HOME Sep-Oct.2005 Featured Stories Background Information News On The Web



by Alan B. Katz


"Why, I can smile, and murder whiles I smile,
And cry "Content!" to that which grieves my heart;
And wet my cheeks with artificial tears,
And frame my face for all occasions.
I'll drown more sailors than the mermaid shall;
I'll slay more gazes than the basilisk;
I'll play the orator as well as Nestor,
Deceive more slyly than Ulysses could,
And, like a Sinon, take another Troy.
I can add colors to the chameleon,
Change shape with Proteus for advantages,
And set the murderous Machiavell to school!
Can I do this, and cannot get a crown?
Tut! were it further off, I'll pluck it down.
-- 3 Henry VI, Act 3, Scene 2

With the election of Mahmoud Abbas as head of the Palestinian Authority earlier this year, Israel's resident appeaser Shimon Peres declared, "At last we have a partner for peace." Such a proclamation was slightly premature as Abbas had done nothing to unwind the past five years of the Palestinian war against Israel. But, given that the Palestinians have now had almost nine months and hundreds of millions of dollars thrown at them, it is appropriate to ask what they have accomplished. And the answer is less than nothing.

How, one asks, did the Palestinians accomplish less than nothing? Plainly stated, the political, social and economic situations are worse than they were nine months ago. One need only look at the anarchy spreading like wildfire to appreciate the disintegration of Gaza's social fabric.

When Abbas was elected, he was supposed to disarm the terrorists and disassemble their networks; reconstitute the security forces; stop the firing of Qassam and Katyusha rockets from Gaza into Israel; seal the border with Egypt; stop the smuggling of weapons across the Egypt-Gaza border; put an end to corruption; and, create financial transparency. Some thought that Abbas would do all these things because he said he would and, for some, that was reason enough to believe in and elect him. Today, however, Abbas and Hamas have wrapped themselves around Israel's unilateral disengagement from Gaza. The IDF is gone. The settlers are gone. Indeed, all Jews, are gone. Gaza is judenrein and there is no longer any excuses.

Nevertheless, we continue to hear the same old promises, the same old intentions -- the same old lies. When this past week-end a Hamas missile accidentally went off killing more than a dozen Palestinians there to celebrate the Hamas military, Israel was immediately blamed. Hamas fired dozens of rockets from Gaza into Israel until the IAF intervened.

For the better part of three weeks in August and September 2005, the Jews of Gaza gathered their possessions and their dead as they left their homes and businesses. Fortunately, confrontations between the settlers and the IDF and Israeli police were harmless. Considering what was being asked of the settlers, their reactions were both very human (distress) and super-human (non-violent). It could gave been much worse -- tear gas, rubber bullets, batons, etc. -- and anywhere else in the Middle East it would have been so.

But now, the Jewish nation has performed acts unheard of in the annals of history, and the Israeli army has dismantled those synagogues of Gaza capable of being dismantled; those that were not had their holy relics removed and the structures left intact. This was done because Palestinian Prime Minister Abu Mazan (his nom de guerre, curious for a man seeking peace) had rejected out of hand Israeli pleas to safeguard Jewish houses of worship. This man Abbas, who seeks international recognition of Gaza's sovereignty -- he's not ready to call it Palestine lest that leave the impression that Judea and Samaria are not part of Palestine -- who has at his command, if not control, at least thousands and thousands of armed security forces, refused to station a few hundred policemen to protect the last remaining holy synagogues, and the last physical evidence of the presence of the Jews.

Because the Palestinian Authority has offered to stand by as its citizens defiled and destroyed Jewish shuls, Israel engaged in one of the great moral debates in its 57 year history. Temples that could be dismantled and rebuilt were. But, should Jews have destroyed those synagogues that could not be dismantled or leave them behind and let the Arabs have their way with them. For reasons best left to politicians and Talmudic scholars, Israel decided not to destroy what was left behind. Perhaps the thought of Jews putting a wrecking ball to a holy structure was more than could be borne.

There was not so much as the scintilla of hope that the Arabs would respect Jewish holy sites. Knowing full well, what the Arabs have done to the enemy dead in centuries past, even the remains of our dead had to be exhumed from Gaza's Jewish cemeteries to be taken back to Israel for their next "final resting place."

In fact, within minutes after the departure of the IDF, four synagogues were put to the flame by Palestinians waving flags of the PA and Hamas and celebrating by firing their weapons fired into the air. Indeed, even before the fires had died and the smoke cleared, the Palestinian Prime Minister and a senior Hamas official defended destruction of the temples. Characteristically, Abbas declared that the Israelis had left no synagogues behind in Gaza; only dilapidated buildings on the brink of collapse. Hamas spokesman Ismail Hamiyeh sneered that his people "would not allow any Wailing Walls on our blessed land."

We were not engaged in a mere academic exercise. Israel is being pressed to make huge sacrifices to bring peace to the region with a people, the Palestinians, who time and again have proven their blind, inbred hatred of the Jews. These are the people to whom Israel is expected to turn over Judea and Samaria and half of Jerusalem; the people to whom we are to entrust our holy sites in a future Palestine. We know what the Arabs do to our holy sites. The burial place of Joseph was disassembled stone by stone and then rebuilt as a mosque from which Arabs old and young are exhorted to kill Jews. The cemeteries of Jerusalem vandalized and the head stones that weren't toppled, shattered and used as Arab urinals.

