Kuwait refused to allow Palestinian Authority leader Abbas to visit until he apologized for supporting Saddam. And apologize he did. “Yes, we apologize for what we have done,” the terror boss whined.

The PLO has yet to apologize to Israel for the Muslim settler role in the attempted 1948 genocide of the indigenous Jewish population and the thousands who were maimed and murdered by its terrorists.

Israel, like Kuwait, should have demanded an admission of guilt from Abbas for the PLO’s crimes.

The Kuwaiti Nakba has much in common with what took place in Israel. Palestinians had arrived in both Kuwait and Israel as a cheap labor force to take advantage of the economic boom of a feudal economy becoming industrialized. The “Palestinians” of Israel were not some ancient people but a mass of migrants, mostly from Israel’s neighbors, but occasionally from as far away as Sudan and Senegal in Africa, who were seeking economic opportunity. The existence of the Afro-Palestinians makes it quite clear that they are not a distinct ethnic or national group, but migrants who came from outside Israel.

Over half of the so-called “Palestinian” population lives outside Israel. Many continue to be economic migrants. That is what brought them to Kuwait. And the Kuwaitis were not the only ones to kick them out. Nor are the “Palestinians” the only migrating group that got caught without a country when the game of national musical chairs ended with a lot of new countries with old names dotting the map.

“Palestinians” embraced an imaginary and ahistorical identity because they had been locked out of every other political setup by new governments and tribal arrangements. And that’s not unique.

Kuwait’s other stateless group are the Bedoon. Like the Palestinians, the Bidoon were migrants. The Kuwaitis chose not to recognize them as citizens. There is one Bidoon for every ten Kuwaitis. But that is typical in a region where large nomadic groups around the region exist outside governmental structures.

In this century, hundreds of thousands of people were displaced in Iraq, Libya and Syria. Many of the countries in the region are on the verge of similar civil wars between quarreling ethnic and religious groups. The mass flow of migrants into Europe is an extension of the migratory nature of the region.

All of these problems have a single cause. That cause is the failure of the Arab Muslim nation state.

This century exposed how fragile and artificial most of the countries whose existence we take for granted, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon and Libya, really are. A little instability and they collapse into quarreling tribes. These tribal conflicts have the same root cause as the “Palestinian” problem.

The Palestinian problem can’t be solved without resolving the problem of the Arab Muslim nation state.

The civil wars in Syria and Iraq, the flow of migrants into Europe and the latest itineration of the failed Palestinian peace process all stem from the conflict between the natural tribe and the artificial nation state. The Arab Muslim nation state is incapable of resolving these tribal conflicts.

That is the source of the tyranny, instability and violence in the Middle East.

No amount of concessions or negotiations by Israel will do anything except create more instability. Decades of Israeli concessions have only led to terrorism, violence, death and misery. If Israel ceased to exist tomorrow, the place where it was would be as much of a disaster area as Yemen or Syria.

It’s often pointed out that the Palestinians are a fictional national identity. But the Iraqis, Syrians and many others are equally artificial; historical names attached to fake countries. We weren’t the first Westerners to think that we could fix the Middle East by making them just like us. Before we tried exporting democracy, the British and the French exported nationhood with all the trimmings of flags, constitutions and anthems. Just like Arab Muslim democracy, the Arab Muslim nation state is a farce that spreads misery, instability and violence.

We can best fix the Middle East by ending all the failed efforts to turn it into Europe and America. And reversing them. Stop recognizing Arab Muslim countries that have incompatible populations. They’re dictatorships on the verge of a civil war. And that civil war will eventually drag us in as Iraq and Syria did.

Whenever possible, deal with tribal and other organic regional leaders, not fake national governments. In Iraq, that means an end to the failed policy of only dealing with the Shiite puppet regime in Baghdad while ignoring the Sunni tribal leaders and the Kurdish authorities. That policy helped create ISIS.

We should recognize discrete regions based on the settlement of natural ethnic, religious and tribal identities. There will inevitably be conflict between these tribal territories, but they will claim far fewer lives than Saddam’s efforts to suppress the Shiites and the Marsh Arabs did. Tribes will kill fewer people than a tribal nation state striving to stamp out rivals and competitors with a powerful domestic military.

Borders should not be viewed as permanent. The Middle East is migratory. It is not Europe. An Arab Muslim who moves from Iraq to Syria or flees Kuwait for Jordan is not a refugee. When you start defining every migrant in a region with an extensive nomadic history as a refugee, the end result is the absurdity of the Palestinian refugee cities of Jordan or the million migrants showing up in Europe.

If you go back far enough, everyone in the Middle East is a refugee.

Instead of trying to resettle fake refugees, we should encourage the settlement of discrete territories with natural borders that create physical and defensible divisions between different groups. That rules out any of the lunatic peace schemes for a Palestinian state with a capital in Jerusalem and a territory that cuts through Israel. These plans have failed and will go on failing for the same reason that Iraqis are still killing each other despite our best efforts to talk, bribe and bomb them out of it.

The indigenous Jewish population and the Muslim migrants who settled in Israel are inherently incompatible. The Palestinian problem might be solved somewhere in Jordan or Syria. History and experience tells us it will never be solved in Israel.

The Israeli government should begin distinguishing between the Muslim settler population based not on artificial borders dating back to a particular war but on clan and ethnicity.

The Circassians who migrated to Israel in the 19th century from the Caucasus have not been a problem. These Ottoman military colonists are Muslims, but they serve in the Israeli military and have no interest in joining in the tribal wars of other Muslims against the Jews. The Husayni clan, which gave us Arafat and the Mufti of Jerusalem, has been a source of strife and violence in the region for far too long.

Israel doesn’t have a national problem with the “Palestinians”, it faces threats from marauding clans which dominate the leadership of Islamic terror groups such as the PLO and Hamas. No one has managed to make peace with the Husaynis yet. And they never will.

The first step to solving the Palestinian problem is to recognize that it doesn’t exist. The second is to determine which clans would be more compatible where. That is a process that must take place across the region in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Israel and beyond. And it is far more likely to bring peace than any amount of negotiations and peacekeeping missions.

The great error of Western foreign policy in the region was the belief that stability was best achieved through modernization.  The Arab Muslim world is not going to turn into Europe.

We should let it be what it is. Its tribalism won’t bring peace. But it can limit the scope of its wars.

Originally Published on FrontPageMag.

