Challenging Reality

“This is our country. This has been our land since the days of the Canaanites — [our forefathers] have not left this land. They were here before our patriarch Abraham.” [Mahmoud Abbas]

With the anticipated arrival of Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s “peace” ambassadors, following their visits to designated Arab leaders, one has to contemplate their envisaged “peace plan”.

While there is much speculation on their proposed plan including having Abu Dis as the Palestinian capital and an award of half the West Bank to the Palestinians, one is inclined to have them recall the extremely well written Op-Ed by Richard Mather; “So-called Palestinians have no history in Palestine — except as terrorists.” [January 7, 2017].

As stated categorically by Mather, until it is acknowledged by the UN and other bodies that the Jewish people and not the Arabs are the indigenous inhabitants of Erets Israel, it is going to be difficult to break the impasse of anti-Jewish prejudice, which is the real obstacle to peace.

As recently as June 6, 2018, Eric R. Mandel poses the obvious question of the times, “Can Trump’s peace plan avoid the pitfalls of previously failed negotiations ?” If what the rumor mill is leaking is valid, then what will be offered is different. On the other hand, it obviously will not be acceptable to “a people that never existed in history and who needed a useful past”, described by Elliot A. Green, when discussing the promotion of the relatively new myth of a “Palestinian people.”

Returning to Mandel, he neatly identifies the key known issues pertaining to both the Israelis and the Palestinians, while not speculating areas of acceptance. Of course, by doing so he is entrapped into the old paradigm. This is rather strange in that his initial query was one of has the Kushner/Greenblatt peace initiative learned from the mistakes of previous negotiation efforts?

Mandel reviews the history of the subject conflict in reference to the ongoing Middle East conflicts in general and makes the important recognition of the belief that it is territorial. He correctly observes that it is not, for had this been the case, it would have been resolved in 2007, when Israel offered 100% of the territory with land swaps and east Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital; but was rejected by Abbas. In this, he does not specifically refer to religion.

For Mandel, the matter of the continuum of incitement, hatred, and refusal to re-educate the Palestinian youth as agreed upon as a major key Oslo requirement, is a factor to absolutely not ignore if the Trump team does arrange talks between Israelis and Palestinians. Nor can the refusal to recognize the Jewish historical association to the land. On numerous occasions, Abbas as well as certain other Arab leaders have expressed most adamantly Israel’s existence as a Jewish state being unacceptable.

Mandel points to the misbelieve that Palestinians subscribe to the Western nation-state, whereas in reality they identify themselves by clan and tribe. The belief that they can be bought is yet another western failure. He feels that “any successful initiative” will need to answer the following questions:

[1] Can Israel accept a Palestinian capital in Jerusalem?
[2] Can the Palestinians accept Israel’s minimum demands for a demilitarized state, no right of return, Israeli control of the Jordan River Valley and control of airspace?

He has a list of others, but fails to question whether the Israeli public would really entertain the prospect of yet another Palestinian state bordering Hamustan. This following the ill fated Gaza disengagement disaster. While Mandel emphasizes the need for an “end- of- conflict agreement “whose importance is “never understood and appreciated”, he seems to be oblivious to the somewhat common acknowledgement of the two state solution being dead, nor the growing frequency of alternatives being offered.

Eric Mandel points to the importance of the new confluence of interests between America, Israel and the Sunni Gulf states, to move the negotiations forward. As a consequence, the Win-Win solution advocated by Rachel Neuwirth in July-August 2004, a concept advocated well ahead of its time would appear to be what Trump’s team should be studying and recommending.

Neuwirth’s introduction is rooted in an acknowledgement of the 4 demonstrated falsity and futility arguments intrinsic to the Oslo Accords and the Bush Road Map. The core points, as a heavily abbreviated summary appears below.

