by Linda Olmert

We just do not seem to get it.

Every normal adult is aware of the concept of consequences. We know that certain actions or lack of actions have consequences, we weigh possible consequences, and we analyze welcome and unwelcome consequences that we had not foreseen.

The Palestinians consistently threaten consequences . They have managed to create the illusion that they are doing everyone a favor allowing themselves to be dragged to the “peace” talks, and having done everyone that favor, they grab the moral high ground. The consequences they threaten are always tied to their “threat flavor” of the month: they threaten consequences if Israel doesn’t withdraw, if Israel does withdraw, and most recently, if Israel resumes building. And we all shake in our sandals, buying in to their threats of consequences, terrified of those consequences ( we have been through their bloody rages before). They manage to create the image of being a weak, poor downtrodden people under “occupation” on the one hand, and yet to hold everyone hostage by threatening consequences should their ( untenable, unreasonable, scandalous) terms not be met.

We Israelis, on the other hand, have the concept of consequences so greatly embedded in our consciousness, that while we are deeply afraid of being on the receiving end of them, we have no real idea how to put the shoe on the other foot. And when we do finally threaten consequences, the threat is so considered, so politically correct, so lacking “teeth” as to be either so ineffectual that it is not taken seriously, or just frankly dismissed. Why are we so afraid of losing something (the “peace” process) that does not exist? Frightened of consequences, we agreed to the building freeze, bowing to the absurd notion that we are the ones who must demonstrate good faith. We then are surprised to find that the Palestinians, the Arab countries, the United States and Europe take it for granted, see the reversal of the freeze that was limited in the first place, as changing the status quo, and see both our “friends” and enemies move on the next demand of “good faith”: only from Israel.

The much vaunted “peace” talks had not even begun this week , and in Israel we were already burying our dead. The Palestinians consider themselves free to murder Israelis with impunity,( no consequences for them) but we Israelis of course are bound and committed to avoid the “consequences” if WE allow any mere massacre of our citizens to derail the “peace” process. Because clearly, if we invoke any consequences for these outrages, we will be the ones derailing the talks. Barrack Obama gathers up just enough of a sad expression as a sop to Israeli sensibilities to condemn the massacres with one side of his mouth, and the words are hardly out when the other side of his mouth demands that we ( Israel) do not allow this to derail the “process” ( allah forbid!).

Consequences. Why didn’t Binyamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of all Israelis, even the recently murdered ones, pack himself up at the report of the first shot, wave goodbye (or not), and head home to Israel, saying “consequences”. He should have asked ” Who am I negotiating with: if they can not keep their people in line, what authority do they have to negotiate anything; and if they do not want to control their people ( why does this seem like the more likely scenario) why am I continuing this charade?

Consequences: the building freeze in Israel should never have happened. Beyond political debates of “should we retain Judea and Samaria or not”, tactically, this is not the way you bargain, certainly not with people who are the worlds most devious horse traders. This is not the way to negotiate with people who sanctify death, so think nothing of dishonoring agreements. If the sham negotiations continue despite the Palestinians blatant breech of every agreement, they are once again proving to the world and to themselves they can get away with everything: lying, deceiving, and, as always, murder. The consequences of allowing the Palestinians this conclusion is that they would be stupid to change their behavior when there are no negative outcomes. The further they succeed in getting away literally with murder, the more reinforcement they get in the conclusion that NOTHING they can do will expose the sham. It keeps being reinforced that the Israelis, as indeed all the West, will continue to refuse to be confused by the facts.

Consequences. Bibi, we cannot go back, but we can go forward. Israelis are sitting Shiva over our massacred people: stop the talks now. Israelis are sitting Shiva over our massacred people, including a woman nine months pregnant: come home. Israelis are sitting Shiva over our massacred people: Palestinians murder- we build. You should be giving the order to resume building (we should never have stopped) in Judea and Samaria with the end of the “freeze” anyway- you must certainly do it now. You must realize that by adopting the ridiculous ” victims of peace” mantra you are sending messages to all our enemies ( yes Iran) that there will be no consequences no matter how hard they push.

It is long past time to internalize the belief that though we crave peace, ignoring reality will not achieve it.

September 3, 2010 | Comments »

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