Why Palestinian Statehood obviates Israeli Victory

For fruits of Israeli victory to endure, any post-victory reality must preclude a self-governing Palestinian entity, which would always be subjected to external incitement to fight the Jewish “intruders”

Of all the nations at the UN the Palestinian state would be the only one which has limits imposed on its sovereignty, the only one without an army or air force. It would be the only one in the world that would be classified as second-class state; it would resemble the black protectorates in South Africa. Such inferiority…would mean a deepening of Palestinian humiliation, an intensification of the enmity towards Israel and the perpetuation of the Arab-Jewish conflict. This is the real pitfall in the proposal to establish a separate Palestinian state between us and the desert. – Prof. Amnon Rubinstein “The Pitfall of a Third State (Hebrew), Ha’aretz,  August 8, 1976.

This was not really the topic I originally intended to write on this week.

Indeed, having devoted my last three columns ( see  here,  here and here)  to the newly launched Congressional Israel Victory Caucus  (CIVC), I thought the time had come to turn to other issues—like, for instance, an analysis of the rambling 5000-word rant  in Haaretz by Ehud Barak, trying to prove that the “Right” (and reality) got it wrong, while  the “Left”, despite being proven continuously and catastrophically wrong,  got it right.

Eagerly accepted invitation

However, following this week’s response by Daniel Pipes, the driving force behind CIVC, to my tripartite analysis of his initiative, a good number of readers urged me to address the points he raised—particularly the few on which our views appear to diverge.

Accordingly, I will forgo the tempting opportunity to lampoon the presumptuous gall of the man, who, as prime minister abandoned South Lebanon to Hezbollah and under whom the Second Intifada erupted, and who as defense minister oversaw two inconclusive (to be charitable) campaigns against Hamas in Gaza, purporting to have the definitive prescription for the nation’s security.  Instead, I shall turn my attention once again to the issue of Israeli victory and Pipes’s comments on the positions I articulated thereon.

I do this because I feel the CIVC is an initiative of critical importance with genuine paradigmatic game-changing potential for the discourse—and hence, policy formulation – regarding both the Israel-Palestinian conflict and the wider Arab-Israel one.   

I begin this week’s discussion with an expression of thanks to Pipes for his thoughtful–and thought-provoking—reply, which, revealed wide areas of agreement between us, leaving me greatly heartened.  Indeed, he sums up: “I’m encouraged that we agree on so much and look forward to working together to promote a goal whose time has come: Israel victory.

Similarly encouraged, I eagerly accept his kind invitation to work together to promote the notion of—and the need for—Israel to be victorious.

Revolutionizing the rhetoric?

Arguably one of the most significant contributions the promotion of the CIVC initiative has made to the discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is in the realm of the rhetoric in which it is conducted.  

For the first time in several decades, certainly within the post-Oslo period, has a prominent center of intellectual endeavor, the Middle East Forum, headed by Pipes, himself a scholar of international repute, adopted language invoking harsh coercive measures, specifically designed to break the will of the Palestinian-Arabs to sustain their struggle against Israel.

Thus, with commendable daring, Pipes has opened up the mainstream discourse for the use of terms, previously beyond the pale in “polite company”.

Thus, he unabashedly calls for  subjecting the Palestinians to “the bitter crucible of defeat, with all its deprivation, destruction, and despair” and does not shy away from prescribing that Israel  “dismantle  the PA’s security infrastructure…reduce and then shut off the water and electricity that Israel supplies…occupy and control the areas from which…gunfire, mortar shelling, and rockets…originate.”

This is both refreshing and beneficial, for it will contribute greatly to breaking up the semantic “logjam” that the tyranny of political correctness has imposed on the discussion of Israeli policy options.  By dispelling sematic taboos that restrict open debate, the CIVC rhetoric can contribute greatly to a more robust and unfettered appraisal of such options.

Debating disagreement

Pipes concisely sums up the principal point of disagreement between us: “Sherman and I directly disagree on only one point – Israel accepting the possibility of a Palestinian state”.  He goes on to speculate that “… the allure of a state after the conflict ends offers benefits to both sides. Israelis will be free of ruling unwanted subjects. Palestinians have a reason to behave.

He elaborates on his rationale for the benefits he envisions emerging from the establishment of a Palestinian state, pursuant to an Israeli victory: “…when Palestinians do finally give up the fight against Israel, their centrality to the conflict will enfeeble anti-Zionism from Morocco to Indonesia….” He admits: “That shift won’t happen instantly, to be sure”, but somewhat optimistically suggests that “sustaining a more-Catholic-than-the-pope position gets harder over time. A Palestinian defeat marks the beginning of the end of the wider Arab and Muslim war on Israel.”

I confess to a certain amount of surprise at encountering this view from someone as knowledgeable and well-informed as Pipes.  For he appears to be embracing the unfounded thesis that Arab/Muslim enmity towards the Jewish state centers solely—or at least , almost so—on the issue of self-determination for the Palestinian-Arabs.

Sadly, this is demonstrably untrue—or at least, only very partially true.

Indeed, it is a matter of historical record that rejection of a Jewish state pre-dates the dispute over the establishment of a Palestinian-Arab one in Judea-Samaria—and there are manifold reasons for believing that it will definitely post-date any such event.

“Root cause” or “red herring”?

The crucial question is therefore whether the demand for Palestinian statehood is indeed a genuine grievance, which, once addressed, will remove any further pretext for rejection of Jewish statehood? Or whether it is not?  There is little to substantiate the former and much to corroborate the latter.

After all, the entire area of Judea-Samaria, now claimed as the Palestinian-Arabs’ ancient homeland, was under Arab control for two decades after Israel’s founding (1948-1967). without even the feeblest of effort being made to set up an independent state for them. Moreover, in their original National Covenant – formulated in 1964(!) the Palestinian Arabs themselves eschew any sovereign claim to that territory—see Article 24.  It was thus not a desire to liberate Nablus, Hebron or Ramallah that prompted the murderous pan-Arab attempt to obliterate the Jewish state in June 1967, accompanied by bloodcurdling declarations of genocidal intent by leaders across the Arab world—before Israel held a square inch of the “West Bank” or laid a single brick in the construction of any “settlement” – see  Reassessing ‘Root Causes’ And ‘Red Herrings’ .

Indeed, it would take a giant leap of (largely unfounded) faith to believe that the establishment of a micro-mini statelet (presumably demilitarized), established as the result of a humiliating defeat, would defuse the ample Judeophobic frenzy rampant across the Arab/Muslim world today.

