Our peace partners, the Palestinians

The world loves to exhort us to make peace with the Palestinians because after all, you make peace with your  enemy not with your friends. What the world misses is that you make peace with your enemy after he has decided not to be your enemy after all, either through his total surrender or through a sudden and drastic about turn in his attitude towards you.

In our case neither of these hoped-for events are visible on the horizon. In fact the enemy, in the shape of the Palestinian Authority, is doing its darndest to prevent any normalization with Israel, and moreover it severely punishes (up to and including the death penalty) anyone trying to build a normal relationship with Israelis.

Here are just a few examples from recent days.

The sole fatality in the massive rocket barrage from Hamas into southern Israel was Mahmoud Abu Asabeh, a Palestinian man residing and working legally in Ashkelon. His body was returned to his family in Halhoul, but his funeral was a very quiet affair, rather than the usual outpourings of emotion that we have come to expect from Palestinian funerals. The reason for this was because he was killed by “one of their own” – by their friends in Hamas rather than by Israel, and therefore he could not be called a martyr. This is not meant to detract from the victim himself. I am just pointing out these facts to show what a perverted society the Palestinians have become.

HALHOUL, West Bank — At a small medical clinic northwest of Hebron, dozens of members of the Abu Asabeh family on Wednesday received the remains of their loved one, Mahmoud Abu Asabeh, who was killed in Israel by a rocket fired from Gaza earlier this week.

Mahmoud Abu Asabeh, killed in Ashkelon by a Hamas rocket

Nihal Abu Asabeh immediately broke down in tears and fell to the ground when she saw her 48-year-old son’s body. Her family members hoisted her up and helped her sit on a nearby chair.

“Mahmoud… Mahmoud,” she cried out, as medical professionals carried his body into the clinic in the West Bank town of Halhoul to wash and wrap it in a white cloth.

Later, family members and locals brought the body to Halhoul’s Nabi Younis Mosque, where they performed traditional prayers and subsequently buried Abu Asabeh in an adjacent cemetery, beside his grandfather.

The funeral was almost entirely devoid of chants and factional flags, which are commonplace at funerals for Palestinians killed in connection with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Traditional Middle Eastern scarfs, however, were laid on Mahmoud’s remains.

The quiet funeral of Mahmoud Abu Asabeh in Halhoul

No senior Fatah or PA officials attended the burial service. In contrast, a month ago, many high-level Fatah and PA officials took part in a funeral for a Palestinian who was allegedly killed by settlers in the northern West Bank. Few journalists covered the event.

Mahmoud Abu Asabeh, a Palestinian from Halhoul, was a contractor with a permit to work in Israel, where he spent much of his time.

The Palestinian woman who was with Mahmoud Abu Asabeh at the time, and was severely injured in the rocket attack, has now asked for asylum in Israel as she fears being called a collaborator if she returns to her hometown, as Israellycool reports:

The woman has since been interviewed by Israeli TV. She describes being afraid to return to the PA since they suspect she cooperated with Israel and have threatened her and her family. At the same time, she makes it clear she loves Israel and wants to stay here.

(make sure captions enabled for English subtitles)

Again, what kind of society would punish a woman for residing in the territory of their peace partners?  The same kind of society whose governing authority, the Palestinian Authority (PA), punishes a policeman for helping change the tire of an IDF truck:

The Palestinian Authority police commander of Hebron, Col. Ahmed Abu al-Rub, has been suspended for allegedly helping IDF soldiers fix a flat tire of an army vehicle.

PA Police chief in Hebron Col. Ahmed Abu al-Rub helping Israeli soldiers replace a tire on a military vehicle on November 11, 2018. (Screenshot: Twitter)

PA Police Chief Hazem Atallah ordered the suspension of Abu al-Rub after pictures appeared on social media showing him kneeling down to inspect an IDF vehicle near Hebron. It was unclear from the pictures whether the police commander fixed the flat tire.

