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Israel in the Hot Seat Again — for Building Homes

Vice President Joe Biden condemns a new Israeli settlement plan.

by
P. David Hornik

Bio

March 11, 2010 - 12:00 am
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In all this period there was — as usual — a total absence of public criticism of the Palestinian Authority from these same sources. Why? Was it because, in contrast to Israel’s constant alleged breaches of propriety, the PA’s behavior was without blemish?

Not exactly. In December an Israeli father of seven was murdered in a drive-by shooting by terrorists belonging to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, part of PA president Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement. After Israeli forces found and killed three of the terrorists, Abbas called them shahids (martyrs) and sent his personal emissary to visit their families. PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad went further, visiting the families himself and “condemn[ing] the Israeli military operation” — not the terrorists, whom the Fatah movement called “brave heroes and fighters.”

In February an EU-trained Palestinian policeman stabbed an Israeli soldier to death at a checkpoint. Hardly an isolated incident, it was part of a “trend” of fatal terror attacks by American- and European-trained Palestinian security personnel. Condemnations? A rethink of the policy of training and empowering Palestinian security forces for the future Palestinian state that would nestle right up against Israel’s population centers? Of course not.

In January the PA announced that it was naming a square in Ramallah after Dalal al-Mughrabi, the female Palestinian terrorist who led the 1978 Coastal Road massacre, the worse terror attack in Israeli history. Israel registered official complaints with the U.S. The formal dedication of the square is set to occur on Thursday — on the 32nd anniversary of the attack. The Israeli Foreign Ministry states: “There has been no public comment from the Obama administration about the PA’s honoring of the terrorist.”

This picture is skewed — badly. Are Israeli actions like building homes for Jews in Jerusalem, or refurbishing shrines for the good of both Jews and Muslims who pray in them, really objectionable in themselves? Of course not. They’re “objectionable” because they make Palestinians angry — as a vanguard of the Arab/Muslim world, which is much larger and wields much more economic power than Israel.

If that explanation doesn’t seem right, then how could it be that truly objectionable actions by the Palestinians — committing murder, glorifying the murderers, dedicating a public site to a massacre — evoke nary a peep from the same parties that rush to condemn Israel?

That international bodies like the UN and the EU are deeply in the thrall of dhimmitude before Muslim power is probably an irremediable situation. One can still hope that the United States, with its far stronger moral credentials, can one day stop the charade of hectoring its ally Israel and excusing true outrages.


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P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Beersheva and author of the book Choosing Life in Israel.
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