As Professor Amnon Rubinstein, Israel Prize Laureate and long serving Left-wing Knesset member, of the far-left dovish Meretz faction,  once pointed out (see opening excerpt), this is even liable to induce “a deepening of Palestinian humiliation and an intensification of the enmity towards Israel and the perpetuation of the Arab-Jewish conflict.”

Inevitable symbiosis with hostile environment

The surrender of the Palestinian-Arabs in Judea-Samaria (and presumably Gaza as well) to the hated Zionists is unlikely to placate hatemongers of the ilk of the hugely influential Qatar-based Shaykh Yusuf Al-Qardawi, the head of Hezbollah, Hasan Nassrallah , the theocratic tyrants in Tehran, or the countless Salafist/Wahhabi firebrands across the Arabian peninsula and beyond.

As I suggested in earlier columns, unless there is some formula for decoupling the defeated Palestinian-Arabs in Judea-Samaria-Gaza from the wider Arab/Muslim world (to which they see themselves belonging and vice versa) any self-governing Palestinian entity would by easy prey to the deluge of incitement that would almost inevitably follow its inception.

Even Shimon Peres, seems to have been alive to this danger, when in his book, The New Middle East  he asked how any future Palestinian state (even if initially demilitarized) could  “guarantee that a Palestinian army would not be mustered later to encamp at the gates of Jerusalem and the approaches to the lowlands?” Perhaps even more pointedly, he pressed: “And if the Palestinian state would be unarmed, how would it block terrorist acts perpetrated by extremists, fundamentalists or irredentists?”

It is this almost inevitable symbiosis with the surrounding hostile Arab/Muslim world, unaffected by Palestinian surrender within Judea-Samaria-Gaza, that sets the Palestinian conflict apart from other historical precedents such as the surrender of Germany and Japan in WWII.


Who is doing the surrendering?

Israel has repeatedly—and rightly—raised—the question of who, among the Palestinian-Arabs, is authorized to sign a binding peace agreement with it.  But an equally valid question is which Palestinians would be authorized to sign a binding document of surrender?

Thus, could Mahmoud Abbas, widely perceived as an illegitimate president, surrender in the name of the Palestinian Authority? Or Fatah? Would a Fatah surrender be binding on Hamas? If not what would be the consequences? Would Hamas’s acquiescence to surrender commit the Islamic Jihad or the host of Salafist Jihadis in adjacent Sinai?

Given the critical strategic importance of the territory designated for any prospective Palestinian state (see here and here), these are questions that cannot be left long unaddressed – for they impinge directly and dramatically on the validity of the CIVC as a policy-relevant enterprise.

It is the foregoing analysis that has led me to what, in my mind, is an unavoidable conclusion: For the fruits of an Israeli victory to be lasting, any post-victory reality must preclude the establishment of some self-governing Palestinian entity, which would always be subjected to external sources of incitement designed to reignite the Palestinian will to fight the Jewish “intruders” on land they consider Arab.

The only way to ensure that such resurgent irredentist forces do not emerge is to remove the potentially recalcitrant population from the disputed areas—for good.  

In order to avoid the need to effect that removal by inflicting large-scale casualties on the Palestinian population I have advocated a less kinetic approach, involving generously funded emigration for individual non-belligerent Palestinian-Arabs.

Unwarranted skepticism

I have proposed achieving this by setting up a comprehensive system of ample material incentives for leaving, and daunting disincentives for staying. The former would include highly attractive grants for relocation and rehabilitation in third party countries, while the later would include the coercive dismantling of the Palestinian Authority and the phased withdrawal of services currently provided by Israel to the Palestinian collective—measures Pipes himself has endorsed (see above).

Pipes, however, has expressed reservations as to the practical efficacy of funded emigration. He writes: “Due to intense nationalism, even stronger social pressure, and likely threats of violence, I highly doubt this scheme will find significant numbers of takers” although he does concede that “it’s certainly worth a try”.  


It is not precisely clear on what the skepticism regarding the effectiveness of funded emigration, is based. Indeed, much of it would appear unwarranted. After all, not only is its conceptual logic far sounder than other alternatives but it also rests on far more empirical support than they do –particularly the two-state proposal.  

There is, in fact, ample evidence—both statistical and anecdotal—indicating a wide- spread desire among the Arab residents of the “West Bank” and Gaza to seek their future elsewhere—even without an effective system of incentives/disincentives being put in place.

Unwarranted skepticism (cont.)

Thus several years ago, the New York Times wrote of the growing desire to emigrate: “Where young Palestinians once dreamed of staying to build a new state, now many are giving up and scheming to get out”, reporting that “According to…polls for Birzeit University, 35 percent of Palestinians over the age of 18 want to emigrate. Nearly 50 percent of those between 18 and 30 would leave if they could”.  When a prospective emigrant was asked by the NYT “What about those who would accuse you of giving up your rights in your land?” he replied “I don’t care…I want to live happily”.

A similar picture was reflected in a Jerusalem Post account of sentiment among the Palestinian-Arabs:  “Alarmed by the growing number of Palestinians who are emigrating from the Palestinian territories, the Palestinian Authority’s mufti has issued a fatwa [religious decree] forbidding Muslims to leave.”

Recent polls conducted by leading Palestinian institutes consistently show between 45-55% of Gazans wish to emigrate permanently, while 25-35 % in Judea-Samaria express such wishes. Clearly, if Israel were to reduce and eventually cease provision of goods and  services, while offering significant financial incentives to leave, the numbers could be expected to rise considerably…

This is a very truncated presentation of the evidence indicating that large-scale economically incentivized emigration of the Palestinian-Arabs is eminently feasible.

My appeal to the CIVC

Accordingly, since the CIVC cannot remain a politically viable enterprise if it restricts itself to generic calls for victory—especially if it plans to partner with a sister victory caucus in the Knesset—I urge its authors to adopt the funded emigration paradigm as its preferred path to victory.  

I therefore issue a reciprocal invitation to its enterprising initiator, Pipes, to jointly explore ways to advance it and overcome/circumvent obstacles to its implementation by demonstrating its political acceptability, economic affordability, practical applicability, legal compatibility and above all, its moral superiority.


Gaza: Let their people go!

