Thursday, April 28, 2011
Peace at Last, Peace at Last
by Steven Plaut
It was in the year 2013. The Israelis at long last gave up their
attempts to resist the pressures of the world. Their newly elected
national unity government approved the plan. The Palestinians, led by
a coalition of the PLO and the Hamas, had already earlier announced
the creation of a Palestinian state. Israel's Left had been holding
weekly protests in support of Palestinian statehood. When the UN had
officially and unanimously called for such a state, even the United
States of Barack Obama voted in favor.
The national unity government of Israel announced that Israel was
willing to accept the unanimous UN proposal for peace, supported by
every single country in the world. Israel would return to its
pre-1967 borders, remove all Jewish settlements from the territories
of the new state of Palestine, recognize Palestine, and grant
Palestine all of East Jerusalem, that is, all of the city located east
of a line running north-south through Zion Square, renamed Martyrs'
The world had not seen celebrations like this, celebrations that
greeted the Israeli decision and the creation of Palestine, since the
fall of the Berlin Wall or the transfer of power in South Africa to
the black majority. All-night celebrations were held in every city of
the planet, but none so enthusiastic as the party held in Tel Aviv in
Rabin Square. Speaker after speaker appeared under a banner
"Liberation at Last" and praised the decision to agree to the terms of
the accord as the ultimate completion of the work and dreams of
The settlers were marched out of the lands of Palestine at bayonet
point, with crowds of jeering Israeli leftists pelting them with
garbage as they moved into their temporary transit camps inside
Green-Line Israel. Liberal Jews in the United States organized a march
in Washington to celebrate. "Peace at Last" was the number one pop
The State Department sent out a message urging Israel and Palestine to
conduct good-faith negotiations and round-the-clock talks on all
outstanding issues of disagreement still separating the two sovereign
states. At long last, there were two states for two peoples. Land had
been exchanged for peace. Peace had at long last broken out in the
world´s most troubled region.
The morning after the Palestine Independence Celebrations, the message
arrived in the Israeli parliament, brought in by special messenger.
The newly formed government of Palestine had only a small number of
issues it would like to discuss with Israel. It proposed that peaceful
relations be officially consummated, as soon as Israel turned over the
Galilee and the Negev to Palestine.
Israeli cabinet ministers were nonplussed. We thought we had already
settled all outstanding territorial issues by giving the Palestinians
everything, they protested. The spokesman for the Palestine War
Ministry explained: the Galilee was obviously part of the Arab
homeland. It was filled with many Arabs and in many areas had an Arab
population majority. Israel was holding 100% of the Galilee territory,
while Palestine held none at all, and surely that was unfair. As for
the Negev, it too has large areas with Arab or Bedouin majorities, but
is in fact also needed by the Palestinians so that Palestine can
settle the many Palestinian refugees from around the world in lands
and new homes.
Israel´s government preferred not to give offense and sour the new
relations, and so offered to take the proposal under consideration.
Within weeks, endorsements of the Palestinian proposal for stripping
Israel of the Galilee and the Negev were coming from a variety of
sources. The Arab League endorsed it. The EU approved a French
proposal that the Galilee and Negev be transferred to Palestine in
stages over 3 years. Within Israel, many voices were heard in favor
of the proposal. Large rallies were held on the university campuses,
organized by leftist faculty members. Sociologists from around the
world produced studies showing that these Arabs were victims of
horrible discrimination and that Israel as a state is characterized by
institutional racism. Israeli poets and novelists wrote passionate
appeals for support of the Galilee and Negev 'Others.'
When Israel´s cabinet rejected the proposal, the pressures mounted. A
Galilee and Negev Liberation Organization (GNLO) was founded and
immediately granted recognition by the UN General Assembly. It
established representative consulate facilities in 143 countries.
Weeks later, the infiltrations began. Squads of terrorists from Gaza
and the West Bank infiltrated Israel through the new borders
separating Palestine and Israel. The border fences were reinforced,
but to no avail. The US State Department proposed that Israel defuse
the situation by considering compromise on the matters of the Galilee
Six months later, the 'victims of Jewish discrimination' in the
Galilee and Negev decided to escalate their protests. Gangs of Arabs
lynched Jews throughout the disputed territories. Roadblocks were set
up, and entire families of Jews were dragged from their cars by the
activists and militants, and beaten to death or doused with flames.
