The Western ideal of negotiated settlement between the Arabs and Israel is not possible. The first rule is that the negotiations have nothing to do with a Palestinian state. As soon as Israel is destroyed, the surrounding Arab world will move into the areas dividing up the lands and slaughtering any Palestinian resisting their dividing up the long sought after spoils. There is no intention in the Arab world for a Palestinian state. Their only concern is Israel’s vaunted military power neutralized, and the Palestinians are the sacrificial lamb that disguises their snarling teeth in sheep’s clothing. The Israelis know this and the United States State Department knows this and anybody who has studied the Middle East knows this. Presidents of the United States knew this until recently as they had studied the wars with the Muslim Barbary Pirates starting with Thomas Jefferson and the wars pacifying the Muslim separatists by Blackjack Pershing in the Philippine Islands, a war that continues to this day against the Philippine government. But as has been stated, much to the shame of all, history has become the purview of nerds and misfits. Unfortunately knowledge of where we’ve been is not a prerequisite for leadership, a dearth and deficit which can only prove to be a great disadvantage as leading without a grounding in knowledge with a decent footing in history is taking the wheel of the ship of state ordering the rudder be removed. Perhaps we should have a campaign debate and hold a History Jeopardy debate with points et al; we might even get Alex Trebek.
The United States is in its Presidential sweepstakes in what is a wide open field as there will be no actual incumbent. Hillary Clinton will try to play the role of incumbent though the closest she really has been was out at the State Department or decorating the table with the staff for a State dinner where she would play arm candy, probably not her strong suit. Meanwhile there will be in the other contest one who will claim he is the Trump suit. The next runner-up we can feel the Bern or continue on Cruz control. Whatever the result the eventual candidates will never face questions which actually matter for the position of President of the world’s main super power, or at least potentially its main super power if their leaders so choose. There will be questions which would be better posed to those running for Senate and the House of Representatives as they presumably are charged to be the legislators of the domestic issues. The President has the position of presenting the United States to the world and presiding over the foreign policies and all negotiations. If a President has no knowledge of world affairs and history leading up to the present and the precedents set by such, they will fall into the trap of being completely dependent upon the bureaucrats from the State Department for their foreign policy. This would soon commit them to the failures of the past as the State Department is not as adaptable and is more invested in continuing that with which they are familiar and comfortable rather than working to effect change and adapting when challenges present themselves. Government or other establishment career bureaucrats are not exactly daring innovators as they are go along to get along let’s just do that which has worked in most other situations and stick to the book. When it comes to the Arab Israeli conflict the book is what has everything mired in the failures of the past. Past administrations have tried taking the Israeli side, putting space between the United States and Israel and even placing, as President Truman did in 1948-9, an arms embargo on Israel as they were at war with half a dozen Arab nations and expected to perish and none of these positions have brought peace. There has been one policy never attempted and never likely to be implemented but which would end the discussions at least for the foreseeable future. Let us attempt to see what it might be and wonder which of the current candidates would be most likely to implement such an approach.
We need to look back to the first ten to twelve years of Israeli history. The initial starting-point of the Arab Israeli conflict dates to dawn on a Shabbat morning, namely Saturday May 15, 1948. On that sunrise the nation of Israel was but hours old, had no functional government and only a provisional government holding power until formal election would be held. Such would have to wait as that dawn brought half a dozen Arab armies and various militias over her borders with a genocidal intent and the end of what was considered an insult to the superiority, preeminence and invulnerability of the Islamic world. It took over a year before the fighting drew to an obvious stalemate and armistice lines were drawn, today known as the Green Line and the Blue Line. The Blue Line serves as the accepted border between Israel and Lebanon. The Green Line separates the Arab Palestinian disputed areas and Israel. It needs to be understood that the Green Line was demanded by the Arab League to never be considered or used as a border as doing so was tantamount to recognizing the existence of the Jewish State of Israel, an anathema to Arab and Muslim pride and self-respect. The original borders recognized by the United Nations and decided by the General Assembly defaulted to the Jewish State when the Arab League refused to accept the evenly divided United Nations map leaving the lands undivided to Israel (see maps below).
