So Far, So Bad


by Chuck Chriss
President, JIA

The so-called Road Map was formally released on April 30, 2003, less than 3 weeks ago. Reading from the official document on the US State Dept. web site, we find the key requirements for Palestinian compliance in Phase I under the caption “Security”. That reads, in part:

“Palestinians declare an unequivocal end to violence and terrorism and undertake visible efforts on the ground to arrest, disrupt, and restrain individuals and groups conducting and planning violent attacks on Israelis anywhere.”

As anyone familiar with the history of Israel and the region knows, Israel’s security has been and continues to be the real issue. There has never been a time when Israel could relax its guard and assume that its neighbors had benign intentions. Quite the opposite, of course. So it is of utmost importance that the new Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas show Israel, and the world, that things have changed, that his government can be trusted in a way previous Arab governments could not be. That is why Phase I calls for these moves to ensure Israel’s security and that is why the Sharon government has resisted making any commitment to the Road Map unless and until the Palestinian Arabs show their changes are in fact underway.

So what has happened since April 30th? The Israel Insider web site has a convenient map that lists, day by day, security incidents in Israel. Here is some of what they report:

  • 4/30 Armed Palestinian killed as he approached IDF border post
  • 4/30 Two armed Palestinians killed as they tried to infiltrate Givat Sakali
  • 4/30 3 killed, 55 injured by bombing at Mike’s Place in Tel Aviv
  • 5/1 Palestinian killed after opening fire on Hermesh
  • 5/2 Bomb discovered and exploded by IDF in Gaza, mortars fired at Gaza settlements
  • 5/3 IDF soldier wounded by attacker in Jenin
  • 5/5 Gideon Lichterman killed, others wounded by gunfire in Shvut Rachel
  • 5/6 Mortars fired at Neve Dekalim during holiday celebrations
  • 5/8 Terrorist killed by own car bomb in Kfar Darom
  • 5/9 Young Israeli girl injured by Kassam rocket fire in Sderot
  • 5/10 3-yr old girl injured by stones thrown at children playing in Hebron
  • 5/10 Two Israeli girls wounded when Kassam rockets fired at Neve Dekalim
  • 5/11 Zion David killed in Ofra by terrorist ambush
  • 5/12 Two Palestinians killed as they plant a bomb in Rafia
  • 5/13 Mortar fire in Gush Katif injures 10 IDF soldiers
  • 5/13 IDF soldier stabbed by Palestinian approaching outpost in Gush Katif
  • 5/13 Sderot factory set on fire by Kassam rocket, seveal Israels injured
  • 5/13 Israeli woman injured by thrown stones in Halhoul
  • 5/14 IDF soldiers killed three armed Palestinians as they approached an army outpost near Netzarim
  • 5/14 Two wanted Fatah members killed near Nablus after firing on IDF troops
  • 5/15 IDF enters Beit Hanoun to suppress Kassam rocket attacks from there; 5 Palestinians killed resisting IDF
  • 5/16 Israeli woman wounded by terrorist gunfire near Obed
  • 5/16 IDF soldier injured when bomb explodes near tank in Beit Hanoun
  • 5/17 Gunfight against terrorist infiltrators at Shaarei Tikva; one Israeli man injured, two terrorists killed
  • 5/17 Hamas terrorist explodes bomb in Hebron killing Gadi and Dina Levy
  • 5/18 Seven killed and 20 injured by homicide bomber on bus in Jerusalem; second bomber kills only self at checkpoint

The above is not an exhaustive list; it only includes incidents where Israelis were injured or killed, or where an armed attack was repelled. There are many other incidents where terrorists are apprehended, illegal weapons confiscated, or plots detected and stopped.

Although such a terrorist activity level would probably paralyze the US or any European country, these incidents are not unusual for Israel. The very ordinary-ness is exactly the point — nothing has changed for Israel since the Road Map, since Mahmoud Abbas. The intolerable continues.

So are you reassured by the record so far? In real countries, with real governments, armed bands of terrorists are hunted down like rabid animals. There are no excuses about “rogue elements” or “we can’t control them”. That’s all window dressing for those who want any excuse to weaken and ultimately destroy Israel. If Abbas is serious about peace, then we must see Palestinian Arab security forces hunting down Hamas et al. like the rabid dogs they are, jailing them forever or killing them. Nothing else will do. Not pronouncements, not negotiations, not intentions.

The only justification for the “Road Map” is the assumption that the “new” Palestinian Arab government of Mahmoud Abbas will provide reasonable guarantees of security for Israel. Without that, there is nothing. But I put the word “new” in quotes because there is very little new. The dismal record of the last few weeks is exactly what to expect from Palestinian Arab leadership that is still tied to and controlled by Yassir Arafat and his “Tunisian Mafia” cronies. Don’t expect any changes unless and until truly new leaders arise, if that can ever happen.

In one way the current situation is actually good. It is good because the worst thing for Israel would be a temporary halt to terrorist violence leading to intolerable pressure on Israel to make a very bad deal with the Palestinian Arabs. Since the Palestinian Arabs continue to reveal the evil nature of their leadership, the danger to Israel is actually lessened.