Palestinians claimed the images were taken near Yatta, a city of 65,000 located 8 km. south of Hebron, and that the police commander was repairing the tire of the IDF vehicle. Atallah also decided to launch an investigation against the police commander.

PA police spokesman Loay Zriekat confirmed that Abu al-Rub had been suspended pending an investigation. He said Abu al-Rub has been temporarily replaced by his deputy.

The pictures sparked a wave of criticism on social media, where many Palestinians mocked Abu al-Rub for “volunteering” to fix the tire of the IDF vehicle.

Hamas and other Gaza-based Palestinian terrorist groups ridiculed the Hebron police commander, and said the photographs were humiliating for all Palestinians.

The fact that the Palestinians consider it “humiliating” for one of their own to help Israelis, even IDF soldiers, is significant for what it illustrates about Palestinian society. How can there ever be peace if they consider simply changing a tire to be a punishable offense?

In a similar story, a Palestinian who saved the lives of Jewish children in the aftermath of a terror attack after their father was killed, was threatened with death by the Palestinian Authority for having helped Israelis. Disgracefully, his work permit in Israel has now been revoked and he has to risk his life to return to his hometown:

A Palestinian man who saved the children of a West Bank rabbi  in the aftermath of the deadly terror attack in which the father was killed, has been told he has to return to the West Bank, despite threats on his life there, Hadashot news reported Friday.

Hebron Jewish settlers’ council head Yochai Damari (left) with the Palestinian man who came to the aid of the Mark family after the July 1, 2016 terrorist attack in which Rabbi Miki Mark was killed (Har Hebron Regional Council)

Rabbi Miki Mark was murdered in a July 1, 2016, shooting. His wife Chava was seriously injured, and their two teenage children were also hurt. The Palestinian rescuer and his wife, residents of the Hebron area, helped the surviving members of the Mark family escape their overturned vehicle and administered first aid until first responders arrived at the scene.

The Palestinian man, who has not been named, received a temporary visa to live and work in Israel after receiving death threats in his home town near the West Bank city of Hebron.

“They started calling me a traitor,” he told Hadashot news. “They started to throw rocks and Molotov cocktails at my car. I was worried that when I left the house I would be burned alive.”

Following the threats, he turned to the Israeli Civil Administration, which is the interface between Israel and the West Bank. Israel decided to grant him a temporary permit to live in Israel, Hadashot reported.

He told Hadashot news that he was afraid he would be killed if he returned to the West Bank.

“If I go, it is as if I’m going to my death,” he said.

Despite his fears, he said he had no regrets for rescuing the children.

“I’m not sorry that I helped Jewish people,” he said. “I did it because of my heart. And I know that in the end, God will bless me.”

I sincerely hope G-d blesses this brave man and looks after him, because it seems highly unfair that he should have to risk his life to return to Hebron. This is not the gratitude that we were taught to show towards those who help us.

Another even more egregious story appeared today, in which Israel is working hard to secure the release of an Arab who has been arrested for selling land to Jews (apartheid anyone?):

Israel has increased its pressure on the Palestinian Authority (PA) in an effort to secure the release of Issam Akel, an east Jerusalem resident with American citizenship, who was detained by the PA’s General Intelligence Service (GIS) six weeks ago on suspicion of selling lands to Jews.

Issam Akel, abducted by the PA on suspicion of selling land to Jews

On Sunday, the Israel Police arrested Adnan Rit, the Governor of the Jerusalem District of the Palestinian Authority, for the third time this month on suspicion he was behind Akel’s detention. Rit had been arrested at his home in east Jerusalem’s Silwan neighborhood, and his remand was extended until Thursday.

This move was one of a series of unusual steps the Israeli defense establishment has taken against senior officials in the PA as part of the attempts to free Akel.

Before Rit’s arrest, GOC Home Front Command Maj.-Gen. Tamir Yadai issued an order prohibiting the Palestinian Jerusalem district governor from having direct or indirect communications with several PA officials, including the head of the GIS, Majed Faraj—who is one of the heads of the Palestinian security coordination with Israel—as well as the head of the Tanzim, Fatah’s militant faction.

