Alex Rose

Disaster in the Desert

Writing in FP in July 2019, Martin Indyk’s commencement reads, “Washington would no longer advocate a two-state solution to the conflict, with independent Jewish and Palestinian states living alongside each other in peace and security.”
In1981, Prime Minister Menachem Begin extended Israeli law to the Golan, for which Israel was condemned by the UN Security Council, with the United States voting in favor.

King Salman of Saudi Arabia would not support any settlement that did not provide for an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital –something Trump refused to endorse.

In the same issue of FP, Michael S. Doran authored “Why Ceding Land Will Not Bring Peace.” He reminds us that at the time, Israel had won 3 straight wars against its supposedly stronger Arab opponents , “the last one a blowout.”
Egypt and its Soviet patron had been recklessly provocative, and Israel had made them pay for it, dearly. The Johnson administration turned the crisis into an opportunity by linking the Settlement of this particular war with the broader regional conflict.

However, the Soviet Union and its Arab allies insisted on an Israeli commitment to full withdrawal as a precondition for ant talks –even as Moscow scrambled to rebuild the Egyptian military. To regain its lost territory and reopen the Suez Canal , Kissinger reasoned Egypt had to negotiate directly with Israel.

After yet another major war in 1973, the strategy worked. It was the Carter Administration that brokered the Camp David accords, and that fact greatly influenced the lessons that subsequent generations learned from the triumph.
The Carter administration believed it was necessary to solve the entire Arab-Israeli conflict all at once, in a single, grand multilateral forum. The underlying problem in the Middle East, Carter passionately believed, was the Israeli suppression of Palestinian nationalism. He was certain that if Israel could be compelled to give back the “occupied” territories, the Arab states would make peace—even Syria.

On November 19, 1977, Sadat became the 1st Arab leader to vist Israel, delivering his message of “no more war, no more bloodshed” directly to the Knesset. The Carter team built the concentric circles concept into the Camp David accords, which contained both a bilateral Egyptian-Israeli agreement and the “Framework for Peace in the Middle East.” This 2nd document called for ”the resolution of the Palestinian problem in all its aspects” and “full autonomy” for the inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza, with the establishment of a “self-governing authority” that would then participate in final status negotiations.

When Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin fought Carter on granting the Palestinians autonomy and refused to commit to a freeze on Israeli “settlements” in the territories , the President became lived. He blamed Begin for the failure on the “Palestinian” track and never forgave him.

Upon Begin and Sadat receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, Carter wrote in his diary, “I sent Begin and Sadat a congratulatory message.—-Sadat deserved it; Begin did not.”

In 1995, trying to derail the process, an Israeli right-wing extremist assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Following on, the 2nd Intifada’s grisly campaign of terrorist attacks directed against cafes, pizza parlors, discotheques, and other civilian gathering places killed over 1,000 Israelis and injured many thousands more, leaving deep scars in Israel’s national psyche.

Egypt made a private side deal with Israel in the 1970s, and Jordan did so in the 1990s. US Secretary of State John Kerry squandered more than a year of the Obama administration trying in vain to jump start peace talks. A quixotic effort that even his own negotiators knew would not succeed.

The awkward truth that Washington was only gradually beginning to admit to itself was that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will not, in fact, be solved with a two-state solution.

President Trump looked at the Middle East like any other region, and respects power. Without the ideological blinders of the professional peace processors, he came to believe that the” Palestinian” issue is not a major US strategic concern and had essentially delegated its handling to the local parties directly involved.

Moving onto contemporary times , the Guardian posted “Kamala Harris issues sharp rebuke of Israel over “humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza on March 4, 2024. From this we learn that a delegation had arrived in Cairo for the latest round of ceasefire talks, billed by many as the final possible hurdle for a truce, but it was unclear if any progress was made.

According to another Israeli newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth’s on line version reported that Israel boycotted the talks after Hamas rejected its demand for a complete list naming hostages who are still alive.

Kamala Harris responds, “Hamas claims it wants a ceasefire. Well, there is a deal on the table. And as we have said, Hamas needs to agree to that deal. Let’s get a ceasefire. Let’s reunite the hostages with their families. And let’s provide immediate relief to the people of Gaza.”

