Today, the eve of Yom HaShoah, Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, is a fitting time to note all the depressing news that has been happening lately.
First and foremost is the very bad news that the Palestinian Authority (the PA) – officially the “moderate” or “good” Palestinians of the West Bank – have entered into a unity pact with the terrorists of Hamas. I hardly know where to start in analysing the implications of this pact; certainly people more expert and more articulate than me have done this already. What I will do is point you in their direction and you can read for yourselves. I welcome your input in the comments.
The only opinion I will voice on this subject is that it is definitely not good for the Jews. Firstly, because former President Jimmy Carter says it’s a good thing. If Carter approves of anything, you can be sure it’s bad for Israel and the West. Secondly, according to the terms of the deal, Hamas insists that Salam Fayyad, the PM of the PA, generally considered moderate and possibly amenable to negotiations with Israel, must go. (Hat tip: Elder of Ziyon). The PA freely admit that the driving force behind the unity deal was to enable them to gain recognition for an independent state at the UN.
Vice Premier Sylvain Shalom says “Unity deal will create a state run by Hamas and Iran”.
Melanie Phillips compares the unity deal to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
As usual opposition leader Tzippi Livni blames PM Netanyahu for our enemies’ actions.
At least a smidgen of sensible activity on the part of our government: Israel has suspended payment of tax revenues to the Palestinians in the wake of the unity pact with Hamas. However Salam Fayyad (he who is supposed to go under the terms of the deal) brags that Israel’s sanctions won’t stop the deal.
Another little light in the darkness: US lawmakers warn against PA-Hamas unity. Perhaps threats from the US will be more effective than those from Israel. (I’m not holding my breath though).
Meanwhile, lest we forget the Glorious Arab Spring™, the Egyptians are starting to renege on their agreements with Israel. First to go is the closure of the Gaza border: the Egyptians have said they will permanently open the border, thereby enabling mass movement of Hamas terrorists and huge amounts of armaments into Gaza.
To our north, the news from Syria goes from bad to worse, with troops firing on protestors, parliamentarians quitting the Ba’ath Party, thousands of people fleeing across the border to Lebanon and tanks besieging the city of Deraa.
The war in Libya, meanwhile, is limping along, with reports emerging that NATO have killed Ghaddafi’s son and 3 children.
The uniting factor in all these stories is that they highlight the instability of the Arab regimes in the middle east, the incompetence and self-interest of Western powers, and the antisemitism that always lurks just beneath the surface of Arab regimes, if it is not overtly shown by groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.
Every time Israel is pressured to “make concessions”, “just stop building settlements and all will be peaceful”, “why can’t you give in to those peace-loving moderate Palestinians?” we need to remember what this instability shows: that even a 30-year peace treaty can be overturned in a mater of days; that a border closed by agreement to prevent terrorists entering Israel or its neighbours can be reopened by a wave of the hand; that even treaties inimical to the interests of the Arabs themselves can nevertheless be created and signed in a matter of weeks simply in order to trap Israel. After all, they have always been their own worst enemies. The Palestinians don’t really want to construct a state of their own – they want to destroy the state that we have. They could almost be called political suicide bombers.
On this day before Yom HaShoah, when we commemorate the millions who died because there was no Independent State of Israel to take them in, no IDF to rescue them, we must remind ourselves to be strong in the face of worldwide hectoring, not to give in to well-meaning but incompetent foreign bureaucrats, to remember that states act in their own self-interest and nobody else’s, and not to trust our security and our country to anyone but ourselves.
Most importantly, we must have בטחון in Hashem – to trust in G-d that although His ways are mysterious and unknown to us, to believe that He is moving the chess-pieces on his universe-sized board in order to bring peace and safety to His people.