According to the statement of Simon Wiesenthal Center’s mission, it “confronts anti-Semitism, hate and terrorism, promotes human rights and dignity, stands with Israel, defends the safety of Jews worldwide, and teaches the lessons of the Holocaust for future generations”. None of these goals appear to be served by the recent article by Abraham Cooper and Harold Brackman* in New York Daily News (June 27, 2013). The article justly rebukes the Obama administration (Sec’y Kerry) for wasting money and effort on trying to engage the corrupt Palestinian Authority. It also proposes to “empower those who want to live in peace”. That might have been a smart advice, except none of “those” is named in the article. None, that is, unless one counts “a mother of two martyred sons” who laments PA’s economic incompetence, and a sheikh who would vote for Hamas “tomorrow”, given a chance. Apart from outrageously calling the dead terrorists martyrs with no quotation marks or explanation of what this “martyrdom” means for Israelis, even more disconcerting is that the authors refer to that sheikh as a “pragmatist” just because he wants “the basic social services” – this is after the thousands of rockets that have been fired from Gaza where the peaceful “pragmatists” of the sheikh’s kind won.
It is true that the PA is no peace partner and is corrupt, but the article’s advice is vacuous as it neither proposes any valid alternative nor tells the truth: there are no “peace partners” for Israel. In fact, none is needed or possible. There can be no partnership between the aggressors and the aggressed, just as no partnership can exist between the murderer and his victim. What is needed is that the Arab aggressors who have waged the war against Israel for as long as it has existed – the irredentists who do not agree to that existence in any shape or form – stop their war and their antisemitic poisoning of their children’s minds. Nobody among the Palestinian Arabs is known to have the political will, stature, and means for ensuring that. This needs to be clearly understood, and a good start for that would be calling terrorist murderers terrorists rather than “martyrs”, and using the correct geographic names Judea and Samaria rather than the meaningless and ahistoric “West Bank” that Jordan invented during its illegal occupation of the land to render not only the territory but even toponymy Judenrein. Without that understanding, the efforts and money will continue being wasted in pursuit of mirages.
*Cooper is associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and Brackman, a historian, is a consultant to the Simon Wiesenthal Center.