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No, There Are No True Moderates In The West Bank Or Gaza

The only path forward is for Israel to dismantle Hamas terrorists and let the critics say whatever they want. 

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When Hamas started the current war with Israel with the infamous Oct. 7 massacre, they knew the world would soon forget about horrid stories of terrorists killing babies and raping Jewish women, instead focusing on Israel’s supposed war crimes in its mission to wipe out the terrorist group.

Which is why it’s disappointing to see Westerners falling for Hamas’ PR ploy. 

In an April 2 article for The American Conservative titled, “The GOP’s Bibi-Backing Could Backfire,” Scott McConnell criticizes Republicans’ support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and praises Sen. Chuck Schumer’s recent criticism of the Jewish state’s leader. McConnell’s article — which is just a proxy for all such arguments — sadly shows how many have come to accept the erroneous view of Israel in general, and Netanyahu specifically, as bloodthirsty and genocidal. 

McConnell downplays hatred of Israel by trying to paint a difference between Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, and the Palestinian Authority (PA), which rules over the West Bank. He correctly sees Hamas as a terrorist group but views the PA as a moderate regime that genuinely seeks peace but has supposedly been consistently undermined by Israel. 

He asserts that “an accurate reading of record shows that the blame does not, contrary to Washington conventional wisdom and Israeli propaganda, lie exclusively with [Palestinian leader Yasser] Arafat and his successors.”

What McConnell fails to mention is that Arafat rejected a historic peace deal in 2000 made by then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who offered to create a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, split control of the Israeli capital of Jerusalem with the Palestinians, grant the hypothetical new Palestinian state control over Islamic holy sites, and give Palestinian refugees $30 billion, according to the Jewish Virtual Library. 

Arafat not only rejected the generous deal — which reportedly saw his approval rating among the supposedly moderate Palestinians shoot up — but he also launched the Second Intifada, a destructive campaign that saw Palestinian terrorists crossing the border between the West Bank and Israel proper and committing suicide bombings in Israeli public spaces. The bloody campaign ended with the deaths of thousands of Israelis and Palestinians.

McConnell mentions a trip he took to the region in which he met with PA officials who supposedly “recognized Israel’s strengths, admired its economic dynamism and freedoms, and were ready to make the best of the situation to improve the lives of their own people.” The PA is “formally and genuinely committed to non-violence,” he claims. 

But if the PA is truly peace-loving, why didn’t PA President Mahmoud Abbas accept Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s peace offer in 2008, a deal similar to what Barak previously offered Arafat? Olmert said he told Abbas: “Remember my words, it will be 50 years before there will be another Israeli prime minister that will offer you what I am offering you now. Don’t miss this opportunity.” Yet Abbas, who had the chance to sign the deal and finally bring an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, instead followed Arafat’s example and said “no.” 

And what should we make of data showing that 85 percent of Palestinians in the PA-controlled West Bank “voiced satisfaction with the role of Hamas in the [current] war”? Where are all the moderates, and where is the supposed split between the bloodthirsty Hamas and the “peaceful, non-violent” PA? 

The article states, “Israel is finding that you can’t kills (sic) tens of thousands of innocent civilians in the age of modern internet communications without being accused of genocide,” which McConnell claims “risks turning Israel into a kind of global pariah.”

But McConnell ignores the fact that the frequently cited statistic of 30,000 dead Palestinian civilians comes from the Gaza Health Ministry, an organization that repeatedly fudges the numbers in the service of propaganda to make Israel look like the villain. 

Civilian casualties are a tragic outcome of almost every war, particularly in a conflict that takes place in such a dense urban environment as Gaza — a factor made worse by Hamas’ use of human shields. But it’s worth noting that Israel repeatedly takes steps to minimize civilian casualties. 

McConnell concludes that “it is hard to see a viable path forward for Israel that does not involve genuine political empowerment followed by genuine statehood for the Palestinians.” But allowing the creation of a Palestinian state now, basically as a reward for Oct. 7, would be like letting Germany annex Belgium as a prize for launching WWI. 

Think of the tragedy suffered by Israeli civilians, the massive cost and effort that Israel is undertaking to extirpate Hamas, and the unrelenting international pressure for a ceasefire — and then consider how much more severe all of those factors would be if Israel had to deal with an actual sovereign state instead of simply a terrorist group. 

The Palestinians have tragically demonstrated a pertinacity in refusing Israeli peace offers and responding with violence. Hamas is a death cult, and allowing even a small splinter of the group to survive would allow it to cling to life, metastasize, and possibly inspire other terrorist organizations in the region such as Hezbollah. 

The only path forward is for Israel to dismantle the terrorist group, relentlessly pursuing the remaining Hamas terrorists — and let the critics say whatever they want. 


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