Once again the United States President and who knows who else are likely to echo granting their voices in agreement with the call by Mahmoud Abbas for Israel to return to talks based on the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, originally known as the Saudi Plan. Abbas is claiming that such a call comes without any preconditions which is interesting as, would not the Arab Peace Plan from 2002 count as a precondition or is the backing from multiple Western leaders become so automatic when this is presented that Abbas can feel comfortable claiming that this is an understood starting point which holds nothing particularly controversial. Unfortunately that has become the case so maybe a quick and cursory review of the main particulars is in order before addressing anything further. Such a review might actually prove to make the Arab Plan be a little less appetizing after understanding all it entails.
The main features which will be discussed and assumed to be the actual main points applied are that the 1949 Armistice Lines, the Green Line or the pre June 1967 Lines will be the initial starting point for all discussions for final borders. This includes the following parts of the contested lands being granted to form the twenty-second Arab State in the Middle East and North Africa; Area A, Area B, and Area C. This agreement grants Israel possession of the following parts of the contested lands; none, not a single square millimeter. The Arab Plan calls for the sharing of Jerusalem with it being divided such that the Eastern parts of Jerusalem are granted to the Arab State and Western Jerusalem to Israel. In theory it calls for all of the holy sites shared by the three religions to be have shared access but leaves them under Arab control, policing and enforcement of all sharing rights, something that many in the leadership of the Fatah Party, the PLO and also within the Palestinian Authority have claimed will never be permitted to come to fruition as they refuse to permit non-Muslims to tread on such Muslim holy places as the Temple Mount and the Western Wall (Kotel), referred to by Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif (Arabic: الحرم القدسي الشريف), the Noble Sanctuary and the Al-Buraq Wall (Arabic: البُراق). So, the first lie in the Arab Plan of 2002, which was first proposed by the leadership of Saudi Arabia, was that the Temple Mount and Kotel would remain accessible to Jews and the Temple Mount to Christians throughout the year. Currently the only times during the year that the Temple Mount, Nazareth and Bethlehem are made readily available to Christians without any bothersome wait times or threat of harm are during the Christian Holy Periods around Christmas and Easter. This is largely for economic purposes as they have a market in souvenirs and service industries such as hotels and restaurants, many of which depend on the Christian visitors’ business to make their annual profits. As far as Jews being able to visit, there are not any Jewish holidays where easy access is permitted, proof of which can be verified by searching on Jewish visitations to another site which is supposedly to permit universal access, Joseph’s Tomb (Kever Yoseph, Hebrew: קבר יוסף) in Shechem (Nablus). So, summing up the initial state of the Arab Plan from 2002, the Arabs get initial promise of ownership of all of the contested lands and the Israelis get none of the contested lands.
I can hear the more informed screaming at me about the minor land swaps which are mutually agreeable such that the Israelis get to keep their major settlement areas in exchange for lands from the Negev Desert and the Galilee or other lands. Yes, there is the stipulation that mutual land swaps can be permitted such that the Israeli communities, many which were started within the first years after the Six Day War in June of 1967 with such communities being both in East Jerusalem and Area C. Many of the places which became under Jewish residence were homes which the families had been forced to abandon under threat of death by the Jordanian Army after Jordan occupied the areas of Judea and Samaria which they renamed the West Bank so as to conceal their Jewish history. Others were rebuilt areas which had belonged to Jews and were abandoned and afterwards either destroyed or inhabited by Arabs. In some cases where former Jewish homes were now inhabited by Arabs then new neighborhoods were built relatively close to these former communities and these Jews took up residence in the new locations along with other Jews seeking to form a religious community or even in some instances to be close to work either in Israel or within the businesses in new industrial parks, industries and businesses which employ Jews and Arabs working side-by-side. The problem with the lands swaps part of the equation is the part where it states only under mutual agreement. That small inclusion means that if Abbas and the Arabs simply refuse to mutually agree then there are not going to be any land swaps and bordering on eight-hundred-thousand Jews will need to be relocated to areas within Israel and a sizeable number of industrial and other sites owned by Jews employing both Jews and local Arabs will also need to pick up and relocate within Israel or simply pack it up and not reopen simply abandoning their dream. This would be particularly true for the supermarkets and some other chain stores that will simply be closing their stores and moving their inventory to their other stores within Israel. Still, simply to force the relocation of near to 800,000 Jews and numerous other ventures back within the Green Line at a cost so prohibitive as to make such an idea unconscionable. The Gaza disengagement cost in excess of one-billion-dollars and has still yet to be concluded as there exists far too many people still not resettled, not with new employment, lost businesses as many worked and lived within Gaza and many of those employers also lived in Gaza and have yet to be able to relocate or relocation is unfeasible and they are simply still seeking work. Should there be a need to now absorb numbers approaching an additional one-million Jews and potentially also Christians, Druze and even those who may have been part of the Jordanian public from before the Six Day War who would prefer to reside in Israel over residing in the Arab state should it be formed to include their residences. There is a known possibility that there may be a fairly sizeable population who might attempt to be included in the relocation of people from the Jewish communities and Jews residing in East Jerusalem and in the guaranteed confusion, or even if there are those who have friends they may have worked alongside of who are willing to assist them in relocating within Israel along with the Jews. The imposing difficulties in relocating the Jews residing within East Jerusalem and the Jewish communities east of the Green Line could lead to an entire new facet of the negotiations.
