Did you hear the big news about peace in the Middle East? I’m not all that surprised if you didn’t, but it is news, nonetheless. In a meeting in Saudi Arabia, Arab leaders talked about how they were so ready to have peace with Israel. Yay! Peace in our time! They said that the Arab nations would establish normal diplomatic ties with Israel just as soon as Israel stopped being such a bully to its neighbors. Speaking of neighbors, let’s look at the map to the right showing the Arab nations in green and that tiny sliver of Israeli blue. With that map in mind, here is what Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said at the recent meeting about the necessary steps to peace with Israel:

“Once Israel returns occupied land and comes to an agreement with the Palestinians, returns occupied land to Syria and comes to an agreement with them, and it resolves its land issues with Lebanon, Arab states will immediately establish relations.”

Faisal is saying that the Israelis need to give up the lands they paid for in blood when their oh-so-peaceful Arab neighbors attacked them, not once, but four times. And notice that it is Israel’s responsibility to kiss and make up with the Palestinians, Syria, and Lebanon before the Arab states in green will even recognize that there is a nation-state called Israel. Until then, we will see more maps with no Israel. Captain Ed of Captain’s Quarters has a reminder of what this land-for-peace idea has produced in the not-so-distant past:

The Saudis want Israel to commit to the concept of land for peace. Yet when Israel withdrew from Gaza, pulling out their settlements along with the IDF, did peace erupt all over? Most decidedly, no. The Palestinians used Gaza as a launch pad for their rockets, dropping them indiscriminately into Israeli towns, with only Palestinian incompetence keeping more civilians from dying. When that stopped amusing them, Hamas crossed into Israel to abduct Gilad Shalit, whom they still hold for ransom. Under those circumstances, why would Israel accept land for peace when they know they will not get it?

But even if Israel were to pretend that giving up its land would yield positive results this time around, the “peace offer” outlined by Faisal would still require Israel to apologize for its existence to people who indiscriminately launch rockets into its civilian population. And these people have made it clear that they don’t want to make nice with Israel; they just want Israel to vanish away. It reminds me of the famous scene in Goldfinger, with James Bond strapped to a table and a deadly laser moving closer to him. Bond asks the villain, “Do you expect me to talk?” The response is, “No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!” That, in essence, is what the Arab world has been saying to Israel for sixty years now.

Land for peace is the talk of the Arab conference, as stated by an anonymous former Saudi official: “What we’re saying is, accept the principle of land for peace, that it’s the basis for future negotiations, then we can work out the details.” But the cesspool Gaza has become demonstrates clearly that swapping land for peace should be as anathema to Israel as swapping freedom for security is to Americans. But based on what Faisal said at the Arab conference, land for peace seems to be the Arabs’ one-trick pony. “We cannot change the plan because it offers peace, and changing it would mean we’re no longer offering peace.” Yeah, it’s great discussing issues with someone who is so willing to compromise.

But why should the Arab nations want to compromise when Prime Minister Olmert is willing to compromise for them? Cox and Forkum did a good job of showing Prime Minister Olmert’s attitude toward any peaceful gesture by Israel’s Arab neighbors.

Whisper Peace

I just think it’s hard to discuss peace with any group whose flag shows exactly how they plan to achieve peace.

Once again, the duo of Cox and Forkum take up their art supplies to create a great political cartoon.

Palestinian Body Armor

You might think that is pretty harsh, but when you take a look at some of the photos posted on Little Green Footballs about children and civilians being used by the Palestinian militants as human shields, you should realize that the cartoon is only slightly exaggerated.

Palestinian Human Shield

Palestinian Human Shield

Palestinian Human Shield

Palestinian Human Shield

I have to wonder why Palestinian parents allow their children to run around so close to militants. Don’t they love them? Don’t they want to watch their kids grow up? Charles of LGF points to a Reuters report that shows the Palestinian youths yearn for martyrdom, too. In his article on Real Clear Politics, Robert Tracinski points to “Umm Nidal, the ‘mother of martyrs,’ who has sent three of her sons to kill themselves in terrorist attacks on Israel, proclaiming that their ‘sacrifice…makes me happy.’” Judging by her standard, I’d have to say that she doesn’t love her kids enough to want to watch them become adults. Tracinski also points to an interesting difference between the culture of martyrdom and sacrifice of the Palestinians and the culture of their Israeli neighbors:

For the great mass of Palestinians this worship of sacrifice is sincere. By rejecting every chance at peace and coexistence with Israel–breaking every truce and turning down every peace offer–they have lost everything and gained nothing. Taking the suicide bomber as their moral model, the Palestinians seek to emulate his fate: in their lust to destroy Israel, they are willing to accept the utter destruction and collapse of their own society.

Look to the other side of the security barrier and you see a very different society. While the Palestinians raise their children on visions of blood and murder, the Israelis are largely preoccupied by the business of producing, creating, making a living. Consider, for example, the vast Gaza greenhouses handed over from the departing Israelis to the Palestinians. In the hands of the society that “made the desert bloom,” these greenhouses produced millions of dollars worth of produce. Under Palestinian control, they were looted and their products have literally been left to rot. As with the Cold War examples of East and West Berlin, Gaza and Israel offer side-by-side laboratories for opposing moralities.

Regardless of which side of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict you might champion, you have to acknowledge that the majority of Palestinians are breaking the first two of Niven’s Laws:

1a – Never throw s*** at an armed man.
1b – Never stand next to someone who is throwing s*** at an armed man.