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OPINION: 75 Years On, the Dead End of Palestinian Grievance

Nov. 29 will mark 75 years since United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181, which endorsed the establishment of neighboring Jewish and Arab states in the Holy Land. 

One of the U.N.’s most significant decisions, it helped restore a sovereign country for Jews in the ancestral land from which they were exiled by the Romans, who renamed the territory Syria Palaestina. 

For Palestinian Arabs, the plan offered something even more groundbreaking: the creation of a Palestinian country for the first time.

But it is only Israelis who will soon celebrate the 75th anniversary of their country’s birth–and its hard-won success. Palestinian leaders will do what they’ve always done: bemoaning the deferral of Palestinian nationalism’s stated primary objective and incriminating Israel in it. 

Often, this incrimination takes the form of delegitimization – by presenting Israel as a foreign, “colonial” entity and by vilifying Israel as evil.

Palestinian advocates frequently promote a map showing Israel’s share of the land expanding from 1948 until today, while Palestinians’ has diminished. The message is clear: Zionist territorial gluttony is boundless – and Palestinians are nothing but dispossessed underdogs.

Appearances, however, can be deceiving. Palestinian activists, now with the help of an automatic U.N. majority maintained by nearly 60 Arab and Muslim governments, have perfected the craft of political polemicizing.

Beyond the decades and centuries omitted from Palestinians’ visual synopsis of Israeli-Palestinian history is all that it obscures even during the period it highlights. 

After all, it was the Zionists who, in 1947, embraced Resolution 181’s two-state vision–even with Jews offered but a small fraction of their small homeland, and no share in its beating heart, Jerusalem. 

The Arab side refused and fought repeated wars to eliminate Israel–gradually losing territory in the process.

Arab governments declined to establish a Palestinian state even when they fully controlled the West Bank and Gaza Strip from 1949 until 1967. The Palestine Liberation Organization was founded with a charter plotting Israel’s total destruction.

In 1967, the Arab League declared, “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it.”

It was Palestinians who in the 1980s launched the first violent “intifada” against Israel and sparked Israeli-Lebanese warfare by attacking Israel from Lebanon.

Fanatic Palestinian groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad – proxies of Iran, which pledges “death to America, death to Israel” – sought to undermine reconciliation with waves of suicide bombings in the 1990s. The atrocities came following the Oslo Accords, which afforded almost all Palestinians self-rule.

At talks at Camp David in 2000, a dovish Israeli government extended an unprecedented offer of Palestinian statehood in nearly all the so-called “occupied territories” – compromising even on Jerusalem and Judaism’s single holiest site, the Temple Mount. 

Palestinians balked–causing then-President Bill Clinton to tell PLO leader Yasser Arafat, “I’m a colossal failure, and you made me one”–and began an even deadlier intifada.

Later, in 2005, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon initiated a complete, unilateral Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, including every single Jewish settlement community. Within months, Hamas violently seized the territory and escalated incessant terrorism from it.

In 2008, Sharon’s successor, Ehud Olmert, went even further than the Camp David proposals. 

Mahmoud Abbas, Arafat’s replacement, declined to accept or even make a counteroffer. 

Instead, Abbas has given speeches maligning Israel as an “apartheid” state and explicitly tried to “internationalize” the conflict by weaponizing U.N. bodies against Israel.

He has also invented a way for Palestinians to have their cake and eat it too, by having the U.N. recognize in 2012 a not-yet-existent “State of Palestine” even as Palestinians evade all the responsibilities of a state by asserting they remain wholly under occupation. 

Palestinian rulers endemically glorify violence against Jews but Abbas insists that Israel–with its two million Arab citizens–is “racist.” 

He also decries the failure of Resolution 181 to deliver Palestinian statehood while continuing to reject the critical other half of the resolution’s program: Israel’s existence as a Jewish state.

Abbas claims that Israel’s Jewish identity makes it inherently discriminatory. He has expressed no similar concerns about the dozens of countries whose flag features a crescent or a cross.

In 1947, two years after the Holocaust, desperate but visionary Jews grasped a modest opening for a better future and made something of it, building a thriving, democratic state despite all odds–and peace with multiple Arab and Muslim countries. 

This Nov. 29, the U.N. will mark its annual day of solidarity with Palestinians – the only such day for a particular people–and Palestinian representatives will again rue the lot of their constituency. 

If that lot is to change, Palestinians’ approach must too. Seventy-five years of grievance, aggression, and maximalism have yielded little. 

Over the next 75 years, a path of compromise and cooperation can reap far greater dividends. We’ve seen Israel do it.

But are Palestinian leaders interested?

TESSLER: Why Oz Is The Better Choice If You Care About Israel

I had the opportunity to attend a recent forum devoted solely to the topic of Israel and the Middle East. The speakers were former American ambassador to Israel David Friedman and U.S. senatorial candidate, Dr. Mehmet Oz.

