I teach film, among other things, and there is a film that comes to mind while assessing the current situation in Israel.
It is the 1996 American science fiction action film Independence Day. In the aftermath of a worldwide attack by aliens, one of them is captured. I think the most important exchange is the one that the president of the United States has with the alien. It has resonated with me many times.
Frustrated, getting nowhere with negotiations, the president asks the alien, “What do you want us to do?” The alien rasps out, honestly: “Die!”
This is what Hamas and other terrorist organizations, and Iran, have been telling us for years. They want us to die. Not give them land. (We’ve tried that.) Not give them jobs. (Ditto) Not treat them in our hospitals. (Double ditto.) None of that is good enough. They simply want us – all Jews everywhere – to die.
And, to borrow the title of another film, what will happen the day after tomorrow?
Dr. Guy Bechor is one of the few addressing that question.
Bechor, LL.B. MA, Ph.D, was the head of the Middle Eastern Studies Division of the Lauder School of Government, Strategy and Diplomacy at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, Israel, and a visiting fellow at the School of Law, the Islamic Legal Studies Program, Harvard University. He is the author or co-author of three books relating to Islamic law and society.
On Oct. 11, he wrote on his Facebook page [My translation – TKG]: “The Americans are preparing for the return of Mahmoud Abbas and his gang to rule Gaza, and the intentions to establish an independent state in Judea and Samaria and Gaza are expected to return. Tomorrow [October 12], U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will meet with Mahmoud Abbas in Jordan.
“This is how it will unfold — that the IDF soldiers will fight to liberate Gaza, for Abu Mazen [another name for Mahmoud Abbas]. We can fight against Hamas, and the West is behind us. We cannot fight against diplomatic initiatives, and the same West will be against us. The return of Mahmoud Abbas under the auspices of diplomatic initiatives is the most serious situation of all.”
He adds the following day, “…Abbas is ready, only if he receives a state on the West Bank and Gaza, as well as a port and an airport. A video shows Blinken meeting with terrorist supporter Mahmoud Abbas, in Jordan, with the enemy’s flag in the background. What a shame, what an insult.
“Will the IDF soldiers fight and pay the heaviest prices to return Mahmoud Abbas to Gaza? In this case the damage to Israel will be many times greater than the rule of Hamas, we will not be able to exist. Please, share the warning.”
According to Israeli officials, what will the post-war scenario be?
“We’ve had all kinds of end games,” Brigadier General Daniel Hagari told media during a news briefing, in response to a question about whether Israel’s military planned to stay and govern Gaza after its ground invasion. (Jerusalem Post) He also said it would be a “global issue” for discussion by Israel’s politicians and with other countries.
Will the Israeli government be lured by the current warm and fuzzy support Biden and Blinken to hand over Gaza to the PA and Abbas once Hamas is decimated?
A Times of Israel reporter says that, according to one American official, Israel is being pressured to come up with a plan after the war.
If that “plan” includes the PA or Abbas, it will be a disaster. The PA and Mahmoud Abbas have continued to glorify perpetrators of the most horrific terror attacks, even before this current war with Hamas, and there has been no resounding condemnation of the latest atrocities. Even his pareve “critique” of the latest massacre was backtracked. How fitting that his doctorate was on the denial of the Holocaust. Even the left-wing Haaretz newspaper wrote as recently as a month ago (published, symbolically, on September 11): “Mahmoud Abbas: Once an Antisemitic Holocaust Denier, Always an Antisemitic Holocaust Denier.”
Most worrying is that on the official White House website, a conversation is reported between President Biden and Abbas, that includes paragraphs which sound like a veiled reference to what Biden has in mind:
“President Abbas briefed President Biden on his engagement in the region and his efforts to bring urgently needed humanitarian assistance to Palestinian people, particularly in Gaza. President Biden offered President Abbas and the Palestinian Authority his full support for these important and ongoing efforts…President Biden detailed U.S. efforts to coordinate with partners to prevent the conflict from widening, and the two leaders discussed the need to preserve stability in the West Bank and the broader region.”
What exactly did the “two leaders” discuss regarding how to “preserve stability?”
The PA legacy and Pay for Slay
David Bedein is the director, since 1987, of the Israel Resource News Agency at the Nahum Bedein Center for Near East Policy Research. (On the web: UNRWA-monitor.com, www.cfnepr.com, israelbehindthenews.com.) He says, “The PLO never ratified the Oslo accords and never revoked its charter to liquidate the state of Israel.
“PA payments for murder began as the PA commenced in May 1994 and enacted a formal law in this respect in August 2015.” Bedein’s center sent an Arab journalist to the PA to get a copy of the law, which he subsequently publicized in the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
He adds, “No country demands that the PA repeal the unprecedented law which mandates a salary for life for anyone who murders a Jew. Imagine if 135 nations, which aid the PA, were forced to condition that aid on the repeal of that law.”
Author of Genesis of the Palestinian Authority, he writes in answer to my query, “Having covered the PA since it came into being in 1994, I asked Dr. Pinhas Inbari of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, formerly with leading left wing newspaper Al Hamishmar, to report on Abbas actions following the Simchat Torah massacres… Inbari confirms that the most Abbas would say is that the massacre was not appropriate to Islam. No condemnation, no regret. The US government publicizes that Abbas condemned the massacres. This continues the pattern. Abbas on the White House lawn with Arafat in Sept. 1993 together signed the Oslo accords. However Inbari flew to Tunis to witness the ratification of the accords, except that the PLO would not ratify the accord.”
