Apr. 6, 2009
Caroline Glick , THE JERUSALEM POST
We were not supposed to see Shlomo Nativ's name in the newspapers. At least,
we weren't supposed to know who he was for several years. He was just a
13-year-old boy. He was loved by his family and friends. He had brothers and
sisters, parents and grandparents. His life was not our business. And, to a
certain extent, now that it is over, it still shouldn't concern us.
What should concern us is his death. Nativ was murdered last Thursday at the
hands of a Palestinian ax murderer just a few meters from his home in Bat
Ayin. And his death should interest us for what it teaches us, first of all
about the nature of the Middle East and Israel's place in it.
The mainstream media in Europe and the US and even here maintain that
Nativ's death tells us little we didn't already "know" if we are
right-thinking people. By this view of things, the cold-blooded terrorist
murder of civilians - even of children - is to be expected when the victims
in question are Israeli Jews who live beyond the 1949 armistice lines. It
isn't nice. It isn't pleasant to say. But as far as the right-thinking
people of the Western media are concerned, Israeli Jews like Nativ, who live
in Gush Etzion in Judea, are simply asking to be murdered.
Today, the media's view is shared by both European governments and the Obama
administration. For years now the Europeans have accepted the legally
unsupportable Arab claim that all Jewish presence in areas beyond the 1949
armistice lines is illegal. Since 1993, supported by the Israeli Left, the
US government has gradually moved toward adopting this view. And today this
view stands at the center of President Barack Obama's emerging policy toward
Israel and the Palestinians.
At base, this view assumes two things. First, it assumes that the root of
the Arab-Israeli conflict is the absence of Palestinian statehood, and
therefore the solution is the establishment of a Palestinian state. The
second thing it assumes is that the Palestinian demand that any territory
that Israel transfers to Palestinian control must first be ethnically
cleansed of all Jewish presence is completely innocent and acceptable.
OBAMA MADE clear that this is the view of his administration on two
occasions in the past week. First, at a news conference before he departed
for his European tour, he announced that as far as his administration is
concerned, the only way of contending with the Arab conflict with Israel is
by establishing a Palestinian state. In his words, "It is critical for us to
advance a two-state solution."
And second, last Thursday in London, Obama made clear that he supports the
mass expulsion of Jews from Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria (as well as the
Golan Heights), when he announced his support for the so-called Saudi peace
plan.The Saudi plan, issued as a propaganda stunt by Saudi King Abdullah during a
meeting with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman in 2002, calls for
Israel to commit national suicide by removing itself to within the
indefensible 1949 lines and accepting millions of hostile foreign Arabs as
citizens in its rump state in exchange for "regular" relations with the Arab
Shlomo Nativ's murder shows clearly that Obama and his supporters are
viewing the Arab conflict with Israel through a distorted lens. Their
interpretation of both the nature of the conflict and its likely resolution
IT TAKES A CERTAIN type of person to hack a child to death with an ax. In
the case at hand, Nativ's murderer actually tried to kill seven-year-old
Yair Gamliel as well. But unlike Nativ, the first grader managed to escape
with a fractured skull.
Nativ of course was not the first child to be brutally murdered by
Palestinian terrorists. Kobi Mandell and Yosef Ish-Ran were also 13 when
they were stoned to death by a mob as they gathered wood for a bonfire in
2001. In 2003 five-month-old Shaked Avraham was shot in her crib by a
Palestinian terrorist who pushed his way into her home. In 2002
five-year-old Matan Ohayon, four-year-old Noam Ohayon and their mother
Revital Ohayon were murdered in their home in Kibbutz Metzer.
And the list goes on and on and on.
It takes a special type of person to murder a child. And it takes a special
type of society to support such behavior. Palestinian society is a special
society. It has become routine, indeed it has become expected that in the
aftermath of successful murders of Israelis - including children -
Palestinians distribute candy in public celebrations.
In 2002 for instance, when word got out about the terrorist who barged into
Nina Kardashov's bat mitzva party in Hadera and massacred six people, the
masses took to the streets in neighboring Tulkarm to celebrate. That
particular attack was carried out by a Fatah terrorist employed by the
US-trained Palestinian Authority security forces. The Shin Bet (Israel
Security Agency) and the IDF now reportedly believe that Nativ was also
murdered by a Fatah terrorist.
TO CELEBRATE the terrorist murder of children and to glorify child murderers
as heroes is to celebrate and glorify the nullification of life - or at
least the life of the target society. This is the case because at the most
basic philosophical level, children represent the notion that life is
intrinsically valuable. Since children haven't yet had the chance to
accomplish great and lasting things for humanity, all they can give us is
the promise of a future.
