LOS ANGELES, July 14, 2014 — A pro-Israel peace rally drew over 2,000 proud Jews to the Federal Building in Westwood, Los Angeles. Unfortunately, it took fewer than 50 Palestinians to bring about violence. When the rally ended, Jewish sponsors of the rally pleaded with the Jewish community to leave as quickly as possible. The concern was that the Palestinians would deliberately start a confrontation that would feed the false media narrative of moral equivalence and a “cycle of violence.”
The Palestinians performed on cue and turned violent. Israelis defended themselves, police officers intervened, and CBS News ran the predictable headline “Violence erupts.” Naturally, CBS News did not mention the important detail that the Palestinians caused the violence. The courts will settle the legal damage since the Los Angeles Police Department made arrests. For Jews, the public relations damage has already been done. “A plague on both their houses” is a victory for Palestinians.
Those who attended the rally are best able to answer serious questions about the specific rally in Los Angeles as well as the broader global conflict.
What signs did the Jews carry to this rally?
Jewish attendees were waving blue and white Israeli flags. They were singing songs about peace and unity. There held signs referring to Hamas as a terrorist organization, but not one single sign attacking Palestinians in any way, shape or form.
What signs did Palestinians carry?
One sign referred to Israel as the “Nakba,” which means “catastrophe.” Palestinians claim the very existence of Israel to be a catastrophic event. They also held up signs demanding that Israel end the “occupation” of Palestine. While the disputed territories incorrectly referred to as “occupied territories” are thought to refer to only the Gaza Strip and West Bank, Palestinians believe the occupation to be the entire State of Israel. Signs demanding an end to the occupation are signs demanding an end to Israel’s existence. Palestinians chanted “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” This chant encompasses the entire land of Israel. Palestinians repeatedly exclaim a desire for a state of Palestine not as a neighbor of Israel, but as a complete replacement for it.
Why was one gay rights protester with a rainbow flag protesting with the Palestinians?
Israel allows gay marriage while Palestinians by and large believe homosexuality is evil. Gays in the Gaza Strip are routinely beaten to death. Nevertheless, gay rights groups are politically on the left. Leftist groups tend to blindly support the Palestinians. In some cases this is due to anti-Semitism, but in most cases the left simply reflexively supports the “little guy” in any conflict. While Israel is one Jewish state of five million people surrounded by 22 Arab States containing one billion people, the Palestinians have effectively marketed themselves as the little guy in their conflict with Israel.
The latest violence in Israel has seen 200 Palestinians die and not one dead Israeli. Are Palestinians innocent victims of Israeli aggression?
Palestinians kidnapped and murdered three Israelis. Israelis then killed an innocent Palestinian in what Palestinians are claiming is a revenge attack. The Israeli killers of the Palestinian boy were immediately arrested and expected to face justice. Meanwhile, Palestinians have been firing rockets into Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the recent Israeli airstrikes against Hamas specifically to target weapons caches, capture and kill Hamas leaders, and stop the rocket attacks against Israel.
The fact that the rockets have failed to kill any Israelis yet is irrelevant. Attempted murder is exactly that. The attempt to murder innocent Jews has not succeeded yet, but not for lack of trying. Palestinians should not be given sympathy for being the Inspector Clouseau of murderers. The rockets are getting more sophisticated, and Israel has too few people to tolerate the loss of even one life.
Is Palestinian suffering a justification for acting out violently?
Anybody can try and justify anything. Martin Luther King Junior and Ghandi chose non-violence as their method of protest. They are universally regarded as heroes. The Kurds have sought independence from Iraq, and have consistently pursued their path peacefully. This has resulted in global empathy for their cause. At no time have the Palestinian leaders ever tried the non-violent approach to pursuing their goals.
What about past truces?
Whenever the Israelis achieve military victories, the Palestinians seek a truce. They use temporary cessations of hostilities to smuggle in weapons and rearm themselves. At no time have the Palestinians used truces to build civil institutions in the Gaza Strip, which has been free of Jews since Israel voluntarily pulled out of it in 2005.
Why would Hamas keep attacking Israel knowing that they cannot win a war with Israel?
While attacking an opponent with a vastly superior military seems irrational, it does make sense. Hamas knows it cannot win on the battlefield. Its goal is to win the public relations battle in the global court of public opinion. Palestinians launch rockets. Israel defends itself militarily. Palestinians die. Israel faces worldwide condemnation, starting with the United Nations. The United Nations has a long history of hostility toward Israel. Enemies of Israel sit on key U.N. committees. Despite many American Jews being politically liberal, the American left by and large supports the Palestinians. When Democrats are in the White House, the left has success pressuring Israel to make unilateral concessions for peace. With many liberal Jews siding against Israel, Israel is backed into a corner. Forget outside support. Israel does not even have its own Jewish people united behind it. Hamas successfully exploits this schism.
Is Israel targeting Mosques and killing Palestinian children?
When a religious institution is used for criminal or terrorist activity, the religious institution loses its protected status. Palestinian terrorists use their own children as human shields. Israel takes maximum steps to avoid civilian casualties, including distributing leaflets warning the Palestinian people not to shelter or harbor terrorists. If Hamas and other Palestinian terrorists get their own children killed, that is tragic for the children but not the fault of the Israeli Defense Forces. Israel has everything to lose when children die because it brings them bad public relations. Hamas is fine with dead children because it brings condemnation against Israel.
Is there any good news for Jews and Israel?
America is a mostly Christian country, and Christians overwhelmingly support Israel. While some of this support is biblical, most of it is the simple ability of reasonable people to discern the difference between Israelis seeking peace and defending themselves and Palestinians willing to kill and die at the drop of a hat.
The Palestinians repeatedly overplay their hand, and most Arab governments detest the Palestinians. They have a history of being thrown out of various Arab Muslim countries for fomenting instability. Arab Muslims use the Palestinians as a wedge issue against Israel. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict allows Arab and Muslim nations to distract their people from internal problems in their own countries.
If Israel does engage in a military offensive deep into Palestinian areas, the Arab Muslim world will not lift a finger to stop Israel. With an American president on his way out of office in two years, Israel knows it can defy President Obama with zero consequences. Obama tends to support the Palestinians, but he and Secretary of State John Kerry strike fear into the heart of nobody. Israel will act with or without American support.
The abominable behavior by Palestinians at the Los Angeles rally successfully accomplished what many thought impossible. Even politically liberal Jews were united with conservative Republican Jews in saying enough was enough. The doves may never fully support the Israeli hawks, but Palestinian terrorism makes the doves less likely to lift a finger to stop the hawks from acting to protect Israel.
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