Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

By Mel Pearlman

People who love the land do not burn the land


October 12, 2018

It is not surprising that the Arabs of Gaza, worked into a frenzy of hate and victimhood by their Hamas masters, have bought into the fantasy that they are entitled to claim what is now Israel.

After the British Mandate ended, Gaza was ruled by Egypt from 1947 until 1967. During this period the Egyptian government used the territory to mount frequent cross border terrorist attacks by the fedayeen on Jewish communities along the border. The fedayeen were made up of irregular Egyptian troops with some assistance from the local Arab population inhabiting Gaza.

After the Six Day War until 2005, Israel constructed settlements inside Gaza along the Israeli border, primarily to create a security buffer and to prevent future terrorist incursions into Israel from the enclave.

As a result of the Oslo II Accords in 1994, the Palestinian Authority took administrative and political control over territory in parts of Judea and Samaria where the overwhelming majority of Arabs were living.

By 1995, almost 98 percent of the Arabs living in Judea and Samaria were given complete autonomy from Israeli rule. Except for security matters, Arab leaders were now governing Arab populations, including having the responsibility to police their own people, to provide public services and to govern their own affairs.

In 2005, Prime Minister Arial Sharon’s government, in an attempt to encourage further negotiations with the Palestinian Authority to move to a permanent and lasting peace based on a two state arrangement, made a strategic but controversial decision to unilaterally withdraw from Gaza, and to turn administrative and political control over to the Palestinian Authority.

The Arab population of Gaza would now join their Arab brethren in Judea and Samaria under P. A. leadership and enjoy the same level of autonomy. Israeli settlements would be removed and Israel would be free of the burden of governing approximately two million additional Arabs.

Many in Israel opposed giving up land for a peace not yet realized, and there were violent protests and physical opposition to dismantling the Gaza settlements. Despite the opposition, the plan of withdrawal was completed and the P. A. was now in administrative and political control of all the territory that contained almost all of the Arab population.

It was hoped that this strategic move would encourage the P. A. to engage in fruitful negotiations leading to peaceful coexistence; while giving the P. A. time to develop the public and private institutions necessary to sustain a free and democratic Palestinian state ultimately living side by side with a free and democratic Jewish state.

Unfortunately, it was not to be. The withdrawal of the IDF from Gaza created a vacuum quickly filled by Hamas and other terrorist factions. A weak P. A. was overthrown in Gaza by Hamas in June 2007. The result was a terrorist governed state, whose only ambition and sole purpose was to wage war by any means until Israel was destroyed.

A well-intentioned Israel now fell victim to terrorist rocket and other attacks on Israeli civilians in the southern areas bordering Gaza. Israel has been compelled to conduct numerous military operations, including two formal invasions of Gaza to reduce, but not eliminate the continuing threat to its security.

The latest attempt to breach Israel’s southern border with Gaza has its civilian population, aided, abetted and orchestrated by Hamas, using kites and drones carrying incendiary devices to destroy the land they allegedly love and seek to recover.

These violent protests remind me of the biblical story of the contested baby by the actual and the imposter mother, both of whom claimed great love for the child. When the king decided to resolve the problem by physically splitting the child, the imposter mother betrayed her false love for the child by agreeing to the king’s decision. Thus the king was able to determine the actual mother of the child by her authentic love for the child.

The burning and destruction of the fields and forests of southern Israel by the Arabs of Gaza betray their love for the land, and clearly demonstrate their continued hatred and uncompromising attitude toward Israel and the Jewish people.

Mel Pearlman has been practicing law in Central Florida for the past 45 years. He has served as president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando; on the District VII Mental Health Board, as Special Prosecutor for the City of Winter Park, Florida; and on the Board of Directors of the Central Florida Research and Development Authority. He was a charter member of the Board of Directors and served as the first Vice President of the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Central Florida, as well as its first pro-bono legal counsel.


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