Instead of pouring millions into inoperative desalination plants & rusting sewage treatment works, humanitarian aid should be generous relocation grants to help Gazans find safer, more secure lives elsewhere

“If the borders opened for one hour, 100,000 young people would leave Gaza”  –  Rashid al-Najja, vice dean, Gaza’s Al-Azhar University; “…I’d go to Somalia, Sudan — anywhere but here” –  Salim Marifi, student, Gaza’s Al-Azhar University, in   Al Jazeera, May 6 2015.

“96 percent of water in the Gaza Strip is now undrinkable” –  i24 News  April 9, 2017.

“Each day, millions of gallons of raw sewage pour into the Gaza Strip’s Mediterranean beachfront … turning miles of once-scenic coastline into a stagnant dead zone” – Associated Press , May 3, 2016. 

“Gaza’s sole power plant runs out of fuel” – Times of Israel, April 16, 2017.

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The endeavor, spanning almost a quarter century, to transform the coastal enclave of the Gaza Strip into a self-governing Arab entity (or even part of such an entity) has failed.  

It has failed resoundingly and irretrievably.

After two-and-half decades of futile effort, the time has come to accept this—and to acknowledge that further pursuit of this  ill-conceived objective will only compound the current tragedy—for both Jew and Arab alike.

Incapable and uninterested

Indeed, with the passage of time, it is becoming increasingly clear, that as a collective the Palestinian-Arabs, in general, and the Gazan-Arabs, in particular, are totally incapable of, and largely uninterested in, creating and sustaining an independent political entity for themselves, by themselves.

Underscoring this dour assessment is the increasingly frequent —and increasingly ominous—flow of reports warning of imminent  collapse of virtually all the basic infrastructure in Gaza—electric power, water, sewage and sanitation systems—and the impending catastrophe this is likely to precipitate.  

This raises a trenchant question and one which advocates of Palestinian statehood must be forced to confront: Why has a Palestinian state failed to materialize up to now?

This is not a trivial question that can be avoided or circumvented.  

After all, it is difficult to identify any other “national liberation movement” that has enjoyed circumstances more benign for their cause than that of the Palestinians-Arabs.

Since the early ’90s, the Palestinians have had: 


  • Virtually wall-to-wall international endorsement of their claims;
  • Almost unanimously supportive coverage in the global mainstream media;
  • Generous financial aid – reportedly among the highest per capita in the world; and 
  • Successive willingly compliant Israeli administrations that not only accepted their claims, but built much of their political credo on that acceptance…and gambled much of their political capital on it.

Yet, despite these bountiful benefits, the Palestinian leadership have produced the most meager and miserable results.

Corrupt kleptocracy or tyrannical theocracy

Other national freedom movements, with far less funding, far less armaments and far less political support, have cast off mighty empires. By contrast, the Palestinian-Arabs have, after decades of “resistance”,  not only proved unable to assert their political independence from a tiny mini-state, beleaguered  in the region and berated by all and sundry in the international community;  but they have failed abysmally to create anything remotely approaching a stable, and productive civil society.

Under Fatah in Judea-Samaria, they have spawned a corrupt kleptocracy.

Under Hamas in Gaza, they have imposed a tyrannical theocracy.

Under neither is there any horizon of hope for a better, more peaceful, more prosperous life for the general public, nor is there any prospect of such hope dawning in the foreseeable future. Both are critically dependent on the (ill-advised) largesse of its alleged “oppressor”, from whom they purportedly strive to liberate themselves.

The magnitude of this failure can be gauged from  a recent  report by the Congressional Research Service entitled, “U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians:”:  “Since the establishment of limited Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the mid-1990s, the U.S. government has committed more than $5 billion in bilateral economic and non-lethal security assistance to the Palestinians, who are among the world’s largest per capita recipients of international foreign aid.”

The futility of international aid

The report goes on to stipulate the intended objectives of this generous aid: “Successive Administrations have requested aid for the Palestinians in apparent support of at least three major U.S. policy priorities of interest to Congress:

  •  Promoting the prevention or mitigation of terrorism against Israel from Hamas and other militant organizations;   
  • Fostering stability, prosperity, and self-governance …that may incline Palestinians toward peaceful coexistence with Israel and a “two-state solution.”
  •  Meeting humanitarian needs…”

Seen against the grim realities today, this aid has failed miserably in achieving any, and all, of its declared goals!

The motivation for terror attacks against Israel by Hamas and other Palestinian-Arab terror organization have been neither prevented nor mitigated.  Indeed, with Hamas  still actively engaged in enhancing its offensive capacities—both underground tunnel networks and overhead missile capabilites—there are few  illusions in Israel that a fourth round of fighting  is merely a question of “when”, not “if”

Neither stability, nor prosperity, nor effective self-government have been in any way significantly fostered. Indeed, quite the reverse seems to be the case. Thus,  despite decades of generous international goodwill, all the Palestinian-Arab leadership has managed to create is an untenable, divided entity, crippled by corruption and cronyism, with a dysfunctional polity, incapable of holding even municipal elections; and a feeble economy that, with its minuscule private sector and bloated public one, is utterly dependent on external support.

Moreover, humanitarian needs have not been met in any meaningful manner. If anything, the opposite seems true with the entire civilian infrastructure system teetering on the cusp of collapse.

Powers outages, undrinkable water, untreated sewage

With perennial power outages, undrinkable water supplies, failing sanitation services, and awash in uncontrolled and untreated flows of raw sewage, life for many in Gaza is becoming unbearable.

Earlier this month, the media abounded with dire warnings of an impending shut down of power supplies in Gaza. One headline proclaimed   Gaza Electricity Crisis Deepens as Sole Power Plant Shuts Down; while another declared Gaza’s Sole Power Plant Runs Out of Fuel

The shutdown would leave many with barely four hours of electricity a day and would impact virtually all walks of life.

One member of Gaza’s Chamber of Commerce warned that factories will be forced to shut down, because the owners cannot afford to run generators as an alternative source of electricity: “The continuing stoppage of the Gaza power plant for 20 hours a day foreshadows a real catastrophe that might affect the basic food security of the people as well as the health and education sectors,” he lamented.

The power shortages have also crippled the operation of a new desalination plant and sewage treatment plant and undermines the regular operation of sanitation services.

Significantly, the reasons for the shutdowns are not related to Israel’s security quarantine of Gaza, but rather to intra-Palestinian quarrels between the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority and Hamas in Gaza; and to Hamas’s own priorities in the use of electrical power .

Indeed, senior figures in Hamas put the blame squarely on Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah for imposing exorbitant taxes on fuel imports into Gaza – see here and here .

