How NOT to make peace in Palestine

Last night at Drinking Liberally a new friend, Mary, and I had the usual liberal discussion about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.   Mary, insisted that the US and Israel are guilty of rejecting multiple offers of peace.  I told her that no such offer has been made and that, worse, Hamas insists that the only “peace” can come when Israel is replaced by an Islamic state ruled by Arabs.  Hamas concept is of a Palestine that is “Judenfrei.”

Mary promised to send me evidence of the rejection of peace by the US and Israel.  What she sent me was a draft UN Security Resolution that was never passed by the UN.   

Rather than respond by email, I decided to post here.
Thanks for the link, but as I told you, the Palestinians, not the Israelis, have consistently turned down offers of peace.  The UN draft is written as a poision pill, the people who wrote it knew that Israel could not accept it.
Part of the problem is Orwellian “new speak.” Words are redefined in politics all the time, making it very hard  for rational people to have a discussion.  A good example is the word “Palestine ” itself.”  The flag shown below is actually the flag that appears in the Larousse prior to 48!
Another horrid word is “apartheid.”  When Jimmy Carter’s book used this title, it outraged many Jews.  Carter’s point, however, was that for Palestininas living in the West Bank, they see themselves confined by an overwhelming force, an occupation.   If you have not read Carter’s book I recommend it.  His central point is that occupation is not a viable strategy for peace.    I see much the same issue as underlying Ferguson.

Perhaps oddly, Carter’s portrayal of the life of the Palestinians, is very similar to the reality of life for Jews before Israel.  This was no only true in Europe, but in the Arab world where Jews lived as a permanent underclass … as the “dhimmi” with no rights to a normal life.  Like the racist reality of South Africa . the racist “science” used by Hitler, to define Jews as a race, or the ongoing racism against African Americans in the US,  this Quranic term and the life it caused was racist.  For American Jews, the issue of civil rights for African Americans is matter of great pride. Many of us fought and a few died in that cause.    The Zionist solution to the Jewish problem outside of the American bubble was and is to create a Jewish state.
I do not know how much of the history you understand so I have tried to explain, on a point by point basis, why this draft resolution was anything but a peace offer.  My explanation begins with a map showing the area defined as “Palestine” under the British.  Note that NONE of the countries (other than Egypt and possibly Arabia) shown on this map have historic identities.  These were all creations by the French and British, including a place called “Jewish Palestine.”
Plestinan descendents
1.  The draft never recognizes the right of a Jewish state to exist or even of Jews rights to live in any Atab country.  
This has been the heart of the dispute since 48.  The Arab states saw Israel as a European colony imposed on them by the victors from WWII.  These states were also anti-Semitic, a problem dating back to the Quran and Mohamed’s enslavement, execution and expulsion of all Jews from Arabia.  Jews living in countries where Sharia is enforced had a special status, “Dhimmi,” which prevented them from participating in government, marrying Muslims, or working in many jobs.
The draft  makes no mention of the rights of the equally large numbers of people (Jews) expelled in 48 from Arab lands. Are they to be recompensed too?
Israel is never going to accept any treaty that does no accept tis right to exist as a Jewish state.
2. The right of return was inserted by the opponents of peace to assure that Israel could not accept this.
 In 1948  Transjordan, Syria, and Egypt invaded the proposed Palestine and took that territory as their own.  The bulk of the refugees in 48 were not from the current Israel but from territories invaded by Egypt and (then) Transjordan.  Jordan only decided NOT to include the West Bank after an effort by the PLO to overthrow the ruling family and the Israeli conquest of the West Bank.
The right of return, as written in this draft, includes return (or immigration) to Israel itself.   There are estimates as high as 10 million who claim descent from the “Palestinians.”  Immigration of any substantial part of this population would overwhelm Israel, certainly dooming it as  Jewish state.  Given Hamas’ determination to make Palestine free of Jews, the idea of an Arab right of return is no starter.
3. The language is also poisoned because of the way it uses the term “Palestinian” for a people that did not exist prior to 48. 
Until 67, when Nasser created the PLO with an Egyptian (Arafat) as its head, the term “Palestinian” specifically meant a Jew living in the area called Palestine.  There was no historic state of Palestine other than  the Crusader sate conquered by Saladin.  Until 48 no ethnic group, other than these Jews, called itself Palestinians.
Remember that Transjordan was also part of the Palestine mandate but was taken over by a British chosen Saudi family that still rules.  That family and its ethnic group, the Hashemites, are a minority in Jordan today. Palestinians from the West Bank do not have citizenship in Jordan. This is also true of Palestinians living in other states created by the Brits (and French).   A workable peace needs to address the rights of these people.
Only a right wing Jew would question the fact that a real Palestinian people have been forged by the conflict.  Only an irredentist Arab would deny the existane of an Israeli Jewish people. No solution can be found that doe snot recognize BOTH ethnic groups.
4. The proposed 67 borders are also a poison pill. 

The 67 borders are not defensible and would in effect decide Israel into two parts and deprive it of a source of water (Lake Kineret would become Syrian).
The 67 borders also create a Palestinian state that is economically not viable.
A REAL peace agreement needs to include Palestinian sovereignty, economic provisions that would make the new state viable, and arrangements with Jordan, Syria, Arabia and Egypt that recognize the rights of Palestinians living in their borders.  Egypt has offered to cede a large part of the Sinai to a new state but … I assume because of Hamas … the PLO refused. I do believe, however, that if Jordan, Israel and Palestine can find a modus vivendi that that Egypt, Saudi Arabia and even Iran would support it.

Comments are closed.