If a President were ever to understand that Israel took the remainder of the lands and built a nation which is determined to not merely survive but thrive no matter the threats or challenges instead of believing the State Department line that the Jews stole Arab Muslim sacred lands, then he might actually try something more effective than the past failures. The Israelis desire peace but not at the expense of losing their nation and towards that end the promise of defendable borders needs to be the primary concern. The matter of Israel returning lands has been satisfied with the return of the Sinai Peninsula, an area many times the size of Israel itself, and the release of claims to Gaza which is now in the hands of murderous terrorist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad and other smaller families and splinter groups pledged to Islamic State, al-Qaeda and potentially others. These groups receive funds from the Muslim Brotherhood, Iran, Qatar and other Muslim and Arab sources and are equally threatening Egypt as they are Israel. Another fact glossed over were the nearly one million Jews dispossessed by their Arab and Muslim rulers who predominately came to Israel as refugees with barely any possessions and instead of placing them in camps and demanding the United Nations develop an agency with the singular responsibility of caring for them and their children and their children’s children into eternity or until they were permitted return to their former nations, they were welcomed and became functioning members of Israel and are today as vibrant and accepted as are every Israeli citizen and enjoy full rights. Another item glossed over is the numerous minorities such as Arabs, Christians, Muslims, Baha’I, Buddhists and virtually any other religious groups one might name who all have full rights as Israeli citizens including holding elective office, education, working and all other aspects while Israel’s neighbors cannot make the same claim about their Jewish citizens as they have none and the Arab Palestinians demand that any lands they eventually steal from the original borders of the Jewish State be completely cleansed of its Jews or they will annihilate them. This was put on its full and most gory display when two Israeli reservists made a wrong turn and ended up in Arab Palestinians areas. They were placed in the city jail in hopes of keeping them safe until they might be returned but the townspeople had a different idea. The police fled the building leaving them locked in the cells and the keys on the desk surrendering them to the mob which literally tore them limb from limb with one young teen making a display to the screaming joyous shouts of the crowd outside with the picture captured by a media photographer and secreted out and made public on newscasts worldwide as seen below.
Numerous peace offers and concessions have been made by Israel in exchange for promises and steps to follow, leading to peace yet every offer is pocketed and then peace is never forthcoming as in the end the Arab Palestinians walk away keeping every offer making it the required starting point. This had led to the now demand that Israel surrender half of Jerusalem and possibly even remove entire cities and manufacturing parks which employ Arab Palestinians as well as Jews in a state of equality and the Arabs receiving higher pay than even the Palestinian Authority average government employee. These are cities built in area C which originally was presented as remaining as a part of Israel and the Palestinian authority was forbidden building within yet now European governments and the European Union are buying exclusively lands in this area, building and bringing in Arabs to place facts on the ground and to force Israeli surrender of these areas which will leave Israel as vulnerable as she was in 1967 at the start of the Six Day War. This will only guarantee the next war and this time Israel might not be as fortunate as modern weapons are in every army in their area and combined the Arab nations easily have Israel outgunned and way outnumbered. Such a conflict might come down to the occurrence of a miracle rivalling the splitting of the sea. President Obama and Secretaries of State Clinton and Kerry have all demanded that the borders for Israel be based upon the 1949 Armistice Lines which the Arab League had demanded never serve as such. What has changed? The Arabs in numerous attempts have been unable to destroy Israel so they are now hoping to use this entity they invented of an Arab Palestinian different from their brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, parents and relatives in Jordan, Syria (or used to be in Syria), Egypt, Sudan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and beyond because they must be different so they can claim they are indigenous and thus have a claim to their reconstituted nation of Palestine. Problem is there has never been such a nation as we find out every so often when let slip the truth and one of the biggest was when in an interview where Zahir Muhsein, a PLO executive committee member, in a March 31, 1977 interview with the Dutch newspaper Trouw stated for the record:
“The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct ‘Palestinian people’ to oppose Zionism.”
