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Sunday, June 15, 2003

What does the [Boulder] Daily Camera have in common with Arafat's Fatah?


What does the Daily Camera have in common with Arafat’s Fatah? They both blame Israel for undercutting the “peace” of the road map, and for the escalation of terror attacks on Israelis. In a press release Thursday, June 12, Fatah held Israel responsible for sabotaging peace by "continuing its aggression and assassinations.” On Saturday, the Camera ran a Los Angles Times editorial that said “Regrettably, Israel on Tuesday tried to kill Abdul Aziz Rantisi . . . tit-for-tat retaliation lets terrorists sabotage the peace process.”

Get it? Israel “lets” the terrorists sabotage the peace process. Israel sabotages the peace process. Israel should “not let” terrorism interfere with peace. Israel should not escalate the conflict by allowing terrorists to blow up her citizens. Israel should overlook terrorists blowing up her citizens. Israel should keep to the roadmap, make more concessions, dismantle more settlements, offer more gestures of good will and receive more empty Arab promises. Israel should not undercut the position of Abu Mazen by trying to assassinate the head of Hamas. Israel shouldn’t make Abu Mazen look bad, like he’s not doing his job, by doing it for him. Israel should help Abu Mazen gain support among his own people, by giving him “a chance.” Israel needs to be secure, but . . . (fill in the qualifier of your choice).

Faced with constant war and an intractable enemy that wants to annihilate them, Israel should give peace a chance. Faced with terrorists who hide themselves among women and children, Israel should exercise restraint. Faced with Rantisi and his Hamas, who assert that they will fight “until every last criminal Zionist is evicted from this land,” Israel should leave the poor man alone.

Like the archetype of a woman caught in domestic violence, Israel is criticized for what she does, for what she might do, for what she doesn’t do and for what the Arabs to do her. Jabotinsky said it well, decades ago, before there was a Jewish state: “We are hated not because we are blamed for everything, but we are blamed for everything because we are not loved.”

So the Camera joins the chorus blaming Israel. So what? So we are not loved. We have never been. So Israel will do what Jews have always done - it is the very nature of our blessing - Israel will survive, and go on.

Anne Lieberman