-- May 15, 2011 Nakba Day- What Happened and What it Means

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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

May 15, 2011 Nakba Day- What Happened and What it Means

Today, May 15th, was "Nakba Day", the day the Arabs commemorate, what to them was "the great disaster", the creation of the State of Israel. While one can accept the fact that the creation of the State of Israel was indeed a bad day for them, one also must remind anyone who will bother listening, that it did not have to be that way. If the Palestinians would have accepted the UN partition plan, 60 years of bloodshed, refugees, and everything else that happened could have been avoided. May 15th could have been a day of joint celebration; marking the end of the British colonial mandate. But I guess that was not to be our joint fates'.

It was their decision, not ours, to oppose the UN solution. Whenever you engage in debate or discussion on the rights and wrongs of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, note that the sum total of all the mistakes Israel has made over the years, pale in comparison to this initial mistake made by the Palestinians. Furthermore, the essence of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, to this day, is their failure to accept the UN plan. The past 20 years of peace attempts have ulimtately failed because of an unwillingness on the part of the Palestinians to accept that plan. A few on the Jewish side are equally guilty, however, they are a distinct minority. The opposition on the Palestinian side is much larger problem. Let us hope that it will not take another 62 years for both groups to accept the plan that was right in 1947. It is this original plan, with some modifications that remains the only viable plan for ending the conflict.

Today, we saw an attempt by President Assad, together with his supporters from Hezbollah and Hamas to redirect the interest of the world away from his slaughtering of his people, and towards events in Israel. In a move that was orchestrated by the Syrian regime, a busload of Palestinians were brought to the border at Majdal Shams. They broke through a rather pathetic border fence and entered the Druze village there. The Israeli army commander on the scene, who was surprised by the actions, (the Israeli military was expecting something similar at Qunetra, and also in the Golan Heights), wisely ordered has men not to use deadly force, and to allow the rock wielding demonstrators to cross the border. As a result, only two were killed, instead of the hundreds, that I believe Assad was hoping for. The Israeli forces were concerned that there might be an attempt to kidnap Israeli soldiers. Thus, they clearly had to be on the their guard and exert some force. The Druze villagers worked to get these demonstrators to leave and return to Syria. The mayor of the Druze village made it very clear that he thought this was a provocation of Assad. The mayor further stated that the Arab people would see through it. This was one of the strongest condemnations of Assad by a Druze leader on the Golan, a group that has assiduously tried to stay neutral in the ongoing violence in Syria.

Similar attempts were made on the Lebanese border. The Lebanese army tried to stop the protestors. It seems that the Lebanese who were killed, were killed by the Lebanese army and not by the IDF-- despite claims Israel had shot at them. There was a similar attempt from Gaza, but the Egyptian army did not let any Egyptian demonstrators through from Egypt. As a result demonstrations in the South were limited. There were also a limited number of problems in the West Bank. The only major point of contact was the Kalandia check point between Ramallah and Jerusalem; a regular point of conflict. The Palestinian Authority did not allow demonstrators from other parts of the West Bank to get there. The larger question is what happens if the Palestinian and the Arab world expand these types of actions in ever larger numbers?

Lastly, there was a terrorist attack in Tel Aviv today. An Israeli Arab used his truck as a weapon to attack other cars, killing one Israeli. This evening, the news came out that the driver had just come back from Saudi Arabia. The driver claims that his actions were completely an accident.

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