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Ten Basic Facts About the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
DECEMBER 27, 2017 2:14 PM 5
Ten Basic Facts About the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
avatar by David Harris
In all the discussion about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — and the quest for a solution — some basic facts are too often missing, neglected, downplayed or skewed.
Not only does this do a disservice to history, but it also contributes to prolonging the conflict by perpetuating false assumptions and mistaken notions.
Fact #1: There could have been a two-state solution as early as 1947. That’s precisely what the UN Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) proposed. Two states, recognizing the presence of two peoples — and two nationalisms — in a territory governed temporarily by the United Kingdom.
And the UN General Assembly decisively endorsed the UNSCOP proposal. The Jewish side pragmatically accepted the plan, but the Arab world categorically rejected it.
Fact #2: When Israel declared independence on May 14, 1948, it extended the hand of friendship to its Arab neighbors, as clearly evidenced by its founding documents and statements.
That offer, too, was spurned.
Instead, five Arab armies declared war on the fledgling Jewish state, seeking its total destruction. Despite vastly outnumbering the Jews and possessing superior military arsenals, they failed in their quest.
Fact #3: Until 1967, the eastern part of Jerusalem and the entire West Bank were in the hands of Jordan, not Israel.
Had the Arab world wished, an independent Palestinian state, with its capital in Jerusalem, could have been established at any time. Not only did this not happen, but there is no record of it ever having been discussed.
kTo the contrary, Jordan annexed the territory, seeking full and permanent control. It proceeded to treat Jerusalem as a backwater, while denying Jews any access to Jewish holy sites in the Old City, and destroying the synagogues there.
Meanwhile, Gaza was under Egyptian military rule. Again, there was no talk of sovereignty for the Palestinians there, either.
Fact #4: In May 1967, the Egyptian and Syrian governments repeatedly threatened to annihilate Israel, as these countries demanded that UN peacekeeping forces be withdrawn from the region.
Moreover, Israeli shipping lanes to its southern port of Eilat were blocked, and Arab troops were deployed to front-line positions. The Six-Day War was the outcome — a war that Israel won.
Coming into possession of the Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, Sinai Peninsula, West Bank and eastern Jerusalem, Israel extended feelers to its Arab neighbors, via third parties, seeking a “land for peace” formula. The Arab response came back on September 1, 1967, from Khartoum, Sudan, where the Arab League nations were meeting. The message was unmistakable: “No peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, and no negotiations with Israel.” Yet another opportunity to end the conflict had come and gone.
Fact #5: In November 1977, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat broke with the Arab rejectionist consensus. He traveled to the Israeli capital of Jerusalem to meet with Israeli leaders, address Israel’s parliament and speak of peace.
Two years later, underscoring the lengths to which Israel was prepared to go to end the conflict, a deal was reached, in which Israel — led, notably, by a right-wing government– yielded the vast Sinai Peninsula, with its strategic depth, oil deposits, settlements and air bases, in exchange for the promise of a new era in relations with the Arab world’s leading country.
In 1981, Sadat was slain by the Muslim Brotherhood for his alleged perfidy — but his legacy of peace with Israel, thankfully, has endured.
Fact #6: In September 1993, Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) reached an agreement, known as the Oslo Accords, offering the hope for peace. But eight months later, PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat confirmed the suspicions of many that he was not honest, when he was caught on tape in a Johannesburg mosque asserting that the agreement was nothing more than a temporary truce until final victory.
Fact #7: In 1994, Jordan’s King Hussein, following in the footsteps of Egyptian President Sadat, reached an agreement with Israel, again demonstrating Israel’s readiness for peace — and willingness to make territorial sacrifices when sincere Arab leaders come forward.
Fact #8: In 2000-1, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, leading a left-of-center government and supported by the Clinton administration, offered a groundbreaking two-state arrangement to Arafat, including a bold compromise on Jerusalem.
Not only did the Palestinian leader reject the offer, but he shockingly told Clinton that Jews never had any historical connection to Jerusalem, gave no counter-offer, and triggered a new wave of Palestinian violence that led to more than 1,000 Israeli fatalities (proportionately equivalent to 40,000 Americans).
Fact #9: In 2008, three years after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon unilaterally withdrew all Israeli soldiers and settlers from Gaza — only to see Hamas seize control and destroy another chance for co-existence — Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert went even further than Barak in extending an olive branch to the Palestinian Authority. He offered a still more generous two-state proposal, but got no formal response from Mahmoud Abbas, Arafat’s successor.
A Palestinian negotiator subsequently acknowledged in the media that the Israeli plan would have given his side the equivalent of 100 percent of the disputed lands under discussion.
Fact #10: At the request of the Obama administration, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to a 10-month freeze on settlement-building in 2010, as a good-faith gesture to lure the Palestinians back to the table.