In addition, Rit was barred from entering the West Bank, including Palestinian Authority territories.

According to Rit’s arrest warrant, he “is involved in the detentions of Israeli citizens by the PA, which jeopardizes Israel and its citizens’ security.”

Israel has also issued a stay of exit order on Adnan Husseini, the PA’s minister for Jerusalem affairs, who has been involved in the persecution of Arabs for selling lands to Jews in east Jerusalem.

Lt. Col. (res.) Baruch Yedid, who served in the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) unit, argued that Israel should take harsher measures to ensure Akel’s release.

“Israel should act against the Palestinian General Intelligence Service head, who followed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s orders to abduct (Akel). Other measures are not effective, since they do not influence the Palestinian intelligence head, nor the PA’s minister for Jerusalem affairs Adnan Husseini, who strongly opposed Akel’s release,” he said.

This is not just a matter of obtaining the release of a man unfairly arrested or abducted. This could end up being a matter of life or death as the PA has on its books a law calling for the death sentence for anyone selling land to a Jew.

We are not surprised therefore when we read in the Times of Israel that:

Polls, however, have shown that Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation is highly unpopular on the Palestinian street.

In a survey conducted in 2015 by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, 64% of Palestinians said told pollsters they support the discontinuation of security cooperation.

How could they think otherwise? The Palestinian people have been brainwashed by the threat of dire punishment, and through their media and the influence of their honour-shame culture into eternal hatred of Israel and by extension of the Jewish people. This is continued into the next generations by their incitement in the educational system and children’s TV programs.

We will never see real peace until there is a fundamental change in Palestinian society and I can’t see how that will ever happen.

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4 Responses to Our peace partners, the Palestinians

  1. Pingback: Our peace partners, the Palestinians – 24/6 Magazine

  2. Reality says:

    As you say why bother to try to make peace?
    Another item of Palestinian anger against their own people.An Arab man killed on route 90 a few weeks ago was not allowed to be buried in his village cemetary as about 20 years ago there were rumours of him selling houses to Jews.So the Rabbi of Jerusalem arranged a burial for him in a Jerusalem cemetary .Is that humanitarian?Apartheid?But the world doesn’t care or hear.Only critisising the Jews and Israel is considered politically correct

  3. Brian Goldfarb says:

    “… why bother to try to make peace?”

    While I’m with Abba Eban on this (The [Palestinians – he said Arabs] never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity), the alternative is, in the long run, dire. We all know that Israel’s enemies can afford to keep losing battles and wars, Israel only needs to lose once…

    That’s why, however hopeless the process appears, even (my word) politicians such as Netanyahu, who at best only hope, rather than expect, a viable peace settlement, know that they have to keep trying.

    One day they may even find a politician on the other side who genuinely wants peace, is aware of the compromises necessary to make that happen, and will survive long enough to bring it about.

    After all, Sadat did, for long enough to make it stick (and el-Sisi keeps confirming it), as did King Hussein. And to the south, the ice-bergs are beginning to melt, even if it is only because of a fear of the furnace to the north.

    And no nation can live on a war footing for ever, not even an economically and militarily powerful one like Israel. That’s why Israeli politicians (at least those who have a grasp of reality, and I include Bibi here, but not Lieberman) keep seeking a viable peace, and will accept cease-fires that they know are temporary…anything that will let the children sleep at night and not subject the population to the terror of the sirens.

    And do Israelis really want to re-occupy Gaza? Are you serious?

    Even Qatar is apparently rethinking its policy of stuffing Hamas’s mouth with gold, according to a recent article on the net.

    The long game is to stay strong, so Israel remains secure, and wait for a generation to come along that wants the goodies that all Israelis have, and which knows that these will only come with peace, when their hard-won earnings will no longer be wasted on pointless rockets, and instead be spent on long-term infrastructure, genuine education and consumer goods.

    In the meantime, as F.D. Roosevelt said, walk softly and carry a big stick, just in case…

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