Even if all of these were conceivably settled, most people would claim that there would now be peace and the negotiations and all are completed. They would be wrong to think so because there is still one last item to be addressed, the “Right of Return” for what probably number at least four to five million Arab refugees. There will be a secondary difficulty when considering this area, the Arab refugees who have been forced from their refugee camp in Syria and are now double refugees. There will also be the problem that without accurate numbers and names as UNRWA has probably not been the most prodigious of bookkeepers or the most trustworthy travelers of the straight and narrow so there just might be a propensity to fudge the numbers and names of the Arab refugees from the camps which were in Syria to include possibly countless Syrian refugees who simply desire a safer place to live, or possibly a place to live as anywhere would be an improvement, or so they would think; and I would find disagreeing with such sentiments to be quite difficult. So, in addition to the somewhere between four-and-a-half-million to six-million actual refugees and their children and their children and in many cases their children and even one more generation after that all from the 1948-9 Arab initiated war to annihilate the Jewish nations immediately after its birth plus those actually displaced from the 1967 Six Day War, there could be any number of additional refugees whose names are similar to the names of actually registered refugees largely because they were likely family members who remained in Syria when their cousins, uncles, aunts or whomever had decided to seek their fame and fortune within the British Mandate lands which laid west of the Jordan River. To give an easier to understand example let us look to New York City and neighboring New Jersey. New York City will be the British Mandate lands with Manhattan representing the lands west of the Jordan River, Central Park representing West Bank and the rest of New York City being Jordan. Before the Six Day War Jordan occupied Central Park and the rest of Manhattan was Israel and there were refugees living in camps throughout the region including across the rivers and tunnels in New Jersey representing Lebanon and New York State representing Syria and any other location with any Arab refugee camps from the war. After a subsequent war where the Jews in Manhattan liberated the occupied lands of Central Park thus finally having control as it should have been according to every applicable treaty up to that point. Now the world is claiming that all of Central Park is occupied now by Israel who is controlling Central Park area they won in a purely defensive war and to whom the land was to be used solely to establish the Jewish State of Israel. The only theory which allows for the lands of Central Park to belong to a group of Arabs referred to as Palestinians in order to fabricate a history which implies that when Israel defeated the Jordanian Army, they actually defeated the Palestinian Arab Army, who were wearing Jordanian uniforms, probably because their uniforms were on backorder, you know how those problematic orders from advertisements found on matchbook covers can be. That is where the situation stands with one change, about a quarter to three fifths of Central Park which represents Judea and Samaria (West Bank) are currently governed by Mahmoud Abbas as the Chairman of the Fatah Party and the last person to win the election to the Chairmanship, or President as he changes which one we should refer to with the utmost ease, after the death of Yasser Arafat and who was presumably to stand for the next parliamentary elections later in 2005 but after realizing the sizeable victory that Hamas had won in the Parliamentary election it was decided by Abbas that he did not need to stand for election a second time in such a short period and thus put his election off until 2009. Well, that election never occurred as Mahmoud Abbas decided that because Hamas had pushed the Palestinian Authority, or at least most of the Fatah Party members of the Palestinian Authority, out of Gaza and taken control of the enclave and basically became the independent state of Hamastan. These events were preceded by the Israeli complete withdrawal of Jewish residents and IDF bases and patrols, a complete and total withdrawal presumably for the reason of allowing the Arabs to rule themselves which they have done repeatedly electing Hamas, an internationally recognized terrorist group known to receive assistance from Iran and to be fomenting much of the terrorist activity in the Sinai Peninsula, a series of attacks and other crimes which Egyptian President al-Sisi is attempting to quell. Hamas along with Islamic Jihad, the Muslim Brotherhood and other terror and criminal entities regularly launch rockets and mortars into Israel. These assaults, which almost universally targeting civilian targets including homes, schools, synagogues, shopping areas and especially large yellow school buses, often ramp up into the hundreds of missiles with a serious number striking farther and farther north with each instigation which eventually requires IDF intervention to curtail these assaults. What is even more surprising is that Hamas has a refugee camp just outside of Gaza City which they have taken no effort to allow these people to be integrated into the society and instead often use them for digging the more dangerous tunnels. So, now back to the regular story which follows our example near perfectly, or such is our hope.
