There have been countless attempts to make peace between the Holy Land’s Jews and Arabs with two states living side by side in peace and security.
One of the central facts of history concerning this conflict is that in 1947 the United Nations divided up “Palestine” giving a part to the Jews and a part to the Arabs. Israel accepted. The Arabs rejected.
This fact is completely ignored by the same UN that created the State of Israel! So how does the world look at this neverending conflict as it stands today?
A neutral voice, David Remnick, Editor of The New Yorker, gives a sensible summary of the present issues, including whether or not there should be two states for Jews and Arabs or one state including Jews and Arabs.
“The one-state/two-state debate is highly fraught not least because of proximity. Too much history, too little land. This is not India and Pakistan; the map of Ireland is a veritable continent compared with Israel and the Palestinian territories. Gaza is about as close to Herzliya as Concord is to Hanover; the West Bank, as Israelis are quick to point out, is seven miles from Ben Gurion Airport.
Any two-state solution with a chance of working would have to include federal arrangements not only about security but also about water, cell-phone coverage, sewage, and countless other details of a common infrastructure.
Talk of a one-state solution, limited as it is, will never be serious if it is an attempt to mask annexation, expulsion, or population transfer, on one side, or the eradication of an existing nation, on the other. Israel exists; the Palestinian people exist. Neither is provisional.
Within these territorial confines, two nationally distinct groups, who are divided by language, culture, and history, cannot live wholly apart or wholly together.”
The world knows that Fatah, the PLO, the PA (Palestinian Authority) and Hamas all have one common goal – to extinguish Israel’s light. The world could pressure the Palestinian authorities to accept Israel’s existence or else…the U.S. could threaten the forfeiture of hundreds of millions of dollars they send each year. The reality is, the world pressures Israel to make concessions while demanding of the PA nothing.
TWO PEACE AGREEMENTS THAT FAILED
The Camp David Accords 2000
Between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Chairman of the PLO Yasser Arafat, mediated by President Bill Clinton.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak shakes hands with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat
together with U.S. President Bill Clinton, host of Camp David Peace Talks in 2000.
– A demilitarized Palestinian state on 92% of West Bank and 100% of Gaza Strip
– Dismantlement of most Jewish settlements
– A Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem, sovereignty over half the Old City of Jerusalem
– Religious custodianship over the Temple Mount
– A return of Palestinian refugees
– Encouragement for international assistance to settle refugees
Barak asked for only two concessions:
– An end to violence
– A public declaration that the terms of the final settlement marked an “end of the conflict” with no more Palestinian claims or additional demands on Israel in the future.
RESULT: Arafat walked out of the talks and launched the Second Intifada. Why? Because Arafat had learned that terrorism pays off. His goal was not a Palestinian state living side by side in peace with Israel. His goal was to destroy Israel. Both President Bill Clinton and Israel publicly blamed Arafat for the failure of the peace agreement.
Michael Oren, Israeli scholar and ambassador wrote, “The peace process collapsed not over land but because of the Palestinians’ refusal to accept Israel’s existence.”
Peace Offer of 2008
By Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, hosted by President George W. Bush..
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (left) and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (right)
shake hands with U.S. President George W. Bush, host Of 2008 Peace Talks.
This peace plan included the basic proposals of Prime Minister Barak at the Camp David Accords in 2000, plus some new offers; most notably, for the first time, designated permanent borders.
– Give 93.7% of West Bank to Palestinians
– Give 5.8% of Israeli territory in exchange, equal to giving Palestinian 99.3% of West Bank area.
– Provide safe passage for Palestinians traveling from West Bank to Gaza via a tunnel.
– Give sovereignty of the Temple Mount to Palestinians
– Religious sites in Jerusalem to be managed by a special committee consisting of representatives from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine, the United States and Israel.
– Fixed borders of the future Palestinian State. [Note there has never been “Palestinian– Israeli borders” because Arabs never accepted the existence of Israel and therefore no borders were drawn. No matter how much the UN and the nations talk about borders, they all know that there are none – only cease-fire lines of 1949.]
RESULT: Mahmoud Abbas never replied to the proposal.
Abbas did speak with the media, saying: “I am not in a marketplace or a bazaar. I came to demarcate the borders of Palestine – the June 4, 1967 borders [!] – without detracting a single inch, and without detracting a single stone from Jerusalem, or from the holy Christian and Muslim places. This is why the Palestinian negotiators did not sign.”
The latest public demands by the Palestinian Authority circulated in April, 2014, indicate a hardening of positions by the Palestinians and nothing has come of negotiations over the last two years. Here is a list from Ynet, with my comments:
– A written commitment by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the borders of the Palestinian state will be along the 1967 ‘green-line’ and that its capital will be East Jerusalem.[In other words there will be no exchange of land allowing most of the 300,000 Israelis living in villages and towns in Judea and Samaria to continue living there. Secondly, the 200,000 Jews living in East Jerusalem would either have to evacuate their homes, or live under a Muslim Palestinian dictatorship.]
