Israel in the fire
Endorsing a Palestinian state would be joining the ‘arson intifada’
Only fools play with matches. There’s no scarcity of fools in the Middle East, and many of them are obsessed with playing with matches. Some may have warmed to the game with “arson intifada” in Israel. President Obama threatens to ignite a larger flame by endorsing a Palestinian state. Any number can play the arson intifada game.
Fire is an ever-present danger in the dry regions east of the Mediterranean Sea, and never more so when arsonists do their evil work. In recent days, fires have broken out in the northern city of Haifa and then in the central Palestinian territories of the West Bank, forcing the evacuation of an estimated 80,000 residents. The sudden fires betray orchestration, and Israeli authorities have arrested more than a dozen persons of Arab descent on suspicion of arson. One was arrested filming the setting of a fire.
Given the dismal history of Palestinian rage against the Jewish state, it’s easy to see that the Arab-Israeli conflict has entered a new phase. Palestinian authorities deny official involvement, correctly observing that Palestinians are suffering from the spreading fires, too, and that Palestinians are also battling the smoke and flames. Welfare of their own people, however, has not deterred Arabs in the past from placing missile launchers near schools and mosques to deter Israeli counter-attacks to Islamic violence against the Jewish state.
Hashtags like “Israel is burning,” and “the Zionist entity is burning,” are “trending” on social media, and it’s obvious that thousands are celebrating the fires. Israeli officials call some of it terrorism. Weapons for driving the Israelis into the sea may now include the common kitchen match.
With little to show for his eight years of IsraeliPalestinian diplomacy, President Obama is said to considering one last symbolic act of a leaderless foreign policy to put an end to negotiations by endorsing a Palestinian state. His predecessors one and all supported the concept of a two-state solution with Israel and Palestine pledged to living in peace and accord on ground hallowed to Muslims, Jews and Christians.
Nothing, even Israeli offers of land for peace, has deterred the Palestinians from their stated goal of taking Israel by force, which they have demonstrated in several wars that they cannot do. Abandoning Israel at the United Nations would encourage them to continue to pursue their goal by other means.
A last-minute attempt by Mr. Obama to short-circuit the peace process would be an affront to Presidentelect Donald Trump, who has made his position crystal clear: “The United States should support direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians without preconditions, and will oppose all Palestinian, European and other efforts to bypass direct negotiations between parties in favor of an imposed settlement.” The so-called “peace process” is not much of a process, but as Winston Churchill famously observed, “jaw jaw is better than war war.” Abandoning Israel in the effort, frustrating as it may be, is tantamount to joining the “arson intifada.”