These refugees were placed under the care of UNRWA (The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) which unlike every other refugee agency or legislating body all of which agreed that only those residing in the location at the time of there being forced to flee were considered refugees and only until they could be repatriated or assimilated into the nation where their camp was located or where they were residing after fleeing. The approximately 850,000 Jews who were forced from their homes either through legal means or threats of violence were covered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and those refugees who virtually all came to Israel and were integrated into Israeli society no question asked, well, other than name and general history and such. These refugees arrived from the founding of the state of Israel through the early 1960s and led to the numbers of Jews residing today in Israel being a near perfect split between the Ashkenazim from Europe, the United States, Canada and the rest of the English speaking world and the Sephardim from the Middle East, North Africa, Portugal, Spain and across South and Central America and some even from the southeastern United States. (for an interesting story on some families who can trace their roots and the roots of their community back to when the Spanish Inquisition came to their small community in what would become the southwestern parts of the United States titled, The Next Exodus? New Mexico’s Crypto-Jews Seek Liberation ) .
Unlike the UNHCR which was where the Jewish refugees both from Europe after the Holocaust (Shoah) and those from throughout the world of which the majority were from the Muslim and Arab worlds while every Arab refugee claiming status of returning to lands within Israel were placed under UNRWA thus assuring that their decedents would into perpetuity be classified as refugees and be imprisoned within the refugee camps barred from obtaining any reputable or decent waged job and definitely not an occupation other than terrorism as these camps regularly produce a greater than average share of terrorists compared to other populations and would reside in the camps until somehow a miracle would place them back into a house which likely does not exist, if it ever did. It is simply unbelievable, incredulous, farfetched, and approaching impossible that all of the Arab refugees resided within the Green Line and none in Judea, Samaria (West Bank) or Gaza or anywhere else in the world. Still these Arab brethren of their minders, their keepers continue to sit around day after day simply living for that singular event to come in their lives where Allah comes and takes them by the hand and settles them into the house they believe they abandoned either voluntarily or by demand of the Israeli military during any of the wars. This is one of the two main sticking points.
The other sticking point would come as to when haggling over the land swaps. It is not like the Palestinians do not know exactly what areas the Israeli desire; there are large built-up residential areas and the necessary shopping malls and shops. They also know full well that Israel has already announced and passed a resolution annexing all of Jerusalem making it the undivided historical and permanent Capital City. Sharing any part of Jerusalem is beyond reason for the Jewish people as we remember the pains and difficulties which came as a result of an unfortunate act of generosity allowing the Waqf to maintain their jurisdiction over the Temple Mount, a decision which has steadily become a greater and greater imposition as they have tightened a noose of religious oppression against any non-Muslim religious claims to anything they can even imply as theirs. The Waqf has permitted heavy excavation equipment to dig large trenches and simply dumping anything which has even the slightest possibility of containing historical relics from before the times of Islam. This act of desecration went further than any other act which the Arabs have perpetrated against the Jews. Such willful destruction of priceless artifacts which could have served as such a great witness to the Jewish ties to the land and its history went beyond the criminal destruction of historic artifacts and entered a realm only witnessed as the sacrilege committed in the name of Communism which served the purpose of replacing the religious institutions with the worship of the State as the provider of all which was to be determined as goodness and we have borne witness to the horrors spawned by Communism from the starvation of the peoples of the Ukraine to the murderous implementation of Communism by Mao Tse-tung in China to the killing fields under the Khmer Rouge under Pol Pot in Cambodia.
