Think for yourself, Ambassador Shapiro

Shapiro has crossed the red lines.

Ron Jager,

OpEds Ron Jager
Ron Jager
PR

Dan Shapiro's latest “wake-up call” falsely accusing Israel of implementing “two standards of adherence to the law: one for Israelis and one for Palestinian Arabs”  was a new low. Shapiro, who has always used his Jewish identity to infer that he is "one of us," crossed the red lines and joined the ranks of Israel's enemies.

Directing him are President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, both leading proponents of the school of "saving Israel from itself". They claim at every opportunity that the status quo is unsustainable, and have been at the forefront of advancing a unilateral two-state solution, an idea that has been proven over and over again to be unattainable and is vehemently opposed by the Palestinian Arabs.

Dan Shapiro criticized Israel's ‘settlements’ and then sharply condemned its “West Bank policy”, speaking in Tel Aviv in the aftermath of brutal Palestinian terror. The day before he spoke, a Palestinian Arab terrorist slashed Dafna Meir, a 38-year-old mother of six, to death at the entrance of her home, in front of her children. A day later, as Meir's funeral convoy was traveling to Jerusalem, another Palestinian Arab terrorist slashed and badly wounded a 30-year-old pregnant woman who was shopping.

A day after Shapiro spoke; Fatah Central Committee member Tawfiq Al-Tirawi called a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital, "just a phase" of an ongoing struggle. Palestine, he said, "stretches from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea," adding, "I challenge any Palestinian to say that the map of Palestine is limited to the West Bank and Gaza."

Dan Shapiro is at the forefront of an administration that refuses to see, hear, and acknowledge a Palestinian Arab leadership and population with no real interest in permanent peace at all.  The Obama administration has learned nothing and forgotten everything from Israel´s past unilateral withdrawals. Now they want to repeat those failed experiments even closer to Israel´s main population centers and expose all of Israel to the daily reality that exists in Southern Israel - indiscriminate missile and rocket attacks. Rather than having confidence in the justice of Israel´s cause, they look for short term solutions that only make the Arabs even more intransigent, since they are given no reason whatsoever to negotiate, just an incentive to simply hold out for more unilateral and one- sided withdrawals.

Perhaps the best response to President Obama and all those who would shove unilateralism down Israel´s throat is to remind them that unilateralism works both ways. Rather than withdrawing from territory, unilateralism can be focused towards annexation and extending Israeli sovereignty on territories that have been till now in dispute. Unilateralism can also be used towards Israel´s advantage in regard to international and Security Council Resolutions.

The following are two simple possibilities are just begging to be implemented:

Let start with the most obvious example: The security barrier was created in response to the suicide bombers during a previous Palestinian Arab terror wave back in 2000. At the time, Palestinian suicide bombers simply walked into central Israel packed with deadly vest bombs and creating havoc, not to mention hundreds of dead and wounded. To prevent this suicidal terror, the security barrier was constructed and completed leaving 8% of the land mass of Judea and Samaria ("West Bank") on the Israeli side, implying that under no circumstances will this land mass west of the security barrier be forfeited and that it will remain forever under Israeli control and sovereignty. Israel can and should unilaterally annex this land mass, as clearly it will remain part of Israel under any future agreement with the Palestinian Arabs.

A second example of Israeli unilateralism can focus on United Nations Security Council resolution 242. Israel should demand from the Security Council that Israel´s full withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, pulling out both its military and civilian population, ceding control of Gaza´s border with Egypt should be seen as full compliance with Security Council Resolution 242 which states "Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories." Since Israel is not obligated to withdrawal from all of the territories but from "territories", Israel should claim unilaterally and in accordance to International law that Israel has complied fully with resolution 242. This means that Security Council resolution 242 is no longer applicable or relevant to any future negotiations on the final status of Judea and Samaria.

As Ambassador Dan Shapiro continues his one man crusade to “save Israel from itself”, it might be wise of him to stop and reconsider his next steps. For Jews like Shapiro, the notion of the “occupation” has become the defining lens through which everything about the Israel is explained and justified, yet he and others belonging to the American Jewish liberal establishment will never understand nor internalize one basic tenet: Jewish communities located in Judea and Samaria generate disproportionate criticism not because they inhabit  a "non-democratic Jewish state," but because they represent the very embodiment of a moral world and are the modern day torch bearers of Western Democratic principles.

Take a really close look at what keeps the conflict between the Palestinian Arabs and Israel on slow burner for so long, try to imagine what would happen if the Palestinian Arabs had the military strength of Israel and Israel had the military strength of the Palestinian Arabs.  Do you think the Jews of Judea and Samaria would be subject to the occasional harassment at the Allenby border crossing and other military checkpoints?  Or do you suspect, and even know somewhere deep down, that the world would stand by, that Shapiro and other American Jewish liberals would remain silent as they did during the Holocaust and witness a terrible massacre?

For this reason alone, Shapiro should be the first to acknowledge that despite this complex reality of an unrelenting Palestinian primal urge to murder Jews, the Jews respond by maintaining a moral and democratic society, and the Palestinian Arabs living in Judea and Samaria enjoy more opportunities, more human rights and more freedoms than any other Arabs living in any other Arab nation in the Middle East.

As the Palestinian Arab authority looks for a distraction from its complete failure to provide basic services, employment, electricity and running water, or any hope of a peaceful solution to the conflict with Israel, Dan Shapiro should be reminded that Israel cannot force the Palestinian Arabs to make peace with it.

What is no less true is that Israel can respond to the current terror wave aided and abetted by the Palestinian Arab leadership by implementing Israel’s version of unilateralism. Only by providing disincentives that show the Palestinian Arabs that terror is counterproductive and works against their goal of making a state for themselves, will the current terror wave come to an end.

As Dan Shapiro enters the final stage of his tenure as the American Ambassador to Israel, it would be wise of him to remind his boss at the White House that as Presidents come and go, including the past 7 years of the Obama Presidency, Israel remains stronger than ever.




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