As long as ten years ago, Bedein wrote in the Jerusalem Post in an article titled, “US aid to Palestinian forces may assist Hamas,” “[T]he Fatah policy and attitude toward Hamas can be summarized by an exchange I had with Fatah founder Yasser Arafat at a press conference in Oslo, Norway, on December 10, 1994, the night before Arafat became one of the recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize.
“My question: ‘Mr. Arafat, Israeli prime minister Rabin and Israeli foreign minister Peres said a few hours ago in answer to my question that you deserve the peace prize because you have committed yourself to crushing the Hamas terror organization.’ Arafat’s answer: ‘I do not understand the question. Hamas are my brothers.’”
The despicable practice of the Palestinian Authority, of Pay for Slay, under Abbas, is ongoing, and proof they are not genuine peace partners.
These payments, made by the Palestinian Authority, led by Abbas, continue. According to an item published in the Jerusalem Post on Oct. 17, “The Palestinian Authority will pay families of dead Hamas terrorists a combined total of around $2.8 million, according to a report by the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), a nongovernmental organization and media watchdog group.” In addition, “The PMW claims that the $2.8 million payments is a low estimate because there will be more “martyrs” and prisoners from the Hamas terrorist organization.” PMW also accuses the Palestinian Authority of receiving funding from countries from the European Union for this “program.”
Where is the UN and UNRWA?
Notorious textbooks in UNRWA schools have been well documented. In one article called, “UNRWA: Blurring the Lines between Humanitarianism and Politics” by Dr. Rephael Ben-Ari, published on the website of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Ben-Ari quotes a video that was uploaded to YouTube on July 2013, and was screened in part on Israel’s Channel 2 news.
He writes, “It was directed by journalist D. Bedein, and produced by the Nahum Bedein Center for Near East Policy Research… [The] video footage came to light, entitled ‘Camp Jihad,’ showing the curriculum of Palestinian children in several UNRWA summer camps, which incite hostility towards Israel and the Jews. The documentary that filmed summer programs in the Gaza Strip and Balata refugee camp (north of Nablus) shows young campers being educated about the ‘Nakba’ and taught about ‘the villages they came from,’ such as Acre, Ashkelon, Beersheba, Haifa, Jaffa, Lod, Nazareth, Safad, and even Tel-Aviv (Sheikh Munis) – all cities within sovereign Israel. Even the names of the teams in their summer camps take on the names of these cities.
“In the documentary, the director of the Gaza camp explains that these programs are meant to motivate the youngsters ‘to return to their original villages,’ and she expresses her deep gratitude to UNRWA for financing the camp.”
Regarding UNRWA and the PA, Bedein published the book ROADBLOCK TO PEACE: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict: UNRWA Policies Reconsidered.
We’re heard that before, including during the Entebbe raid in 1976. One of the most horrifying ideas that has emerged is the idea of “selektzia” while Israeli says adamantly that all the hostages must be released.
France is demanding that Hamas release Mia Schem, the French-Israeli about whom Hamas made a video. Yet Mia’s courageous mother, Keren, emphasized in an interview on Israel radio that “all the hostages must be released.”
In 2005, which Israel destroyed Gush Katif, with no peace agreement, the Gazan Arabs were handed a gift on a silver platter. They were given, through the years, billions of dollars of foreign aid. They could have created a paradise on earth. Instead, they burnt the Gush Katif synagogues, plundered the greenhouses, which had been left standing, and when Hamas took over Gaza two years later, they turned the entire area into a hell on earth, not just as a threat to Israel, but for their own residents, all of them human shields.
I found an article I published shortly before the expulsion from Gush Katif, including the story of what may have been the last brit milah.
Wednesday August 10, 2005
Everyone, even those of great faith, recognize that it may be the last brit mila in Gush Katif, and the atmosphere is heavily mixed with joy and sorrow. The lawns surrounding the synagogue are filled with well-wishers, the tables laden with cold drinks and watermelon slices. The child is named Amichai — “my nation lives.”
During the festive lunch (at tables decorated with orange ribbons and napkins), the rabbi of the community, Gabi Kadosh, the baby’s grandfather, says, “I invite you all to join us here for Amichai’s Shabbat hatan (the Shabbat before a wedding)!” One of the caterer’s workers rolls his eyes in disbelief. But I say to the people at my table, “Amichai’s father married young — at 19. And I remember how the children of Gush Etzion returned to their homes after the Six Day War in 1967, 19 years after they were driven out in 1948 when Gush Etzion fell to the Jordanians. These children, too, will return one day.”
I finish my little speech of hope and Hanan Porat enters the hall, to wish the family mazal tov. Hanan was the leader of the Gush Etzion children who returned in 1967, and I declare it to be an omen that my prophecy was true, and that the children of Gush Katif will return, one day, to this strip of land.
This coming year will be 19 years since the expulsion from Gush Katif.
Spoiler on the film Independence Day: The good guys fight back and win in the end.
 Books by Dr. Guy Bechor: God in the Courtroom: The Transformation of Courtroom Oath and Perjury Between Islamic and Franco-Egyptian Law (Studies in Islamic Law and Society, 34), The Sanhuri Code, and the Emergence of Modern Arab Civil Law (1932 to 1949) (Studies in Islamic Law and Society) and From Intifada to War: Milestones in the Palestinian National Experience (Hebrew), the last together with co-authors Tamar Yegnes, Yuval Arnon-Ohana, Esther Webman, Ehud Yaari, Bruce Maddy-Weitzman, Amos Nadan, Elie Rekhess, Khalil Shikaki and Daniel Schueftan, Published by The Moshe Dayan Center. More articles by Dr. Bechor can be found, in Hebrew, on his website: www.gplanet.co.il.