Only Available for California Residents-18 Years or Older
Donate Shop Register Volunteer


Israelis voting for reality on election day
Israelis voting for reality on election day


Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his office in Jerusalem on Jan. 23. Photo by Darren Whiteside/Reuters

By David Suissa
The Jewish Journal
January 23, 2013


Regardless of what kind of coalition a bruised and humbled Prime Minister Netanyahu shapes in the new government, the prospects for peace will depend less on his governments actions and more on the sentiments of Israels neighborhood.

To get a sense of those sentiments, consider the words of newly elected President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt, a country that is technically at peace with Israel and is critical to its security.

As reported in The New York Times, three years ago Morsi was caught on video at a rally urging his followers to nurse our children and our grandchildren on hatred for them: for Zionists, for Jews, whom later that year he described as bloodsuckers, warmongers and descendants of apes and pigs.

Morsi is far from the exception in his Jew-hatred. As Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a fellow at the Belfer Centers Future of Diplomacy Project at the Harvard Kennedy School, wrote in The Times:

All over the Middle East, hatred for Jews and Zionists can be found in textbooks for children as young as three, complete with illustrations of Jews with monster-like qualities. Mainstream educational television programs are consistently anti-Semitic. In songs, books, newspaper articles and blogs, Jews are variously compared to pigs, donkeys, rats and cockroaches, and also to vampires and a host of other imaginary creatures.

The vile depiction of Jews and Zionists is especially prevalent in Palestinian society, something that has been exposed in detail by the group Palestinian Media Watch.

It is this vicious Jew-hatred, above all, that has killed every hope for peace.

As Ali writes: So many explanations have been offered for the failure of successive U.S. administrations to achieve that peace, but the answer is in Morsis words. Why would one make peace with bloodsuckers and descendants of apes and monkeys?

Israelis are not stupid. They read all this stuff. They havent given up on peace, but theyve given up on peace illusions.

The conventional wisdom before Election Day was that Israel is moving right. As I see it, it is reality that has moved right, and Israel has had no choice but to adapt.

Ever since the heady days of Oslo 20 years ago, Israelis have gotten burned whenever they stuck their collective necks out for peace.

They saw how all the years and hopes they invested in Yasser Arafat were wasted on a duplicitous conniver who launched a terror war that murdered a thousand Israelis; they saw how terror rockets were launched on Israeli civilians after they evacuated Lebanon and Gaza; and now they see their so-called peace partner Mahmoud Abbas trying to make peace with Hamas, a terror entity sworn to Israels destruction.

Israelis see an Arab Spring that has generated even more Jew-hatred and even worse conditions for peace.

When they look east, they see an Iranian madman building a nuclear arsenal to wipe Israel off the map. And when they look north, they count their blessings that they never gave up the Golan Heights to a murderous despot now fighting a horrendous civil war.

Simply put, Israelis have come to understand that no amount of concessions or settlement freezes or red-carpet summits will thaw the icy Jew-hatred that lies at the core of the conflict.

Theyve come to understand the perverted and ruthless logic of the Middle East: The more you want peace and show weakness, the more you get war.

The more desperate you appear for a solution, the further you get from it.

Many American Jews are perplexed and exasperated that Israel has not been more practical or done whatever it takes to get their enemies to come to the peace table.

They assume that the more you push for something, the better your chances of getting it. They cant see how dig in and tough it out can even be an option.

What theyve missed is that, in recent years, Israel has taken on a very Middle Eastern attribute: patience.

Essentially, Israel has been telling the Arab and Muslim world: Weve waited 2,000 years to come home, and were ready to wait another 2,000 years to make peace. Whenever youre ready to accept us, well be here, ready to talk peace.

In the Middle East, patience is leverage.

Patience itself is a very centrist idea. It avoids the extremes of both sides.

Bibi is fortunate that a centrist party, Yesh Atid, has done remarkably well. This will help him shape a more reality-based coalition.

This reality cuts both ways. On the one hand, it means recognizing that Israel must eventually make peace with its neighbors, and never lose hope.

On the other, it means recognizing that if the conditions are not ripe for peace, pushing too hard actually can backfire.

Lets hope that Bibis new coalition will be able to pull off that balancing act: to show the world that Israel is absolutely ready to make peace, while exercising the hard-nosed realism that the neighborhood demands.

Israelis have learned the hard way that pushing for peace with those who hate you can bring you further from peace, and that showing weakness with those who compare you to pigs and apes can be an invitation to another war.

David Suissa is president of TRIBE Media Corp./Jewish Journal and can be reached at davids@jewishjournal.com.
A version of this article appeared in print.

Read Article Here
Other stories
4/23/2014
This is the ninth in a series of stories told by former IDF soldiers about their time in s...
4/23/2014
This is the tenth in a series of stories told by former IDF soldiers about their time in s...
4/23/2014
This is the eleventh in a series of stories told by former IDF soldiers about their time i...
4/23/2014
Sharon, 26, described the day when she had to send a signal to her hometown, Haifa, lettin...
4/23/2014
Dueling advertisements for and against American tax dollars being given to Israel and the ...
4/23/2014
There is a scene in Guys and Dolls, the Damon Runyan-inspired tale about entertaining mobs...
4/23/2014
A Palestinian Authority [PA] minister who equated Jewish blood with Palestinian blood has ...
4/23/2014
One of the libels continuously repeated by the PA is that Israel is planning to destroy th...
4/18/2014
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict played out on Metrobuses in Washington during the annual ...
4/17/2014
In the mailboxes of the average American 17-year-old, one might find birthday cards from r...
4/17/2014
This is the eighth in a series of stories told by former IDF soldiers about their time in ...
4/14/2014
The Boycott, Divest and Sanction movement against Israel is often seen as progressive — ...
4/14/2014
Professor Mohammed S. Dajani took 27 Palestinian college students to visit the Auschwitz c...
4/14/2014
Yishai and Ilana are students at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, but they weren`t visi...
4/14/2014
Cornell University`s Student Assembly on Thursday voted 15-8 (with one abstention) to inde...
4/14/2014
Pro-Palestinian activists have scheduled a splash of anti-Israel events on campuses around...
4/14/2014
Palestinian Authority security forces used force to disperse and arrest Palestinian activi...
4/10/2014
StandWithUs condemns Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) for planning an anti-Israel &...
4/10/2014
For the third time, StandWithUs (SWU) is countering anti-Israel messages on Washington D.C...
4/9/2014
StandWithUs welcomes two Israeli soldiers to San Diego this week as part of their “I...

 

About Us
Get Involved
Resources
Shop For Israel
Social Media
StandWithUs Websites