Thursday, June 17, 2004

Ja: Rapley on Israel

Here's this delightful tidbit from Rapley's column:

in the country at large, Mr. Sharon's plan enjoys wide support, and his popularity is rising. In part, his poll numbers have been boosted by a modest economic rebound and a reduction in terrorist attacks within Israel. But most Israelis are not wedded to the occupied territories and would be willing to abandon most of them if they believed peace or at least a measure of stability would result.

It is difficult to see where this peace will come from, though. Having dismissed the Palestinian leadership as a negotiating partner, Mr. Sharon is forging ahead on his own. Consequently, Palestinians have even less say in the future direction of their lives than they did before (and it is far from obvious that Mr. Sharon ever seriously wanted a Palestinian negotiating partner).


Mr. Sharon's military hard-line against Palestinian militants has ravaged the infrastructure of the Palestinian territories and rendered them virtually stateless. To add insult to injury, Mr. Sharon is now discussing his unilateral peace initiative with the White House, without any Palestinian representation in the process. The Arabs have been reduced to passive observers of the decisions that will govern their existence.
There are a number of points to be made here. One, Rapley, a Senior Lecturer in Government at UWI, Mona, has forgotten his history. What use is there in trying to talk peace with a people who have always rejected peaceful coexistence and have never been willing to negotiate anything but Israel's destruction? Given Arafat's trashing of the Oslo Accord and dismissal of the Clinton plan -- which would have given the Arabs 95% of what they wanted -- followed by the renewed onset of terrorism, the best thing Sharon can do is present the Arabs with a fait accompli. And, that's precisely what he's doing.

Two, Rapley, politically correct, speaks of Sharon's "military hard-line against 'Palestinian' militants." What "militants" are these who strap bombs on children and women? As a Senior Lecturer in Government, he ought to have recognized the distinction between a "militant" and a "terrorist."

Three, there never was a "Palestinian" state, and every effort to ensure that both Jews and Arabs inhabited the same land has come to nought. If the Arabs receive West Bank and Gaza it is because of Israeli generosity; after all, Israel defeated Jordan (West Bank) and Egypt (Gaza), and Syria (Golan). It seems that Rapley has forgotten the ancient rules of warfare -- to the victor goes the spoils -- under which Israel would have been justified in banishing every Arab from the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), Gaza, and Golan after the Six Day War of 1967 which the Arabs begun. Therefore, if these territories are occupied by anyone, it is the Arabs who are the occupiers. They could have all been expelled to Syria, Jordan, and wherever, but were not.

Four, the Arabs are not passive in this peace-making effort of Sharon. Instead, they are very busy attempting to overset it by lobbing bombs and missiles into Israel, and by sending young thugs to kill any and every Jew. Had all that energy been put to constructive use, the Arabs would have had a seat at the table.

Rapley thus reduces the Arabs of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza to victims when they are victim of nothing else but their own folly and evil genocidal intent. In penning his piece, he has disregarded the historical context which, when taken into consideration, reveals that events are not quite what Rapley would have them be.


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