Yesterday, Rabbi Raziel Shevach was murdered just outside the town of Havat Gilad in Israel. The 35-uear old father of six was driving to his home, when shots were fired from another vehicle directly into his car. Although shot in the neck, he managed to call his wife and told her “I’ve been shot, call an ambulance”. But by the time they arrived, he had lost too much blood and was pronounced dead at the hospital. His wife said, “I am still shocked and horrified at how easily they gun us down.” Rabbi Shevach was a first responder who devoted his life to saving the lives of others by responding to similar situations. His life was taken by the very terrorists from whose attacks he tried to save others.

No Negotiated Peace Anytime Soon

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians have long been stymied, despite decades of efforts by the White House and other world leaders. Yesterday’s murder shows why. Hamas praised the murder of the “killed settler” and Palestinians celebrated the murder which they called “the Nablus operation”, on their official Facebook page today. In short, the Palestinians do not want peace. They want the land of Israel for their own – without Jews, and they will stop at nothing to take it.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel presented a different view in a post on Twitter today: “An Israeli father of six was killed last night in cold blood by Palestinian terrorists. Hamas praises the killers and PA laws will provide them financial rewards. Look no further to why there is no peace.”

American efforts to bridge the gap between Israel and the Palestinians are doomed, so long as the Palestinians have an appetite for Israeli blood, and none for a real peace with Israel. Palestinian leaders use their own people as fodder to feed the terrorism that has taken so many lives – Palestinian as well as Israeli. Yet the loss of Palestinian lives is no incentive for finding a peaceful solution. It is only a part of their propaganda war tagainst Israel.

American foreign policy-makers are beginning to recognize that Israel, which for years has been blamed for ‘intransigence” and accused of sabotaging the talks by successive US adminstrations, are now, finally, being recognized for their efforts to work diligently for peace. But the Palestinians, who celebrate the murders of Israelis by dancing in the streets and handing out sweets, have no interest in a peaceful solution. In their own words, “our struggle against the Jews is extremely wide-ranging and grave, so much so that it will need all the loyal efforts we can wield, to be followed by further steps and reinforced by successive battalions from the multifarious Arab and Islamic world, until the enemies are defeated and Allah’s victory prevails.” (Hamas Covenant)

And from the Fatah Constitution: “The Israeli existence in Palestine is a Zionist invasion with a colonial expansive base, and it is a natural ally to colonialism and international imperialism. …. Liberating Palestine and protecting its holy places is an Arab, religious and human obligation…..[The] Palestinian National Liberation Movement, “FATAH”, is an independent national revolutionary movement representing the revolutionary vanguard of the Palestinian people. …[Its goals are the] complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.”

Nothing could be clearer. That our leaders in the US have ignored these statements of prinicple for so many years is a disgrace. There can be no peace when one of the sides to the talks is determined to destroy the other. It is now time to take a new approach, which the Trump administration seems to be doing: to acknowledge the total lack of cooperation by the Palestinian leadership in the effort to find peace with Israel – and to assist Israel to maintain its peace through strength, through the democratic principles that define the nation. Peace through strength is the only means through which to create a more stable Middle East.