Regrettably, it failed. The Palestinians didn’t show up.
Instead, they have since continued their strategy of incitement, attempts to bypass Israel, and face-to-face talks, by going to international organizations instead; denial of the age-old Jewish link to Jerusalem and, by extension, the region; and by providing lifetime financial support for captured terrorists and the families of suicide bombers.
Isn’t it high time to draw some obvious conclusions from these facts — to recognize the many lost opportunities to reach a settlement because of a consistent “no” from one side — and to call on the Palestinians to start saying “yes” for a change?
Michael Dar • 18 hours ago
"Originally" the conflict was an Arab-Jewish (Israeli) conflict... No mention of "Palestinians" anywhere.. When did it all of a sudden became an Israeli-"Palestinian" conflict and for what reason?
Yj Draiman • 19 hours ago
The 200 Israeli Academics who defy and deny Jewish sovereignty should leave Israel and go live with the Arabs.
Judea and Samaria is The Land of Israel (more than Tel-Aviv or Haifa) since the era of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Most of Jewish history transpired in Judea and Samaria. Hebron is the second holiest city in Judaism.
Archaeological discoveries verify and substantiate the Jewish history to the land and various monuments, grave and antiquities sites are a symbol of Jewish habitation for over 3,700 years.
Judea and Samaria is Jewish territory by divine law and International secular law from the April 1920 San Remo Conference which incorporated the Balfour Declaration as international law to reconstitute the Jewish National Home on its Historical Land in all of Palestine.
At the same time the Arabs received over 13 million square km. of territory with a wealth of oil reserves and that was not enough the British gave the Arabs Jordan which is Jewish land and the Arabs expelled the Jews and confiscated all their assets.
Moreover, the Arab countries terrorized and expelled over a million Jewish families and confiscated all their assets, including personal assets, businesses, homes and over 120,000 square km. of Real estate of the Jews for over 2,600 years, valued in the trillions of dollars. Most of the expelled Jewish families from Arab lands were resettled in Israel and now comprise over half the population.
Anywhere you read in history attests that the Land of Israel in its entirety belongs to the Jewish people and non-other, It might have been occupied by various conquerors who drained its resources and turned it into a dessert. But when many of the Jews returned to join their brethrens in Israel in the late 1800’s and started to rebuild the land and turn it into green pastures. Now the Arabs want what the Jews built and they are going to extremes to steal our Jewish revitalized land. The Arab-Palestinians are making up fictitious history, forged records and a massive propaganda of lies and deception.
After the Holocaust when over 6 million Jewish people in Europe were exterminated by the Nazi’s we said NEVER AGAIN and we are well equipped today to defend ourselves. When the Arabs realized that they could not defeat Israel after they lost four major wars. Now the Arabs
Are playing the deceptive allusion that they want peace, while their Charters and to their own people they declare we will not rest until we take over all of Palestine/Israel and get rid of the Jews.
Face it; it is time for Israel and its loyal citizens to face reality without any delusion or allusions, that the Arab-Palestinians are the mortal enemies of the Jews in Israel and must be treated as such.
graylens • 21 hours ago
Israel has been blamed for the failure of the "peace talks" but consider for a moment Since Sept 1993 Israel has been represented by Rabin,Perez,Olmert,Barak, Nethanyahu etc. and a broad spectrum of governments, The US has been represented by Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump.The pa has been represented only by arafat and abbas. Maybe abbas/arafat are to blame since they could not reach an accord with any of several different combinations of governments representing a vast spectrum of philosophies
Efram Paul • a day ago
That would be logical, but it would be lying, at least on the part of the 'leaders.' They do not want peace, they cannot govern a sovereign nation, and will never accept a Jewish state, period. So, no yeses.
Yj Draiman • a day ago
1 Israel should apply the this regulation
British House Demolitions as Punishment in Palestine
119 – (1) A Military Commander may by order direct the forfeiture to the Government of Palestine of any house, structure, or land from which he has reason to suspect that any firearm has been illegally discharged, or any bomb, grenade or explosive or incendiary article illegally thrown, or of any house, structure or land situated in any area, town, village, quarter or street the inhabitants or some of the inhabitants of which he is satisfied have committed, or attempted to commit, or abetted the commission of, or been accessories after the fact to the commission of, any offence against these Regulations involving violence or intimidation or any Military Court offence; and when any house, structure or land is forfeited as aforesaid, the Military Commander may destroy the house or the structure or anything growing on the land.
(2) Members of His Majesty’s forces or the Police Force, acting under the authority of the Military Commander may seize and occupy, without compensation, any property in any such area, town, village, quarter or street as is referred to in sub-regulation (1), after eviction without compensation of the previous occupiers if any.
Last edited by WABA; 12-28-2017 at 11:41 PM..