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Israel's defense minister equates peace talks with murder of Israelis

The man in charge of Israeli security provides his expert opinion that violence against Israelis is a direct result of negotiations with Palestinians and thus anathema to Israeli security. Can’t the same be argued regarding Israeli violence against Palestinians?

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon blamed the recent murder of Israelis in the West Bank on the peace process. By doing so, he instantaneously undermined the government’s involvement in U.S.-brokered diplomacy with the Palestinians, and made it clear that he opposes negotiations.

Speaking at a conference Sunday night, and reported thus far in Ma’ariv (Hebrew) and settler-outfit Arutz Sheva in English, Ya’alon added that the Palestinian Authority is no different than Hamas, and blamed the root of the conflict on Mahmoud Abbas’ unwillingness to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

When there is a peace process, the Israeli issue comes up in the Palestinian media at the level of de-legitimization and hatred. They educate their children, in their curriculum, in the rhetoric, and when this increases then there are initiatives – not by terror organizations but rather by criminals – that turn into nationalistically motivated crimes. Our victims are victims of the diplomatic process. And when we stand firm and do not look like we are about to give up, that’s when we receive quiet. (Emphasis mine)

Let me see if I got this straight: the presence of negotiations of some sort between Palestinians and Israelis directly leads Palestinians to incite toward violence and hatred of Israelis. But not by terror groups, rather by criminals, who engage in terrorist activities. Thus any Israeli who has been killed by a Palestinian is a direct victim of the diplomatic process. Ipso facto, the diplomatic process is dangerous for Israelis and cannot go on.

It is important to remember that this is the same Ya’alon who just last year called the Israeli settler firebombing of a Palestinian taxi in the West Bank carrying a whole family and the attempted lynch of a Palestinian teenager in the middle of West Jerusalem’s Zion Square “terrorist attacks” that “run contrary to Jewish morality and values, and constitute first and foremost an educational and moral failure.”

Should we conclude, therefore, that according to Ya’alon’s own logic, and considering the continued acts of settler violence (and army collusion) against Palestinians and their property throughout the West Bank (most recently the arson attack on a Palestinian home) that Israelis are not partners for peace? Following Ya’alon’s logic, Israelis must also be “educating their children” through their “curriculum” and “rhetoric”  (i.e. “Death to Arabs“) to hate. In his own daftness, Ya’alon has managed to give Palestinians every justification to oppose negotiations with the Israelis on this same logic.

The man in charge of Israeli security has just provided his expert opinion that negotiations with Palestinians is equivalent to the murder of Israelis and thus anathema to Israeli security. You would think this would be bigger news in Israeli mainstream, and especially English-language media based here, since the statement at once undermines the Netanyahu government’s involvement in the so-called “peace talks” while making it convenient for Netanyahu to argue that talks undermine Israeli security and thus cannot continue.

But apparently it’s not news; Israeli ministers in the coalition undermining the peace talks and calling the Palestinian Authority terrorists doesn’t make headlines because it happens every Tuesday and Friday anyway. Deputy Defense Minister and Likud’s rising star Danny Danon openly opposes a Palestinian state, and Finance Minister Yair Lapid, considered a moderate, opposes the establishment of a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem. In comparison, I suppose Ya’alon’s statements don’t constitute news.

Read more:
Palestinian family targeted by arson in ‘revenge’ for murder of Israeli
How 24,000 new settlement homes allowed Netanyahu to save face

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    1. shmuel

      good article. it is not a matter of being right or left wing, it is a matter of being a decent person or not.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Steve Benassi

      Cowed by the ADL and its sycophants, the US Media rarely reports on Jews or Israel, in any way that could be construed as too negative, or antisemitic, no matter how true. Others before them, have lost their jobs for speaking the truth. Its dangerous to say the word Jew in America without genuflecting.

      Reply to Comment
    3. “nationalistically motivated crimes” would seem to be a transitional category to “terror,” the latter being coordinated across several individuals for “national” purposes, targeting Israel and Jews. There is some sense to it. After decades, generations, of loss, submission, and hatred, intensified media comment on “peace talks” might induce (a better word than “motivate”) some individuals to lash out at others, attacking a symbol as much as a person–so the murdered 19 year old soldier on a bus. I can even see some of this anger turning to political cell formation if talks bear any fruit; it seems likely that some will try to sabotage apparent success. I would expect those carving a real agreement to understand this.

      But the Defense Minister is here engaging in sabotage as well. “When we stand firm and do not look like we are about to give up, that’s when we receive quiet” seems an attempt to derail head negotiator Livni and affirm the now frozen 20,000+ housing tenders.

      The Israeli cabinet seems more an uneasy alliance of bosses than a single policy government, which means in the West Bank past behavior is apt to win by default.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Piotr Berman

      Many years ago information that Minister of Defense is an idiot would make news. Ministry of Tourism was reserved for idiots and important ministries like Finance, Defense, Foreign Affairs were definitely not for idiots.

      How many cabinet posts are in hands of non-idiot holdouts? I think none of the above, but there are more than 20.

      Reply to Comment