The efforts of Israeli Archeologists who went to the dumping grounds location and sifted through tons of what was now debris which had been crushed and pulverized attempting to break any object into dust and for their efforts a few small items were recovered while these items themselves bore witness to the attempted and largely successful theft of the artifacts and history which would have served further to telling the story which binds the Jewish People to this land, but that was exactly their intent. Where the Arabs may not know the extent that the lands mean to Judaism, they are not completely blind to the fact that they hold claim to the very heart of what was once the central hub of the political and religious life in ancient Israel and Judea and it is this heart they intend to keep from the Jewish people. The Arab Palestinians know that their retaining possession of these areas is akin to the theft of the rich history which once adorned the museums and in many cases the buildings themselves throughout the areas under control of ISIS where these objects are destroyed simply because they were not part of a history which paid homage to Allah. It is such blindness which would lead to the destruction of the Pyramids, the Sphinx and the other wonders of Egyptian history solely because they were structures which attested to the greatness of the civilization under the Pharos which predated Islam and thus is of no importance in the reasoning, the mad reasoning and fanaticism which is ISIS. That same wonton destruction and radicalized thinking which drives many of those who attempt to destroy ancient artifacts and relics simply because they might serve to provide witness and further tie the Jewish People with their great history which was attempted to be destroyed once before by Rome and now are facing again, this time by a destructive and retrograde force driven by misbegotten primitive religious zeal bent on the destruction of all which does not serve their narrow views. It is simply to deny any of the lands placed in trust with the British for the formation of a Jewish State which has driven the efforts of the Arabs initially to attempt to steal just over three-quarters of these lands with the formation of Jordan and are now attempting to steal the remaining twenty-two percent in stages no matter how long these efforts take. The drive by the Arabs in the name of Palestine, a place that has no history or rights to any of this land but who are sworn to deny it from the Jews taking it by leaps or by mere dots of land on a map if that is what is required. For the reason of denial of any parcel of land from the Jewish State that there will be no lands swaps considered viable by Abbas and his minions as by refusing the continued existence of the Jewish communities beyond the Green Line that they can inflict the greatest trauma and difficulties for the Jews and perhaps just drive even ten Jews to forget their desires to build their future in the lands promised them which will serve as sufficient victory. Even the recognition provided this misbegotten conception of an Arab Palestinian people with a history reaching back thousands of years is a function of desired destruction of the Jewish history. Examine their purported history and you will see it is nothing more than a bastardization of the Biblical story of the Jewish story being applied with the willful cooperation and allying of the European and Western media which sees the Arabs as being the put upon party by their Jewish oppressors, a story and perception carefully molded by the Arab leadership in conjunction with the leftist and their media allies who view any and all Western religion as a tool of oppression which must be destroyed by any means possible. This attempt to destroy any vestige of Judeo-Christian ethics, and there can be none stronger than the Jewish State, the originator of the entire base on which Western culture rests, which thus must garner efforts beyond any others towards its destruction. We can view a small corner of this war on Judeo-Christian ethics and morality in the fight to destroy the Judeo-Christian definition of marriage from its traditional meaning of one man with one woman to instead virtually anything one’s heart desires. This effort could not be made any more ludicrously evidenced by the marriage of a Japanese man to a mannequin back in the ancient history of the last century, a story which has led others to places best left uninvestigated. There will be no peace promised by Abbas until the entirety of Israel has been replaced by the Arab state and the western world is playing the leading role in complicity. It is the simple story of death by a thousand cuts, in this case the carving up of Israel until the Jews are once again homeless and left at the untender mercies of the rest of the world. For some this is exactly how it is supposed to be as should the Jews reestablish their homelands in Israel it would destroy much of the structure built around the forsakenness of the Jews by G0d as punishment for their sins and their replacement. The initial replacement was by the Christians who were in turn replaced by Islam when they supposedly entered into sinfulness and diverted from the true word of G0d as given by Allah. Islam made one major adjustment to the replacement of Judaism and Christianity by also incorporating into their religion the concept that they were the final replacement and only true religion for all time. This is the other leg behind the desire to destroy Israel before it gets any further and to deny the Jews the Old City of Jerusalem, the core and center to Jewish life and where the Temple sat in centuries past.
Beyond the Cusp