Aliza Davidovit is a writer, commentator, journalist and former TV producer. She is a contributing editor at Lifestyles and Mann About Town magazines, specializing in interviewing the world's most famous and influential people for cover stories. Davidovit worked at ABC News' "20/20" for six years and the Fox News Channel. She is the author of "The Words that Shaped Me." Her website is Davidovit.com.More ↓Less ↑
Some men will tell a woman anything to seduce her and vice versa. Why? Because it’s human nature to say what you have to say when you desire something bad enough. For life, for liberty, for love, you find the words. But how about for land? The land lust the Palestinians have for the Jewish homeland has had them not only salivating at the chops, but has had both peoples dripping with blood and sharing the good earth – underground. Yet what remains most telling of the Palestinian agenda is not so much what they won’t do as regards Netanyahu’s recent speech, but what they will not say: Israel has the right to exist and is the state of the Jewish people.
And that is why Netanyahu’s speech was very wise, despite the naysayers on all sides. (Indeed, it is only the Middle East where you can’t please any of the people any of the time.) What Netanyahu’s speech served to do was multifold. To start, the location of the speech, held at Bar-Ilan University’s Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, was certainly symbolic and a silent call to Arab leadership to emulate the courage of Anwar Sadat. (And by the way, is there a Rabin Center in any Arab University?). But in not mentioning the name of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Netanyahu served to undermine Abbas’ already tenuous grip on power and as such sent him – the would-be partner in peace – into a rhetorical tailspin evoking the next intifada. The demonizing of Israel is always a way to galvanize political support for Palestinian leaders. The juxtaposition of Abbas’ reaction to Bibi’s policy speech that invoked the word “peace” 43 times served well to illustrate the mentality and temperaments Israel is surrounded by. They won’t even whisper sweet nothings to get Israel into bed; they just want to shtup them right out. Though the West may refer to Abbas as “a moderate,” it may serve to be reminded that he is a Holocaust denier, a denial which was the basis of his Ph.d. thesis, making him a moderate who has a lot in common with Ahmadinejad. And whereas Ahmadinejad wants to wipe Israel off the map, Abbas has yet to recognize that Israel is on it.
“We want to live with you in peace, as good neighbors,” Netanyahu said in his address. “I know the face of war. I have experienced battle. I lost close friends; I lost a brother. I have seen the pain of bereaved families. I do not want war. No one in Israel wants war.” But good thing Netanyahu was once coined the man most women would want to share a bomb shelter with, or Abbas’ rejection might have left him hurt and lonely. To Bibi’s outstretched hand the Palestinians responded: “It’s obvious, in the aftermath of this speech, that we are headed toward another round of violence and bloodshed,” according to a Haaretz article. If a mere policy speech can launch a new intifada, hmmm, maybe, just maybe the Palestinians aren’t quite ready to love their neighbors as themselves.
But students of history should not be surprised by the Palestinian leadership’s reaction to a chance for peace and prosperity for their people. When Israel evacuated the Gaza, instead of building the country they have gladly killed and died for, by developing infrastructure, schools, hospitals, businesses and a future for their people, the Palestinians have built downward, digging tunnels and digging graves. While they vilify Israel for denying humanitarian aid, instead of using their tunnels to smuggle in rockets, let them smuggle in a Band-Aid, a tomato, medication, children’s books and other life-enhancing things. And never mind Gaza. The Palestinians were offered a two-state solution in 1917, 1937, 1948, 2000 and 2008.
“Ehud Barak shocked the world by offering the Palestinians virtually everything they had been demanding,” Alan Dershowitz writes in his book “The Case for Israel,” “including a state with its capital in Jerusalem, control over the Temple Mount, a return of approximately 95 percent of the West Bank and all the Gaza strip, and a $30 billion compensation package for the 1948 refugees.” They reciprocated with suicide bombs. That’s no way to enhance a love affair. Olmert offered them even more than Barak. He, too, was spurned. And now a right-wing prime minister, Netanyahu, calls for a two-state solution and he is accused of postponing peace for 1,000 years and “burying the peace process.” It’s quite obvious by their call to arms and denial of Israel that they’d much rather be burying Jews.
In his speech Netanyahu was correct in questioning, “If the advantages of peace are so evident, we must ask ourselves why peace remains so remote, even as our hand remains outstretched to peace? Why has this conflict continued for more than 60 years?”
Perhaps the answer can be learned in Palestinian classrooms where a next generation is inculcated to hate, to kill and to die. Golda Meir was prescient when she said that there will be no peace as long as the Arabs hate Israel more than they love their own children.
And then along comes Obama, naive at best and certainly an ambiguous friend to Israel, who thinks he can realign the Middle East, dispel ancient grudges, synchronize grating ideologies and usher in a new age. I simply suggest that if he has such talents let him begin in America and sit down with the KKK and charm them into liking Jews and blacks. Then he should cast a spell on Democrats and Republicans to fall in love and finally, he personally should make amends with Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh and publicly exchange ideas with them. When he has accomplished these great peacemaking feats in his own country, perhaps then he can export his messianic powers to the Middle East.
Obama’s apparent lack of understanding of the region is dangerous. And thus if he was Netanyahu’s sole intended audience, then the Israeli leader was wise to give him a history lesson. “Those who think that the continued enmity toward Israel is a product of our presence in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, is confusing cause and consequence,” Netanyahu said.
“The attacks against us began in the 1920s, escalated into a comprehensive attack in 1948 with the declaration of Israel’s independence, continued with the fedayeen attacks in the 1950s, and climaxed in 1967, on the eve of the Six-Day War in an attempt to tighten a noose around the neck of the state of Israel.
“All this occurred during the 50 years before a single Israeli soldier ever set foot in Judea and Samaria.”
Dear Palestinian leadership: Israel is a naïve mistress, and even after all the bloodshed and rejection you may find a kind word goes a long way. Teach your children to respect instead of hate, tell Israel she has a right to exist as a Jewish homeland, and you just may talk your way into a homeland. Words have power. Look what they did for Obama. “Yes we can” live in peace. Can you?