It's Incitement, Stupid

Israel Palestinian Stabbing Middle East
Israeli policemen detain a Palestinian man (C) after stabbing a Jewish teenager in Jerusalem on October 9, 2015. The wave of violence by Palestinians against Israelis is a concern outlined in Quartet's report. Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images

The long-awaited report published last Friday by the Quartet raises many concerns about its understanding of the reality and the true causes, of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict "on the ground."

Three of the Quartet's main concerns as set out in the report are the ongoing terrorism perpetuated by the Palestinians against Israeli civilians and the incitement to violence, the illicit arms build-up and militant activity in the Palestinian territories, coupled with the dire humanitarian situation and the alleged Israeli policy of continued settlement construction and expansion.

While the Quartet's concerns relating to the ongoing incitement and the humanitarian situation in the territories are on point, the continued focus on the so-called settlements as an obstacle to peace still defies belief.

The international community does not seem to appreciate fully that as long as there is incitement to violence and glorification of terrorism by the Palestinian leadership, there are no prospects for peace. Period.

There is no moral, legal, religious or any other possible justification for the cold-blooded murder of a 13-year-old girl asleep in her bed, as was tragically the case in Israel just before the report was released, despite what anyone says about Israel's settlement policies.

Not only do many factors point to an ongoing, unofficial freeze of Jewish development in the disputed territories, which has all but precluded expansion in recent years, but even if some limited expansion has occurred in the those territories, this expansion is just as beneficial to the Palestinians.

As the report states, the civil infrastructure in the Palestinian areas of the disputed territories is substandard to say the least. This is due primarily to decades of extreme corruption in the Palestinian leadership and their tendency to blame Israel for any and all types of humanitarian crises that befall their people.

However, increased Jewish activity in the territories brings new infrastructure and opportunities that can also benefit the Palestinians—and they know it.

One only has to look at companies like SodaStream, which is acclaimed for employing a mix of Israelis and Palestinians, on completely equal terms. Despite what the Palestinian leadership claims, it should be obvious that the Palestinian people want, and deserve, more opportunities of a similar nature. And this is exactly what the State of Israel continually strives to do.

Israel has made it clear that it is committed to a viable two-state solution that ensures Israel has secure and defendable borders. When the international community focuses on the real root causes of the conflict—namely, Palestinian incitement and terrorism—the welfare of the Palestinians, and the region as a whole, will benefit.

Sharren Haskel is an Israeli member of Knesset (Likud Party) who sits on the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

It's Incitement, Stupid | Opinion