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After the Gaza War, We Must De-radicalize Palestinian Society

Illustrative: Palestinian children compelled to participate in a Hamas military parade. Photo: Twitter.

Watching the news these days it has become commonplace to portray Palestinians as double victims — of both Hamas and Israel. Everyone from President Biden to even Bibi Netanyahu has emphasized the distinction between Hamas on the one hand and the innocent Palestinians on the other. They are presented as hostages of Hamas, just as much as the Israelis being held at gunpoint in their tunnels.

While it is true that 16 years have passed since Gazans elected Hamas, much of the Palestinian population there is radicalized. They support Hamas, and — what’s most disturbing — they endorse the October 7 massacre.

New polling conducted by the Arab World for Research and Development proves that Palestinians overwhelmingly prefer Hamas and that they approve the massacre. Only 13% of Palestinians oppose the 10/7 attacks, whereas 75% support the slaughter, with 59% strongly supporting it.

Regular Palestinians cheered and spit on the mangled corpse of Shani Louk, and assaulted and harassed other victims and hostages.

This sad reality raises the question: if Israel achieves its goal of demilitarizing Gaza and destroying Hamas, what will replace it?

President Biden has made clear that there needs to be a two-state solution. But who will govern the Palestinian state? Biden recently proposed that the Palestinian Authority (PA) take the reins of government in Gaza. However, support for the Palestinian Authority is a dismal 10%. The PA will be received as a corrupt puppet of the west in Gaza.

If Palestinians are given the opportunity to elect new leadership , they will choose Hamas. Support for the Al-Qassam Brigades (89%), which is the military wing of Hamas, is even higher than support for Hamas in general (75%). This seems to suggest that what many Palestinians like most about Hamas is terrorism and violence.

Israel is faced with the same conundrum the US encountered in Afghanistan: the militant Islamist party is favored over any moderate alternative. Optimistic onlookers might think that, when given the opportunity for democratic governance, people will seize it. But if history is any guide, that is only true if the people in question are not radicalized. Israel cannot afford to make the same mistakes the US made in Afghanistan.

The US lost 2,402 service members in the 20-year war in Afghanistan, and squandered a staggering $2.3 trillion. What will it cost Israel in lives and treasure to keep Hamas from seizing power once again? The lesson Israel should learn from the United States’ misadventures in Afghanistan is that you cannot impose democracy and peace upon a population. A peaceful population doesn’t become a death cult overnight, and vice versa. This situation didn’t emerge suddenly, and the solution will have to be gradual as well.

Israel must not, as Bibi Netanyahu foolishly said, retain “security control of Gaza indefinitely.” Instead, Israel should learn from the US’s mistakes and outsource that role to an international peacekeeping force. After all, the UN is complicit in the radicalization of the Palestinians. Problems cannot be solved if they are not acknowledged, and the UN has to contend with the fact that they have facilitated the perpetuation of this conflict by inculcating hatred in their schools.

The US contributes about 20% of the UN’s overall budget, more than any other single country, and about 25% of UNWRA’s budget, which is responsible for educating Palestinian children.

The UN-run school system in the Palestinian territories have become indoctrination camps for terrorists. Their textbooks are full of such vile genocidal brainwashing that you would think they were Arabic translations of Mein Kampf. These textbooks poison the minds of Palestinian children and ensure that peace remains unattainable. Shockingly, one of the released hostages was held by an UNWRA teacher in Gaza. The UN cannot be trusted to administer services for the Palestinians when they aid, abet, and incite terrorism.

We should not continue subsidizing the radicalization of Palestinian youth by funding UNWRA. Once the dust of combat settles, and an international peacekeeping force is in place, reforming the Palestinian education system should be a priority. The deprogramming of the Palestinian population may take a generation, and the world needs to prepare for that.

Kenneth Blake teaches Critical Thinking and Government at St. Vincent de Paul College Prep in Petaluma, CA. 

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British Columbia’s Jewish community is outraged after MLA Selina Robinson is removed from cabinet over remarks about Israel

Leaders of the British Columbia Jewish community have reacted with dismay to the decision by David Eby, the province’s premier, to remove Selina Robinson from her position as minister of post-secondary education and future skills on Feb. 5 due to remarks she made the previous week during an online discussion. While speaking on a panel […]

The post British Columbia’s Jewish community is outraged after MLA Selina Robinson is removed from cabinet over remarks about Israel appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Gaza Border Residents Demand A Return Home, Four Months Into War

A damaged building lies in ruins, following an infiltration by Hamas terrorists who attacked Israel at a kibbutz in Kfar Aza, Israel, Nov. 8, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

Israelis from the Gaza Envelope are calling on the government to approve their return home, roughly four months since the war’s outbreak on October 7.

