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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Is it It's not really about borders!

The JPost's editorial this morning asks the question that the world should have been asking itself for at least the last 85 years: Is the Arab-Israeli dispute really about borders?
A 1921 British Mandate map showed Palestine's borders already divided between a Jewish homeland west of the Jordan (today Israel, the West Bank and Gaza), and an area to the east closed to Jewish settlement (today Jordan).

The Arab response to that map was: This isn't about borders.

In 1937 the Peel Commission offered another set of borders. Transjordan would, of course, remain in Arab hands, and virtually all of what was left west of the Jordan would also be Arab. The Jews would be given land from Tel Aviv running northward along the coastal plain and parts of Galilee. The Arabs said: It's not about borders.

A third map, proposed by the UN in 1947 as General Assembly Resolution 181 - the Partition Plan - divided Palestine west of the Jordan River (the eastern bank now being Transjordan): The Jews were to be given an indefensible, checkerboard territory, the biggest chunk of which consisted of the then arid Negev. Jerusalem, the epicenter of Jewish longing since 70 CE, would be internationalized; a tiny corridor would connect Israel's truncated parts. To get to Galilee, Jews would have to traverse Arab Palestine.

The Jews took the deal. The Arabs said: It's not about borders.

On May 15, 1948 - 60 years ago today - the Egyptian, Jordanian, Saudi, Syrian and Lebanese armies, along with Palestinian irregulars, sought to throttle the birth of Israel. Their failure to do so created the 1949 Armistice Lines. The West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights and east Jerusalem were all in Arab hands. There was no "occupation."

The Jews said: Now, can we live in peace? The Arabs said: It's not about borders.

TODAY, 41 years ago, Egyptian troops moved into the Sinai as Gamal Abdel Nasser declared "total war." The Syrians, for their part, promised "annihilation." Even King Hussein figured the time was ripe to strike. But, instead of destroying Israel, the Arabs lost more territory. The heartland of Jewish civilization, Judea and Samaria, was now in Israel's hands, as was Jerusalem's Temple Mount.

Even so, the Jews said: Let's trade land for peace.

In August 1967, Arab leaders assembled in Khartoum gave their reply: No peace. No negotiations. No recognition.


In 2000, Ehud Barak offered at Camp David his vision of a viable Palestinian state. Yasser Arafat's "counter-offer" was the Aksa intifada, an orgy of suicide bombings nationwide and drive-by shootings in the West Bank that would claim over 1,000 Israeli lives. Clearly for Arafat, the issue wasn't borders.

For Israelis to now take the idea of a "shelf-agreement" about borders seriously, the Palestinians would have to declare - once and for all - that their dispute with us really is about borders. And that they accept Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state.

If they do that, the rest will fall into place.
Insanity, said Albert Einstein, is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The 'Palestinians' have already answered the question. As a bonus, they have even already answered it in the context of this round of 'negotiations.' In fact, they have answered it again this morning - the same way Hamas did. They are not willing to accept a Jewish state anywhere or anyhow.
The Palestinians are planning to mark Israel's 60th anniversary Thursday by staging a series of marches and strikes throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

On this occasion, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas pledged that they would never give up the "right of return" for all refugees to their original homes inside Israel.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas [George Bush's 'partner for peace' CiJ] joined dozens of Palestinians in signing a document pledging to continue the "struggle" until all the Palestinian refugees are permitted to return.

'Israel has failed in wiping out the memory of the nakba [catastrophe] from the minds of successive Palestinian generations," Abbas declared. "They [Israel] thought that perhaps the elderly would forget. But today we see that neither the elderly nor the young have forgotten. Everyone remembers the nakba."
The 'right of return' is a code phrase for the 'Palestinians' doing to Israel demographically what they could not do militarily: extirpating the Jewish state's existence.

The 'Palestinians' and their Arab 'brothers' have answered the question time and time again and they've answered it the same way each time. It's not about borders. It's time to stop asking!


At 12:54 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 12:54 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

That's the point I made in my previous post. Its not really about borders and an entire mythology has grown up around the notion that reasonable people can settle their differences. Except that differences between Israel and the Palestinians are about matters that go to the heart of both sides values and while Israel may have become reconciled to a Palestinian state, the Palestinians have not become reconciled to a Jewish State in their midst. As long as one side wants peace and the other wants war, to talk about the existence of a peace process is an oxymoron. And the Middle East is full of them.

At 1:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The JPost has in recent years, especially since the last takeover, moved multiple notches to the left, sometimes with content that would even be acceptable in Ha'Artetz.

They print verbatim what AP and Reuters feed them, without batting an eye.

They bombard us with permanent columns and opinion pieces from some of the biggest leftist and self loathing Jews around.

Even with the JPost's editing and censoring of talkback comments on their site, what does come through reflects the immense revulsion people have with this on-again/off-again newspaper. Pray tell what the talkbacks would read like without the JPost blocking any of them (actually, that's usually a good idea).

In principle, we no longer subscribe to the JPost. Nor will I purchase the Friday edition any longer. Not one agora from us.


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