The newest intifada brings the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis back to where it started one hundred years ago: Arabs stabbing Jews.
Study the painful history of the bitter struggle, and you will note that the conflict became intractable in the 1920s, when Arab leaders made a conscious choice to whip their semi-literate lumpenproletariat into a religious fanaticism that prized the slaughter of innocents, hoping pogroms would convince the Jews to leave.
Some, like my grandfather, did leave, which is how my family ended up in South Africa–the only place that would take him at the time–and not on the beachfront in Tel Aviv, where the dusty cinderblock hovel they once owned is now prime real estate.
Yet others stayed, or returned, and helped build a vibrant, dynamic society that has defied a century of war, terrorism, and hatred. There is no doubt Israel will survive this present round of violence as well.
But what will not survive–what ought not survive–is the notion of a Palestinian state. The Palestinians today are a sick people–too sick for statehood.
An example: on Oct. 10, the Palestinian Bar Association awarded an honorary law degree to Muhannad al-Halabi, a 19-year-old law student who stabbed and killed two Israelis in the Old City. Al-Halabi had attacked a young family on their way back from prayers at the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site.
The attack was partially caught on video. In footage provided to the Times of Israel–if you can bear to watch it–you can hear Adele Banita scream as Al-Halabi attacks her, her husband, and her two small children.
Banta told reporters as she recovered in the hospital that Arab shopkeepers nearby did nothing to intervene: “I yelled ‘please help me!’ and they just spat at me,” she said. A Jewish man nearby who did intervene was also stabbed to death.
That is what the Palestinian Bar Association has chosen to honor. The group of professionals who would be called upon to shape the institutional foundations of a future Palestinian state have declared proudly that it is not only legal for an Arab to murder innocent Jewish men, women and children, but that it is in fact honorable to do so.
You cannot build any kind of functioning, let alone self-governing, society from such rotten, morally diseased material.
Amazingly, the “civilized” West encourages Palestinians to behave this way. As MEMRI points out, the Palestinian Bar Association receives funding from the EU and the UN.
Beyond the money, western leftists provide intellectual justification for Palestinian bloodlust. I will never forget the day I sat in a seminar on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at Harvard Law School and learned the opinions of my leftist legal classmates. I wrote at the time (Nov. 2007):
We went around the class, canvassing opinions. On the question of whether a Palestinian guerilla fighter not wearing a uniform has the right to kill an Israeli soldier in the West Bank, 11 said yes and 4 said no. On the question of whether Palestinians can kill Israeli civilians, or whether violence against civilians is ever justified, 1 said yes and 6 said no, with 8 abstensions or “it depends” answers.
So two-thirds of the class think it’s OK for a soldier to be killed for no apparent reason other than his presence in the occupied territories, and a majority refuses to condemn violence against civilians. A majority.
These are the sort of lawyers who go on to advise the hapless John Kerry at the State Department, who told an audience at Harvard this week a “massive increase” (sic) in Israeli settlements had caused the violence–thereby excusing Palestinians’ terror spree.
In fact, as even the left-wing Ha’aretz pointed out, “there has been less construction activity in the settlements than under any other prime minister since 1995.”
Kerry wants to go back to the region and renew efforts to create a Palestinian state. His chief partner is Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, reportedly the first world leader whom Barack Obama called after he was inaugurated in January 2009.
Abbas is often described as a moderate, both in the U.S. and Israel–though the term is relative. In fact, Abbas incited the wave of violence.
Last month, he told Palestinian television: “We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem.” This month, he claimed that Israel had “executed” an Arab teenager “cold blood.” The teen in question is alive and recovering in an Israeli hospital after attempting to stab Israelis.
You cannot build a state on hatred. They may have a flag at the UN, but Palestinians will never–and, now, should never–have a state.