On display in Gaza: The true Israeli narrative

Islamic Jihad or Fatah, terrorists or guerillas, post-Oslo or pre-Oslo, the Palestinians have no right to resist our control, which we impose by full right.

Here we are again, fighting for our survival, fighting in self-defense, killing Islamic Jihad terrorists who deliberately fire rockets at innocent Israeli civilians, and all this after we got out of there completely, and after all the peace offers we made since Oslo that they rejected. You see? We have no choice.

The above is the Israeli narrative for our current targeted assassination campaign, the same one we used for Operation Cast Lead and every other onslaught we’ve visited on the Strip over the last decade: Our enemies are jihadists who won’t accept anything less than our deaths; they target innocent civilians, which further proves their intentions and essential evil;  and we’ve offered them statehood repeatedly but they rejected it every time, so war is forced on us as the last option.

This is what Israelis tell themselves, and it’s all crap. It doesn’t matter whether the terrorists are jihadists or not, it doesn’t matter if they target civilians or not, it doesn’t matter if we offered them statehood or not – we’re going to kill them if they try to break out of our control, and we will always be totally innocent, while they will always be totally guilty.

Look at this hypocrisy. We say that we kill them because they attack innocent civilians; would we not kill them if they only attacked soldiers? If instead of rockets they had Apache helicopters and F-16s and bombed IDF bases and soldiers in uniform – would we view them or treat them any differently?

Moreover, Islamic Jihad, Hamas and the other religious fanatics only started fighting after the first intifada of 1987; before that it was mainly Fatah, a secular nationalist movement whose armed men now work day and night with the Shin Bet and IDF, whose leaders clink glasses with our leaders. When Fatah were the terrorists, were they one iota less loathesome, less evil in Israeli eyes than Islamic Jihad?

Finally, about our peace offers, let’s put aside the fact that we never offered the Palestinians sovereignty anywhere, never offered them the freedoms that  every nation, beginning with Israel, demands. For the sake of argument, let’s say that the Oslo Accord did offer the Palestinians a deal that, by rights, they should have accepted; let’s say Rabin, Peres, Barak, Olmert and even Netanyahu offered them a peaceful way to gain their freedom and independence, yet they rejected it. Even if that were true – what about before Oslo? Did Yitzhak Shamir offer the Palestinians statehood or anything except life under Israeli military rule? Did Menachem Begin? Did Rabin in his first term? Did Golda Meir? Did Levi Eshkol? While reasonable, well-intentioned people may argue that Israel offered the Palestinians a way out of occupation after 1993,  they can’t argue that we did so between 1967 and 1993. So if our post-Oslo peace offers make the Palestinians the aggressor and Israel the defender, what do we have to say about all those Palestinian acts of violence during the 26 years of occupation before Oslo? If today’s rocket attacks are unjustified because we offered the Palestinians a state, are we saying, then, that during all those years when nothing was on offer, the attacks were justified? Of course not. As far as we’re concerned, they were as wanton and malicious and purely evil as could possibly be, exactly like the ones today.

Post-Oslo or pre-Oslo, civilian targets or military targets, jihadist or nationalist, it makes no difference – in our eyes, the Palestinians have no right to lift a finger against our control of their lives and land. And if they do, we have the absolute right to do whatever’s necessary to stop them, from Operation Cast Lead to targeted assassinations to barring the import of macaroni.

We are the conquerors, they are the conquered – this is the true Israeli narrative.