Economic Improvement Won’t Stop Palestinian Terror

July 11 2018

While the U.S. has not yet released its peace proposal for Israel and the Palestinians, Jared Kushner—who is leading the effort—and other officials have stated that it involves major efforts to bring prosperity to the Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza. Yossi Kuperwasser warns that, even if effective, such efforts will not guarantee peace:

Palestinians [who] carry out terror attacks [do so] with ideological motives, and most of them see terror as a justified and effective way . . . to advance their objectives in the conflict with Israel. The terrorists and their families are eligible for significant economic benefits in the form of the salaries that the Palestinian Authority (PA) pays them. [Moreover], the commitment of the Palestinian leadership to the struggle against Zionism is greater than the consideration of economic gain, even though the PA is aware that it needs to provide an answer for the Palestinians’ economic needs. As proof, the second intifada erupted in 2000 during a period of impressive growth.

Deciding on the appropriate scope of terrorism reflects the perception of different elements within the Palestinian political system regarding the costs and benefits of various terror activities at any point in time. . . . Economics [may be] a restraining factor, especially in the circumstances of a severe crisis. For example, the economic crisis in 2005 is thought to be one of the reasons that brought the Palestinians to a decision to end the second intifada. [T]he chance that economic temptations will lead to a change in Palestinian national goals is very slight so long as the Palestinian system is led by political movements that do not give priority to the welfare of its citizens. . . .

The . . . U.S. administration criticizes the PA and Hamas for “not acting according to the needs of the Palestinian people.” This reaction indicates a lack of understanding of [their] priorities and superimposes upon them a Western order of priorities, which sees the pursuit of happiness and prosperity as all people’s [primary] goal. . . .

[Nonetheless, it’s necessary not to] diminish the importance of investing in the advancement of the Palestinian economy and economic cooperation between Israel and the Palestinians. These are based on ethical motives—from the desire to bring economic prosperity to Israel’s neighbors to advancing familiarity between both peoples.

You have 2 free articles left this month

Sign up now for unlimited access

Subscribe Now

Already have an account? Log in now

Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Donald Trump, Israel & Zionism, Jared Kushner, Palestinian terror, Palestinians, Peace Process

For Israelis, Anti-Zionism Kills

Dec. 14 2018

This week alone, anti-Zionists have killed multiple Israelis in a series of attacks; these follow the revelations that Hizballah succeeded in digging multiple attack tunnels from Lebanon into northern Israel. Simultaneously, some recent news stories in the U.S. have occasioned pious reminders that anti-Zionism should not be conflated with anti-Semitism. Bret Stephens notes that it is anti-Zionists, not defenders of Israel, who do the most to blur that distinction:

Israelis experience anti-Zionism in a different way from, say, readers of the New York Review of Books: not as a bold sally in the world of ideas, but as a looming menace to their earthly existence, held at bay only through force of arms. . . . Anti-Zionism might have been a respectable point of view before 1948, when the question of Israel’s existence was in the future and up for debate. Today, anti-Zionism is a call for the elimination of a state—details to follow regarding the fate befalling those who currently live in it. . . .

Anti-Zionism is ideologically unique in insisting that one state, and one state only, doesn’t just have to change. It has to go. By a coincidence that its adherents insist is entirely innocent, this happens to be the Jewish state, making anti-Zionists either the most disingenuous of ideologues or the most obtuse. When then-CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill called last month for a “free Palestine from the river to the sea” and later claimed to be ignorant of what the slogan really meant, it was hard to tell in which category he fell.

Does this make someone with Hill’s views an anti-Semite? It’s like asking whether a person who believes in [the principle of] separate-but-equal must necessarily be a racist. In theory, no. In reality, another story. The typical aim of the anti-Semite is legal or social discrimination against some set of Jews. The explicit aim of the anti-Zionist is political or physical dispossession.

What’s worse: to be denied membership in a country club because you’re Jewish, or driven from your ancestral homeland and sovereign state for the same reason? If anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are meaningfully distinct (I think they are not), the human consequences of the latter are direr.

You have 1 free article left this month

Sign up now for unlimited access

Subscribe Now

Already have an account? Log in now

Read more at New York Times

More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Hizballah, Israel & Zionism, Palestinian terror