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Richard J. Annen
Director, Center for Conflict Resolution Strategies

The Facts Support Imposing Peace to End the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

“The history of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict defines the Palestinian people, but not the Jews of Israel. Only when they can no longer be used as a weapon of war, will the Palestinian people be able to begin defining themselves.”
Richard J. Annen
May 25, 2024

Preamble

On May 24, 2024, I published on this Blog the article “Blueprint for an Imposed Peace to End the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” The purpose of this post is to provide the general principles that govern the blueprint. They arise from the facts of the 75-year history of the conflict, which reveal the issues and problems that must be included and addressed as part of implementing the only viable conflict resolution strategy, namely a two-state solution.

I. Introduction

Eliminating Hamas is the short-term problem that must be completed to achieve peace and make a two-state solution viable. Deradicalizing the Palestinian population is a longer-term problem that must occur for the Palestinians to achieve self-governance.
The Palestinian people must have something that is not worth losing. They must be given the opportunity to take “ownership” of Gaza and the West Bank, which they never have had, and learn that by living in peace with Israel they can take control of the trajectory of their lives. The blueprint shows that after 75 years of war, that opportunity now exists.

II. General principles that govern the blueprint

The following is an excerpt of the general principles that govern the blueprint.

1. Palestinians want their own independent state.

1.1 Jews and Arabs have each inhabited the area called Palestine for thousands of years. The Arabs who lived in Palestine, who today are called Palestinians, have no historical right to be the sole inhabitants or otherwise control the whole of Palestine, nor do the Jews. Jews have accepted this fact, but many of the Arabs who are called Palestinians today, have not, and have been indoctrinated in Hamas’ false claim that the Palestinians have a historic right to all of former Palestine “from the river to the sea.”

1.2 A recent poll found that 43% of the Palestinian people believe that the first most vital Palestinian goal should be to end Israeli occupation and build a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital. If one takes into account the testimony of captured and/or surrendering Hamas fighters, removing Hamas from Gaza should push that percentage well past a majority.

2. There is no current viable alternative to establishing a Palestinian state.

2.1 Every Arab state that accepted the Arabs that left Palestine as refugees in the past, Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon, was destabilized by their presence and actions of the PLO, terrorist organization that controlled them.

2.2 Today, the only Arab states that could possibly accept the Palestinian people in their current locations would be by Jordan annexing the West Bank and Egypt annexing Gaza. Neither will do that.

2.3 It is not feasible for Israel to occupy Gaza and the West Bank indefinitely. Occupation, by definition, means a destabilized society which simply invites the reintroduction of a terrorist organization that feeds upon societal discontent, and/or the continuation of terrorist-type activity.

3. A Palestinian state must be put on a path to become stable and self-sustaining.

3.1 The work of the Peel and Woodhead Commissions in 1937 and 1938 showed that a peace plan that does not include establishing a stabilized, self-sustaining Palestinian state (as UN Resolution 181 in 1947 failed to do), will not result in peace, but only the creation of a destabilized state.

3.2 Before the current war, Gaza was in a state of destabilization based on the size of its population, population growth, the demographic characteristics of its residents, with half of the population under 18 years of age, an unemployment rate of 47%, more than 80% of the population living in poverty, its schools, while ostensibly run by UNRWA, being used to indoctrinate terrorist ideology and Jewish hatred.

3.3 Humanitarian aid will continue to be needed and international aid will be needed to rebuild Gaza.

4. A Palestinian state cannot serve as a base of operations for future attacks on Israel.

4.1 Rising in power since 1968, the PLO issued its “Phased Plan” to destroy Israel by calling for acceptance of the original Partition Plan and then enticing the Arab states to join them in using the new state of Palestine territory as the bases from which to engage in a two-stage war to destroy Israel.

4.2 After Israel abandoned Gaza to the PA in 2005, Hamas took power and has since used Gaza as a “secure location” to wage war on Israel. Israel must be secure in knowing that it will not be subject to attack originating from Gaza or the West Bank in the future.

