It seems that there has been a resurgence in propaganda on college campuses across California. Last week, UC Irvine hosted an anti-Israel week, “Holocaust in the Holy Land,” and this week, one of our own UCSB chemical engineering students in his article (“The U.S. Neglects Israel’s Faults,” Daily Nexus, May 22) has taken it upon himself to strike worn-out propaganda against Israel via some poor and inaccurate writing.
Many people don’t understand the roots of the Israel lobby in the United States. The consistent and powerful drive of the Jewish and Christian citizenry living in the U.S. is what powers this country’s strongest lobbying groups in Israel’s favor. For that reason, the U.S. – its government being a representative system – has always supported Israel throughout its existence. Without the support of the U.S. citizenry, Israel would cease to exist and the militant terrorist organizations surrounding it would prevail. It is because, and not in spite of it, that Israel has survived throughout numerous wars and hostile conflicts.
Most scholarly sources (not Al-Jazeera) agree that the United Nations has not played a useful role in resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict. In fact, Resolutions 242 and 338, both of which the Palestinians maintain as the basic argument, proposed bilateral negotiations that are consistently undermined by the General Assembly resolutions, which undermine Israel. Israel has consistently called for negotiations, in whichever form they may come, with its counter-partners for peace.
Israel creates roadblocks and “barriers” as a means of protecting its citizens from terrorism from the Palestinian territories. Should Palestinian leaders cease in calling for armed struggle against Israel and agree to negotiations, Israel would be more than happy to ease its restrictions within the West Bank. It is not the restrictions that Israel poses on the Palestinians, but rather their leadership’s lack of concern for the people that has led to their isolation from the international community. It is precisely the terrorism itself – purposeful targeting of innocent civilians – embarked on by the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) leadership which isolated the people, and not the Israeli “claim” for protection, thus harming the Palestinians’ potential sovereignty.
In August 2005, the Israeli government uprooted thousands of its own citizens and moved them from their homes in Gaza to trailer parks within Israel proper. The government plans the same evacuation of parts of the West Bank within the next year. Israel has no desire to hold on to the territories, which have served as significant safety buffer zones between it and the hostile Arab countries from which they were annexed. In 1979, Israel even returned the Sinai Peninsula – on which it built and developed oil reserves – to Egypt in exchange for the first Arab-Israeli peace treaty. It is highly likely that Israel will live up to its promises of a land-for-peace settlement with any Arab country that is willing to follow in Egypt’s lead. The only necessary act would be for Hamas leaders to pick up their skirts, grab their balls and revert their attention from armed struggle and violence to peace and organization.
What about the billions of dollars that the PNA and its predecessor leadership have received in international support for their cause? How many schools and hospitals were built to tend to those in need of medical attention during this difficult situation? Right, now I remember. The PNA established an allowance for Suha Arafat, Yasser Arafat’s widow, in which millions of dollars are funneled into every year (Arafat’s fortune has lately been estimated at anywhere between $300 million and $11 billion). No doubt that Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh is still flying first class to receive more funding from his Iranian and Russian friends, ignoring his peoples’ need for food and medical supplies. So, once again, Israel came to the rescue, ensuring that the money held back from the PNA will be directly used for humanitarian needs.
Israel will not allow terrorism to shape a final peace agreement. Not being able to recognize a partner for peace, Israel has therefore advanced in its unilateral disengagement from the Palestinian people, as well as the development of its security barrier. It is the barrier that has allowed for a 99 percent reduction in terrorist incidents. It is the policy saving hundreds of Israeli lives, and it is working!
Elran Tsabag is a senior international relations major.