The EU sent in observers, but warned Israel that there is no military
solution to the problems of terrorism and violence. When Israel
arrested gang leaders from the riots, the General Assembly denounced
Israeli state terrorism against Galilee and Negev Arabs. French
universities gave the pogrom leaders honorary doctorates. Dozens of
universities around the world held special Israel Apartheid Week
events to denounce the rump Zionist entity.
Meanwhile, boycotts of Israel arose throughout Europe.
Israel´s own leftists launched a Movement against Apartheid, and the
foreign press reported that 400,000 protested attended a rally by the
Movement in Rabin Square. Cars around Israel had bumper stickers that
read "My Son Will Not Die for Nazareth" and "Peace Now". The Israeli
Left urged people to refuse to do army service outside metropolitan
Tel Aviv. The Israeli Labor Party proposed erecting a series of
separating barriers throughout the Galilee under the slogan "Good
Fences Make Good Neighbors".
But Palestine could not sit idly by. Even before the formal demands
by Palestine for the Negev and the Galilee were presented, Qassam
rockets and mortars were being fired into Israel from Tul Karem, Beit
Jalah, and other towns in Palestine. Over time, the rocket attacks
escalated. Barrages of rockets and mortars drenched Israeli cities.
The death toll rose to 1,000 Israelis per month. The White House and
State Department threatened to cut off all supplies from Israel if it
dared to launch reprisal raids against independent Palestine. Large
cargo ships from Turkey and Egypt, laden with advanced arms, entered
the besieged port of Acre to provide munitions to the Galilee
militants. Thousands of volunteers streamed into Palestine from around
the world to assist in the campaign to rescue the Galilee and Negev
Arabs from Israeli oppression.
On the afternoon of Yom Kippur, tank columns from Palestine cut Israel
in two just north of Tul Karem, near Netanya. Palestine offered to
withdraw in exchange for immediately transferring the Negev and
Galilee to its control.
Meanwhile, outside Israel, synagogues in Belgium and France were
torched. Teach-ins for the Negev and the Galilee were held on US
campuses. A new conference was called in Durban to denounce Israeli
apartheid. The White House insisted that Israel not use force to
expel the invading Palestine troops who had divided the country, for
the dispute was a matter for negotiations and dialogue.
Increasing numbers of Israeli politicians urged that Israel respond to
the situation by granting limited autonomy to the Negev and the
Galilee. The Americans offered to send in ground troops to protect
the remaining Israeli territories, if Israel would only decide to
accept the proposal to give up the Negev and Galilee. Let´s have peace
in the hills that Jesus roamed at long last, suggested the President.
Jews living in the Galilee and Negev were under siege everywhere and
the roads were unsafe. The road through the Negev to Eilat was cut by
Arab gangs in four places. Leftist Israeli professors officially
joined the Arab militias fighting for liberation, as did solidarity
protesters from Western countries. Two of the latter blew themselves
up on a Jewish school bus to show their solidarity with the oppressed
Arabs. Ahmed Tibi, head of the largest Galilee militia, insisted he
was doing everything possible to stop the suicide attacks on buses and
cafes in Tel Aviv and Haifa by Arab activists from the Galilee, but
the Americans demanded that he do more. The UK demanded 100% effort to
stop the violence.
The Negev and Galilee liberation organizations raised their flags over
their towns and proposed that the Jews living in their territories be
resettled elsewhere. The Palestine War Ministry was shipping them guns
and explosives. The first word came of a detention camp north of
Nazareth in which Jews expelled from their Galilee homes were being
concentrated, with a second camp opened in the Negev near Rahat.
Strange black smoke rose from the chimneys...
Italian politician: Vittorio Arrigoni was 'enemy of Jews'
By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL, JPOST CORRESPONDENT
Human rights watchdog organization: To refer to Hamas ally as a "peace
activist" is a moral travesty.
