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Hostage's Promotion of Palestinian Suffering Fuels an Endless War
A two-hour car ride from Jerusalem, in a lawless land, extortionists are holding a British journalist captive to try to delegitimize my country.
The kidnapping of the BBC's Alan Johnston in Gaza, and now the broadcast of his taped denunciation of the fact of Israel's existence, are only one small part of a wider campaign. And it's working.
The international community is being drip-fed the toxic assertion that, were it not for Israel, ours would be a peaceful world, a harmonious community of nations, living in tranquility alongside each other, respecting differences and working out disagreements in a spirit of compromise if it were not for Israel -- the Original Sin, the bone in the Islamic throat.
In Johnston's Britain, the campaign is proving particularly effective. So much so that the union that represents his own profession, the National Union of Journalists, along with many academics, members of the clergy and numerous other opinion-shapers, now subscribe to this notion of Israel as prime irritant, prompter of terrorism.
They will have nodded sagely this weekend when Johnston -- in what must be regarded as a text scripted for him -- lamented the fate of the Palestinians, purportedly "arrested, imprisoned for no reason ... killed on a daily basis," and forced into "absolute despair after nearly 40 years of Israeli occupation which has been supported by the West."
Johnston also castigated Britain for having "worked to bring about the State of Israel, which is the cause of all the suffering of the Palestinian people."
Willfully overlooked by those who seek to delegitimize Israel and, appallingly by those who fall prey to the campaign, are the basic truths at the root of our Middle East reality, at the root of the Islamist terror campaign.
Willfully overlooked is the fact that modern Israel is not some upstart Western invention, supplanting the state of Palestine, but the ancestral homeland of the Jewish nation -- the land where our nation long lived and has always sought to live. The world is filled with Muslim nation-states and Christian nation-states. Ours is the only Jewish nation-state; it is the only nation-state that the Jewish nation has ever sought.
The revived State of Israel, and a first-ever Palestinian state, could and would have co-existed here since 1948 were it not for the fact that those who spoke for the Arab inhabitants eschewed the partition and sought instead to overrun Israel altogether.
Continued Palestinian suffering is not, in the malevolent text scripted for Johnston, a consequence of unacceptable and inexplicable Israeli occupation.
Why are Palestinians still living in refugee camps in Gaza when there is no Israeli presence there? Why are Kassam squads firing into sovereign Israel from Jew-free Gaza, and bringing more suffering on their fellow Palestinians as Israel tries to stem the fire?
Israel's only real reservation about Palestinian independence is that the state of Palestine not be established at the expense of the State of Israel. But that, to date, is the price that the Palestinian leadership has set.
The late Palestinian terrorist-turned-"legitimate" leader Yasser Arafat rejected a two-state solution at Camp David seven years ago, instead seeking a mass Palestinian population influx into Israel that would have destroyed Israel as a Jewish state. The Hamas government that succeeded him subscribes to an extremist Islamic ideology that regards Jewish sovereignty as an intolerable blasphemy.
Israel's war against Islamic extremism is the world's war. It is a battle between those who value life and those who, in the words of the Madrid train-bombers, relish death. It is a war between those who cherish freedoms and those who have become prey to an apocalyptic, death-cult interpretation of Islam.
If the extremists prevail, the consequences will be cataclysmic for Israel. But they will be cataclysmic, too, far beyond Israel, far beyond this region.
Terrorism is not a consequence of an Israeli failure to make peace with the Palestinians. It is a tool of the intolerant ideology that has consistently thwarted all efforts at such peace -- an ideology that seeks to replace Israel and to impose itself far beyond Israel.
The captured Alan Johnston is just one small victim of that extremist intolerance, forced to declare its sentiments.
Woe betide those who would believe the words put into his mouth.
David Horovitz is the editor of The Jerusalem Post.