The outrage at Olmert’s promise of concessions to the Palestinians is odd. He said nothing new. Too many people refused to believe it would happen. After the withdrawal from Gaza and the subsequent escalation of Arab violence, the Israelis imagined their government had learned its lesson and wold not evacuate Judea and Samaria. That belief was evident nonsense. The Israeli government does not care about Jewish land or security, but shows voters and foreign sponsors the feverish action dubbed “the peace process.”

The Jews sat comfortably at home when Olmert announced his plans to surrender Judea and Samaria to the Hamas-run Palestinian state. No significant protests took place. No group tried to take over the Knesset. No one attempted to assassinate Olmert. No systematic campaign was conducted in the army to make sure it would refuse to carry out the shameful eviction of Jews from Judea. Predictably, Olmert proceeded with his plans.

It is comforting to think Olmert is an exceptionally evil ruler. He is not. Save perhaps Yitzhak Shamir and Golda Meir, any other prime minister would have done the same. Israel suffered the largest territorial losses under the ostensibly hawkish Menahem Begin and Ariel Sharon. Concessions are the product of Israeli apathy, the Exile mentality, and the Jewish penchant of appeasing the world. A democratically elected government is no worse than its voters.

Complacency in the face of evil is itself evil. In the Torah, failure to purify oneself is a greater sin than the sin that called for purification. Most Germans only voted for the Nazi government; few manned the gas chambers. Few Israelis would beat the Jews out of Judea and Samaria; many voted for the Kadima.

Back to Olmert’s speech, note that he addressed the Palestinians as “our neighbors.” If only they were his neighbors! Instead, Palestinians are the neighbors of the unfortunate residents of Sderot.

Opening the checkpoints is a dubious measure sure to repeal the advantages of the wall. Israel will either have to let Palestinians in without sufficient security control or show the world media poor Palestinians suffering in mile-long queues at the border. Palestinian employment is not Israeli business; Jewish security is.

Olmert promised to release Palestinian prisoners in return for only a move toward peace. What could the move be? Stop shelling us for a while and get your terrorists back? That’s quite a deal. Conditioning the release of prisoners on the return of Gilad Shalit is an insult to the victims’ relatives. It is apparently okay to kill scores of inconspicuous Jews in terrorist attacks, but kidnapping a soldier who enjoys publicity is a no-no. It is out of love for his son that Gilad’s father shamefully licks Palestinian bottoms, but Olmert’s concern for Shalit caters only to the media.

Hamas will welcome the unfrozen funds. Much of the money will end up in Hamas and PIJ coffers and soon be used to buy more weapons and explosives. It is exceedingly immoral for Israel to send money to Palestine, tacitly sharing it with Hamas and the PIJ; distributing the money among the people of Sderot would be the just solution.

Olmert hinted that Israel will help the Palestinian economy. That won’t succeed. Even Israeli Arabs are at the bottom of economic development. Many of them are well off because Jews buy from them and hire them. In effect, Israeli Arabs are parasites on Jewish taxes, minimum wage, and welfare. To have the entire Palestinian state leeching off Israel is too much economically.

Olmert’s call for a moderate Palestinian government is counterproductive. Hamas will back into the shadows, free of political responsibility and free to stockpile weapons for the next round of confrontation. Abbas, unable to deliver economic or political improvements, will lose credibility. In the end, a refreshed and strengthened Hamas will win the elections again.

Olmert doesn’t know what he wants. He suggests dialogue with Abbas. What about? The Israeli ruling clique has already promised the Arabs just about everything: Gaza, Judea and Samaria, work visas, and money. What else? Olmert wants to hear Abbas promise that the militants won’t come to power in the Palestinian state; Abbas can promise that but cannot deliver.

Perhaps, Olmert imagines Hamas will abandon its militant attitude and the guerrillas will steer the Palestinian economy to capitalist abundance. Hardly so. Or maybe the Palestinian voters will stop supporting Hamas? No, the Palestinians saw that Hamas effectively put Israel her knees and got everything: money, prisoners, likely even statehood – for a flimsy peace treaty.

Israelis cannot count on our government, but we can expect good things from the Palestinian Cabinet. Olmert doesn’t care about national interests, but Mechaal does. Olmert betrays the Jews easily, but perhaps Mechaal will stand up for the Palestinians. If Hamas continues to insist on a truce rather than peace, on return of the 1948 refugees, on Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, we the Jews need not fear peace with our Arab enemies.