In her comments, Harris laid out specific ways in which the Israeli government could allow more aid into Gaza.”They must open new border crossings. They must not impose any unnecessary restrictions on the delivery of aid. They must ensure humanitarian personnel, sites and convoys are not targeted, and they must work to restore basic services and promote order in Gaza, so more food, water and fuel can reach in need.”

What does Harris think the IDF has been doing all along?

For more than 16 hundred years, the Jews were the dominant population of the Land of Israel. Although often conquered by Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans, Jews remained the main inhabitants of the land until the Roman conquest. During this long history, the Jews had periods of political independence. The Land of Israel was considered by the Jews to be their only homeland—not part of an empire, but a sovereign, political, cultural, and religious center.

“The Land is Whose Land?” asks Jerold S. Auerbach, in an Op-Ed addressed in the Washington Jewish Week of February 22, 2024. History may help us answer the question. A decade before the start of WW1, British Cabinet Minister indicated his support for the restoration of Jewish nationhood in Palestine, noting, “I am in full support with the historical aspirations of the Jews. “During the war in 1917, the Balfour Declaration issued by the British government proclaimed its support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, which then had a small Jewish population.

Churchill subsequently declared that the Jews, “based on their ancient historical connection,” had returned to Palestine as of right and not by sufferance.”

On February 26, 2024, AJC listed 5 Facts about the Jewish People’s Ancestral Connection to the Land of Israel, as follows:
[1] Jews have had a continuous presence in the Land of Israel. While the Romans expelled the majority of Jews in 70 CE, the Jewish people have always been present in the land of Israel. A portion of the Jewish population remained in Israel throughout the years of Jewish exile while the rest settled around the world and became the Jewish Diaspora.
[2] Israel was under Jewish leadership for hundreds of years in antiquity. The ancient history of the land of Israel includes many centuries during which the land was governed by the Jewish people. Beginning in approximately 1000 BCE, which was the beginning of the Iron Age under King Saul, David and Solomon, the entire land of Israel was under a unified Jewish kingdom.
[3] Jerusalem is the holiest site in the Jewish faith. Jerusalem has been the spiritual, religious, and national center of the Jewish people for thousands of years. Approximately 3,000 years ago, under the rulership of King David, Jerusalem became the capital of Israel. Jerusalem was the site of the two great Temples, the centers of Jewish worship for hundreds of years.
[4] While in exile Jews never stopped yearning to return to Israel. Despite being scattered throughout the world during various points in history, the Jewish people maintained a strong connection to the land of Israel through religious practices, prayers, and an enduring hope of eventual return.
[5]Israel plays a central role in the Bible.
The land of Israel is central to the Jewish faith and is mentioned throughout the Bible. In the book of Genesis, the 1st book of the Bible, G-d promises the land of Israel to Abraham, the 1st Jew, and then reaffirms the promise to Abraham’s son Isaac and grandson Jacob. In fact, the name Israel is another name for Jacob.
For a conclusion, Rabbi Doron Perez’s masterpiece, “The Jewish State” serves appropriately. In particular, Chapter 4, focuses on “Modern Palestinian Nationalism”.

The Palestinians of today, have no religious, historical, or cultural connection whatsoever to the ancient Philistines. This is beyond doubt and is agreed upon by all mainstream historians. The ancient Babylonians, Egyptians, Moabites, and Canaanites are no longer. This was also the fate of the Philistines of old, who were conquered by Sancheriv and since the 6th century BCE disappeared as a people from the annals of human history. Hence the name of their land, Philistia or Palestine in English, also no longer appeared on the map of nations.

Almost 800 hundred years later, the Roman Emperor Hadrian revived the name Palestine as the Latin adaption of Philistia in the aftermath of the Bar Kochva rebellion. The majority of Palestinian Arabs originated from the Arabian region and over the centuries settled in this area. There was a gap of over 1,000 years between the end of the Philistine people and the 1st appearance of Arabs in this area —a new group of people, with no connection to the earlier Philistines.

