The Nakba is the purported "catastrophe" for the Arabs brought on by the founding of Israel. They have been "commemorating" the 60th Nakba for some days now, but today is the official day, when thousands are marching in Judea and Samaria, Gaza and Lebanon. Sirens have sounded and thousands of black balloons, signifying mourning, have been released.
Where Palestinians rallying close to the Gaza crossings became rowdy, IDF troops — which were watching in anticipation of threatened trouble — released tear gas and shot live bullets in the air.
This "commemoration" will continue tomorrow.
The true nakba, of course, is the failure of the Palestinian Arab community to accept our existence as a Jewish state, and to make peace with us.
Mahmoud Abbas spoke today at a rally , and he spoke, ostensibly, on behalf of peace. "After 60 years, I say again that our hands our extended for peace, that is our strategic choice."
Sounds great, until you examine his words and associated actions more closely.
For Abbas also said:
"Israel has failed in wiping out the memory of the Nakba from the minds of successive Palestinian generations. They [Israel] thought that perhaps the elderly would forget. But today we see that neither the elderly nor the young have forgotten. Everyone remembers the Nakba."
The reason they haven’t forgotten the Nakba, of course, is because of the policies promoted by UNRWA for 60 years. The UN High Commission for Refugees — which cares for all refugees in the world except Palestinians — promotes a policy of getting refugees settled in a new permanent life quickly, which means sometimes settling them in a new country if they cannot return home.
But UNRWA has declared for all of these years that Palestinians who left the founding state of Israel are to be considered refugees — even if they have new citizenship and have succeeded in their lives in other ways — until they and their children and grandchildren "return" to Israel. For 60 years, the Palestinian "refugees" have been kept in legal and emotional limbo and told that their inability to get on with their lives is Israel’s fault.
I quite assure you that the promotion of return was not for peaceful purposes. It was designed quite openly as a way to destroy Israel from within. Were — G-d forbid — 4.5 million Palestinians who call themselves refugees, a vast number of whom have been radicalized, to enter Israel, it would finish us as a Jewish state.
And so, if Abbas talks Nakba even as he talks peace , what is it that he truly has in mind?
He speaks about stopping the growth of settlements and building in eastern Jerusalem, which he says destroys the hope of peace. The implication is that were we to withdraw to the Green Line, there could be peace.
But the Nakba mourns the founding of the state WITHIN the Green Line. Yet, he doesn’t say that it’s time to release this mourning and to enter a new day, with building of a state at Israel’s side. He promotes the Nakba.
And here is the clincher: He, along with other Palestinians at the rally, signed a document today that pledges to continue the "struggle" until all of the refugees have been permitted to return. This is reliable information, as it comes from Khaled Abu Toameh of the Post.
There is a wealth of material that gives evidence to the fact that Abbas is not a partner for peace. But every now and then some incident arises that makes the case so blatantly, so strongly, that no other documentation is needed.
Abbas’s signing of this document is such an incident . He is not promoting a two-state solution, but rather Israel’s destruction as a Jewish state. What is more, the term "struggle" is a euphemism for terrorism and violence. He is not even promoting the return of all refugees via peaceful means.
I would like to point out that, although I believe Abbas, himself, truly does favor "return," he would have no option other than to support it in any event. The Palestinian political discourse is being set by Hamas — that discourse has radicalized over the last few years with the growing influence of Hamas. If Abbas values his life (quite literally), he cannot promote compromise on this issue.
This information needs to be shoved under the faces of both Bush and Olmert, who, in spite of all the evidence, continue to promote the notion that peace arrived at via compromise with the Palestinians is possible now.
I wrote yesterday about the Bush plan to get us to agree to contiguous borders for a Palestinian state — borders satisfactory to Abbas, which would then encourage him to modify his stance on refugees, which is considered the "hot" issue. Abbas’s actions today expose the nonsense inherent in this plan.
While Olmert, for his part, has his own new plan , in which the control of Jerusalem (which is identified by him as the most problematic issue) would be tabled until later, while all of the other issues were negotiated first. What we see, however, is that the issue of refugees is not about to be negotiated away.
What we see, in fact, is that attempting to negotiate a Palestinian state, with resolution of all of these issues, is simply an impossibility.
The Jerusalem Post has an editorial today , "Is it about borders?" that I recommend. It details the history of our relationship with the Palestinians and what they’ve rejected over the years, making it clear that indeed borders is not the issue. This is an answer to Bush, and his suggestion that if we decide on those borders all the rest will fall into place.
I’m going to pass at this point on further discussion of the Olmert investigation. It is still very much ongoing. But it becomes tedious to continue to focus on the minutiae of who was questioned, who accused whom of what, etc. etc. As there are major happenings, I will share.
More talk without sufficient action. Barak has told the people of Ashkelon, "You guys need to bite your lips, but not for [long]." What that really means, is anyone’s guess. There are those who believe that even in the face of all that has transpired, this government will find excuses as to why it’s not the "right time" for a major operation.
All we’ve seen in response to what happened yesterday is the IDF targeting of one rocket launching cell, which killed two people.
Alex Fishman, writing an opinion piece in YNet addresses this pathetic pattern of behavior:
"The truth is they [government officials] fear yet another military failure, lack of consensus, and commissions of inquiries. They recognize the need [for military action in Gaza] but easily give in to excuses. They’re watching their behinds.
"So…tomorrow morning, or maybe in two days they will do something in order to placate public opinion. They will explain to us that it cannot go on…that we’re reaching the moment of decision, and all the other clichés. Yet i
n a few days they will find another convenient excuse for restraint: …we must not undermine Egypt’s president, Lebanon is burning, etc. This is not how a state should be managed. It looks more like a political science seminar rather than a government that knows what it wants."
And Fishman even has ideas about what might be done, short of an all-out invasion of Gaza, that would be more effective:
"As of Wednesday night, the Air Force should have been operating across the Strip against known targets, without a time limit. It should have been operating in a way that Thursday, Nakba Day, nobody in Gaza would have dared be outside. Hamas government offices, positions, and warehouse should be flying in the air. Hamas leaders, instead of delivering speeches today, should fear for their lives."
If only someone were listening.
More pertinent still, is anyone listening to IDF Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin?
He has now told Haaretz that Hamas now has in its possession several dozen rockets capable of striking targets in a radius of 20 kilometers.
"…every community within a 40-kilometer range may come within range of the Hamas rockets: Ashdod, Kiryat Gat, even Beersheba….
"If this matter is not dealt with , Hamas will bring more cities within its range of fire."
At least we have rejected a request conveyed to the Ministry of Defense by Rice flunky, I mean American security coordinator, Lt.-Gen. Keith Dayton that PA security forces receive personal armor kits, night-vision goggles and electronic communication systems. This is because it would come too close to establishing parity between our security forces and theirs — we must retain superiority.
However, there is consideration being given to turning security over to the PA in Tulkarm, Kalkilya and Hebron, if the experiment in Jenin, which was the brainchild of Tony Blair, is successful. There have been 600 troops, trained in Jordan, put in place in the Jenin area, with 400 more to follow. The IDF retains over-all coordination, and the right to go in after a "smoking gun."
"In other cases, Israel will transfer the names of wanted men to the PA security forces, and if the PA forces do not arrest those wanted, the IDF will be able to do so."
Defense officials said the PA forces were enforcing law and order but could not (yet?) be depended upon to go after terrorists.
Let me close with an extraordinary piece that talks about the fact that "by objective measures, Israel is the happiest nation on earth.
"…most remarkable is that Israelis appear to love life and hate death more than any other nation."