Saturday, July 02, 2016

Dire Threats Eluding Solution

"The more severe the acts of terrorism, the greater the amount of funds [to be withheld from the Palestinian Authority]." 
"[Payment] to terrorists [through the PA providing monthly stipends to families of Palestinian murderers and convicts in Israeli prisons in the guise of welfare] and their families constitutes incentive for murder."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Mideast Israel Palestinians Ramadan
Palestinians cross Qalandia checkpoint between the West Bank city of Ramallah and Jerusalem on their way to attend the last Friday prayers in Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque during Muslim holy month of Ramadan at the , Friday, July 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
 "[Hundreds of soldiers of the IDF will be deployed as] a physical barrier on the ground [between the West Bank city of Hebron and nearby settlements, representing the military's] most substantial steps [since 2014]."
Lt.-Col Peter Lerner, Israeli military spokesman

"This measure is meant to collectively punish our people."
Dawod Zatari, Hebron mayor
Is there another alternative? When there is an ongoing menace of death approaching from any direction by multiple means, whenever least expected, at the hands of fanatics whose deranged state of mind has resulted from lifelong exposure to hate, blame and vengeance seeking to expunge the emotions skilfully engineered in a society whose leaders prefer to use their population as a battering ram rather than negotiate honestly for the purpose of settling claims between Jews and Arabs to a final conclusion where each surrenders something so the other will agree to agree.

The closure imposed by the Israeli army on the city of Hebron with its 170,000 population, a West Bank city with an emotional volcanic configuration that sends up bursts of sizzling lava in the form of young Palestinians determined to martyr themselves through the honour-restorative of killing a Jew, represents a desperate effort to put a halt to the carnage that has taken the lives of both Jews and Arabs over the past seven months.

Where psychotic events leading some among the 170,000 Palestinians who view the death of Jews from among the 850 Israelis who live in nearby settlements a solution to their hatred, have roiled both populations in a dance of macabre death; killing begetting killing. Close to Hebron exists a site claimed as sacred to both Jews and Arabs, and like the Temple Mount/Nobel Sanctuary, that site has become a flashpoint for rage. At both, the presence of Jews wishing to worship, motivates Arabs to attack them.

The Tomb of the Patriarchs is a Judaic heritage site recalling antiquity and the memory of antecedents and worship. Because, when Mohammad constructed his version of a monotheistic religion geared to appeal to Bedouin tribal Arabs he co-opted for his new religion many prophets and significant other figures along with precepts for his Islam, contending that Islam represented the finished product that Judaism and Christianity represent, Muslims hold many Judaic figures in reverence, claiming them to have been Palestinian in origin.

That claim lends credence to them in asserting that there was never a Jewish presence in the Holy Land, that the Noble Sanctuary was never the site of the ancient Temples of Solomon, that Jerusalem was always a Muslim city, and that the presence of Jews in the Middle East is that of 'foreigners' invading Arab territory. This is a particularly mendacious Arab preferential version of history, irrespective of ancient texts proving otherwise.

The latest prod to this latest move to protect settlers from being murdered by their Palestinian neighbours has resulted from yet another attack that took place yesterday ambushing an Israeli family in their vehicle travelling in the West Bank yesterday. The head of a Yeshivah in the Otniel settlement, 48-year-old Miki Mark, a father of ten, was killed when an assassin in another vehicle raked the Mark vehicle with gunfire, causing it to turn over, killing the man, injuring his wife and two teen children.

And, again on Friday, a Palestinian woman of 27, Sarah Tarayreh, a cousin of the 17-year-old who had a day earlier stabbed a 13-year-old Israeli girl to death, had herself attempted to stab an Israeli officer during a security check outside the Hebron shrine. Hebron, as the largest Palestinian city in the West Bank, has been the source of 80 attacks against Israelis since September. Which has led Mr. Netanyahu to impose a closure and reduce tax revenues forwarded to the Palestinians.

None of these measures will be an aid to stifling the hatred. They represent desperation, not the promise of any kind of solution. And as time goes on, it begins to look as though a solution to the deadly relations between Jew and Arab in the Middle East is destined to elude. Until such time as both feel they cannot any longer live with the threat of murderous dysfunction staining and straining their lives.

Israel is prepared to return to the bargaining table. It has previously agreed to most of the Palestinian demands, whereas the Palestinian negotiators refuse Israeli issues of non-negotiability, and respond by increasing their demands of the Israelis. Even so, when almost all their demands have been agreed to, the Palestinians pull back and back out. To the present time, where they continue to refuse to reopen negotiations. The Palestinian sense of entitlement is overbearingly futile yet unappeasable.

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