Just as the modern Palestinians were not indigenous to this land, so too do all historians agree that the same is true of the Philistines. They were not part bof the indigenous Canaanite tribes, but rather came from elsewhere. Based onmany biblical verses as well as the view held by all mainstream historians, the Philistines were part of what became known as the “Sea People” and were invaders who came to Israel via the Mediterranean Sea over different periods of time from the years 1800 BCE to 12oo BCE. In both the books of Yirmiyahu and Amos, it is clear that the Philistines came from the Island of Caphtor.
Almost 800 years later, the Roman Emperor Hadrian revived the name Palestine as the Latin adaptation of Philistia in the aftermath of the Bar Kochva rebellion. The name lay dormant for many centuries and was given a new life by the British in 1917 as this land became known as the British mandate of Palestine.

In the year 70 CE, the city of Jerusalem and the Second Temple were destroyed by the Romans. Even so, the majority of the Jews did not go into exile as many remained in the province of Judea in the greater Jerusalem area and southern Negev region. According to Josephus, there remained 59 Jewish walled cities in this area, where Jewish life continued despite the destruction of the Temple.
While Jerusalem lay in ruins, the Jewish People remained in the Judean region for over 60 years. In the year 130 CE, Hadrian began to build a new Roman city by the name of Aclia Capitolina, dedicated to the pagan god Zeus, which further angered the Jews of Judea. This fueled the bar Kochva rebellion, which had great initial successes against the Romans, with the declaration of an independent Jewish state.

Greatly angered by the rebellion, Emperor Hadrian sent a powerful army of elite forces who not only crushed the rebellion, but also destroyed entirely the cities of Judea, forcing the surviving Jews to leave the region. This effectively ended any significant Jewish presence in this area, with the majority of the survivors moving north to the Galilee.
With the name change to Palaestina which remained for the centuries of Roman rule thereafter as the Roman Empire’s designation of this land. During this period, 10 changes of Muslim dynasties occurred.

The Ottoman’s ruled from 1517 to 1917 and Greater Syria emerged. This brings us to the Allied victory of WW1 and the San Remo Conference, formalized during April 1920. The British Mandate lasted to 1948 having commenced on 1920. All inhabitants were referred to as Palestinians.

During the entire Mandate period, it was the Grand Mufti, Haj Amin al-Husseini who lead the Arab claim to Palestine. He even made an alliance with Nazi Germany, committing himself to partner with Hitler to rid the Middle East of the Jews.
Each time Israel has agreed to a Palestinian state the Palestinians have rejected the offer, often followed by violence and certainly ongoing denialism of the rights of Israel to exist as a Jewish state anywhere in the land. The disengagement from Gaza in 2006, brought about a Hamas-led terror state that has made peace seem so much more distant than it was prior to the disengagement.

Benjamin Netanyahu has been known to quote the incisive comment attributed to Golda Meir that if the Arabs were to lay down their arms, there would be no more war, but if were to lay down its arms, there would be no more Israel.
Whereas there have been numerous efforts to resolve the Arab-Israel conflict, all have failed. Rabbi Perez advocates persistence. On March1, 2024, Arutz 7, posted, “David Friedman Presents:’The Future of Judea and Samaria Sovereignty Plan’.”Given Friedman’s standing in the international community, one would expect serious consideration of the given plan. But; not until the dismissal of the Biden Administration.

The full plan, titled, ‘the Future of Judea @ Samaria’ was devised by the former US Ambassador for Israel, makes note of Israel’s biblical claims to the subject area, as well as, its importance to Israel’s security, due to its close proximately to all of Israel’s population centers.

The vision for the future offered by Friedman’s plan calls for a tripartite agreement among Israel, the US and an expanded group of Abraham Accord Muslim countries: Israel sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria: a Marshall Plan for Palestinian Arabs funded largely by Gulf neighbors: Palestinian enclaves with maximum civilian autonomy subject to Israeli overriding security control: Palestinian Arabs afforded permanent residency and Israeli travel documents, but no voting in national elections, with Arab-Israeli citizens unaffected.

Friedman explains that is not apartheid. In racist South Africa, blacks were taken from their homes and placed in ‘Bantustans’ in awful living conditions. ——They will keep their homes with significant economic improvements and internal controls. Additionally, they will receive full civil rights other than the right to destroy the world’s only Jewish state through demographic power.

“Was the response the Hamas massacre on October 7, 2023, when Hamas invaded the towns, shooting everything in sight? They broke into civilian homes, shooting, burning, raping and beheading. Over
1,300 civilians were murdered, and over 200 were abducted. Hamas terrorists briefly took control of about——-?“

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.