Michael Bloomfield

Is Peace a Real Possibility or a Dangerous Fantasy

Fool Me Once I’m a Dunce. Fool Me Twice Pay the Price

Pundits, politicians and oracles bombard us with solutions to the Arab-Israeli conflict while the Palestinians make maximalist demands and the world expects Israel to capitulate.  After October 7, more band-aids, self-righteous decrees and arm-twisting will bring only more disappointment and pain.

As a Jew, the Israeli narrative is mine but that does not make me indifferent to the Palestinians whose reality cannot be denied.  I want peace for my people and for all of the inhabitants of the world but it must be genuine, lasting peace not another Hudna, where Israel’s enemies prepare for the next stage of their campaign to eliminate the Jews.

We Jews have long suffered since being dispossessed by the Romans and scattered across the world. We must be patient too and not be goaded, bullied or tricked into national suicide but we need visionary leaders that seize the initiative, laying down terms not reacting to them.

Yes, the Christian Nations have long treated us with malice, condemning us as Christ-killers to be converted or destroyed, stealing our heritage and taking it as their own. Christian armies occupied the Jewish homeland as part of their manifest destiny and many still are uncomfortable with a proud, independent Jewish state.  Gratefully, we also have Christian Zionists who strongly support us.

As Islam arose, we suffered the same fate, subjected to generations of looting, discrimination and murder with dhimmi status.  I note with appreciation the Muslims who reject radical Islam and its antisemitism but there are too few and they often end-up exiled or dead.  Until Jihadists and their vision of a new Caliphate are defeated by their own people others, especially Jews, will be at great risk.

Nearly 2,000 years of such malign treatment culminated in the Shoah. And yet, we have been undeterred in our deep desire for return to our homeland. Even after the Roman dispossession Jews lived without interruption in Israel.  Then, born out of Christian antisemitism of the 19th century, the Zionist movement began to persuade more and more Jews to return not only from Europe but from Arab countries too where the lives of Jews became increasingly more endangered. Morre than 700,000 were brutally expelled because they were Jews.

The malfeasance of Britian and France after WWI sowed the seeds of endless conflict. Only the worst genocide in human history moved the world to recognize the rights of the Jewish people to a state in their ancestral homeland. However, the hope brought by the Balfour Declaration was short-lived. The British gave a big chunk of the promised Jewish homeland to create Trans-Jordan, parachuting-in their Hashemites allies from the Arabian Peninsula. This action made the situation even more difficult between Arabs and Jews living on the remainder. As the Jewish economy grew more Arabs moved in, as people do, seeking opportunities for their families.  More dispossessed Jews arrived too.

Despite local conflict between Jews and Arabs, efforts were made to achieve peaceful settlement. Unfortunately, the peace-makers often were exiled or killed, such as King Abdullah of Jordan, assassinated in 1951 by a bodyguard loyal to the Mufti of Jerusalem. Later, the Mufti, an opponent of peace, became a key ally of the Nazis, including helping create a Muslim SS unit from Bosnia.

After the war, many Nazis found safe haven in Arab countries worsening an already deteriorating situation.  Radical Arab nationalism and its virulent antisemitism still fuels terror based on the three No’s of the 1967 Khartoum Resolution of the Arab League, no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it and an absolute boycott. And, although no sovereignty beyond historic Israel has ever been recognized, post-1967 the narrative of occupied versus disputed lands has been adopted as truth, as well as the unsubstantiated story of Palestinian Arab history before the 1950s.

And yet, the modern state of Israel has flourished because of the deep and abiding Jewish attachment to the land.  Israel’s agricultural, educational, scientific and economic achievements are exceptional, especially for a tiny state forced, over and over again, to defend its security and rights while remaining a democratic, pluralistic society.

Even in this post-truth world the facts remain incontrovertible that:

  1. Jews have lived uninterrupted in the Jewish homeland since before biblical times,
  2. Christians and Muslims came later to the land as conquerors, the mosque sits on the Temple Mount
  3. Many Palestinian Arabs came in recent generations, following Jewish development
  4. Jordan has a Palestinian majority ruled over by the Hashemites put in power by Britain
  5. Jesus was not Palestinian nor was Santa Claus
  6. The core cause of the ongoing conflict is Arab refusal to respect Jewish history and rights
  7. As Muslims live peacefully in Israel, Jews should have the same opportunity in Arab states including a Palestinian state

Some may quibble with details, interpretations and nuisances.  I don’t care, what I want is peace for my people and for all of the inhabitants of the world.

Generations of malice from the UN and many of its members and agencies have done much harm tolerating, ignoring and participating in obsessive anti-Israel bias.

Arab and Muslim hate for Israel and the Jews also must be overcome. Every effort to destroy Israel has failed and continued terror, lawfare and BDS type campaigns continue to make peace impossible. We Jews have not been unblemished in our conduct. However, we have long been ready for peace but not suicide.  Taking chances for peace, imposed by the world, has been a failed strategy.

There are many compelling questions to answer but these seem core to finding lasting peace:

  1. Does the world have the courage and moral integrity to reform the UN and agencies such as UNESCO, UNICEF and UNRWA long-used in the campaign against Israel? I am not terribly hopeful but decent people must push for change for the sake of world peace.
  2. Are the Palestinians and their allies ready to commit to:
    a. de-militarized, democratic state with negotiated boundaries within Gaza and the Territories and relinquish any further land claims. b. renounce terror and stop funding it
    c. end BDS and other boycotts and lawfare, d. stop teaching antisemiitism and martyrology in schools, media and civil society, e. renunciation of future claims for Palestinian right of return, f. recognize the state of Israel as the Jewish homeland,
    g. end alliances with terror states such as Iran, Korea as well as terror groups, and
    f. allow international inspections to ensure no military or terrorist activities
  3. Are Arab and Moslem Nations ready to recognize Israel’s rights to exist, sign peace treaties with Israel and normalize relations and stop supporting the radical entities committed to destroying Israel
  4. Will western countries stop their incessant moralizing, and
    a. demand reform of the UN and agencies,
    b. ensure aid is properly used and accounted for and leads to Palestinian self-sufficiency according to a reasonable timetable,
    c. Monitor the peace, and
    d. confront Iran and its proxies if they attempt to continue the conflict

The world does not need another chronic economic basket-case, the Arab Nations are among the wealthiest in the world, and Israel should not be expected to put herself at risk of living next to a state.

So, let Israel agree to a de-militarized, democratic state within Gaza and the Territories, provided that:

1. the Palestinians renounce any further claims for land or return of refugees, end all hostilities and anti-Israel alliances, stop teaching and inciting antisemiitism and martyrology, recognize Israel as the Jewish state,
2. Arab and Muslim states recognize Israel’s rights to exist, end all hostilities and normalize relations,
3. The UN reform its agencies and institutions to remove bias against Israel
4. Western states ensure the peace, the path to Palestinian self-sufficiency and UN reforms and confront Iran to end its hostilities, including sponsorship of terror and development of nuclear weapons

Then we can all celebrate that pigs truly can fly!  Until then, we must defend the Jewish people and the Jewish state and let neither naivety nor pressure put us at risk pursuing dangerous fantasies.

About the Author
Michael Bloomfield's education is in animal science, veterinary science and wildlife biology. His principle organizational ties are Harmony Foundation of Canada where he is the Founder and Executive Director of Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights. He works informally with Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs on much of his advocacy work. Governing Council Global 500 Forum, United Nations Environmental Programme.
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