Far too many times Israel has mocked peace initiatives and adored violence. Altogether, it seems that the government is about to score major points in the propaganda war, only that each such victory is another step on the path to defeat.
As Israeli news outlets moved to live coverage mode over the weekend, I had a chance to speak with a friend who is involved in the politics of the mainstream Israeli left. He was enraged by the Palestinians, “who are again missing an opportunity.” At a time when Netanyahu is finally cornered, blamed for the failure of the peace talks, when we are moments away from public European intervention – so claims my friend – and when the coalition’s fractures are clearly visible — at such a moment, comes this terror attack that turns everyone against the Palestinians, takes the pressure of the government, and unites the public behind the prime minister. Next it will be discovered that Hamas is connected to the kidnapping and the West will reconsider its recognition of the Palestinian unity government.
I have heard these rants from other people as well, and many others on the Left simply preferred to stay silent over the past few days. The Israeli Left is clearly embarrassed by the more violent moments of the Palestinian struggle. Sometimes that embarrassment turns into anger about “the lack of a partner” on the other side, as if the Left is a PR person who discovers his client is a psychopath.
At times like this it is worth remembering that the Palestinians don’t work for the Israeli Left — or for the American peace camp, for that matter — and their national goal is not to score political points against Bibi or to improve the approval ratings of Meretz, Tzipi Livni or J Street. The sooner the Left stops analyzing the world through the lens of its own political interests, the better (this is also true for all those complaining that the Palestinians refuse to recognize Israel as a “Jewish State,” thus making it more difficult to sell the negotiations to a reluctant Israeli mainstream).
The Palestinians are conducting a national struggle for freedom, one which has heroic aspects to it but also despicable and intolerable ones like the latest kidnapping. Every such national liberation struggle in history has gone the same way, including our own.
In the past, Israeli society...Read More