Dan Ehrlich

Gaza War: So Much for Being Mr. Nice Guy

A two state solution, a one state solution, a no state deal, confusion and frustration all around. As the Gaza-Hamas War rages, Yemen has been drawn into it, with international calls for a ceasefire and a Palestinian state.

Once again, what may be a convenience for the world is a life and death plan for Israel. A two state solution will only work if it’s run and populated by peace loving Arabs who accept Israel being there, something yet to be proven.

But, what has long been forgotten is really at the root of the conflict…the League of Nations edict on the region.

The League divided the British Mandated Palestine into two parts, the biggest being given to the Hashemite tribe as a consolation prize for being booted out of Arabia by the Saudis. This was initially known as the Emirate of Transjordan.

As history has proven this was a shame since the Hashemites were in favor of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, ie., the never enacted Faisal-Weissman Pact. Had they retained power in Arabia, and the Allied Powers didn’t meddle in the Middle East the history of Israel’s rebirth would probably have been less violent.

The other part of the mandate was initially offered to Jews and Arabs, but without any borders where they could live in the area. In effect it was open land. But, in 1947 the UN partition plan established specific Jewish and Arab borders. But, when the Arabs rejected the plan, all bets were off.

The West Bank settlers use the League’s own law as their legal justification for being there, not UN ceasefire lines. The UN’s claim that the West Bank settlements are illegal is clouded by the League of Nations edict.

Fast forward to 1967, Israel is in a war for survival with its surrounding Arab neighbors and winds up with an enormous amount of conquered land, some of which was Judea and Samaria, the West Bank.

You see, since this was an all-out multi national war, Israel could have avoided the problem they have today with the Palestinian Arabs, by driving the belligerents into Jordan and Egypt, thereby liberating and recreating much of historic Israel aka Judea.

Yes, there would be the standard UN condemnations, which would be ignored, because that’s all part of the fortunes of war.

The less hostile Arabs who were allowed to remain, as with Israel’s current Arab population, would become Israeli citizens in a more practical single state solution.

But being Mr. Nice Guys, adhering to international pressure, Israel allowed all the Palestinians to stay put so they could give Yassar Arafat a purpose in life and endless tsouris for Israelis.

The sad fact is, a Palestinian state won’t end the hostile Palestinian attitude towards Israel, which the current war will reinforce. PA Leader Mahmood Abbas secretly is overjoyed with Hamas being hammered by Israel. He knows his own people would choose Hamas over Fatah today. And that’s because of Hamas’ goal to destroy Israel.

The advantages of a Palestinian state would be:

  • A home for all local Arabs hostile to Israel
  • It would be easier to justify a Gaza style war if a national entity was involved in attacking Israel
  • It would at long last establishing permanent borders for Israel

But the Palestinian Arabs will never accept Israel and give upon a hostile solution to this endless conflict until they are properly educated and financially secure, with a thriving economy of their own, which was the intent for Gaza when Israel left the strip in 2005. We have seen how that evolved with Hamas in charge.

The fact is most educated and financially well-off people don’t think of going to war. They are too busy enjoying life. Ignorant peasantry hooked on religious beliefs of their own superiority remain the wellspring of discontent and conflict worldwide.

After Hamas is defeated and Gaza is secured, Israel should turn the clock back to 2000 and rebuild and develop it as a economic and tourist hub with schools and public services under Israeli control.

But it will be some time before the future of Gaza and its residents is decided. Will it become part of Palestinian state or be part of Israel?

As for an independent state, that’s a fantasy. Any Palestinian state would still be dependent on Israel and Jordan for public utilities and transport of goods and services.

About the Author
A London based American journalist with a long wide ranging career spanning print, radio TV and online news.
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