Ralph Buntyn

When there is no peace…

“Too long have I had my dwelling among those who hate peace.” (Psalm 120:6)

A recent public opinion poll conducted by the Arab World for Research and Development (AWRAD) and published on November 14 showed that 75% of Palestinians support Hamas’s actions on October 7 as opposed to only 13% who disapprove.

According to the results, 59.3% of the Palestinians expressed ‘extreme support’ for the actions of Hamas on October 7, while 15.7% said they ‘somewhat’ favored the massacre. Fewer than 13% of the Palestinians opposed it.

But the poll not only represented Gaza alone, but also the West Bank.

Polling showed that 68% of the Palestinians in the West Bank said they ‘extremely support’ the massacre of Israelis, while another 14.8% said they ‘somewhat’ support it. In total, 87.7% of the Palestinians in the West Bank have a positive sentiment toward Hamas. Only 10.2% of the Palestinians living in the West Bank have a negative sentiment toward Hamas.

Despite the ugliness of Hamas’ recent horrific actions and its total mismanagement of Gaza, the Palestinians still favor their rule.

Is this a legitimate partner for peace with Israel?

Is it even possible for Israel to achieve peace with its Arab neighbors? If so, this peace must be built on foundations of security, justice, and above all, truth. Sadly, truth has been the first casualty of past Arab campaigns against Israel. To begin to resolve the conflict a policy of coexistence must be agreed upon. A durable peace requires partners who seek a durable solution.

The Palestinian Arabs were offered a state by the United Nations in 1947, and they rejected it. So did the surrounding Arab states who unanimously opposed Palestinian statehood.

We see global demonstrations for Palestine to be free “from the river to the sea,” meaning no Israel, hardly a policy of coexistence. Until more than a couple of Arab nations make their peace with Israel’s existence by also establishing a formal peace the madness will continue.

Consider that for close to a century Arab society and Arab politics have been driven by an anti-Jewish obsession that has known no limits. Israel’s very existence remains a crucial obstacle to be overcome if a durable peace is to be achieved.

When the West Bank and Gaza, which Jordan and Egypt captured in 1948, were in Arab hands the issue of Palestinian statehood was neither heard in either place or was it an issue with surrounding Arab nations. Thus, there is no shred of an historical connection linking the demand for Palestinian statehood to Israel’s declaration of statehood. Only in 1967 when Israel defeated the combined forces of Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Jordan did the subject of Palestinian statehood become an issue to Arab neighbors.

The problem is not territorial but existential.

As former Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger stated so well in a recent issue of his newsletter, the Palestinians have a track record of biting the hands that feed them.

From collaborating with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in the early 1950s to terrorizing Syria, their host country in the 1960s. There was Black September in 1970 when Palestinian leadership triggered a civil war in Jordan and thousands of Palestinians were either killed or expelled and the PLO was driven out of the country. In 1970-82 Palestinian leadership instigated a series of civil wars in Lebanon in efforts to take over their host country.

Where is the legitimate partner for peace?

The issue of the Palestinian Arabs requires a fair and forthright solution that considers their full situation. But not in exchange for a Palestinian state bordering Tel Aviv that would pose a lethal threat to Israel’s existence.

If the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, then there is a justifiable cause for concern.

About the Author
Ralph Buntyn is a retired marketing executive for a Fortune 500 company. He is executive vice-president and associate editor for United Israel World Union, an 80 year old Jewish educational organization dedicated to propagating the ideals of the Decalogue faith on a universal scale. An author and writer, his articles and essays have appeared in various media outlets including The Southern Shofar, The Jerusalem Post, and the United Israel Bulletin. He is the author of "The Book of David: David Horowitz: Dean of United Nations Press Corps and Founder: United Israel World Union."
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