BERLIN – Fiamma Nirenstein, vice president of the Committee on Foreign
Affairs in Italy's Chamber of Deputies and chairwoman of the Committee
for the Inquiry into Anti-Semitism, has deemed the slain Hamas-aligned
activist Vittorio Arrigoni a "fan of political Islamism because he was
an enemy of the Jews."
Arrigoni was kidnapped by Salafist radicals in April, and murdered by
them in the Gaza Strip earlier this month.
Abbas honors two activists murdered in West Bank, Gaza
German MP blames Israel for Mer, Arrigoni deaths
Writing in the Milan-based Italian daily Il Giornale, she added
"[Arrigoni's support of Islam] did not save him from a cruel
Nirenstein also took aim at Italy's President Giorgio Napolitano for
attributing the murder of Arrigoni to the lack of a peace agreement
between Israel and the Palestinians.
"Instead of laying the blame on Islamic fundamentalism, he asked that
'a negotiated solution be found to the conflict, which sees bloodshed
in the region,'" she said. "Yet instead, Israel is being summoned to
face some mysterious responsibility."
According to Nirenstein, Arrigoni described Zionists as "rats." A
Facebook entry from Arrigoni apparently also refers to a Jewish critic
of his as a "rat."
Arrigoni's death has electrified NGOs, the blogosphere and media
regarding news reporting that they claim has glossed over Arrigoni's
militant anti- Israel views.
Arrigoni was a member of the International Solidarity Movement, an
organization devoted "to resisting the Israeli apartheid in Palestine
by using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles," according
to its website.
Prof. Gerald Steinberg, head of NGO Monitor, a human rights watchdog
organization, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday that "the ISM openly
and directly supports 'the Palestinian resistance,' – meaning
terrorism and war crimes against Israelis. To refer to its members,
including Vittorio Arrigoni – who are allied with Hamas – as 'peace
activists' is a marketing triumph, and moral travesty.
"The record speaks for itself: In 2002, ISM members attempted to help
terrorists hiding in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, and in
2003 the murderers of Israelis at Mike's Place bar in Tel Aviv, forged
links with ISM activists. In 2010, the ISM played a major role in the
deadly Gaza flotilla confrontation. Whatever Arrigoni's motivations
might have been, he was clearly not promoting peace."
In an e-mail to the Post on Thursday, Noah Pollak, executive director
of the Emergency Committee for Israel, a Washington-based
organization, wrote, "Arrigoni devoted himself to helping Hamas try to
destroy Israel. He was a warmonger, an anti-Semite and a supporter of
the repression of Palestinians under terrorist rule in Gaza. The
attempt by anti-Israel activists to portray him as a crusader for
peace or human rights is nothing less than Orwellian."
Amnesty International Ireland's communication director, Justin Moran,
criticized a popular US-based, pro-Israel blog, "Elder of Ziyon," for
pointing out ties between Arrigoni's supporter and girlfriend, Claudia
Milani – who works for Amnesty International – and her promotion of
According to the Elder of Ziyon blog, Milani is the "coordinator of
Israel/Occupied Territories section of Amnesty International/Italy,"
and as such, she gave a talk at an "Israel Apartheid Week" event
advertised by Amnesty last month.
Her Facebook page shows that she is "friends" with noted
Israel-haters, including Greta Berlin, Adam Shapiro, Max Ajl and Ken
Moran, from Ireland's Amnesty office, wrote an e-mail to a reader who
complained about the Elder of Ziyon blog entry, saying "I think the
site you link to is acting in a deplorable manner by using the tragic
death of Mr. Arrigoni to personally target his girlfriend – a woman
who is right now coping with the loss of a loved one in unbelievably
Steven Plaut, a professor at the Graduate School of Business
Administration at the University of Haifa, culled anti-Israel photos
from Arrigoni's Facebook site for an article in the online US Magazine
Plaut wrote earlier this week, "Arrigoni's Facebook page is also a
cornucopia of blind hatred. It includes the medieval blood libel
charge that 'Zionists' would arrest Jesus if he were to come back
today... A photo that Arrigoni included – and thought was just
delightful – is a sign in a store that announces that dogs and
Israelis may not enter."
When asked about Arrigoni's comments about Jews and Israelis, multiple
Post telephone calls and e-mails to Moran and the Amnesty office in
Ireland were not immediately returned.