Robert Festenstein

Angry, sad but not surprised and I told you so

Day 1.  I told you so.  I bloody well told you.  I told you that Hamas hated us.  I told you that they want to kill us and I told you that they have absolutely and categorically no interest whatsoever in pursuing any form of peace with Israel.  Coupled with this I have said repeatedly over at least three years that in light of this, there cannot be a two-state solution.

Today I was proved right, and it gives me no pleasure to say so.  The murder of Israelis by Hamas terrorists has driven whatever tiny hope of a negotiated settlement remained, firmly into the dust.

The infiltration of Israel, the murder of civilians and the taking of hostages points only to one thing, the desire to drive the Jews out of the land of Israel.  I make no apology for the hyperbole, since this is the declared aim of Hamas.  Over and over again this is what they have said and yet for reasons passing understanding some Western leaders have ignored this.

In the UK, communal leaders have repeatedly called for a negotiated two state solution.  Even after so many attacks by Hamas and their stated intention to destroy Israel, for reasons passing understanding this has been standard approach.  It must now be clear even to the Jewish Leadership Council and the Board of Deputies of British Jews that there is no prospect of a two-state solution.  None.  What makes matters worse is that Hamas, who no doubt have been monitoring what Jewish leaders say, must be laughing all the way to the missile launchers.

It is well known that Hamas does not respect the idea of compromise, they see it as weakness.  There has been no reason for their even trying to make peace because their continuing refusal to engage in the process has had no sanction.  They have cheerfully been calling for the destruction of Israel and all the Jewish leaders can say is that this have to stop before peace will arrive.  No chance.  Hamas needs an incentive to come to the table, if they are prepared to at all, which is not likely.

History tells us that it is not compromise which brings about peace, it is the realisation by the belligerent party there is no alternative, since otherwise they will be destroyed.  Over and over again terrorists have stopped their campaign because they knew that if they continued, they and their organisation would be eliminated.

Reports from Israel describe war crimes, including murder of civilians, taking hostages and kidnapping Israelis, taking them to Gaza and parading them in the streets.  One town near the border – Netiv HaAsara – has reported 15 people murdered, including two who perished in a house set on fire by terrorists.  This brutality cannot go unchecked.

I suspect that very soon someone will call for a ceasefire so that all parties can talk.  This makes no sense since what it does is to reward Hamas for their actions.  What is needed is a full scale attack on the Hamas infrastructure so they simply cannot operate.  Nothing short of this will encourage them to understand that peace is their only option.

Hamas thought that Israel was divided because of the substantial arguments over the proposed changes to the judicial system.  It was, but within single figure hours the opposition parties pledged full support to the Government and the demonstrations were called off.  The family is under attack, and like most families when attacked, they pull together and face the common foe.

Here in the diaspora we must also pull together, accept that there can be no two state solution and support Israel as it fights those who seek its destruction.

About the Author
Robert Festenstein is a solicitor based in Manchester with considerable experience in Court actions. He is active in fighting the increase in anti-Semitism in the UK and is President of the Zionist Central Council, an organisation devoted to promoting and defending the democratic State of Israel.
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