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The completion of the marathon series of elections in Israel could determine the nation’s existence. If Netanyahu loses, Benny Gantz as prime minister will likely return Israel to the Leftist positions. Although Gantz has been characterized as a moderate, he may be offering those positions for public consumption. The fact is, Gantz is an unknown politically, and Israel needs a leader who will take clear and firm positions.
A number of issues have shifted in the Middle East that suggest Israel is not criticized as severely as it has been in the past. That shift begins with Arab countries that have discovered they have much to gain militarily and commercially with Israel. This change doesn’t mean that these countries will embrace Israel; in fact, many of the exchanges between the two countries are only first steps, and those countries could always sever their connections. But at this time, Sudan, Saudi Arabi, UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Morocco, and Bahrain have all showed an interest in changing their relationships with the Israelis, agreeing to a “normalization of relations.” Behind those decisions, for example, are the purchase of spy equipment by the Saudis, discreet meetings with a Minister of UAE; cooperation between Israel and Egypt to provide security in and out of the Gaza strip; a security buffer between Israel and Jordan, as well as Israel supplying Jordan with water.
All is not rosy, however, internationally. The United Nations continues to try to cripple Israel. Most recently they created a boycott list against Israel of over 100 companies, which is clearly political and meant to be punitive:
As several major democracies wrote the UN, the world body has no legal mandate to tell companies where they should or should not operate. Moreover, if this were really about human rights, then the key factor would be a consideration of whether Palestinian human rights are actually violated, yet that’s ignored.
Sadly, this is one more example of the Palestinian hijacking of UN bodies to promote a one-sided political agenda that fosters conflict instead of advancing peace.
High Commissioner Bachelet, who should be standing up for the UN Charter principles of universality and equality, has now allowed her office to become a tool for the discriminatory anti-Israel BDS movement, which singles out the Jewish state for boycott, divestment and sanctions. With the blacklist, the UN has now become Ground Zero for global BDS.
So Israel is making progress in building alliances with its Mideast partners, and nothing has changed, nor will change, at the United Nations in terms of singling out Israel.
Unfortunately, the Palestinians, as usual, are refusing to partner with anyone, particularly Israel, in bringing peace to the region. Here is a short list of some of their self-destructive actions that would likely make peace impossible, in the short- and long-term:
- Mahmoud Abbas, supposedly elected democratically, has been the totalitarian ruler of the Palestinians since 2005, with no publicized plans to step down. There is no tracking of the millions of dollars given to the Palestinians, and every reason to believe that Abbas, just as Arafat did, is pocketing much of the money and paying his cronies.
- Neither Hamas nor the Palestinians have ever changed their missions to destroy Israel. There is no reason to think that if they had their own state, they would withdraw this commitment.
- Hamas continues to shoot rockets into Israel, and attacks have even increased.
- Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, instead of seeing the Trump Peace Plan as a place to begin a peace negotiation, rejected it outright.
- Perhaps a most insidious prediction for the future: textbooks for Palestinian children continue to demonize Jews and deny the legitimacy of a Jewish state. Depicting Jews as animals and justifying violence and martyrdom are included in the curriculum.
Essentially, the Palestinians want all the land and all their demands met. They have shown themselves incapable of self-governance, eschewing violence, or living peacefully.
At this writing, it appears that Bibi Netanyahu will be re-elected (although he still needs to form a coalition), and he has restated his promise to annex the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.
The Israelis appear to be less concerned about international criticism regarding their decisions, since much of the world is irrational and directs its venom only at Israel and not the Palestinians. The Israelis are dealing with an irresponsible and uncompromising partner in the Palestinians. The Palestinians expect Israel to continue to give up all their land and their future, while the Palestinians offer nothing.
It’s time for Israel to claim and govern what is their due.Published in