Arnold Beichman: Anti-Semitism Is GlobalRoundup: Historians' Take
Arnold Beichman, writing in the Washington Times (Dec. 31, 2003):
I wonder why the thesis is rarely examined publicly that the Palestinians will never never never never never never never be allowed to make peace with Israel even if the Palestinians wanted to. Yasser Arafat, Hamas, Hezbollah and free-lance terrorists won't allow it to happen because they believe victory is at hand. The reason this thesis is not on anybody's public agenda is that were it considered a reality it would mean recognizing the futility of Oslo-Camp David-shuttle diplomacy.
To operate from such an approach would mean accepting that peace and stability in the area is inconceivable. I believe that Israel could close down all the settlements, home to 220,000 Jews, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and still the three-year Palestinian uprising would continue and intensify. Why? Because the PLO regards Israel as the Settlement, which has to be "relocated," as the PLO constitution has it, right into the Mediterranean Sea.
And the PLO's dedication to terrorism is fully supported by its neighbors. Their revolting propaganda, directed at their Arab citizenry and future generations of suicide bombers, underscores that belief. I have seen translations of schoolbooks used by Egyptian, Syrian and Palestinian students. The books are anti-Semitic, anti-Israeli tracts. I have just seen on Syrian TV a horrible movie showing Arab actors costumed as bearded, nightmarish rabbis wielding butcher knives as they slash the throat of a Syrian Christian boy lashed on a gurney in order to drench matzoh flour in Christian blood. In other words, upcoming generations are being trained as future guerrilla warriors against Israel. I have seen translations of Friday mosque sermons that could easily compete with the worst obscenities of Julius Streicher's Nazi newspaper, Der Steurmer.
The latest piece of evidence of the unwillingness of the Palestinians to consider a peaceful settlement with Israel is what happened a few days ago to Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher when he came to pray at Jerusalem's al-Aqsa Mosque. He was pelted with the shoes of his co-religionists and had to be dragged out by his bodyguards and hospitalized. His crime? At Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's direction Mr. Maher had met with senior Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, to see if the so-called peace process could be revivified. The attack was a warning to Mr. Maher: shoes today, bullets next time. It was a reminder of the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat after he signed an accord with Israel in 1979. The PLO will not allow the intifada, which began in October 2000, to end. Oh yes, I forgot to mention: Mr. Arafat criticized the shoe-pelters.
Why should the Palestinians give up hope and make peace where anti-Semitism has seen its biggest growth since the Hitler era, not just among skinheads but also among "the best people?" I'm thinking of those who use Israel as their cover for anti-Semitism, as the French ambassador to Britain did a few weeks ago. Why should the Palestinians give up hope when Matahir Mohammed at an international conference talks about Jewish control of the world and there is applause? Or when the best-selling book in Egypt is the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," a century-old forgery created in the tsarist era by the Russian gendarmerie?
The real problem for Israel is not that the Palestinians will not or cannot make peace with Israel but that a world of otherwise intelligent, literate people will not make peace with an entity called "the Jews."
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