The Gap Between What You
Are Told And What Really Happens


Leonard Zwelling

         Yes, there have been terrorist attacks in Jerusalem and near
Tel Aviv (not in it). Yes, some Israelis have lost their lives and others have
been injured. Yes, several Palestinians have also been shot. Yes, there is a
wariness to the population after these latest attacks, but no this isn’t really

         I suspect more people died on the streets of New York and
Chicago than did in all of Israel over the last week. This is not to make light
of these latest bursts of violence, but it is also not a reason to go crazy
about security in Israel. We have recently been all over the West Bank and in
Jericho, Nablus and Hebron and never had a hint of a problem. Of course, the
IDF were on full display often but not in downtown Nablus. There we were under
the watch of the PLO and felt just fine. The schwarma is great on both sides of
the green line.

         The US press over wrings its hands about events in Israel.
It gives the people in the news bureaus something to do. But we have muggings
in Houston all the time. We have fatal shootings and all kinds of crime. The
only supposed difference in Israel is that it has a political underpinning. Well so does the
crime in Houston. Poverty, no jobs and severe resentment can breed crime on
either side of the Atlantic.

         What is so clearly stoking this violence in Israel is

         The rage of Black America that has given birth to the Black
Lives Matter movement is no different than the rage that would cause a young Palestinian
to pick up a knife and approach an IDF officer knowing full well he will likely
be met with a hail of gun fire. This is not the Third Intifada despite CNN’s
attempt to convince you it is. Hamas and the PLO probably have little if
anything to do with these isolated attacks on Israeli civilians or policemen.
This is not going to go well for the Arabs and most of them know it. No matter
what, when you threaten the establishment with violence and you are heavily
outgunned, your cause had better be just and your allies had better be
formidable. George Washington had the French. Who do the Palestinians have? No
one. Exactly.

         The Palestinian Arabs of the former British Mandate of
Palestine are displaced people. Some are not as they are living in the same
land their ancestors did in the West Bank, but no longer under Jordanian rule, but
under Israeli control. These facts on the ground will not change until the
Arabs acknowledge the existence of Israel, stop expecting the right of return
to their homes in in the 78% of the BMP that is now and has been Israel, and
stop expecting a return of Israel to its pre-1967 boundaries. Both the issues
of security and that of access to critical sites in Judaism preclude any
chance of a return to that line.

         Further violence will get the Palestinians nothing. The Israelis
have had enough. They will never relent and every time that a Palestinian does
violence to an innocent Israeli, it is just another excuse for the Israeli
government to bulldoze houses, erect more walls and use more bullets, none of
which will aid the Arab’s cause.

         The Arabs need more than a political plan. They need a
business plan. How will they generate jobs for their people? How will they attract
foreign investment? How will they end refuge camps and build long-term
settlements of their own? These are the only questions the PLO and Hamas
leadership should be focused upon. Now if they came to a meeting with that
agenda, they might find an open hand to help.

Leonard Zwelling