[a] Israel should trade “land for peace” to create yet another Arab country.
There are 22 Arab countries and only one Jewish country. One has to be demented to seriously suggest that the Arabs require any more land, and carved out of Israel.
[b] The “Palestinians” are a separate people who deserve their own country.
There are no authentic “Palestinian” people and there never was. Repeated attempts to rewrite history must never be allowed to corrupt the truth. Even honest Arab leaders acknowledge that the fabrication of a given identity was done for aggressive political purposes to undermine Israel’s legitimate right to its biblical homeland.
[c] Arab possession of their 22 countries and 5 million square miles is legitimate and not to be challenged .
Neuwirth asks how the Arabs came to control such vast territories and answers by “the old fashion way – by conquest.!” She then quotes verifiable history commencing in Arabia1400 years prior to Mohammed’s founding Islam.
The Arabs often claim that they were the original inhabitants in the land of Israel. However, Arab invaders did not enter the land of Israel until about the year 638 C.E.; while Jews had established their first commonwealth under King David, with Jerusalem as their capital, over 1,600 years earlier. Archeologically, the entire land of Israel forever gives testimony to the ancient Jewish presence.
[d] We can have a viable “Palestinian” state in the so-called West Bank and Gaza, next to a viable Israel.
Any comprehensive plan must include an environmental impact study covering population growth, water resources, agriculture resources, economic development, social and political considerations etc., with projections extending through at least the next century.By doing this, it can be shown how demographics can never support another Arab state having provisions for incorporating the world wide distribution of “Palestinians”.

Rachel Neuwirth’s proposal commences with the far-sighted Arab-Jewish agreement arrived at approximately a century ago, which was never fully implemented. For her, this still-legal agreement provides the basis for a solution “and should become widely publicized and supported.”

Commencing with the Paris Peace Conference, following the end of WW1 in 1919 and working through all the legal statutes, which begins with Emir Feisal1 agreeing that the entire Palestine territory of the Balfour Declaration of 1917 would become the Jewish national home, a Win-Win solution become possible.

The given conference, followed by one at San Remo Italy, amiably settled the issues among the parties with voluntary, legally binding international agreements. Under the guise of the League of Nations, Britain was charged with the responsibility for the Palestine Mandate. Winston Churchill applied for and was granted authority to create Transjordan, thus reducing the promised Jewish Home significantly.

Thus began a process whereby Jewish rights to the land became secondary. Space does not permit the description of the downward slope through the White Paper of 1939, restrictions on Jewish immigration, overlooking illegal Arab immigration, the War of Independence to the 6 Day War.

At that time, the established understanding of “to the victor went the spoils “was re-written. How convenient as a directive against Israel retaining the West Bank and Gaza in a defensive war. Nor was any consideration given to the Khartoum “3 no’s” issued by the Arab League on August 29, 1967. It needs to be remembered that the PLO was created by the Arab League on June 2, 1964. It is thus logical for them to participate in the resolution of the subject conflict.

Rachel Neuwirth asserted that contrary to popular belief, the Arab-Israeli conflict has a reasonable solution. Bottom line- an orderly resettlement of the so-called Palestinian Arabs would solve this “long-standing ‘intractable’ problem.”

Saudi Arabia comprises around 750,00 square miles. It has a very low population density of only 33 per square mile vs. 1,000 for Israel including the “territories”. A modest 4% of Saudi Arabia, some 30,000 square miles, should be set aside for a new Palestinian state. That state would be 13 times the size of the present Palestinian area proposed under the Road map and would have ample space for natural growth. The potential for all parties would be assured.

Neuwirth notes that the Saudis are clearly in a position to engage in the proposed solution with little discomfort. The Saudis, among others, have been responsible for promoting terrorism and the education of a hateful form of Islam. For too long, the world has labored under false myths.

Donald Trump understands what Israel could contribute to the Saudis. He also has demonstrated the importance of winning for his own edification. Hence a credible and doable plan as conceived by Rachel Neuwirth should engage his attention. A support for a credible and achievable approach to finally resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict is in the offing.

About the Author
Alex Rose was born in South Africa in 1935 and lived there until departing for the US in 1977 where he spent 26 years. He is an engineering consultant. For 18 years he was employed by Westinghouse until age 60 whereupon he became self-employed. He was also formerly on the Executive of Americans for a Safe Israel and a founding member of CAMERA, New York (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America and today one of the largest media monitoring organizations concerned with accuracy and balanced reporting on Israel). In 2003 he and his wife made Aliyah to Israel and presently reside in Ashkelon.