Wrong direction

Wrong direction

In an assault on Israel in all but name, a rogue’s gallery of anti-Israel activists is planning a “Global March to Jerusalem” on March 30, to coincide with what the Palestinians call “Land Day.” Marchers plan to gather at Israel’s borders in what they are calling a peaceful protest, but which actually seems calculated to provoke a violent reaction from Israel. Organizers surely recall last year’s Land Day commemorations, when 13 marchers were killed in clashes along the borders, and “Naksa Day,” when there were more casualties.

No country would tolerate a mass breach of its borders, and Israel is put in the excruciating position of losing the public relations battle merely by enforcing its sovereignty.

The organizers of the march are hardly peaceniks, but an assortment of Hamas sympathizes and lackeys, one-state proponents, Islamists, and agents for Iran. The image conjured up is less the “March on Washington” than the “rustlers, cutthroats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperadoes, mugs, pugs, thugs, [and] nitwits” recruited by the devious Hedley Lamarr character in Blazing Saddles.

Not that there is anything remotely funny about this “protest.” For years Palestinian leaders and observers have promised a campaign of “civil disobedience”; last month, Palestinian parliamentarian Mustafa Barghouti wrote an op-ed urging his fellow Palestinians to “pursue a form of nonviolent struggle that we can sustain without depending on others to make decisions for us or in our place.” The rest of the Arab world and the so-called “pro-Palestinian” movement seem not to have heard his message.

The path to peace does not run slipshod across Israel’s borders with neighboring countries. Israelis and Palestinians do not need more provocations; what they need is meaningful negotiations. Israelis are waiting for the gestures from the Palestinians and their supporters that demonstrate that compromise is a risk worth taking. A slow-motion riot is hardly the gesture that is needed.

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