A constant refrain during Benjamin Netanyahu’s premiership was that his hawkish views and “war-mongering” toward the Palestinians was a primary source of ongoing conflict.
But this week the Palestinians, from Mahmoud Abbas to Hamas, demonstrated that it’s Jews in general, and not only the likes of Netanyahu, that they reject.
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid is painted as a centrist, but his leanings in regards to the conflict with the Palestinians are to the left. He doesn’t believe a comprehensive peace can be achieved with the Palestinians at this time, but he is in favor of withdrawing (separating) from the lands they claim, thus facilitating a de facto Palestinian state.
You’d think the Palestinians would relate to Lapid differently than they do to Netanyahu. You’d think they’d see him as at least partially “on their side.”
However, when Lapid visited the area of the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem on Monday to discuss police measures to curb a recent wave of violence there, the Palestinians employed the same language they would against Netanyahu.
“The continuing actions of the occupation army, its police provocations, and the incursions of settlers will lead the situation to explode,” said Abbas spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeinah. He called Lapid’s visit to the Damascus Gate “irresponsible,” and Hamas termed it a “dangerous escalation and provocation.”
That’s the Palestinian response to a left-leaning Israeli government official who supports the two-state solution. And it reveals, once again, that it’s not right-wing Israelis or diehard settlers alone that the Palestinians see as a provocation. It’s all Jews.
For the Palestinian leadership–both the “moderate” Palestinian Authority and the radical Hamas–the presence of any Jews on land they claim is a provocation.