Moreover, several reports indicate that Hamas has deprived Gaza’s desalination and sewage  plants of electricity, opting to use the available power for other purposes—such as Gaza’s luxury hotels, which cater for the enclave’s wafer thin affluent class.

Calamitous consequences

The grave results of this dysfunctional governance are not difficult to discern.

iTV News reported that both international and Israeli bodies estimated that some 96 percent of water in the Gaza Strip is now undrinkable after the collapse of the enclave’s main aquifer.

Al Jazeera carried an account of the appalling conditions that inadequate sewage treatment has brought, from a local farmer in Wadi Gaza, a valley in the central Gaza Strip: “Farming is ruined. The plants are diseased. There are flies, worms, and it is spreading.”  The report added:  “Animals and birds were soon replaced by swamps of sewage, swarming flies and thriving bacteria. Residents began to suffer from an increase in allergies, inflammation, fevers and weakened immunity.  Disease-ridden mosquitoes feasted on the community at night. The stench was overpowering.”

Thus, with much of the sewage conveyance pipes in a state of disrepair, leaking into the coastal aquifer, Gaza’s sole source of natural water; with the aquifer itself being depleted at three times its recharge rate from rainfall; with massive flows of untreated sewage flowing directly into the sea, making the beaches and swimming a distinct health hazard, future prospects for the average Gazan look bleak indeed—with little hope for improvement on the horizon.

Accordingly, it is hardly surprising to learn that polls conducted by Palestinian institutes consistently show that almost half (and occasionally more than half) of the Gazans would like to emigrate—even without there being a tangible economic incentive offered.

The only real “reconstruction” in town

Of course, many of Israel’s detractors will attempt to lay the blame for this dismal situation on the “Occupation” and the “Siege”. But, this is merely a flimsy pretext that is sounding increasingly hollow.  After all, as we have seen previously, virtually the entire crisis is a result of intra-Palestinian decisions regarding resource allocation and taxation.

Indeed, the validity of this contention is bolstered by examining just how the Palestinian-Arabs in Gaza have chosen to invest their energies and divert their resources.

Last year, high level Israeli sources revealed that Hamas was seizing over 90% of cement supplies entering into Gaza for its own purposes, such as construction of terror tunnels.

But Hamas’s efforts were not confined to underground terror installations. The organization invested considerable effort in replenishing and enhancing its overhead weaponry.

Thus, last December, Hamas Political Bureau Member, Fathi Hammad,  proudly informed Al Aksa TV : ..our Jihadi, ‘Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam units have become an army, Allah be praised…This army has its own industry. Incidentally, we are now ready to sell our missiles to Arab countries. These are advanced missiles. If you look into the missile or weapon industries of developed countries, you will find that Gaza has become the leading manufacturer of missiles among Arab countries…

Showing commendable commercial enterprise, he went onto propose a new export industry for the beleaguered enclave “We are prepared to sell them (to Arab countries) – so that they will launch them against the Jews…”

Significantly, according the Guardian, IDF assessment shows that by the beginning of this year, Hamas’s “military capabilities had been restored to their pre-2014 war strength”—which is, of course, an impressive feat of “reconstruction”

So, despite Israeli restrictions, it appears that, where mobilizing against the hated “Zionist entity” is concerned, Gazans seem able to find the ingenuity and productive energies that evidently elude them in other fields of endeavor.

The need to restructure humanitarian aid

The current situation in Gaza, and the accompanying misery, are the direct result of the misguided attempt to foist statehood on the Palestinian-Arabs.

It was Albert Einstein who famously said that one could not solve a problem with the level of thinking that created it.

The problem of Gaza was, irrefutably, created by the belief that land could be transferred to the Palestinian-Arabs to provide them a viable opportunity for self-governance.

Accordingly, the problem of Gaza cannot be solved by persisting with ideas that created it – i.e. persisting with a plan to provide the Palestinian-Arabs with land for self-governance. This concept must, therefore, be abandoned for any lasting solution to be possible.

Clearly then, persisting with humanitarian aid, as in the past, will yield essentially similar results to those of the past. Any improvements in the humanitarian conditions will be at best marginal, probably imperceptible.

The only real way to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is to offer the Gazans what they really want – a better life elsewhere, out of harm’s way, free from the clutches of the cruel, corrupt cliques, who have lead them from disaster to disaster for decades.

Thus, rather than pouring millions into inoperative desalination plants and rusting sewage treatment works, the aid should be  in the form of generous individual relocation grants to allow non-belligerent Gazans to seek a safer, more secure future elsewhere, outside the “circle of violence” that inevitably awaits them if they stay.

This should be the real humanitarian effort to effectively eliminate the suffering in Gaza.  This should be the call to the international community: Let their people go!

Time for Palestinian Sacrifices, Israel Has Made Enough

One of the oft repeated laments from many world leaders when speaking about the long festering Arab-Israeli conflict is regarding sacrifices.

How many times did former US Secretary of State John Kerry, or former President Obama, or other leaders talk about the need for both sides to make sacrifices for peace? We heard it repeatedly. Yet the truth of the matter is only one side has made sacrifices, while the other side has not made any. One side has continuously demonstrated its desire for peace, while the other side has continuously demonstrated it wants the other destroyed.

The Middle East consists of 22 Arab nations with a combined population of almost 400 million, compared to a little over 8 million in Israel (6.5 million Jews, and 1.5 million Arabs). Size wise Israel is roughly 8,000 square miles, compared to over 7 million square miles for the Arab nations. The Arab population makes up over 98% of the Middle East, while geographically covers over 99% of the land compared to the size of Israel. These facts are merely to provide some perspective. Yet in spite of the overwhelming advantage the Arab world enjoys, the tiny Jewish nation of Israel is considered intolerable by many.

Let’s see if criticism of Israel is justified, by providing proof of what sacrifices have already been made.

List of Jewish Sacrifices

  1.   In the 1947 UN partition of the land west of the Jordan River the Jews were to receive roughly 5,500 square miles of land, while the Arabs were to receive roughly 4,500 square miles. This would have created the 23rd Arab nation in the Middle East. Jerusalem, which has been the ancestral capital of Jewish life for well over 3,000 years was designated as an international city and cut off from a contiguous connection with the Jewish state.