After speaking with Dr. Oz, I came away with these thoughts:

If you prioritize unquestionable support for the welfare and security of Israel and its closest possible and mutually beneficial relationship with the U.S.;

If you believe in an undivided Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state and home to the U.S. embassy;

If you are concerned with the threat of a nuclear Iran, its enunciated threats to Israel and the U.S., and have doubts, given its past duplicities,  about it being a reliable and trustworthy negotiating partner;

If you think that it might not be such a good idea to give the Palestinian Authority $500,000,000 annually  in fungible funding, which can, and has been, used to compensate  terrorists who kill Israelis and Americans, and to support  terrorist infrastructure and missile production;

If you resent Israel constantly being pressured to make “good faith building” territorial and economic concessions that never have any effect on a historically intractable Palestinian Authority (P.A.);

If you don’t like the idea of taxpayer money being used to influence Israeli elections or to underwrite  the United Nations Relief and Works Agency’s Jew hatred in Palestinian schools;

Then, Dr. Mehmet Oz would be a like-minded champion for those beliefs in the U.S. Senate.

If, however, your tastes run to:

Tepid support for Israel, at best;

Defunding police and open borders;

Bail “reform” and its documented effect on increased violent crime;

Dependence on foreign oil, hence increased gas prices (a major cause of the present economic inflation);

A headlong rush to “green” energy (for which the infrastructure is nowhere near prepared), and regardless of the knowledge that we’d be dependent on most of the lithium for the batteries  being bought from China;

Then, by all means, his opponent would be an excellent choice.

At the same event, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, endorsed Oz.

“We have to grow our pro-Israel position in the United States Senate and I was intrigued by a pro-Israel Muslim. We need him to help scale these relationships and I hope we will see him very soon on the Senate Foreign Relations committee. I proudly, proudly endorse his candidacy,” said Friedman.

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Fetterman’s Endorsement by Anti-Israel Org Creates Problems for First Post-Stroke Appearance

After two months off the campaign trail recovering from a stroke, U.S. Senate candidate Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) is expected to make his first public appearance on Thursday, speaking to potential donors at Democratic Jewish Outreach Pennsylvania in Lower Merion.

But some local Jewish activists say Fetterman is the wrong candidate to support, and they point to his recent endorsement by an anti-Israel progressive group.

The fact that Fetterman is making an appearance is news in itself, a sign he is recovering from the effects of a stroke he suffered in May. According to an AP report on Friday, Fetterman “sometimes struggles to speak smoothly,” a claim the campaign has not denied.

But how Fetterman speaks may not be as important as what Fetterman says about issues related to Israel and antisemitism. Fetterman is an outspoken member of the progressive wing of a Democratic Party struggling with antisemitism within its ranks.

For example, Fetterman has been endorsed by Peace Action, a far-left group that supports the Boycott Divestment Sanction movement that targets Israel. Fetterman said he was “grateful” for its endorsement. Some Jewish voters say he shouldn’t be.

“The well-being of a strong, secure and vibrant Jewish state of Israel with an undivided Jerusalem as its capital should be a priority for every American,” said Steve Feldman, executive director of the Zionist Organization of America Philadelphia, when asked to comment on Peace Action’s Fetterman endorsement. “Weakening Israel, dividing Jerusalem and supporting terrorists and the creation of a nation led by terrorists is dangerous for America and the world. The Palestinian Authority has paid terrorists who have murdered Americans. The Palestinian Authority should not be the beneficiary of American funding, whether directly or indirectly.”

Dr. Mehmet Oz, the Republican running for the Senate seat, said, “It’s no surprise that John Fetterman was endorsed by yet another radical far-Left, anti-Israel group. Whether it’s proudly advocating for the Iran deal or touting his endorsements by radical groups like Peace Action that would allow Israel’s enemies to get nuclear weapons, Fetterman aligns himself with groups whose goals directly oppose the United States and Israel.”

The Iran deal  is an agreement between western nations and the mullahs who govern the Islamist nation of Iran. It was advocated by the Obama administration, but had bipartisan opposition, including from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)

Peace Action has called for the United States to ‘stop protecting Israel’s nuclear weapons in the Middle East,’ and is a vocal defender of the Iran deal, the Oz campaign said.

Fetterman said he would vote for the Iran deal because “I believe strongly in President Obama and the way he handled foreign affairs as president,” though he admitted “everyone agrees it’s sort of an imperfect deal,”  The Washington Post reports.

Fetterman still wants the Biden administration to push for the Iran Deal, even as revelations of controversial American concessions began to emerge. Among them: Greenlighting a $10 billion Russian-Iranian nuclear contract and removing the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) from the U.S. terrorist list.

“I support President Biden getting back into the deal. I think President Trump made a mistake by removing us from the Iran nuclear deal,” Fetterman said at the Pittsburgh Foreign Policy Forum on March 9. “Longer and stronger in terms of what I believe. And Iran should not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. But at the end of the day, it must be done on a trust-but-verify basis.”

The Fetterman campaign did not respond to requests for comment. However, in an interview with Jewish Insider, Fetterman said he opposes BDS and supports Israel’s right to defend itself.

Jill Zipin, founder and chair of Democratic Jewish Outreach Pennsylvania, said Thursday’s event is not open to the press. Asked about the Peace Action endorsement, she said she had never heard of the group.

“DJOP does not support Boycott Divestment and Sanction,” said Zipin. “I don’t know anything about that group and at this point I can’t give you any sort of comment because I’m not familiar with the group but our group does not support BDS…I can’t speak to who gives him endorsements or who does not. We support John Fetterman because he supports a two-state solution and he is a strong supporter of Israel. He’s also been endorsed by Democratic Majority for Israel.”

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