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Friday, June 17, 2011

How come "peace activists" only pressure one side for peace?

There is a new advertising campaign in various US cities on public transit:

This organization, the Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine (which carefully does not disclose the names of the people behind it and launders its charitable contributions through the Illinois Justice Foundation) 

It claims that it is for "peace" and that the only way to get there is to stop US aid to Israel. This will, they say, force Israel to be more flexible in its approach to peace with Palestinian Arabs.

This is a recurring theme with so-called "peace" organizations. Their entire existence is only to pressure one side to make concessions. 

If they are so interested in peace, shouldn't they be demanding that both sides make compromises?

Has Americans for Peace Now ever called to pressure Congress to reduce aid to the PA when Abbas walked away from negotiations? 

But the problem is even worse than the bias that all these so-called "peace" organizations exhibit. The deeper problem is the absolute lack of pressure from any source demanding that Mahmoud Abbas and his cronies to make peace.

Where is the Palestinian Arab equivalent of Peace Now? Where are "Muslims for Peace" who are writing Arabic op-eds demanding "peace now"? Where's "A-Street" - the Arab equivalent of J-Street, an organization that claims that the US is coddling the PA with too much aid? Where are the leftist Arab newspapers slamming Saeb Erekat for yet more excuses to keep Palestinian Arabs in misery?  

Why do European states fund so many "pro-peace" organizations whose entire purpose is so one-sided? Why aren't they searching out and encouraging peace-minded Arabs to do equivalent pressure on the PA and Hamas that so many dozens of organizations are dedicated to doing for Israel?

The sad fact is that Arab intransigence has paid off. The very idea of pressuring the Palestinian Arab leadership to make necessary compromises for peace is  viewed as a non-starter. Years of sloganeering that "the settlements" are the "obstacle to peace" without acknowledging daily incitement, refusal to negotiate and all the other shortcomings of the PA position has resulted in a huge victory for the Arab side. Those who might try to call for pressuring the PA to negotiate with (as opposed to demand things from) Israel  in Arab countries and the PA would be putting their very lives in their hands by even bringing up the topic.

Jews, on the other hand, are endlessly willing to give, and give more, and then give even more. So it is easier to demand that they be the only side to make substantive and concrete concessions. 

This is not because Israel "holds all the cards," as the other side would claim. This exact same mindset of only pressuring one side was obvious before Israel was founded, as the British happily acceded to Arab demands about Jewish immigration and land purchasing, when the Jews held no cards whatsoever. The logic then was the same as it is now: Jews are reasonable and can compromise; Arabs are crazy and cannot be pressured without risking riots and bloodshed.

That is the real calculus of "peace." If we pressure Israel, maybe there will be peace. If we pressure Arabs, there might be bombs in our cities next month. 

It is no contest. 

So now anti-Israel organizations like this one can take advantage of this implicit Western mindset and cloak their hate in nice, liberal terms like "peace."

(The question of how reliable a local peace treaty might be when one party is widely but silently recognized as a threat to world peace is a question that no one dares to tackle.)