Rachel Bell

The Lack of Hope

Apologists for the “knife Intifada” fill social feeds. Newspapers contain articles outlining the reasons, the desperation, the humiliation that prompts murder. Checkpoints, raids, lack of admired leadership, no hope for the future, and fears of status quo changes fuel rage and desperation, according to these sources.

The fact is that youth has no hope – this is a key argument that apologists offer to defend the maniacal murder spree that Palestinian youth has espoused. Yet no one considers  the following. Jewish youth also have no hope now for peace. There is no peace process in place. There is no indication that there will be a peace process. In the peace processes that have already failed, Israel offered as much as it felt it could live with – and concessions that were painful and infuriating and that some Israelis actually could not live with. But the Palestinian Authority, with Abbas the “peace partner” at the head, refused these peace treaties. After the consistent refusal of all of these treaties, it seems completely unlikely that Israel can offer any better peace treaty, not only because of the changed Middle East, but because it does not appear that the Palestinian Authority will accept a peace treaty that Israel can live with, even with difficulty. It seems pretty clear that the Palestinian Authority’s demands exceed what Israel can offer. So any peace treaty is doomed. And this is completely the choice of the Palestinian Authority.

Yet this lack of commitment was always a subtle theme amongst the Palestinian Authority, and it is now hard to believe that they ever negotiated in good faith. While purporting to be interested in peace, they praised and lauded murderers as national heroes. They inculcated in their children, and laid out for the future of their people, that a perpetual war against Jews and continual murder of Jews is the greatest good. They ran summer camps called the Bloody March on Jerusalem where children marched singing songs about how the streets would run with blood. They had television programs where animated characters urged children to heroically kill Jews. They used school books with mathematics questions that counted murdered Jews. Why were they training their children to murder Jews if they were interested in peace?

Either one or the other is true, either they wanted perpetual war, a genocidal war against Jews, or they wanted peace. And from their behavior, it seems what they wanted is war. The fruit of this choice is a “knife Intifada” and no hope. People blame Israel for this, but Israel did not convince the Palestinians to choose this path of war for their children. They chose it themselves. If it makes them suffer, it is time for them to face their own history of choices and make some changes. Apologists do not help anyone when they refuse to see that a lack of hope is what the Palestinians have chosen for both sides.

About the Author
Rachel Bell considers living in Israel a challenge, as is writing for a living for over 20 years. Her family, from Tzfat and later Tel Aviv, left her a legacy of commitment to the project of self-determination and indigenous self-actualization called Israel.
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