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Thursday, September 02, 2010

PA threatens Arabs who want real peace

Ami Isseroff has, pretty much single-handedly, written an encyclopedia of everything related to Israel and the Middle East conflict and put it on-line, along with news, a blog, and who knows what else. Although the sites are difficult to navigate, there is an enormous trove of information an reference material there.

Isseroff is a centrist. He wants a two-state solution. He desperately wants peace. He is in contact with the Palestinian Arab "peace camp."

Which is why his latest post is worth reading:
It hurts me to admit this. As a Zionist, I really wish that the much hoped-for peace was really just around the corner. I wish that Israel could give up a few square meters of real estate and obtain peace. I know it will not happen. I am compelled to admit that by every indication, the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks that begin this week will be a farcical charade. They cannot be saved by any amount of Israeli concessions. ...

One certain indication that the peace talks must fail is the flood of mail that I have gotten of late from Palestinian peace and dialog groups, and from every Palestinian or other Arab who ever spoke out for peace or sanity. They beg me to remove this or that article or section from a Web site where they are quoted as advocating peace with Israel or coexistence. They say - not for publication - that they are subject to a reign of terror: Emails; Hints; Phone calls in the night; Officials of the '"clean-as-a-whistle" "moderate" "not-like-Arafat" Palestinian National Authority telling them they had better toe the line - or it will be bad for their organization or their personal health.

My Palestinian and Arab friends and others who have asked me to remove their Web pages and demanded that I be silent about it, can be thankful that I do not follow their wishes: Speaking out is the only way to expose state terror. My advice to all those who are threatened is to speak out, loud and clear. But it is their decision. I will not name names. I can only decide what is right for myself.

Everyone who is in any way active in peace and dialog has to have heard echoes of the whisper campaign. The Palestinian youth orchestra that was dismantled because it played for Israeli Holocaust survivors, the One Voice event that was canceled because of death threats, are public manifestations of the same terror. All this happened not in Hamas - ruled Gaza, but, embarrassingly, in the West Bank, ruled by the "moderate" Fatah and the Palestinian National Authority, Israel's "peace partners." The people who are terrorized into begging me to remove their names, their articles and their organizations from any Web site that has the remotest connection with Israel, all are from the West Bank, the land of the Palestinian National Authority, not Gaza. Think about what this means.
This is one of the most under-reported stories out there. The PA is not close to moderate by any objective measure - in fact, they are far more intransigent than any Israeli government in history. Yet the media chooses to highlight how "moderate" they are  in order to fulfill what they believe is a greater good of promoting a mythical "peace." The result is that stories like these are ignored or minimized, and the PA is presented as a moderate government in opposition to the right-wing, hard-line Likud.

Centrist Zionists know the facts, and they yearn for a two-state solution anyway. Yet they are not willing to give up anything close to what the PA is demanding, knowing that on the ground, such concessions would lead to disaster. These simple facts are not reported at all.

Peace - real peace - cannot be built on lies and obfuscation. The ugly reality of the so-called "moderates" of Fatah and the PA needs to be exposed. When the media doesn't do its job, it is not serving the cause of peace - it is instead endangering many, many lives.