In spite of seeing the creation of yet another Arab state, and not having a physical connection to Jerusalem, the Jews, while furious, made the sacrifice and agreed to the partition plan. However, it was the Arab world which rejected the vote of the UN and attacked Israel in May 1948 one day after its independence. After a protracted war which lasted over a year, Israel was able to secure additional land, including Jerusalem, bringing its size to roughly 8,000 square miles. On Dec. 13, 1949 Prime Minister David Ben Gurion announced Jerusalem would be the official capital of the Jewish state of Israel.

  1.   In June 1967 Israel was forced to defend itself against Syria, Jordan and Egypt in the Six Day War. During this decisive Israeli victory the Holy Old City of Jerusalem was captured from the Jordanians, who had been in control of it since the Independence war ended in 1949. The victory reunited the Jewish people with Temple Mount and the Western Wall of the Second Temple compound. Israeli flags flew over their holiest site for the first time in modern history.

At the conclusion of the war Defense Minister Moshe Dayan made a highly controversial decision. Against the advice of the religious and conservative Jews, he made a huge sacrifice in the interest of peace by awarding administrative control of Temple Mount to the Jordanian Waqf (Islamic Trust). He ordered Israeli flags removed and he banned Jews from praying on Temple Mount. This remains in effect today.

In the same war Israel captured the Gaza Strip and virtually all of the Sinai Desert.

  1.   On Yom Kippur 1973, the holiest day of the Jewish year, Israel was attacked on two fronts from Egypt and Syria. Caught by surprise many Israeli lives were lost before they were able to turn the tide. After Israel successfully crossed the Suez Canal and had tanks in route to Cairo Egypt summoned the US to broker a cease fire. Six years later in an historic agreement, Israel signed its first formal peace treaty with a sovereign Arab nation. The Camp David Accord was brokered by President Jimmy Carter and signed by Anwar Sadat and Menachim Begin on the White House Lawn in March 1979.

In their effort to secure peace Israel gave up the entire Sinai Desert. Later that year Israel also turned over control of the Alma oil field, which had $100 billion in untapped reserves.  Anwar Sadat later lamented “poor Menahcim, I got back the Sinai and the Alma oil fields, and what has Menachim got? A piece of paper.”

  1.   Since Israel’s independence is 1948 ongoing terror attacks had taken hundreds of Israeli lives. In an effort to secure peace with the ‘Palestinians’ in 1993 Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin signed the first of several agreements with Yasser Arafat founder of the PLO terrorist group. This was known as the Oslo Accords. Once again the US played the key role and the formal signing took place at the White House. Just under 1,600 Israeli’s had been murdered between ’48 and ’93. Over this 53 year period that is a sustained average of one murdered every other week.

The accords were designed to provide self-rule for the Palestinians. Israel was willing to give up control over specified areas on the condition the Palestinians stop the terror attacks against innocent Israeli civilians. This was an effort to build trust between the two sides. The longer the Palestinians refrained from terror, the more land Israel would turn over to them. Ultimately if the Palestinians showed good will and stopped the terror, the end game of the Oslo Accords could have given them much of the land they demanded for statehood. All they were asked to do is stop murdering Jews.

However, they did not stop. In 1994 Palestinian terrorists murdered 65 Israelis and another 29 in 1995. Then tragedy struck in 1995 when Yitzchak Rabin was assassinated .

Subsequent to this the terror continued. Between 1996 and 2000 Palestinians murdered another 165 Israelis. The Oslo Accords had all but collapsed because the Palestinians refused to honor their commitment to cease their terror against the Jews.

The Israeli government went into crisis mode and had to come up with something to protect Jewish civilians from being murdered. A highly controversial decision was made to construct a security barrier. The Palestinians and Israel’s critics called it a land grab. However, this reluctant decision had to be made for one simple reason- to protect Jewish civilians from being murdered. It was never intended to be a land grab.

Throughout the first phase of the barrier’s construction the Palestinians not only did not stop the terror, they increased it significantly. During that four year period they murdered 984 Israelis or an average of just under 5 per week!

The sacrifice Israel made by turning over land to the Palestinians was a total bust. Responsibility for its failure rests with the Palestinians.

  1.   Now we come to one of the most gut wrenching sacrifices Israel made in an effort to secure peace. In 2005 after a 38 year presence in the Gaza Strip, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon decided to pull almost 8,000 Jews out of the coast enclave.  Heart breaking images of Israeli soldiers physically dragging screaming families from their homes brought the country to its knees. The tiny Jewish nation came to the brink of civil war. Yet the task was completed and the Gaza Strip was turned over to the Palestinians to establish self- rule.

After Israel vacated the Strip the Palestinian held elections in 2006. They voted the terrorist group Hamas into power. Since then Hamas has fired over 15,000 rockets and mortars into Israel. There havebeen three wars between them. To this day Hamas has been relentless in its effort to deny Israel any peace. It constructs underground tunnels made from supplies designed for humanitarian purposes, while continuing their hateful campaign of Israel’s destruction.

Once again a huge sacrifice by Israel for peace backfired.

Another Sacrifice?

Then there is Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority. Most world leaders consider Abbas a moderate. Since October 2015 the so-called ‘knife intifada’ has been going on. This has been a series of premeditated attacks by Palestinians who have carried out dozens of stabbings and vehicle ramming’s against Israeli soldiers and civilians. At least 44 Israelis have been brutally murdered. Abbas reacts by praising the murderers, saying “we bless every drop of blood.”  In addition he demonstrates his complete disdain for Jewish lives by meeting with the families of Palestinian terrorists.

He also has said on numerous occasions he will never accept the existence of Israel as a Jewish state. Abbas says Israel is the obstacle to peace because of its ‘settlement’ construction. Sorry Mr. Abbas, if anyone is responsible for lack of progress on the peace front it is you who bless murderers and categorially deny Israel the right to exist as a Jewish state.

Once again world leaders and organizations are pressuring Israel to consider yet another sacrifice for peace by giving up land the Palestinians demand for a state, which Abbas demands must be 100% Jew free. They offer nothing in return, not altering their charters calling for Israel’s destruction, not renouncing terror, not even recognition.

Let There Be No Doubt

It should be exceedingly clear by now who has made the sacrifices for peace. It is Israel. Both land an lives have been sacrificed. What has been asked of the Palestinians? Simple, stop the murder of civilians, and accept Israel as a Jewish state. They offer neither. Yet, in spite of not making a single compromise for peace the Palestinians are not penalized and continue to receive hundreds of millions in aid. Plus, they continue to pay salaries to terrorist who murdered Jews.