“For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa. While as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.”
As stated by Zahir Muhsein, a PLO executive committee member, in a March 31, 1977 interview with the Dutch newspaper Trouw.
Perhaps the above quote should become required reading for those astute State Department career bureaucrats just so they can continue to consider themselves up to date and educated in the ways and machinations of the Middle East. The State Department has treated Israel as the land from Never Neverland which should be erased for the sake of peace and perchance restore Israel to her intended borders as per their existence on that Shabbat morning of Saturday May 15, 1948. There will be the cries that there are five or six or, who knows, seven million Arab Palestinian refugees. What will be left out is that these “refugees” have been living in actual apartment buildings and forced to be separate instead of allowed to be part of their parent country and were originally only slightly less than two-thirds of a million actual refugees originally. Put into a reference which is more appropriate, they were a few hundred thousand less than the eventual numbers of Jews expelled or driven from their homes across the Arab and Muslim worlds of MENA (Middle East and North Africa) and that a goodly number of them are in camps either in Jordan, the original Arab Palestinian land where three quarters of the population are considered to also be Arab Palestinians, Gaza mostly just outside Gaza City, and Area A of the West Bank right outside of Nablus where Mahmoud Abbas is having his pleasure palace, office of the President and troop barracks to keep him as President built (see picture below). Perhaps the original plan where the Arab nations were awarded for their almost defeating Israel and then losing all the lands back to Israel in successive wars to keep Area A and negotiate (but to be nice why not just surrender) Area B while Israel retains Area C as the Oslo Accords spelled out and end the whole affair and call it done. The disputed areas contained in Areas A and B were roadways which were to have shared usage but perhaps many of those could be easily surrendered as well and conditions made for Arabs in Areas A and B who already have positions in the companies remaining in Area C to keep such employment.
All of Jerusalem would remain as the Capital City of Israel, undivided, and open to people of every faith as it currently remains never to return to Islamic imperialism as was the case from 1948 until early June of 1967 when the Old City, Mount of Olives Cemetery and Temple Mount were liberated and forever to remain freely accessible to people of all faiths or even no faith. As for any Arabs who were considered Palestinians remaining in Area C or Jerusalem, they would be granted a path for Israel citizenship dependent on their refraining from terrorism by any family member or they could choose to have their property bought at a generous price and be granted a severance of residency awarded which would easily cover any moving and other relocation effects and be permitted to seek citizenship or residence outside of Israel with a promise to not return to Israel. Such individuals should be granted automatic residence in any Arab Palestinian state which emerges from Areas A and B in the future. Meanwhile the Palestinian Authority would remain as the ruling body until the framework for a real government will be forthcoming. If Mahmoud Abbas decides to continue as President for Life, well, that would be none of Israel’s business unless he also continued to instigate terror and allow attacks across the borders. That should be termed as a declaration of war and any persons crossing an international border to commit terrorist acts would face a military trial with potential capital punishment. That too should be stipulated though such should be understood. Any Arab Palestinians in camps should either be relocated to the Palestinian Areas or permitted to remain in their current apartments and be given a path to citizenship in the nation where they have already resided for two, three or even four generations. As for those driven from their camps after they joined the insurrection against Bashir al Assad, their lives have taken a dramatic turn and are now amongst the Syrian refugees and as indistinguishable as could be possible and many which may have survived are very likely somewhere in Europe seeking shelter and all that was sort of eluded to or promised by Angela Merkel and her fellow leaders in much of Scandinavia and Europe. We wish the refugees and their new found national homelands the best of luck in all things. Honest, we feel your pain but not enough to offer much else.
Beyond the Cusp