Two days ago, the Obama shattered an American legacy of vetoing the United Nations’ Security Council resolution demanding the seizing of construction in the West Bank. The resolution itself does not surprise Israel, but it is the United States’ abstention of voting that saddens and disappoints both Israelis and Americans alike. The international community, despite the millions displaced and hundreds of thousands killed in Syria, continues to pursue its obsessive desire to de-legitimize the State of Israel. The UN regards the construction of these settlements as an impediment to peace with the Palestinians and repeatedly shames Israel for lack of commitment to a two-state solution.
Except settlements are not major barriers in peace talks.
When Israel was established in 1948, the West Bank was in Jordanian control and no settlements were built until the outbreak of the Six Day War in 1967. Throughout these 19 years there were major terrorist attacks all throughout Israeli territory. Terrorism existed before and after the settlements; the real barrier to peace is the incitement and violence promoted by the Palestinian Authority. The real obstacle is in a society where suicide bombers are idolized, where terrorism is given financial incentive, and where children wield knives better than crayons. Until this cycle is broken, until hate is eliminated, only then can there be peace. Israel has stretched its hand out more than once in the hopes of peace, and each time it receives rockets and suicide bombs in return.
Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered Yasser Arafat over 90% of the disputed territory, and he walked away. Just five years later Arik Sharon uprooted hundreds of Israeli citizens to cooperate with a future peace process, and Israel has since received thousands of rockets. Every year these rockets become more powerful and sophisticated. Under what circumstances can Israel pull out of the West Bank and not risk a two-front rocket attack? Will the world come to aid Israel if that happens? How could they, if they haven’t intervened in Syria in over five years? What sort of legitimacy does the UN have to provide Israel with a security barrier? Absolutely none.
The building of settlements in the West Bank is an excuse for the Palestinian Authority to refuse negotiations and recognition of the Jewish State of Israel. It may be argued that it serves as a provocative, but nothing more. There world has seen terrorism without settlements and it has seen it with them. It is absurd to label this as the “impediment” to peace. I am optimistic that the new administration will learn from all of Obama’s failures in the Middle East and that it will defend the only democracy, the only beacon of light and freedom in this dark region of the world.
During this Hanukkah, let us remember the might and will of the Maccabees. Against all odds, the Jewish people persevered, resisted, and found their way to victory. We must not wait for the light to come, but shine our own path in this obscure road.
The Greek empire fell; we survived
The Roman empire fell; we survived
The Nazi Reich fell; we survived
Israel will survive