Commentary Magazine


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Death Talks

While Bibi and Mahmoud Abbas are chatting (primarily to George Mitchell), largely for the sake of Obama’s ego, Israelis are being killed and more will be, as this report makes clear:

Terrorist activity directed against Israel will likely increase as the peace process advances, Shin Bet Chief Yuval Diskin warned the cabinet . …

During his briefing, the head of the internal security service said terror activity initiated in Gaza by Hamas’ armed wing, Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, is premised on people who have been released from Israeli prisons and are taking orders from jailed terrorists. …

The Shin Bet chief told the ministers that as long as the diplomatic process advances, attempts to carry out terror attacks will increase. According to Diskin, the past three years have seen a drop in terror-related incidents. However, he said, “It is estimated that this period (of relative calm) may be coming to an end due to the peace talks.”

A couple of points are worth noting. First, when Obama and others chide Israel for not appreciating the need to take “risks for peace,” they show both arrogance and ignorance. Israel pays a very heavy price for the microscopic chance of getting something out of the talks. I would submit that there is no other country on the planet that would make the same calculation as Israel.

Second, Jewish leaders have largely sat by passively as the Obami and the mainstream media have set up the narrative: “Will Israel doom talks by lifting the moratorium?” This is a grave strategic error by Israel’s supporters. Israel didn’t walk out of talks when Abbas proved himself unable to provide security in areas under his control. The murders of Israelis are deemed a “distraction.” But Israel, with no hope in sight of a deal, declines to perpetuate a noxious idea — that there are areas in which Jews should not be living — and faces the world’s wrath. Pro-Israel groups would do well to start re-framing the debate: Why isn’t Abbas living up to his obligations and taking risks for peace?

Time magazine proffered the obnoxious suggestion that Israel isn’t interested in peace. The real question is: If Palestinians are, why are they still killing Jews? And if the answer is “the other Palestinians” — Hamas — are doing the killing, then we should acknowledge that Abbas is unable or unwilling to make and enforce a peace deal. And speaking of Time, I eagerly await the cover story showing the economic miracle of the West Bank,  with all the new shops and modern buildings, questioning why Palestinians care more about money than about peace.