Last week the president of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas delivered a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu which is believed to call for preconditions to restarting peace talks, including an end to Jewish settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and acceptance of the pre-1967 borders as the foundation of a two-state solution. Israel says talks should restart without preconditions.

It is impossible for anyone impartial to believe that the so-called Middle East conflict is about “settlement building” – One wonders if that’s the issue why was Israel attacked in 1967 before Israel controlled any so-called “Settlements”? How about any of the other wars?

Some simple history reviews: (Quoting Ze’ev Jabotinsky referencing Syrian Newspaper Suriya el Djedida in 1918):

The sons of Israel, whom no country on earth could tolerate, who have been killed and massacred eight times everywhere, who have never been able to live in agreement with any nation of the world, who have been the source of all corruption, of all the misfortunes and all the sorrows – they are now working to turn your children out of their country and to seize and swallow their property… Let the Jews know that Palestine is our country, of which they will get nothing unless it be after the waters of the Jordan and the Yarmuk have become red…

This – way before the creation of the State of Israel, the enemies of the Jewish people spoke of the evils of the Jews, so one wonders if Mr. Abbas’ issue is truly about the settlements. In 1920, there were riots in Jerusalem – well before any “building in East Jerusalem” – Jews were slaughtered and women raped in an Arab pogrom – even before there was a State of Israel.

The weekly Hapoel Hatzair gave expression to the inexpressible feelings of the Jewish community in Jerusalem. A man who had lived through the Kishinev pogrom in 1903 wrote:

Life in Jerusalem is unbearable for anybody with a heart and with feelings… [it is] worse than after the Kishinev pogrom.  There was a trial there – and they did not put on trial those who wished to defend themselves and their wives and children.

And here is what Haaretz wrote:

Today, Tuesday, since early morning, the life of the Jews of Jerusalem has gone silent in the town and in all the suburbs, as a sign of national mourning and protest.  All shops and warehouses are shut, all institutions, all workshops, all the schools and yeshivot, all without exception, are closed.  No Jewish carter is seen in the street.  Buying and selling has stopped, as well as studying and learning; nor are Hebrew newspapers appearing today.  All this is happening without any compulsion.  Jerusalem Jewry is suffering its humiliation, all that has been done to it and to the Jewish people throughout the world in these days:  it is united in its sense of catastrophe and on the means of expressing its protest.

Even someone who owns a PR firm couldn’t spin history any other way. History lessons can tell us that the issue isn’t about Jews living in Judea and Samaria, or Jews like Irving Moskowitz building in Eastern Jerusalem, the bottom line is that they don’t want Israel to exist at all.

The truth is that if Israel were to put down its arms there would be no more Israel. If the Arabs were to put down their arms there would be no more war.

— Benjamin Netanyahu