On July 31, 2016, Arutz Sheva reported that MK Erel Margalit (Zionist Union) has a new idea for peace in the Arab-Israel conflict: forget ‘peace talks’; talk ‘business’ (Yoni Kempinski, “Unite the Middle East - through business”). He wants to unite the region's countries through economic and security cooperation (ibid).
He calls his plan, “the Plan of Converging Interests” (ibid). It’s based on his belief that Arabs and Jews share economic and security concerns. He wants to build on these mutual concerns.
He sees ‘peace talks’ going nowhere. Trying to achieve peace, he says, by giving away land is a non-starter.
That’s a positive for the Arab. But it’s a negative for the Jew. That doesn’t make peace attractive for Israel.
Therefore, he has a better idea. He will create a peace plan that’s a win-win for both Arab and Jew.
He wants Arab and Jew to work together cooperatively. He wants them to build a new technology hub, a regional airport and a cross-border desalination project (ibid). Everyone, he believes, will benefit from these joint efforts.
To a Western mind, this sounds good. To a business-oriented politician, it sounds very good. Certainly, it seems a promising change from the Left’s ‘only through surrendering land can we get peace’ mantra.
Can it work? Could business cooperation between Arab and Jew be the key to peace? The answer, I believe, is, no. It can’t work. Too many in the ‘Palestinian’ elite don’t want it (Seth Frantzman, “Success and pitfalls of Palestinian anti-normalization”, jerusalempost, May 31, 2015 Authority).
As even the mainstream Leftist press in Israel (that is, Haaretz) recognizes, business cooperation between Arab and Jew is practically impossible. The reason is simple: important ‘Palestinians’ reject such cooperation.
For the Left, this rejection of cooperation is so serious an issue that it’s a greater threat to peace—and to Israel—than the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement (Joel Braunold and Huda Abuarquob, “A Bigger Threat Than BDS: Anti-normalization”, haaretz, July 2, 2015).
In their economic war against Israel, ‘Palestinians’ fight on two fronts. Everyone knows about BDS. But there’s also a second economic battle-front. It’s called, ‘anti-normalization’.
As detailed by Haaretz, the ‘Palestinian’ anti-normalization movement calls for an end to all interactions between Israelis and Palestinians that do not subscribe to three key tenets: (1) ending the ‘occupation’; (2) equal rights for Israelis and Palestinians; and (3) a full right of return for Palestinian refugees. Both BDS and the anti-normalization movements subscribe to these tenets (ibid).
While BDS fights its battle outside Israel, to convince foreign companies to stop doing business with Israel, the ‘anti-normalizers’ (for lack of a better phrase) focus on what’s going on locally between Arab and Jew. These ‘anti-normalizers’ disrupt programs that it believes are not aligned with their agenda (ibid). This makes life difficult for any Arab or Jew who tries to bring Jews and Arabs together for schooling, agricultural projects, high-tech and other cooperative programs.
‘Anti-normalizers’ want to delegitimize all coexistence programs (ibid). They hate normalization. They claim it helps the ‘colonizer’ (“What is normalization?”, +972magazine, December 27, 2011). It’s an evil that allows the oppressor to believe that his reality “is the only ‘normal’ reality that must be subscribed to” (ibid). Normalization serves to harden the ‘occupation’ and the oppression (ibid). One must resist ‘normalization’, not assist it.
Here’s how ‘Palestinians’ resist ‘normalization’. When Israel offered medical supplies to Palestinians near Shechem, ‘anti-normalizers’ worked to reject those offers (Frantzman, ibid). The reason? “The Israelis know we need this [medical equipment] in order to improve our lives” (ibid). But this aid is bad. It helps Israel burnish its image abroad (ibid).
‘Anti-normalizers’ preach that the only reason Israel gives aid to ‘Palestinians’ is to score propaganda points. That aid ‘normalizes’ the ‘occupation’. It must be rejected.
Of course, ‘Palestinians’ do believe it’s possible for Arab and Jew to work cooperatively (Daoud Kuttab, “Is Normalization Possible Before Israel Ends the Occupation?”, almonitor, August 13, 2013). But that cooperation is valid only when Arab and Jew join together to fight Israel (ibid).
Israel wouldn’t call that cooperation. It would call that an illegal, joint criminal enterprise.
There are many bright, highly-qualified individuals in Israel (Margalit may be one of them) who long for peace with these ‘Palestinians’. Their idealism is misplaced. They fail to consider how deeply runs the Jew-hate that lies within the ‘Palestinian’ culture.
I would suggest that one of the first rules of survival in war is, ‘know your enemy’. We should know by now that ‘Palestinians’ are not neighbors with whom we’ve had an unfortunate ‘falling out’. They are our bitterest enemies.
They hate us with a religious passion. They don’t want to cooperate with us. They want to commit genocide against us. They will simply not cooperate with ‘the sons of apes and pigs (Jews)’.
We ignore such ugly facts at our peril.