Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Jewish Response to Arab Terror

As peace talks are set to begin shortly in Washington, Palestinian terrorists have struck again. In a cold-blooded attack, terrorists opened fire on a Israeli vehicle outside of Kiryat Arbah, murdering two men and two women. Even as the Palestinian leadership is about to sit dawn and supposedly discuss peace with their Israeli counterparts, Palestinian citizens are carrying out murderous attacks against innocent Jewish men, women and children.

This murder is but another demonstration of the uselessness of talks between Israel and the Palestinians. A treaty with the Palestinians is not worth the paper that it is printed on. While Abbas' sincerity to the cause of peace has yet to be proven, his mandate to represent the Palestinian people expired in January 2009. Hamas, ever-committed to the annihilation of the Jewish people and the State of Israel, remains the most popular movement among Palestinians. The most fundamental tenet of Palestinian society is opposition to Zionism and Jewish self-determination. That is why no Palestinian leader can acknowledge Jewish roots in the Land of Israel. That is why Palestinian television continues to refer to Haifa, Lod and Ramle as "occupied cities". That is why Mahmoud Abbas had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the negotiating table, waiting until Bibi's 10 month freeze on settlement construction is about to expire.

As always, the Palestinian goal remains the same: the eradication of "the Zionist entity" and the "liberation of Palestine". While Hamas prefers the direct approach whereas Fatah's strategy is that of the piecemeal "Phased Plan", the ultimate aim is identical. Every Israeli concession brings a new round of Palestinian terror and increased demands. Disengagement from Gaza brought thousands of rockets upon the south of Israel. Freezing Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria only whets the Arab appetite for Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv.

The Palestinians feel that time is on their side. Many Israelis are tired of this seemingly endless conflict and would do almost anything to bring it to an end. If only one more concession will make the Palestinians happy, then so be it- even if that concession means relinquishing control of Israel's most sacred and meaningful sites: Hebron, Shechem, Bethlehem, Beit El, Shiloh, etc.

For the past 10 months, Israel has imposed a moratorium on Jewish building in Judea and Samaria. The freeze is set to expire in September, yet it seems that Bibi, despite intense pressure from his on party, will renew it in order not to arouse the ire of the Americans and the Arabs. The true Jewish response to today's murders would be to immediately lift the freeze and to begin Jewish construction in all parts of the Land of Israel. Such a response would send the clear message that the Jewish return to Zion is not simply a transitory movement but that the Jewish people intend to stay in their homeland. Renewed Jewish building around the graves and homes of its forefathers would make it abundantly clear as to the true owners of the Land of Israel.

Retreat from Hebron means retreat from Jerusalem. Retreat from Jerusalem means retreat from Tel-Aviv. Retreat from Tel-Aviv means retreat into the sea, or at least back into Galut. If we cannot raise our flag in Shechem, the burial place of Joseph on land legally purchased by our forefather Jacob over 3500 years ago, or in Shiloh, the seat of the Tabernacle and religious center of the Jewish people for hundreds of years, how can we claim Tel-Aviv, which is only a century old?

The answer to Palestinian terror is renewed commitment and dedication to the Land of Israel. For every Jew murdered, ten new villages should spring up in the hilltops of Judea and Samaria. We pray that HaShem comfort the victims' families among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem, and through their deaths, we should be inspired to continue rebuilding Zion and Jerusalem.

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