Friday, August 19, 2016

So this is what peace looks like - by Stephen M. Flatow

...The consolation that Israelis can derive from peace with Egypt is that although it's shallow, at least most of the Egyptian army is separated from Israel by the Sinai. A Palestinian army, however, would be just a few miles from Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem. That's too much of a risk to ask Israelis to take. They have every right to wait until they see meaningful changes in Palestinian society before they start talking about taking those kinds of chances. The non-handshake in Rio de Janeiro is a reminder of that reality.

Stephen M. Flatow..
17 August '16..

It's not the end of the world just because an Egyptian athlete refused to shake hands with his Israeli counterpart at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro last week. After all, the Egyptian is the one who violated judo etiquette. He's the one whom the fans booed.

I won't lose any sleep over his petty insult, and I doubt many Israelis will either. But the incident, as small as it was, does offer some food for thought about much bigger issues, such as the prospects for peace between Israel and her Arab neighbors.

The Judo Snubber, Mr. Islam El Shehaby, was born on August 1, 1982. In other words, he was born nearly five years after Anwar Sadat's visit to Jerusalem. Four years after the successful Camp David negotiations. Three and a half years after the signing of the Israel-Egypt peace treaty. Three months after the final Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai.

Which is to say that El Shehaby has never known anything but peace with Israel. Throughout his entire life, Egypt has been at peace, not at war, with the Jewish State. So if El Shehaby hates Israel, it's not because of anything in his personal experience. He's not a bitter war veteran. He didn't watch his friends die in some tank battle with the Israelis. There has to be some other reason to explain his hostility. And there is.

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Stephen M. Flatow, an attorney in New Jersey, is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995.

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