Jewish World Review Dec. 4, 2001 / 19 Kislev, 5762
The war against Israel goes on
LAST WEEK, retired Marine General Anthony Zinni began a visit to
Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the latest in a depressingly long
line of US envoys sent to nudge along the Israeli-Arab "peace process."
Zinni's mission, it is safe to say, will achieve what all the missions
preceding his have achieved; namely, nothing -- or at least nothing
resembling progress toward real peace.
On the day Zinni arrived, Palestinian terrorists opened fire at the
crowded central bus station in Afula, murdering two Israeli Jews, both
in their 20s, and maiming 10 others. That evening, another terrorist
threw grenades at passenger vehicles on the road near Kfar Darom,
leaving a 45-year-old mother of four dead and sending three other
Israelis -- including a baby -- to the hospital. Two days later, a
Jewish motorist was murdered in a drive-by shooting in Samaria and a
suicide bomber killed three Israeli civilians and wounded six when he
blew up the No. 823 bus from Nazareth to Tel Aviv. The carnage
continued over the weekend. Arab bombers in Jerusalem and Haifa
slaughtered at least 36 Israelis, many of them teenagers, and wounded
hundreds of others.
On Thursday, Zinni remarked that "both sides have suffered far too
much in the last months" and urged them to "get back on the track toward
peace." He may be new to the Israeli-Arab beat, but already he has
mastered the State Department's rhetoric of "evenhandedness," in which
no distinction is drawn between terrorism and self-defense -- between
attacks meant to murder and attacks meant to prevent murder. Yes, there
have been many Arab casualties. But not one was caused by an Israeli
suicide bomber, or an Israeli drive-by shooter, or an Israeli killer
emptying his Kalashnikov in a bus station.
Zinni's peace mission will fail because only one party to this
conflict wants peace; the other wants what it has always wanted:
victory. Over the past 8 years, Israel has made extraordinary
concessions -- diplomatic, military, financial, and above all
territorial -- in its quest for peace with the Palestinians. But the
most the Israelis can offer is less than the Palestinians will accept.
For what the Palestinians crave, what they and much of the Arab world
have craved since 1948, is not peaceful coexistence with Israel, but
peaceful existence without Israel.
Perhaps Zinni could find time to meet with Andre Marcus, the
chairman of the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace. At a news
conference one week before Zinni's arrival, Marcus released the latest
findings in the center's ongoing survey of Israeli and Palestinian
textbooks. In the past two years, the Palestinian Authority has
introduced 58 new textbooks and two teachers' guides for Grades 1, 2, 6,
7, and 11. The center analyzed the approach these texts took to matters
of "peace, tolerance, recognition, and reconciliation according to
criteria set by the international community."
The topic is of more than abstract interest: The Oslo accords
expressly obligate the Israelis and Palestinians to ensure that their
educational systems promote peace between the two peoples. It is an
obligation taken seriously in Israel, where an elaborate peace
curriculum has been in place, both in the schools and on children's
television, since 1993. In its analysis of Israeli textbooks last year,
the center found that "Islam, the Arab culture, and the Arabs'
contribution to human civilization are presented in a positive light"
and that "many books express the yearning for peace between Israel and
the Arab countries."
That is not what it found in the new Palestinian texts. Instead of
preparing Arab children for peace with Israel, the center reports, the
new books "foster a multi-faceted rejection of its existence." A few
"The concept of peace with Israel is not to be found anywhere in
the Palestinian schoolbooks. The peace process . . . is not
- "The State of Israel, a member state of the UN since 1949, is
not recognized. . . . Its name does not appear on any map, nor do
any towns, villages, and projects created and developed by Israel."
- "By contrast, the 'State of Palestine' is often referred to and
its name appears . . . on the cover and front page of many textbooks.
Palestine stretches from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea and
is exclusively Arab. The 5.5 million Jewish inhabitants are not
- "Maps that appear in the textbooks . . . disregard the
existence of the State of Israel. In most cases no names are given at
all. In other cases, Israel's place on the map is marked 'Palestine.'
- "Jerusalem is presented as belonging to the Palestinians alone.
. The holy places in Palestine are exclusively Muslim and Christian. .
- "Israel is presented exclusively as inhumane and greedy. . .
. The Palestinian textbooks use terminology that is associated with war
and violence and is likely to create prejudice, misunderstanding, and
conflict. . . . The implicit aspiration [is] to replace the State of
Israel with the State of Palestine."
(See the full report, with maps and illustrations, at the Center's
web site, www.edume.org ).
Eight years into the Oslo "peace process," Palestinian children are
still being taught to hate the Jewish state and work for its
eradication. It is a goal constantly reinforced by the Palestinian
media and in the slogans and speeches of the Palestinian leadership. In
the years since Yasser Arafat solemnly vowed to "renounce the use of
terrorism and other acts of violence," more Jewish blood has been shed
by Arab terrorists than ever before.
The war against Israel continues without letup. We really ought to
stop calling it peace.
Next: The myth of
Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.
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