As all this unfolded, America and the rest of the international community applauded Prime Minister Sharon's "bold initiative" and the sacrifices made by the Israeli to bring about peace. Yet, the unanswered questions still hang in the air like a pestilent congregation of vapors. Why were 1.4 million Arabs unable to live in peace with 8,000 Jews, this even after 90% of Gaza had been rendered judenrein?

America, the United Nations, the so-called Quartet, the European Union all participated in the ethnic cleansing of Gaza. "Get out of Gaza," we were told, "and the world will recognize Israel as a peacemaker." "Get out of Gaza and we'll give you money to relocate the settlers," who made up a less than one percent of Gaza's population. How bad could this expulsion be? Almost every other country in the world has at one time or another expelled the Jews, and Gaza is so small and insignificant; such a tiny geographic sacrifice for peace.

Destruction of the Gaza synagogues may be likened to the suicides at Masada in 73 C.E. Only there is this one difference: In this world of nano-second technology, we may learn of a coming infamy in time to avert it. When Abbas demanded the expulsion of every Jew in Gaza -- as the Palestinians will of every Jew in Judea and Samaria -- the United States and the European Union should have spoken in one voice against this apartheid. And had the Palestinians refused, an international embargo of Gaza should have been effected until this racist demand be withdrawn. Perhaps then Hamas and Fatah might have seen the force of our argument. But, because it was only the Jews -- and merely 8,000 of us at that -- the world sat on its hands and nodded beneficently.

Thus, the bargain was: Get every last Jew out of Gaza and then we can get the peace process on track to deal with the issues of final borders, Jerusalem and the so-called refugees. It is the same old Palestinian game: get everything they want and then sit down and lie about what they will do for Israel. It's been stated so frequently now that only the intellectually numb Laborites and left wing fail to see the Palestinian design for the piecemeal destruction of all Israel.

The whole business of disengagement should not have been necessary. But it was, owing to global anti-Semitism. Too many calamities have befallen our people because each horror was preceded by the casual rationalization "It's only the Jews."

Before the Taliban destroyed 800 year old Buddahs in Afghanistan, the international community from presidents and prime ministers to the Pope himself pleaded with them not to do it. Yet, no one outside of Israel spoke out to save our synagogues.

When Muslims were being ethically cleansed from Central Europe, the international communities intervened with armed forces and ultimately arrested the leaders to be tried for war crimes. But when the Palestinians first demanded that every Jew be expelled from Gaza, not a voice was raised in protest.

When the Huns destroyed the 13th Battalion of the Roman army, an entire empire mourned. But when the Third Reich came to destroy all the Jews of Europe, not even the great democracies of England and America so much as lifted a finger to save the people of The Book. No concentration camps were bombed or even attacked; not ten meters of railroad track was bombed or sabotaged.

When terrorism struck the Olympics in Munich, Avery Brundage, head of the IOC, stopped the games for one day and ordered the Olympics to continue ... and every nation save only Israel stayed and participated.

In 1974, when 21 children were murdered in the schoolhouse in Ma'alot by Palestinian terrorists dressed in Israeli uniform nary an eyebrow was raised.

When a suicide bomber killed an Emergency Room doctor and his daughter having coffee and a tender moment together on the eve of her wedding, the Palestinians celebrated by handing out candy, and not s single United Nations resolution was even offered to condemn the cold-blooded murder.

As murders, tragedies and efforts to delegitimize the Jewish state piled on, little was offered other than condemnation for a so-called "occupation" created solely by the Palestinian refusal to stop killing Jews.

The international community is only beginning to understand what is at stake: Western civilization itself, the Enlightenment, the Renaissance. So it was that the terrorists watched as Western Civilization sat on their hands when grim-visaged death came for the Jews. Now the people of London, New York, Madrid, Kenya and Beslan have had terrorism forced down their throats. But it is only because with every unanswered attack on Israelis the terrorists have grown in confidence, strength and support. We shall reap what we have sown.

And the Palestinians? Unwilling either to seize another opportunity to bring peace to their culture of death, or to relinquish its goal of destroying all of Israel, the war will escalate beyond a mere intifada. Palestinian mothers will blow themselves up and parents will bury their children. Will the Palestinians continue to "miss every opportunity to miss an opportunity?" Of course. Because the only opportunity they are interested in seizing is the complete control and sovereignty over what they call "Palestine, from the river to the sea." Now, perhaps even more than before the disengagement, the Palestinians have no desire for peace. All protestations to the contrary are for naught. The Israelis will do well not to trust their sugared words, for the Palestinians are all of them so steeped in blood that sin shall pluck on sin.

"Plots have I laid with lies well-steeled by
Weighty arguments, drunken prophesies, libels
and dreams ...
And if King Edward is as true and just
As I am subtle, false and treacherous,
Then this day shall [my brother] Clarence closely be mewed up about a prophesy that says [Clarence] of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be."

-- Richard III, Act I, Scene I.


Alan B. Katz can be contacted at

This essay was submitted September 26, 2005. Alan B. Katz 2005


Return_________________________End of Story___________________________Return

HOME Sep-Oct.2005 Featured Stories Background Information News On The Web Archives