How are the Palestinian people ever going to desire peace if not a single one of the leaders speaks about necessary sacrifices it requires? When the Palestinian people hear and see their political and religious leaders is glorify murderers by naming schools and summer camps after them, these become their role models. This makes peace impossible. It’s not to say there aren’t Palestinians who want peace. There are. However, they are in the minority and afraid to speak out because they get threatened by the fundamentalists. I am still waiting to see the first peace demonstration in the streets of any Palestinian city. For peace to have any chance this has to change.

Here’s the list of Palestinian sacrifices: Zero

That says it all.

More of Dan Calic’s articles are on his Facebook Page.

‘Palestinian’ Agenda Based on Fabrication and Destruction

While talk of a comprehensive Arab, Israeli peace agreement seems never ending, newly elected President Trump has described securing such an agreement as the “ultimate deal.” However there is ample reason why no deal has been struck, and why it will likely remain beyond reach.  An honest assessment reveals why.

The most important factor in reaching an agreement is both sides must want peace. However, in this conflict indisputable evidence shows only one side actually wants genuine peace and co-existence.  A sober look at the facts reveals the Arab Palestinians have no interest in peace. In order to draw reasoned conclusions it’s also essential to separate fact from fiction.  

Who’s Who?

The Arab ‘Palestinians’ are in a different category than the rest of the Arab world, which consists of 22 sovereign Middle Eastern nations. They do not have the distinction of being a sovereign nation, which they feel they are entitled to. However, shouldn’t we first understand who they are, as well as their motives?

They are a mix of Jordanians, Egyptians, Lebanese, Syrian, Sudanese etc. who settled within the area known as the British Mandate of Palestine. This land encompassed 43,000 square miles and was promised to the Jews as a national homeland in the 1917 Balfour Declaration. Yet, in 1922 the British turned over 75% of it to create the nation of Transjordan, (today’s Jordan). This left roughly 25% or 11,000 square miles of land to be dealt with.

In 1947 the British decided to leave the area and turned the issue over to the United Nations, which by a 72% majority voted  to partition two separate states, one Jewish and one Arab.  However, the surrounding Arab nations rejected the vote and attacked the new Jewish state one day after its independence intending to destroy it. This is all indisputable fact.

The coming storm

Regional leadership directed local Arabs living in the area to relocate temporarily, while the armies of the surrounding countries carried out their plan to destroy the UN partitioned Jewish state. Thinking they would soon be able to return and grab a huge windfall the majority of Arabs chose to leave.

However, their destructive aspirations failed, and the tiny nation of Israel not only was reborn, it remains…. and flourishes.

One can only lament how different history might have been if the Arab nations chose to accept the UN partition vote. Yet, they chose war and have never taken responsibility for their action. What’s worse is the nations of the world have never required it of them.

So what happened to those Arabs who left hoping the Jews would be wiped out allowing them to reclaim their homes, plus those of the defeated Jews? Many ended up in “no man’s land,” which gave birth to the so called “Palestinian“ refugees.” Yet are they truly refugees? They did not leave with the intention of relocating elsewhere to start a new life as refugees typically do. They left because they were hoping the Jewish state would be destroyed and they could return to claim what was theirs, plus what wasn’t theirs. An honest assessment disqualifies them from being classified as “refugees.”  It was nothing less than bloodthirsty greed.

Since then they have portrayed themselves as victims deserving of compensation; Not from the Arab nations who directed them to leave in order to launch their attack, but from Israel or Britain.  If anyone is to blame for their plight it surely rests with Arabs, not the Jews. Unquestionably their fate was driven by hatred, greed and destructive intentions.

Have they ever admitted this? No. Instead they went on the offensive and to this day the Arab nations and the ‘Palestinians’ lay blame elsewhere. This is precisely what Yasser Arafat did when he founded the first ‘Palestinian’ terror group in 1964- the PLO. He blamed the Jews, and took no responsibility for the intent of the Arabs to destroy the Jewish state. He also rejected the United Nations partitioning of a sovereign Arab state, because it meant the existence of a Jewish state, which he refused to accept. His PLO charter defined the “Balfour Declaration, the British Mandate for Palestine, and everything that has been based upon them null and void.” (PLO Charter Article 20)

Moreover, his organization’s charter specifically calls for the “Palestinian people to assert their absolute determination and firm resolution….to work for an armed popular revolution for the liberation of their country and the right to return to it.” (PLO Charter Article 9)

So much for peaceful co-existence.

“Their Country”?

Moreover, what country is he talking about? The so-called ‘Palestinians’ did not have their own country. The area he is referring to was under the British Mandate and was turned over to the UN who voted to partition an Arab and Jewish state, which was rejected by the Arab nations. The fact is the ‘Palestinians’ never had “their own country,” to return to and “liberate.” They could have had a country if the UN partition was accepted. However, hatred of the Jews and refusal to accept the existence of a neighboring Jewish state outweighed the gift of having their own state.  This abhorrent fact renders Arafat’s statement about the existence of “their country” as a lie.

It should also be noted the Jews have had a constant presence here dating back over 3,000 years. Plus, since they were victorious in defending themselves in the Six Day War of 1967 international law allows them to claim the disputed land, which gave them the legal right to build communities.

It’s time to call a spade a spade. The entire premise on which the PLO was founded is a fabrication. There was never a ‘Palestinian’ country and no ‘Palestinian’ people. What is correct is there were Arabs of various ethnic origins living together with Jews in an area which was under the control of the British. Arafat himself for example, was a transplanted Arab Egyptian, not a ‘Palestinian.’

Part of the challenge of this unending conflict is separating fact from fiction. Suggesting the ‘Palestinians’ have the right to “liberate their country,” assumes they have or had one. They don’t and never did. This cannot be overstated. Any reference otherwise is pure fabrication. However, this has not stopped them from spreading outright lies and others from buying into it. This includes defining the land they claim as “occupied Palestinian territory,” while blaming Israel as the cause for a lack of peace.

The charters of all the ‘Palestinian’ terror groups, including Fatah, (which means ‘conquest’) the party of Mahmoud Abbas  don’t merely speak of self-determination within the area commonly referred to as the” West Bank.” Each charter places equal weight on the destruction of the Jewish state of Israel through armed struggle, and replacing it with one ‘Palestinian’ state.  It makes clear their goal is to eliminate the world’s only Jewish country, and replace it with another Muslim dominated country. This would bring the total to 23 in the Middle East, while the Jews would have none, and be subjected to live under Muslim rule in what used to be their own country.

