Binyamin Netanyahu, now beginning his fifth term as our prime minister, has been indicted for corruption in three cases soon to be tried in our courts of justice— bribery, fraud and breach of trust.
After today’s consultation between him and Blue and White’s Benny Gantz, a fourth charge should be added. Theft. Netanyahu has proposed, in regard to president Trump’s one-sided peace plan, to call for a cabinet vote on 10 July in order to formalize the annexation of Jewish settlements in Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley…the areas of the West Bank which were intended to become part of a Palestinian state. Doing so is theft.
If the cabinet were to agree with Netanyahu’s request it will be regarded by the international community as theft of land and property of a people to whom it was originally intended.
Should annexation be realized it will mean that peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians will be dead forever.
Why Benny Gantz has agreed to annexation is beyond my comprehension. Politics in Israel have always been dirty but hardly as much as at the present time of striving to form a unity government.
In 1929 Maurice Samuel published an excellent historical book, “What Happened in Palestine”, in which he, as a resident in Palestine, wrote from things he saw, things he read, and things he applauded and things he condemned.. He mainly condemned not the Arabs in Palestine but rather the officials of the British mandatory government in Palestine.
In describing eye-witness accounts of massacres in Hebron and Safed, in Tiberias and Galilee, at Tel Hai and Kfar Giladi committed by Beduin and local Arabs against the Jewish communities, Samuel points out and records the names of several dozen Palestinian Arabs who saved Jews, who sheltered Jews, and who refused to participate in the Grand Mufti, Haj Amin el-Husseini’s directives to Muslims to destroy and end Jewish life wherever it could be found in the country.
Mukhtars of several Arab villages and many Palestinian notables of good families, came to kibbutzim and Jewish towns offering to shelter Jewish children from the Muslim attacks. Likewise, Samuel notes the names and villages of those decent Arabs. Regrettably, I don’t think that the Zionist Executive did anything to reward them as acknowledgment of their kindness to their Jewish neighbors.
In 223 pages, Samuel puts the blame of massacres and attacks on Jews solely at the hands of the British authorities who rarely came to the defense of battered Jewish communities and who disarmed Jews from the ability to defend themselves against bloody Arab attacks. The British favored the Arabs and disliked the Jews.
He firmly believed that peace and friendship between Jews and Arabs was possible and he cited many examples to prove his point.
Not all Arabs in pre-State Israel hated Jews and sought to exterminate them. The Arabs of Abu Gosh are a splendid example of respect and honor between them and the Jews.
During the 1948 war of independence when Jerusalem was under siege and Jewish convoys could not travel to bring food, water, medicine and clothes to the trapped Jews of Jerusalem, it was the Arabs of Abu Gosh who helped by providing the necessary items to the trapped Jews of Jerusalem.
After our independence, Israeli Jews rewarded the citizens of Abu Gosh, just as they continue doing to this very day, by supporting them. Abu Gosh is renowned for its many restaurants specializing in Israel’s most famous hummus and grilled meats. Israelis are among the most patrons of those restaurants providing the Arab proprietors with a very good income. Israeli’s way of saying thanks to good Arab friends.
We have friends… albeit not many… in the West Bank who have dreamed for the establishment of a Palestinian state just as we Jews dreamt for two thousand years for our rebuilt homeland.
Benny Gantz, at the risk of failing to form a coalition with an indicted criminal prime minister, must extend concern to our minority citizens who have been overlooked for too long during Netanyahu’s 14 years in office.
Jews are a benevolent people. A compassionate people. Where Netanyahu lacks compassion it behooves Gantz to be the compassionate leader.
Annexation should not be included in the Netanyahu legacy.