The logic of Middle East peacemaking dictates that all events are “opportunities” for Israel to make territorial concessions to sundry Arab entities. When Fatah controlled the Gaza Strip it was “an opportunity” for Israel to make peace with a broad Palestinian government, and when Fatah lost control of the Gaza Strip it was “an opportunity” for Israel to make peace with a now unencumbered West Bank government. When Hafez Assad was alive it was “an opportunity” for Israel to strike the best deal possible, and when Hafez Assad died it was “an opportunity” for Israel to embrace newly-moderated Syrian reformers.
So naturally, today’s release of Gilad Shalit, bought at the price that included the freeing of 1,000-plus mass murderers, is an “opportunity” for peace. So muse reporters at Bloomberg and ABC News (quoting “hope from the U.S.”) and CNN and The Asia Times and so on.
The Palestinian reception to the deal, on the other hand, seems to counsel somewhat more caution. Here are a couple of tweets from the scene of the transfer. You can consider them the bows on top of Jonathan’s post from yesterday about the unseemly Palestinian celebration of mass murder.
Khaybar, for those blissfully unfamiliar with the obsessive tropes of genocidal Muslim anti-Semitism, is a reference to a 7th-century battle in which Muhammad attacked and defeated an oasis of Arabian Jews. It’s particularly celebrated for the subsequent degradation of the Jews who survived, which included forced tribute to Muslim overlords until, finally, the Jews were ethnically cleansed from their homes. Historian Richard Rubenstein recently documented how “Khaybar, Khaybar” chants have become quite the celebratory ritual at global anti-Jewish hatefests, so it’s no surprise to see them here.
In other Palestinian Twitter-related news, the de facto Palestinian ambassador to Canada has been told she’s unwelcome by the Canadian government. Last month Ms. Sobeh Ali tweeted a video of a Palestinian girl calling for armies to wage war and “destroy the Jews,” a message that didn’t sit well with the Canadians. You’ll be glad to know, however, that the Globe and Mail was able to find an expert to explain that “destroy the Jews” was actually a mistranslation for “kill the soul of Zionism,” and that – quote – those are “not in any way” the same thing.
If peace ever does come to the Middle East, foreign policy experts, terror apologists, and perennially “hopeful” diplomats will be the last to know. In the meantime, their respective self-interested analysis, rank hypocrisy, and naive schemes are as counterproductive as they are obnoxious.