When violence determines policy and diplomacy

In the days preceding President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the legitimate capital of Israel, American elected officials, international leaders, political pundits, journalists and others have warned that this recognition is dangerous, undoubtedly leading to violence because the Palestinians and their supporters will never accept this.  As if a cautionary decree, the world accepts this ludicrous formula:

Arabs/Palestinians riot, cause violence, terrorism when Israel is not punished.

Israelis/Jews do not riot, cause violence, terrorism when Israel IS punished (i.e., there have never been acts of violence as a result of the Holocaust, Yom Kippur War, etc).

This “global warning” to Israel to turn the other cheek, legitimizes terrorist acts.

We have heard and read many predictions that Israel will suffer violence as a result of President Trump declaring Jerusalem to be the capital, stating  “What do you expect?  Now is not the right time.”

Where is the global moral outrage that violence and terrorism can never be acceptable normal reactions?

There have been “calls for calm” which really means Israel needs to behave, to demur, to recognize its strength (morally, militarily) and acquiesce.

As if on cue while I’m writing this, my phone app Red Alert indicates that at least 14 rocket attacks have just launched from Gaza into parts of Southern Israel while Shabbat there has just begun. I picture the families of my 2 daughters and sons-in-law with my 7 grandchildren enjoying their Shabbat dinner.  I picture our dear Uncle and Aunt (a Holocaust survivor) enjoying this peak moment of their week.  And I also picture our brave Israel Defense Forces soldiers (our young cousins among them) having to spend the best young years of their lives in dangerous situations.

So let’s make this really personal. My family and friends in Israel are normal people.  They would never accept descriptions of themselves as brave, courageous or fearless. They simply want to live in our Homeland, contribute to society and be a part of Modern Jewish/Israel History.  They care when someone is hurt, in need or wronged. They also believe in truth, justice and authenticity.

Timing of this decree is not right? The truth is that Jews and the entire world has known for decades, if not longer, that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel.

Was this policy change necessary now?  Perhaps it can act as a strong nudge to encourage the Palestinians back to the negotiating table.  They are the ones who continually walk away. Let them come and negotiate for real peace.

The late Abba Eban, Israeli diplomat and scholar, said in 1973 at the Geneva Peace Conference

“The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”

Stop the rocket attacks, stop digging tunnels, stop calling for days of rage.  It’s time the Palestinians have leadership that leads them to the negotiating table and ultimately to peace.  We Jews and Arabs are cousins, albeit ones who do not get along.  It’s time for this family to plan for its future, living side by side.

About the Author
Melinda/Malka is a Jewish Educator, with a focus on Israel and Holocaust Education. She has worked in formal and informal settings in North America, including Camp Ramah New England and at Day Schools and Religious Schools in Chicago, New York, New Jersey and Florida. She & her husband made Aliyah in 2013, yet for the next 2 years they are in Margate, Florida. She is proud of their 12 grandchildren who live in both countries.