For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
The Palestinians' ultimate goal is not the establishment of a state in the 1967 borders; if it were, they would not have washed away Ehud Barak's Camp David offer and Yossi Beilin's subsequent 'amendments' at Taba.
We are warned that masses of Palestinians are likely to demonstrate in September. This has sparked romantic yearnings, even in Israel, for these demonstrations to mimic the style of the "Arab Spring." And what characterized the Arab Spring? Violence, of the type that occurred in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria.
If so, the social awakening that has has dominated July and August is liable to be viewed as idealized ancient history come September and October. The government-appointed task force led by Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg, and the alternative task force set up by the leaders of the tent protests (who, due to their clear political affiliation, are liable to destroy the unity of the protest and undermine its achievements ), will be coping with both an economic environment - rising defense spending and a slowing economy - and a public morale that resemble the terror-filled days of the early 2000s.
The Palestinians' ultimate goal is not the establishment of a state in the 1967 borders. If it were, they would not have washed away Ehud Barak's Camp David offer and Yossi Beilin's subsequent "amendments" at Taba in a sea of blood and fire. If Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas were truly different from Yasser Arafat, as his Israeli fans like to claim, he would have seized on Ehud Olmert's map like a treasure.
But Abbas' goal, and that of the Palestinians in general, is to cause Israel to disappear. Because Israel cannot be destroyed by force, as both conventional wars and terrorist wars have proved, they have embarked on a different sort of campaign: a global campaign (aided by more than a few Jews, both in Israel and abroad ) to undermine the Jewish people's right to sovereignty in its homeland. Meanwhile, they are avoiding all negotiations until this goal is achieved.
After all, if negotiations were held, the United States and even the Quartet would press them to make a decision to recognize Israel and declare an end to the conflict. And such a decision, which touches the deepest roots of their religious and national beliefs, is one they can't accept. Their hope (and more than a few Israelis have heard this from leading Palestinian intellectuals ) is that historical developments - such as Arab demographic superiority, the flight of Israel's productive population and the widening of internal rifts to the point where life in Israel becomes unbearable - will put an end to the Zionist entity.
If the Palestinians knew their bid for UN recognition would lead to the establishment of a state in the 1967 borders, they wouldn't make it. Rather, their application is meant to serve their strategy of delay, which has many stages and stratagems.
The turmoil that will accompany the UN debate and the weeks (months? ) that follow it are liable to result in injury to life and limb, as well as to Israel's morale and economy. Is Israel ready to cope with these ills? It seems doubtful.
The Israel Defense Forces and the other security services are indeed holding exercises and preparing mentally for dispersing the demonstrations, but it seems the approach this time will be similar to that adopted by Barak (then prime minister and defense minister, now defense minister once again ) and Benny Gantz (then head of the Judea and Samaria Division, now IDF chief of staff ) during the terrorist war of the early 2000s: containment. In other words, the Palestinians will take the initiative, and we will react and try to defend ourselves.
There is a real fear that the architects of the containment strategy, which they employed at a time when more than 1,000 Israelis were killed and some 8,000 wounded, have learned nothing and forgotten nothing. It was only under a different defense minister and a different head of the Judea and Samaria Division that the IDF launched Operation Defensive Shield, defeated the suicide terrorists and restored calm, from which the Palestinians - who are now building a new city - benefited no less than the Jews.
The prime minister, the diplomatic-security cabinet, the "Octet" forum of senior ministers and of course the full cabinet must all supervise carefully to ensure that we do not, under the leadership of the Barak-Gantz duo, once again sink into a sewer of ongoing turmoil whose results are liable to be disastrous - for Jews and Arabs alike.
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I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"