This past Monday marked Israel’s Independence Day, which
celebrated 56 years of the State of Israel. Israel’s history is one
that Jews around the world can be proud of.
Many events in the past few years have brought Israel back into
the media spotlight. Among the more recent are President Bush’s
statements supporting Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s Gaza
disengagement plan. Sharon’s plan was shocking even before he and
President Bush met regarding the issue. The prime minister who was
supposedly one of the most iron-fisted extremists was willing to do
something that no other prime minister before him, including
Yitzhak Rabin, was willing to do.
Later that evening many Palestinian leaders, including Arafat,
sent messages of continued terror and bloodshed. The withdrawal
from Gaza proves that terror works and should continue to be used.
Where will things go over the coming months and years? Is this what
Israel must consider a partner in peace?
This is no partnership. This indicates that the only acceptable
“peace” solution has nothing to do with green lines or settlements.
Palestinian promotion of an increase in violence upon receiving
favorable results shows that the only acceptable solution, to them,
is the eradication of the state of Israel.
The assassination of multiple Hamas leaders has sparked enormous
reactions within the West Bank and Gaza. The sheer numbers of
people protesting theses attacks show the immense amount of support
that the terrorist group holds among Palestinians. “There is no
solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad (holy
war). Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all
a waste of time and vain endeavors.” This is just one of the
principles of Hamas that is stated in their charter. The refusal of
any type of compromise is at the core of all their statements.
Again the question must be asked – is this a partner for peace?
A partner in peace must accept the right of Israel to exist as a
sovereign nation, not tolerate its existence until the country can
be overthrown. Until Palestinian leaders are willing to recognize
the rights of the existence of the state of Israel, there will be
no peaceful solution.
Despite daily terror attacks and the hardships of life under
such circumstances, Israel’s accomplishments in its short 56 years
surpass anything the Middle East has ever seen. Israel’s
technological prowess is second to none and is on par with the best
high-tech Japan and the United States have to offer.
Some examples of familiar technology that Israel has developed
are: AOL Instant Messenger, Intel Centrino Mobile Technology,
Microsoft Windows NT, the backbone of Windows XP and the Intel
Pentium Processors. Israel has also made more agricultural
contributions then could possibly be mentioned in the space
Among the most notable is that Israel is the only country to
have more trees at the turn of the century than the beginning.
Also, Israel developed drip irrigation out of the necessity to make
barren desert and swamp fertile.
Israel can be proud of all the amazing accomplishments it has
achieved in such a short period of time. Despite its small size,
comparable to the size of New Jersey, it has achieved more than
ever could have been predicted, and has done it all in the face of
terror. Both Israelis and Arabs deserve to live their lives in
peace. I wait with anticipation for the day where there will be a
true partnership in the Middle East and all citizens can live day
to day without fear.
Rachel is the president of CSU Hillel