If the community of nations decides to reward those who seek Israel’s destruction with nationhood, without requiring them to alter their charters, renounce terror and recognize the Jewish state of Israel, it will be a black mark on humanity.

Then again the community of nations has ample history of treating the Jews unfairly. Evidence today’s United Nations for starters….

More of Dan Calic’s articles are on his Facebook Page

Is Donald Trump Ready to Shatter the Mythical “Palestinian” Narrative?

If the sources coming out of the White House are accurate, President Donald Trump seems to be ready to take on the made up “Palestinian” narrative.  In the latest volley aimed at destroying the “Palestinian’s” use of UN bureaucracy to create a defacto state, the US scuttled the naming of former PA Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad as a UN special envoy to Libya.

“The United States was disappointed to see a letter indicating the intention to appoint the former Palestinian Authority Prime Minister to lead the U.N. Mission in Libya,” Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., said in a statement opposing the selection of Fayyad. “For too long the U.N. has been unfairly biased in favor of the Palestinian Authority to the detriment of our allies in Israel.”

“The United States does not currently recognize a Palestinian state or support the signal this appointment would send within the United Nations, however, we encourage the two sides to come together directly on a solution,” Haley said in a vast departure from Obama administration rhetoric. “Going forward the United States will act, not just talk, in support of our allies.”

In a continued transformation of American policy just before Prime Minister Netanyahu’s meeting with President Trump, sources in the White House claim that Trump will not use the phrase “two-states” or pressure Israel over construction in Judea and Samaria.

Whether due to Trump’s circle of friends, son-in-law, or just a good sense of right and wrong, the President seems to be ready to jettison decades of US policy in favor of backing Israel’s claims to its Biblical Heartland.

Why Now?

The Trump administration sees the world in black and white.  Either you are with the USA or against.  This is why Trump wants to pick his team of allies so to speak and build his foreign policy off of that. Furthermore, he never truly bought into the “Palestinian” victimhood complex. Trump does not like whiners and for him that his what much of the Arab world represents.  True, he needs the “moderate” Sunni states to take on Iran, but they need the USA far more than the USA needs them.

After Wednesday, the world is about to witness the collapse of the world’s only made up people.





In the Middle East “News” Has Become “Opinion”

When we watch, listen or read news are we entitled to get objective reporting? To such a question most might say yes news should be objective. In other words it should be unbiased, neutral, non-partisan. Yet is that what we are getting?

In far too many situations we are not.

A glaring example of lack of objectivity is coverage of the conflict between Israel and those identified as “Palestinians.”

Let’s take a closer look at this situation and drill down a bit on some popular terms used by media.


It may surprise some to know that prior to 1967 the term “Palestinians” referred to Jews who lived in their ancient biblical homeland, which the Roman Emperor Hadrian renamed “Philistia.”  This term is Latin for “Philistine,” which became transformed to Palestinian. Contrary to rumor there is no connection between the ancient Philistines and today’s so-called “Palestinians.”

So who are todays “Palestinians?”

After Israel’s rebirth in 1948 many Arabs became displaced due to a variety of circumstances, not the least of which was their desire to destroy the fledgling Jewish state. After Israel defeated the surrounding Arab nations who conveniently ignored UN resolution 181 calling for one Arab and one Jewish, many Arabs ended up nationless in no-man’s land.

Subsequently, Israel successfully staved off another attempt to annihilate it in the Six Day War of 1967. As a result victorious Israel took control of additional land, and the plight of these Arabs became more visible, thanks in part to widespread media coverage and a campaign waged by the leader of the recently  formed PLO- Yasser Arafat.

After the Six Day War the defeated Arab nations refused to repatriate their Arab brethren. In his effort to gain exposure and empathy Arafat renamed these displaced Arabs “Palestinians.” A revisionist cottage industry was born and took root, without regard to its accuracy.

In point of fact there has never been an indigenous people known as “Palestinians.” It’s “fake news.”

Occupation or Occupied Palestinian Territories

This typically refers to the land west of the Jordan River, up to the so-called “green line,” which includes the eastern portion of Jerusalem.  

For anyone familiar with the Bible this land is known as Judea & Samaria. It is part of the ancient homeland of the Jewish people. The Bible also makes clear in several places the land was given to Abraham and his descendants- the Jews. In an attempt to delegitimize the Jews, some say both Arabs and Jews are children of Abraham. However, twice in the Bible (Genesis 17:20/21 and Romans 9:7) the promises of God are specifically confirmed through Isaac.

Yet, in spite of Scripture’s historical account, the so-called “Palestinians,” claim Israel is illegally occupying their land. In point of fact, Israel fought defensive wars in 1948 and 1967. During the 1967 war Israel captured the land west of the Jordan River, which had been illegally occupied by Jordan since 1948. Yet where were the cries of “occupation” during this 19 year period? International law states that any territory captured in a defensive war belongs to the victor. In this case that means Israel.

Thus it is factually incorrect (“fake news”) to define this land as “occupied Palestinian territories.”  Using such terminology is not news, its opinion. Many refer to this same area as the West Bank. This also delegitimizes Israel’s’ right to the land. I understand why some may refer to it as such, however using terms such as “Occupied Palestinian territory,” can be seen as offensive to many, and renders any media outlet referring to it as such from being seen as objective.

East Jerusalem

First off, there is no such city as “East Jerusalem.” Jerusalem has a 4,000 year history. During this time it has always been known as Jerusalem. “East” Jerusalem is yet another example of a term used to delegitimize the rightful claim the Jewish people have to their ancient and eternal capital city. The Old City is located in the eastern part of Jerusalem, which the Arabs wish to steal from the Jews as capital of their presumed Palestinian state.  In their revisionist narrative the Arabs (so-called Palestinians) have gone so far as to suggest there has never been any proof of a Jewish connection to Jerusalem. (again- “fake news”)

The UN has even gotten into revising history by passing resolutions stating Temple Mount and the Western Wall are Muslim holy sites, rather than Jewish.  Shame on them.

It has been said “….a lie told often enough becomes truth.”

As an institution media has an obligation to distinguish between news and opinion. There is no question opinion pieces have a legitimate role to play within media. However, when media outlets report news by using terminology reflecting personal bias, (or opinion) they cease being a credible news source.

Terms such as “Palestinians,” “Occupied Palestinian Territories,” and “East Jerusalem,” belong in opinion pieces, not objective news.