The weekly Palestinian marches on the Gaza-Israel border should be seen as disastrous for Hamas and others who dream of toppling Israel by force.
Israel Defense Forces troops have prevented a mass infiltration of Israel. No one in Israel has been hurt, despite the best efforts of militants flinging Molotov cocktails and flying incendiary kites into the Jewish state.
The protesters have done far more damage to Gaza’s infrastructure than to Israel’s, despite an obvious desire to unleash devastating wildfires. The violence Friday, May 4, disrupted the Kerem Shalom crossing, where humanitarian goods enter Gaza from Israel, and torched pipes that carry fuel into the strip.
Despite fears that the death toll would climb each week after the Great March of Return campaign began March 30, the total of Palestinian dead is 47, including 19 that first Friday, and none died May 4. A major reason that fatalities have not spiked is that Palestinians have gotten the message about the danger of attacking the fence, and after 30,000 or so marched March 30, the total has been closer to 10,000 each Friday since.
The lie that these are peaceful demonstrations has been exposed over and over again, from swastikas on kites to calls for the destruction of the Jews (not just the establishment of a Palestinian state or the overthrow of Israel). Pallywood — the Palestinian propaganda game of faking casualties — has likewise been revealed repeatedly, as when a grievously wounded young man being carried off a smoky battlefield by stretcher suddenly stood and walked away.
It requires astounding cynicism and hypocrisy to exercise an imaginary right to “return” to a place you have never been, while denying hostages such as Avera Mengistu, an Israeli who wandered into Gaza in September 2014 and has been held captive ever since, the chance to go home.
It all should be a slam-dunk: The Palestinians are creating violent clashes driven by hate, while Israel is keeping its citizens safe and showing restraint by not sending the IDF across the border.
But still Israel is losing the battle for public opinion.
Israel is blamed for every Palestinian death, all of which are attributed to sniper fire, regardless of the circumstances.
Amnesty International said that condemning Israel is not enough and called for an international arms embargo against Israel to punish it for illegal conduct and human rights violations. The Palestinians, in Amnesty’s eyes, “are merely protesting their unbearable conditions and demanding the right to return to their homes and towns in what is now Israel.”
That statement, that sentiment, is terrifying, for it implies an eternal right of Palestinian descendants to “return” to Israel at any time, regardless of anything as pesky as borders, and includes the sense that Israel remains a temporary nuisance — “what is now Israel” need not still be Israel once those poor, oppressed Palestinians tear down the fence.
The armed Palestinian charges against the border continue to be depicted as nonviolent, while Israel’s “disproportionate” response is condemned — though no one suggests how Israel should respond, short of welcoming people who identify with Nazis.
Israel should try to do more to alleviate the suffering in Gaza, but no one should believe that Israel could do anything — including ceasing to exist — that would make Palestinian suffering end. Just as Israel needs a partner for peace, it needs Palestinian leaders more interested in lifting up their own people than destroying the Jews.