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      Op-Ed: Rabin Sq: The Disillusionment of the Young Israeli Left

      Published: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 6:51 AM
      The youth groups at the memorial for Rabin in Tel Aviv meant well, but missed the point entirely.


      On Saturday night an estimated crowd of 35,000 people gathered in Tel Aviv to mark and memorialize the death of slain Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin 18 years ago on November 4, 1995.  Among those who spoke at the memorial, was Rabin’s grandson, Yonatan Ben-Artzi.  To cheers from many of those in attendance, his remarks were directed at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:

      “For the first time in years, a special opportunity has been put in your path, to take advantage of a unique situation in order to bring peace and solve both the Iranian and Palestinian conflicts at the same time.  All of this with support and encouragement from the international community.”

      The rally itself was organized by a coalition of youth groups, most of whose members were not even born or were in kindergarden when Rabin was assassinated. The religious Zionist Bnai Akiva sent members who attended as a gesture of unity  They all went on to hear Ben-Artzi say:  “My grandfather was murdered over peace and you owe this peace to us, to all of us.”

      He does?


      They all went on to hear Ben-Artzi say: “My grandfather was murdered over peace and you owe this peace to us, to all of us.” He does?
      As if the onus for peace rested solely upon the shoulders of Netanyahu or for that matter, any other previous Israeli Prime Minister.  Forgotten in all this pollyannaish hoopla was the execrable behavior of the Palestinian Arabs and the Islamic world from 1948 until this day.  In an attempt to discern truth from propagandist fiction, let’s examine PA president Mahmoud Abbas’ September 26, 2013 address to the U.N. general Assembly.

      Elected in 2005 to a 4 year term but refusing to yield office or to hold elections since that time, Abbas has never been one to waste a prevarication.  He opened his remarks stating: “I am honored to address you today, and for the first time in the name of the State of Palestine.”  Although their status was upgraded by a majority of sanctimonious states within the U.N/,. by no means is there a recognized Palestinian state.

      He then laments, “an unprecedented injustice had befallen the Palestinian people in ‘Al-Nakba;’  the establishment of the state of Israel.  But failed to reference,  on a cold Saturday; November 29, 1947, when the U.N. voted to partition Palestine into two states; one Jewish, the other Palestinian Arab, the Jews accepted, the Arabs didn’t.  Following the vote, the Arab Higher Committee wrote to  then U.N. Secretary General, Trygve Lie that the Arabs of Palestine:  “will never submit or yield to any Power going to Palestine to enforce partition.  Referencing the Jews he stated “the only way to establish partition is first to wipe them out — man, woman and child.” The clerics of the Al-Azhar Islamic seminary in Cairo called for a “worldwide jihad in defense of Arab Palestine.”

      Unfortunately, most participants at the Rabin memorial are clueless to this or the roots of this conflict, instead, taking the route of least resistance, they buy into the oft-repeated, mendacious narrative of the Palestinian Arabs and their supporters.

      Failing to place the blame for 66 years of incessant warfare where it belongs, on the recalcitrant Arabs, these young idealistic leftists are willing to sacrifice land and liberty for a false hypothetical peace to a foe sworn to the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state.  One has to wonder if any of these children and grandchildren of Israelis who fought so hard against aggression during the wars of 1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973 even listened to any part of Abbas’ U.N. address.  He went on to say:

      “The objective of the negotiations is to secure a lasting peace accord that leads immediately to the establishment of the independence of a fully sovereign State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, on all of the Palestinian lands occupied in 1967.”

      If that were truly the case, why was there no clamor for a fully sovereign Palestinian Arab state with “East Jerusalem” as its capital when Jordan occupied Judea/Samaria between 1948-1967? Having the Eastern portion of the Jewish capital, Jerusalem in their hands, why was there a need for the Six Day War to begin with if not to totally destroy the Jewish character of Israel and usurp all the land?  When this falsely deemed moderate references “all the Palestinian lands,” is it a stretch to recognize he means all of Israel?

       If as he says, “the independence of a fully sovereign State of Palestine” is a requisite to negotiations, why doesn’t he countenance Israel’s right to the same?

      Seemingly buying into Abbas’ false scenario, those at the assembly gathered at the Rabin memorial likewise failed to recognize - or do not know - that for those 19 years, Jews were denied total access to their most Holy sites in “East Jerusalem;”  the Western Wall (Kotel), the Jewish Quarter, the cemetery of Mount Olives, Rachel's Tomb, and others.

      In his unctuous call for Netanyahu to deliver peace, Rabin’s grandson made not one demand on Abbas to end his intransigence. Not once did he decry his refusal to compromise other core issues which continue to render this an irreconcilable situation:

      Unequivocally recognizing Israel as a sovereign Jewish state; dropping demand of return for the progeny of Arabs having left Israel in 1948; a realistic recognition of Israel’s security needs and most important, removal of endemic educational and cultural incitement against Jews throughout Palestinian society are crucial steps.  These, more than apocryphal verbiage trenchant to the international community could lead to a true peace of equals.

      But from all that we’ve seen, from all that we’ve read, and all that we know, does any reasonable person vaguely privy to the dynamics of this conflict see this happening in the near or even distant future?

      I’ve heard the argument, the status quo can’t go on, we have to start somewhere.  Ok, that makes sense.  In October 2010 Prime Minister Netanyahu offered to halt “settlement” construction if the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state.  In other words, he was wiling to completely end a physical undertaking and negate a major Israeli trump card for a hypothetical proclamation of recognition.  In response, to a cadre of left wing MKs in Ramallah, Abbas had this to say:

      "Under no circumstances would the PA sign an agreement with Israel which required the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state or a land swap.

       “The PA would exhibit flexibility regarding the nature of the negotiations, but added that they would not negotiate on issues the Palestinian people consider principal matters.

      "If we showed flexibility on these issues the peace agreement would have been signed a long time ago.”

      With these direct quotes from Israel’s putative peace partner, why are these children and their equally confused adult mentors placing the blame of stalemate on their Prime Minister instead of where it really belongs?

      Taking a shot at my own question.  Having grown up in the only democratic, true constitutional society in that neck of the woods and failing to recognize the fragility of their freedoms, these disillusioned Jewish kids turn inward to express their disenchantment.  Since they have no sway upon the dictators and despots who surround them they have no other choice but to vent their anger, frustration, and feelings of helplessness against those elected to protect them, rather than against their enemies where it really belongs.