“Land Day” and other excuses

“Land Day,” March 30, is a Palestinian Arab commemoration dating back to 1976, when the Israeli Government expropriated areas of land for security and other reasons.  The question is why has this event become more popular now after all these years?  And why has the Nakba (disaster) Day, the commemoration of the Arab defeat in 1948, become so widely publicized 64 years afterwards.  In addition, the latest scheme by the Palestinians and their supporters to attract media attention to their cause, titled a “March on Jerusalem” timed to coincide with Land Day, in effect became a series of riots and attempts by Arabs to infiltrate the borders into Israel.

On Friday, there were several riots in the West Bank, all contained by Israeli forces. In Lebanon a mob was prevented from reaching the border with Israel by the Lebanese Army and there was no attempt from Syria, where they are otherwise occupied (last year 12 were killed trying to breach the Syrian-Israel border).  The only person killed this year was when a mob tried to attack the fence separating Gaza from Israel.  So the success of the Israeli tactics has once again thwarted Palestinian attempts to embarrass and defeat Israel. 

The answer to the question as to why the Palestinians have taken this route to try to obtain media coverage from these manufactured events is that at present they have no other options left.  Lets face it, in their permanent clash with Israel they have tried war (at least 5 times), plane hijackings, terrorism (2 intifadas), rockets (still continuing sporadically from Gaza) and diplomatic delegitimization.  So far none of these strategies have worked.  Apart from wallowing in self-pity over the fact that they were defeated 64 years ago, they now seek to obtain media coverage for their cause.  But, the media is otherwise occupied, with the aftermath of the Arab uprisings, the Syrian crisis, and today the pathetic Arab League meeting in Baghdad (only 12 out of 22 Arab countries showed up). 

So the Palestinians are forced to make more outrageous PR stunts to attract media attention.  Their latest stunt, after the failure of the flotillas to Gaza, is a “flytilla,” a fly-in by supposedly a thousand pro-Palestinians from around the world to Ben Gurion airport.  So what will happen?  A few of them may be allowed to enter, but the bulk of them will be turned around and deported, after Israel has obtained valuable intelligence, and the airlines to Israel have been considerably enriched.  Another epic failure!

About the Author
Jack Cohen was born in London and has a PhD in Chemistry from Cambridge University. He moved to the US and worked at the National Cancer Inst. and then Georgetown Medical School. In 1996, he Moved to Israel and became Chief Scientist of the Sheba Medical Center. He retired in 2001 and worked as a Visiting Professor at Hebrew University Medical School for 5 years.