Today’s Washington Post publishes a column from an Al-Jazeera reporter who got miffed that Israel denied her entry from Gaza so that she could attend a reception in the West Bank. After that experience, Laila el-Haddad tells us that Israel’s pullout from Gaza amounts to nothing more than a plan to keep the West Bank under its thumb, and that Israel’s protection of its borders is the biggest obstacle to peace in the region:
I spent eight hours at Gaza’s Erez border crossing with Israel last month, waiting for Israeli approval to attend a reception in the West Bank, only to be denied entry based on dubious “security reasons.”
I’m a Palestinian mother of a stir-crazy 16-month-old boy, a journalist and a Harvard graduate. I’m not sure exactly what’s threatening about me, though my son might disagree, if he could sit still long enough to do so.
Being Palestinian is enough, an Israeli army spokesperson told me.
“As a Palestinian from Gaza, you are considered a security threat first, a journalist second.”
And that equation is not set to change anytime soon, not even after disengagement.
Haddad notes that the Israelis plan on controlling Gaza’s borders after pulling out and have declared that they will still respond to attacks coming from the region — and asserts that this policy makes Gaza little more than an open-air prison. She goes on to note that nothing has changed since Oslo, and that the Israeli security wall disrupts Palestinian lives and causes aggravation and inconvenience.
Where does one start with this nonsense?
Haddad must know about the recent case of a Palestinian woman to whom Israel granted access. The Israelis allowed Wafa Samir al-Biss to cross over into Israel for medical treatment to correct burns and scars so she could lead a more normal life — and she repaid them by attempting to set off a bomb belt. In fact, she later told the Telegraph that she wanted to kill Israeli babies at the hospital.
But she wasn’t a mother, Haddad could argue. True enough, but she could talk to Kahira, another inmate interviewed in the same article. Kahira had a husband and children and still managed to help set up a suicide bomber who killed a pregnant Jewish woman, among others. Manuela Dviri talked with a number of Palestinian women who crossed into Israel, probably many of which told guards that they wanted to go to the West Bank from Gaza or the other way around, only to attempt to kill Israeli civilians instead.
Haddad needs to spare us the outrage act. The Israelis have damned good reasons to look suspiciously on people crossing the border, and the Palestinians have no one to blame for that but themselves. The same holds true for the security fence. It has turned out to be the one non-lethal defense strategy that actually saves Israeli lives; suicide bombings have become almost non-existent in areas protected by the fence. Whether the ICJ like it or not is moot, as the Israelis do not participate in the court of “justice”, which never attempted to address the terrorism that created the need for the fence as part of its deliberations.
If the Palestinians feel like Oslo gave them nothing, they can look to Yasser Arafat and the terrorists of the PLO, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad for the cause. For the past eleven years, Israel has waited for the Palestinians to demand peace and an end to terrorism. Instead, they launched two intifadas since Oslo and the Palestinian Authority has refused to act against terrorists, breaching their responsibilities under Oslo and a host of succeeding agreements. By electing the terrorist lunatics of Hamas to important posts in the last elections, the Palestinians have made clear their choice for war. They shouldn’t weep at the same time that the people they target for that war won’t grant them immediate, unfettered access to the interior of their country.
Haddad and her people need to grow up, and the Washington Post needs to rethink its editorial page access to this kind of disingenuous tripe.