Demonized Israeli Settlers
Their fate is ours too.


Second, the other groups have wildly expansionist territorial aims. The basic, animating idea of their various ideologies is that they and their fellows — Sunnis or Shia, Wahabi or Taliban, Arabs or Persians, Afghan or Pakistani tribesmen — are the rightful rulers of the world. That makes them a threat, not just to their immediate neighbors, but to all of us, and to any hope of stability in the world, much less anything like actual peace in the Middle East. Israeli settlers have never had any territorial ambitions beyond the small, historic homeland of the Jews, Israel’s ancient Biblical home, the Jewish state the Romans called “Palestine” — the Jordan-to-the-Mediterranean triangle that the League of Nations approved as a homeland for the Jewish people in 1922, long before our current, thoroughly hostile and corrupt U.N. existed.

With or without the blessing of the League, the U.N., or any outside body, Israeli settlers have always shown a steadfast willingness to face any danger and endure any hardship to defend their right to live, work, preserve, and build in Biblical Israel. When allowed to do so in the past, they often turned local Arab enmity into something like friendship, however temporary, creating prosperity and peace for their immediate Arab neighbors as well as themselves, as the settlers did in the gardens they created in Gaza, before Israel’s leftists forcibly evicted them in 2005, turning Gaza into the impoverished, Hamas-ruled hellhole and missile launch-pad it is now.

Settlers have demonstrated their devotion to the land of Israel in other ways too: They are overrepresented in every special unit of the Israeli military that requires uncommon skill and courage, and in all of them, they have repeatedly demonstrated both. For all these reasons and more, settlers were generally seen as heroes in much of the West — until 1993. That’s when the Israeli Left, under Rabin, decided to bring Yasser Arafat — a defeated but unrepentant Arab terrorist leader in exile in Tunisia — back to Israel to negotiate a peace deal. This deal was never anything but a taqqiya – a deception to win by undeclared war what all the Arab states failed to win in the long series of declared wars that began with U.N. recognition of a pitifully truncated Jewish state in 1948.

Oslo was a breakthrough victory for the Arabs’ undeclared war, and Israel has been losing ever since, because the plain truth — obvious to anyone who reads what Arabs say to one another, as opposed to the propaganda our media broadcast — is that neither Arafat nor any of his successors ever had any intention of making any sort of genuine peace with Israel, no matter what concessions Israel offered. Neither do any of the Arab and Persian rulers who supply the Palestinians with a steady flow of weapons with which to massacre Jews (and, also, to use against each other in Tweedledee-and-Tweedledum wars between the “good” Palestinian terrorists of Fatah and the “bad” Palestinian terrorists of Hamas). We take it for granted now that the only just and viable solution to the problem of Palestinian terrorism — in Israel, and in the many other places all over the globe where Palestinian terrorists are on the attack — is to reward them with a state of their own, a 23rd Arab state that usurps the old Roman name for Israel. But what most Palestinians really want is to drive the Jews out. Beyond that, their attachment to the land is so slight that, in a recent poll, 70 percent said that if paid to do so, they would voluntarily go elsewhere.

We forget that America never promised to give these Arabs a state of their own until 2002, when George W. Bush promised them one, if — and only if — they completely rejected terrorism, once and for all. Then we forgot the if, and decided that giving them a state without even a diminution, let alone a cessation, of terrorism was the only road to “peace in the Middle East.” That’s not peacemaking; it’s rank appeasement, and it’s what the latest, most damaging peace process of all, the Annapolis process, is all about. It’s what the current U.S. administration is trying to force down the unwilling throats of the Israeli people before it leaves office on January 20, and what the thoroughly disgraced Israeli rulers whom Israelis will vote out of office on February 10 are desperately eager to foist on them. If they succeed, and Israel’s new government allows itself to be bound by Annapolis — or anything like it — it won’t just be the end for Israel; it will be the beginning of the end for us, and for what is left of our rapidly retreating Western civilization.

Peace is a wonderful thing; all good people yearn for it. But appeasement and denial do not bring peace; they bring defeat. To win the war Islamists are waging against us, we must pursue victory, not “peace.” Our Islamist enemies everywhere understand that very well, and they see the coming victory of their Palestinian vanguard as a climactic, world-changing defeat, not just for Israel, but for us. To begin to grasp the symbolic power of that defeat, and the enormity of the boost it will give to Islamist morale and recruitment everywhere, imagine the Islamist reaction to a Western takeover of the Muslim equivalent of Israel — Mecca and Medina and the sacred sands around them. To the last man, they would fight to the death to prevent that, and they see our failure to wage an effective war as proof that we are cowards they can and will defeat completely, and soon. If we do not take off our politically correct blinders and fight back, strongly and soon, history may yet prove them right.

 – Barbara Lerner is a frequent NRO contributor.