– The release of 1,200 Palestinian prisoners, including political heavyweights Marwan Barghouti, Ahmed Saadat and Fuad Shubkhi.[These 1200 prisoners are terrorists, some who have killed or supervised mass murders. In other words, there will be no further penalty for the thousands of Israeli deaths from offensive wars and terrorist attacks against the Jewish nation.]
– An end to the Egyptian-Israeli blockade on Gaza, and the formulation of a deal allowing the flow of goods into Gaza.[Palestinian demand would allow Hamas to transfer massive shipments of arms to Gaza for use against Israel. Hamas’ charter verbalizes Hamas’ sole purpose for existence – to destroy Israel.]
– A halt of construction in East Jerusalem.[Jewish suburbs all around the north, east and south of Jerusalem could not build one more home or store.]
– The IDF would not be allowed to enter most of the West Bank, even to arrest terrorists.[Hamas, ISIS or any other Islamist cells could form and carry out terrorist acts from the West Bank or Gaza with no obstruction.]
PALESTINIANS’ BEST TOOL
Palestinians have learned from much experience that violence is a very effective tool against Israel. They believe that through terrorist attacks they receive more concessions from Israel. Even more importantly the United Nations and Europe strengthen their pressure on Israel. The working formula goes like this: riots and intifadas are initiated, then Palestinian leadership goes to the UN demanding protection from Israeli “violence” and asks for more financial aid. This strategy works. Really well.
In this game of diplomatic warfare, the Palestinians can count on automatic support from the 22 members of the Arab League and the 57 members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference as well as most of the rest of the developing nations. The Jewish state stands alone.
During the latest wave of Palestinian terrorism—randomly knifing men, women and children on the streets of Israel, the PA has demanded an end to Israel’s “terrorism, incitement and summary executions” against Palestinian civilians, especially women and children. They create numerous fictitious tales, like claiming IDF soldiers shot a Palestinian and then placed a knife near his body to make it look like the soldier acted in self-defense.
Every day now, as I write, there are stabbings across the nation. No place is safe from these lone wolf terrorists. Teenage Arab boys and girls walk out the door of their homes with a knife, find a random person, and begin to stab and stab until they are themselves wounded, killed or hunted down by the police.
PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah has urged the U.S., Russia, EU and the UN to intervene to “stop all Israeli crimes and assaults” against Palestinians. He then called for the resumption of the peace process in order to “end occupation and create a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.”
Europe and the mainstream media come to their rescue and lend their support. For example, when three Palestinians lunged at two Israeli policemen with knives, the alert police were able to shoot them before being stabbed to death themselves. CBS’ headline read “Three Palestinians killed as daily violence grinds on.”
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom told the Swedish parliament that Israel was conducting extrajudicial executions of Palestinian stabbers! When Swedish parliamentarians challenged the foreign minister with being biased against Israel, she cited the fact that more Palestinians were being killed than Israelis.
In fact, she also said that the terrorist attack in Paris last November when 130 people were murdered, “was rooted in the frustration of Muslims in the Middle East, including that of Palestinians.”
Sweden was the first European country to recognize “Palestine” as a state.
Now, with all the terrorist attacks continuing month after month in Israel, the Palestinians have caught France’s attention. Its foreign minister has recently announced that he wants Israel and the Palestinians to attend an international conference which he will host in order that the two will sign a peace treaty. And France warns that if that doesn’t happen, then France will simply recognize Palestine’s sovereignty.
Think about this “deal!” Why would the PA move a single finger to make peace with Israel? Knowing that the PA leadership will not have to compromise on any issue or agree to any conditions – it would be simply stupid not to just wait until France grants it recognition without conditions.
Everywhere Israel looks, she sees herself surrounded with ever greater perils.
(Have you seen the pictures of the Iranian nuclear site at the Parchin military complex where, from all appearances, Iranian scientists are at this moment building a nuclear bomb?)
I am constantly amazed that Israel exists with nearly the entire world against her. Really, if a person wants a sign from heaven that there is a God and He calls Himself the God of Israel, this is it! There is no other rational explanation for Israel’s continued existence and success except God.
We all know the Bible clearly foretells that the nations of the world will come against Israel in the last days. And we are seeing this being fulfilled before our very eyes. But what the Bible does not state is that believers in Yeshua will come against Israel. In fact the Bible makes it clear we the believers are to sound the trumpet for the nations to stand with Israel’s return to her land of promise under God’s protection, and to warn the nations concerning the fate of those who hate her and work to destroy her.
Jeremiah the prophet cries out:
Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, And declare it in the isles far off, and say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him, And keep him as a shepherd does his flock.’ For the Lord has redeemed Jacob, And ransomed him from the hand of one stronger than he.
We who understand God’s purposes for Israel and an end-time revival can make an impact on world events as we share the facts and pray for God’s people to cry out for Israel’s salvation and protection.
This article originally appeared in Maoz Israel Report, March 2016.