The fact that Palestinian terrorists target children specifically - both
inside and outside the 1949 lines - and that Palestinian society celebrates
their murder tells us that the two foundational assumptions upon which Obama
and his supporters base their policies toward Israel and the Middle East are
false. It is not the absence of a Palestinian state that stands at the root
of the conflict, and it is not the presence of Israeli communities, or
"settlements," beyond the 1949 armistice lines that renders the conflict
Instead, the root of the conflict is the Arab world's rejection of Israel's
right to exist - regardless of its size. And the reason the conflict is
intractable is because hatred of Israel and Jews is so deep and endemic in
both Palestinian society and the wider Arab world that they view the very
existence of Jews - including Jewish children - in Israel as an unacceptable
affront to their sensibilities. Indeed, the Jewish presence both within and
beyond the 1949 armistice lines is so unacceptable that murdering Jews at
every opportunity is perceived as an acceptable and indeed heroic
THIS BEING the case, the question necessarily arises, why are these basic
facts so assiduously ignored by people like Obama who should know better?
Why did Sen. John Kerry, who chairs the US Senate's Foreign Relations
Committee, say in late February, "Nothing will do more to make clear our
seriousness about turning the page [in US relations with the Arab world]
than demonstrating - with actions rather than words - that we are serious
about Israel's freezing settlement activity in the West Bank?"
Why did Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attack Israel during her visit
last month for lawfully destroying illegal Arab houses in Jerusalem?
Why are Obama's supporters from Peace Now to the Arab League to The
Washington Post and Haaretz editorial boards urging him to coerce the
Netanyahu government to accept a complete halt to all building activities
for Jews in Judea and Samaria?
The answer unfortunately is that in their actions, Obama, his colleagues and
supporters are not motivated by facts. Instead they are motivated by a
desire to ignore the facts. They wish to believe that the existence of
Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria is a primary obstacle to peace
because doing so allows them to ignore the fact that the reason there is no
peace is because Palestinians and their Arab and Iranian brethren refuse to
peacefully coexist with Israel regardless of its size. Accepting such bitter
realities would make it impossible for them to move forward with their
agenda of appeasing the Arab world because it would force them to
acknowledge that the Arab world is unappeasable.
And that's the thing of it. At base, the so-called settlements are nothing
but an excuse for appeasers to curry favor with the Arabs by blaming Israel
for the absence of peace while ignoring the Arabs' bigotry, hatred and
aggression. What these Israeli communities represent is nothing more than an
assertion of Israeli rights to land - whether that land is within or beyond
the 1949 armistice lines. If these communities didn't exist - as they no
longer exist in Gaza - then a surrogate, such as the IDF which protects
other Israeli land, would be found to replace them.
And if the IDF weren't around - as it isn't in Gaza or in southern Lebanon -
then the appeasers would blame another surrogate, such as the Israeli naval
quarantine of Gaza, or Israel's control over the town of Ghajar along the
Lebanese border for the Arabs' bigotry, hatred and aggression against it.
Here it should be noted that there is no difference in principle between the
way the likes of the Obama administration and its supporters treat Israel
and the way they treat the US and its non-Israeli allies. When on Sunday
Obama responded to North Korea's launch of a long-range ballistic missile by
announcing that he wishes to all but disarm the US of its nuclear arsenal,
he was effectively arguing that US strength is to blame for North Korea's
aggression. He did what amounts to the same thing when he apologized to the
Iranian regime for supposed US arrogance. By Obama's lights, now that the US
is humble, the Iranians may one day stop calling for its destruction, waging
war against it in Iraq and Afghanistan and building a nuclear arsenal.
Then too, when Denmark's Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen reportedly
agreed to apologize to the Islamic world for Denmark's independent
Jyllands-Postens 2005 publication of cartoons of Muhammad in exchange for
Turkish support for his candidacy for NATO secretary-general, he was
accepting that it is Western civilization - with its freedom of speech -
that is to blame for Islamic aggression and intolerance.
In the end then, the truth exposed by Shlomo Nativ's brutal murder on
Thursday in Bat Ayin is twofold. First, it demonstrated that the so-called
settlements have no relevance whatsoever to the intractability of the
Arab-Israeli conflict. When your enemy hates you so much that he hacks your
children to pieces, there is nothing you can do, short of committing
suicide, that will appease him.
Second, it reminded us of what appeasement places at risk. By attempting to
appease the unappeasable, all that successive Israeli, American and European
governments have done is strengthen our enemies at the expense of our
security and freedom.