OpinionIsrael at War

A day of reckoning for Palestinians

They don’t want a two-state solution. Their vision has always been the destruction of Israel.

Palestinians outside the headquarters of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in the Askar refugee camp, east of Nablus, on May 8, 2023. Photo by Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90.
Palestinians outside the headquarters of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in the Askar refugee camp, east of Nablus, on May 8, 2023. Photo by Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90.
Charles O. Kaufman
Charles O. Kaufman
Charles Kaufman is immediate past president of B’nai B’rith International.

For decades, the Jewish state has pursued a two-state solution only to have the Palestinians—masquerading as a nation and as diplomats—reject attempts to accept their own state, let alone peace. After the horrendous Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7, however, the Palestinian dream of a separate state contiguous to Israel is over.

For most of her 75 years, Israel and the world Jewish community have tried mightily to achieve peace in the Middle East and acceptance from the rest of the world. Israel tolerated the United Nations’ elevation of the Palestinians to observer status, which allowed their representatives to sit behind a “State of Palestine” placard. This is, of course, a “state” without recognized borders. It was hoped that perhaps time would connect both peoples. Meanwhile, the world community would invest massive sums in schools, public services and infrastructure to foster an imagined stability.

The invasion of the Jewish homeland—a sovereign nation—on Oct. 7 killed hundreds of innocents and by all accounts involved barbaric terrorist behavior. As a result, the dreams of Palestinian statehood are simply gone.

The media called the attack a “surprise,” but it was no surprise. Over the years, the Palestinians have launched tens of thousands of missiles from Gaza, many killing their own people. Many others have been intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome air-defense system. In the past, acts of terror—stabbings, shootings, kidnappings—were often prevented, intercepted and always punished with retaliatory strikes, but they were never a surprise. Finally, it was not a surprise that the attack coincided with the 50th anniversary of the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

What was a surprise was Israel’s failure to foil the attack or repel the enemy quickly. What was a surprise was that it gave an undefeated country a taste of defeat.

So, what now? For starters, it’s time for the world—particularly the free world—to understand the difference between generations of outright lies and the truth. Palestinians have no leader from PLO remnants, the Palestinian Authority or Hamas with whom Israel can partner in any peace negotiations. None.

Secondly, the Palestinians regard Israel as “occupied” territory. It is not. They have perpetuated to mythical proportions the claim that Israel is an apartheid state. It is not. It has been a sovereign state since 1948, and its history dates back thousands of years, at least to the time of kings Solomon and David. The demonization of the Israel Defense Forces is absurd. Palestinian revisionism, as evidenced by an overdose of condemnatory U.N. resolutions, has reverberated and echoed throughout the international system for decades. The international media has bought into this fiction.

Palestinians have no understanding of history or modern reality. Now a generation of disillusioned Israelis, not to mention many American Jews, has new reason to put more faith in their democratic government and God than the evil proxies of Iran. This is a reality check for everyone.

The Palestinians have proven through decades of outrageous rhetoric that peace means the conquest of Israel “from the river to the sea.” They walked away from globally endorsed negotiations from Madrid to Oslo and violated every negotiated ceasefire. Land-for-peace opportunities have been refused. The Palestinians simply cannot be trusted.

They don’t want a two-state solution. Their vision has always been the destruction of Israel.

The legacy of Western pro-Palestinianism is one of relentless failure. The U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is a failure. Economic development and investments from Europe, using which the Palestinians could have become an independent democracy and joined the world community, were also a failure. Those funds have been appropriated for building terror tunnels, rewarding terrorists and families of terrorists, and fattening the bank accounts of corrupt leaders.

The Oct. 7 attack has changed the landscape. Israel, with the help of its allies, will take control of its future. The Palestinians, despite claims of victory for violating the borders of a sovereign state, have changed the course of their own future, which appears cloudy at best.

Hamas must and will be defeated. The Palestinians who honestly seek freedom and a better life for themselves and their families will face the tough choices they’ve always faced. Their current intransigence towards Israel is no path to the future. Creating havoc and causing destruction will lead them to a result familiar to Syria—not a good choice. If they make a better choice, the Palestinians have a chance to create a new identity through positive contributions.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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