4.3 A Palestinian state must be demilitarized on national and local levels and cannot have a military force. Defense of the Palestinian state from external and internal threats to its security must be guaranteed by Israel and Arab states.

4.4 Self-governance of the Palestinian state can only occur when it is stabilized and all vestiges of terrorist support or promotion end.

5. Borders of a Palestinian state.

5.1 On November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly voted in favor of Resolution 181 for the partition of the British Mandate of Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab (the “Partition Plan”), which became effective on August 1, 1948.

5.2 On May 15, 1948, Israel was declared to be an independent state with its borders defined by the Partition Plan. Arab armies attacked and lost. The resulting armistice lines established in 1949 essentially reflect the borders of Gaza and the West Bank today.

5.3 Neither Gaza nor the West Bank have ever been the territory of a sovereign nation.

5.4 As noted by the Brazilian ambassador to the UN in 1967 regarding Security Council Resolution 242, borderlines should be adjusted to achieve “secure permanent boundaries” to realize the goal of a “just and lasting peace in the Middle East. . .”

6. Palestinians have been radicalized to hate Jews and want Israel destroyed.

6.1 From the end of World War I in 1918 to 1948, the Arabs in Palestine were in violent conflict with Jews in Palestine rising to the level of a civil war.

6.2 From 1948 to today, the Palestinian people have been increasingly radicalized to support nation states and then terrorist organizations espousing Jewish hatred and seeking Israel’s destruction. Many Palestinians hold the delusional belief that through Hamas, they will prevail in defeating Israel and eventually create a single Palestinian state “from the river to the sea.”

7. Governance of a Palestinian state.

7.1 There is no Palestinian leadership vacuum for the Palestinian Authority (PA) to fill. Despite its recognition by the UN and many nations, including the US, as the representative of the Palestinian people, the Palestinian Authority is an acknowledged corrupt organization that does not have the faith and trust of the Palestinian people, nor Israel, and openly supports Hamas when convenient to support its political standing.

7.2 It follows that there can be no “unity” government with the PA and Hamas.

8. The UN has no role in post-war governance of a Palestinian state.

8.1 The UN does not recognize Hamas as a terrorist organization and refuses to condemn Hamas for its horrific actions on October 7, 2023.

8.2 On June 13, 2018, in response to a proposed resolution regarding protecting Palestinian civilians, the UN General Assembly rejected a US amendment to the resolution calling for condemning Hamas for repeatedly firing rockets into Israel and inciting violence along the boundary fence. US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, addressed the Assembly and stated: “[F]or many delegations, attacking Israel had become a ‘favorite political sport.” Such one-sided resolutions as the one presented today, which failed to even mention Hamas, did nothing to advance peace.”

8.3 The UN’s past and current actions are not only clearly discriminatory but outright antisemitic to the point of supporting a macabre desire for the Jewish people of Israel to continue to suffer at the will of a terrorist organization.

III. Conclusion

The eight (8) governing principles of the blueprint show that the elements of the blueprint address the problems and issues that must be resolved as part of any viable, implementable two-state solution.

The process to do so is clear: eliminate Hamas; form the alliance; form the Palestinian State, place it in trust, and make it a protectorate of the alliance; and thereafter work to make the state stable and self-sustaining as it moves down the path to self-governance.

The time is now to end allowing the Palestinian people to be used as a weapon of war and allow them to be something they never have been – a stakeholder in their own country. In my next two posts, we will examine two recent opinion polls that support the conclusion that the Palestinian people will reject Hamas and terrorism and support the blueprint’s two-state solution.

About the Author
Richard J. Annen is the Director of the Center for Conflict Resolution Strategies (CCRS) located in San Diego, California. CCRS's mission is to analyze real world human conflicts, crisis, and problems and develop detailed, fact-based, implementable resolution strategies. Prior to establishing CCRS, Mr. Annen was a board-certified trial attorney specializing in business litigation. Mr. Annen received his Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of Notre Dame.
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