Amb. Maen Rashid Areikat, a member of the delegation to the United States from the PLO, recently published a letter in The Wall Street Journal. His post was in regards to Norman Podhoretz’s April 10 op-ed, “Pity the Palestinians? Count Me Out”. Amb. Areikat’s outrage was in response to the notion that maybe, just maybe, the Palestinian people bear some of the responsibility for their present economic, political, and social situation. Norman Podhoretz’s article explores and exposes the discrepancies between Palestinian claims and reality specifically concerning the claims of starvation, abuse, harassment, and injustice shouted from the mountain tops of “universities, mainstream media, and entertainment industry.” Firstly, Amb. Areikat repeatedly insists through out his letter that “detracting attention from Palestinian suffering by pointing to the plight of other peoples is a failed attempt at whitewashing Israel’s illegal occupation and the resulting humanitarian crises”. He follows this absurd statement by adding, “any such attempt is an act of unethical denial of the urgent need for justice, human rights and dignity that Palestinians yearn for.” My understanding of his final paragraph is that the mere mention of genocide in Syria, starvation in South Sudan, or strife in Egypt denies his people the attention they desperately need.
Secondly, the PLO has proven time and time again that it is not fit to lead the Palestinian people. How can an organization that chants in the streets, “Palestine will be free from the river to the sea,” referencing the Jordan river and Mediterranean sea, possibly convince others that it wishes to co-exist with a Jewish State? How can a nation claiming justice, human rights, and dignity as their yearnings elect a known Islamic terror organization into power? How can a starving and impoverished people continue to purchase rockets and weapons with the sole purpose of murdering and terrorizing civilians? Israelis are not the mutilators or murderers, the Palestinian leaders are. While Israeli doctors devote their energy to creating artificial limbs and assisting the paralyzed, Palestinian leaders devote theirs’ to creating a market for these products.
Thirdly and finally, Amb. Areikar makes the ludicrous claim that, “We Palestinians have endeavored to achieve a permanent and comprehensive agreement and a peace treaty between the states of Palestine and Israel that would allow us to officially declare an end of conflict and claims. Our efforts, however, have been repeatedly frustrated due to Israel’s unilateral actions that defy international law, namely Israel’s illegal settlement activity.” The Palestinians themselves are not known for their adherence to international law. I do not consider myself an expert on international law, but I am quite certain that the attacks on Israel during the War of Independence, Six Day War, Yom Kippur War, and Lebanon War were not in line with international laws. Nor were the suicide bombers sent, rockets launched, or invasions spurred by the PLO. Despite the murder of thousands of civilians and innocents in profitless wars, Israel has repeatedly appeased the terrorists by giving back thousands upon thousands of acres of land in exchange for peace. Israel has weakened herself for peace and received corpses in exchange. Even the former leader of the PLO Yasir Arafat has been quoted on Lebanese television stating that, “Since we cannot defeat Israel in war, we do this in stages. We take any and every territory that we can of Palestine, and establish sovereignty there, and we use it as a springboard to take more. When the time comes, we can get the Arab nations to join us for the final blow against Israel.” These statements came in 1993 the very same day as the Oslo Accords were signed. Forgive Israel for being skeptical of the latest promises and negotiations; wouldn’t you be?
Israel faces a daunting and manipulative enemy. Canadian Prime Minister Harper stated in a speak to the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, the “impossible calculus” Israel faces. Should you “act to defend yourselves, you will suffer widespread condemnation over and over again.” This is made painfully clear by the 223 Condemnations Israel has received compared to North Korea’s 10. He goes on to say, “But should you fail to act, you alone will suffer the consequence of your inaction, and that consequence will be final, your destruction.” The line between freedom fighter and terrorist is often unclear. The freedom fighters are the Palestinians encouraging dialogue and harmony in the future, not the hatemongers in the PLO, Hamas, or dozens of other organizations with the sole purpose of wiping Israel off of the map who only deserve the title of terrorist.