The head of the Scot Negev Regional Council, Tamir Idan, said outside the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, “We demand a clear statement from the Prime Minister and the Defense Minister that it is safe to return to the area. Until then we are not moving from here.”

The heads of the other regional councils in the Gaza area joined Idan outside the Prime Minister’s office, where they slept last night in protest.

The regional leaders say that members of the Gaza border towns should be allowed to return to the areas if they wish, rather than being forced to live in hotels. An internal plan is set to be presented to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in the near future.

The heads claim it is safe to return home, and are demanding that the government sign off on such a statement so residents can do so. Their protest comes as the government extended the funds allocated for their stay at hotels until July.

Following the October 7 massacre by Hamas terrorists, when they stormed southern Israel, murdering over 1,200 and taking hostage more than 240, tens of thousands of Israelis from the area were uprooted from their homes and placed in hotels in the Jerusalem area, Eilat, the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea region. Since then, they have been living there full time, with makeshift schools set up for children and activities to keep everyone occupied. The move has also led local businesses to be completely shuttered.

Some Israelis have already moved back to their towns, which is technically allowed but under their own risk — rockets still fly near daily from Gaza and the IDF is operating within the Gaza Strip, which is minutes away from certain border towns.

The plan presented by the regional heads, they say, would mean that the towns are technically safe to return to, and therefore the risk falls under the government and the military.

This is as tens of thousands of Israelis from northern towns also remain out of their homes, with no current timeline for return due to the constant threat of Hezbollah missiles and the potential the war extends to the north.

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Australian Politician Says ‘Jewish Lobby’ Uses ‘Tentacles’ to ‘Influence Power’

Australian Greens MP Jenny Leong speaks at a Palestine Justice Movement event in Australia on Sunday, February 4, 2024. Source: Twitter/X

Video of a left-wing Australian politician discussing how “the Jewish lobby and the Zionist lobby” are using their “tentacles” to “influence power” went viral on Tuesday, sparking backlash from the Australian Jewish community.

Jenny Leong, an Australia Greens member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly, spoke on a panel for the Palestine Justice Movement in December to promote boycotting Israel.

“The Jewish lobby and the Zionist lobby are infiltrating into every single aspect of what is ethnic community groups,” Leong said during the panel. “They rock up and they’re part of the campaign,” and “they offer solidarity.” 

She continued: “They [the Jewish and Zionist lobby] rock up to every community meeting and event to offer that connection because their tentacles reach into the areas that try and influence power and I think that we need to call that out and expose that.”

Stop what you’re doing and listen to the despicable remarks of @Greens MP @jennyleong , in which she accuses Jews of having “tentacles” which they use to try and influence power.

Leong has plumbed new and dangerous depths by using one of the oldest and darkest antisemitic tropes…

— NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (@NSWJBD) February 6, 2024

The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, which is the representative of Jews who live in New South Wales, called the remarks “despicable,” adding that “Leong has plumbed new and dangerous depths by using one of the oldest and darkest antisemitic tropes to accuse Jews of covertly manipulating civic life. She has outrageously suggested that there is a sinister or evil purpose associated with Jews undertaking the most normal of activities – interacting with other Australians.”

Josh Burns, a Labor member of the Australian House of Representatives, said her comments were “a direct attack on Jewish people in Australia” and that “she should unreservedly apologize.” He also called on the Australian Greens to “take responsibility and demonstrate that Jewish people in Australia are safe and respected by their Party.”

The right-leaning Australian Jewish Association wrote on X that “Every credible political party must put the Greens last. Every non-racist fair minded person must put the Greens last.”

In response to the criticism, Leong apologized for specifically using the word “tentacles,” but not for her message. She said: “Speaking on a panel during a two-hour-long event last year, I acknowledge that I used a word at one point that was an inappropriate descriptor for the influence of groups backing Netanyahu’s genocidal attacks in Gaza and the ongoing occupation – I apologise that this has caused offence.” 

She continued: “It is incredibly telling that after a conversation where myself and other speakers made countless mentions of the genocidal attacks and occupation occurring in Gaza right now, that two months later more focus isn’t being put on the deaths of over 26,000 people, many of them children.”

Her comments and apology come amid increasing concern over antisemitism on the far-left, which has celebrated violent resistance against Israel since October 7, when Hamas invaded the country, killed 1,200 people, and kidnapped more than 240 more.

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