During the first 75 years after its establishment, Israel won several wars against countries that sought to annihilate her, managed to build the mighty Israel Defense Forces, and developed one of the top technology hubs in the world. There’s no doubt that this led to Egypt, Jordan and more recently the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco to recognize that it is better to accept the existence of a Jewish State in the Middle East, rather than be in a permanent state of war with Israel.
Seventy-five years of sacrifices, hard and smart work now have been put in jeopardy with the terrible events of October 7, 2023.
Saudi Arabia, which was readying to be the next country in the Arab World to recognize Israel, is now rethinking if the Jewish country is indeed the mighty one with whom it’s better to be an ally rather than a foe. The others that had signed agreements with Israel now have a different image of her.
Israel was caught by surprise on October 7– its technology and army did not prevent Hamas from accumulating an enormous arsenal and building an army-like military infrastructure; Israel’s highly sophisticated monitoring capabilities did not prevent the penetration of hundreds, if not thousands of terrorists through different points at the border fence, and its army was not ready to fight and prevent the slaughter that happened on that ill-fated day.
Israel now needs to not only create a new deterrence, but mainly, restore its invincibility and the image that comes with it. More than that, this time the Palestinians need to get the message that it’s better to accept a Jewish State than to keep fighting it and aiming for its total annihilation.
There are several steps to achieve this goal, which would lead to a peace agreement between Palestinians and Israel:
No cease-fire – The number one requirement is that there should not be a cease-fire in this war with Hamas. History has demonstrated that cease-fires are what the name means: a temporary stop until the next flare erupts. Cease-fire means giving the terrorists the opportunity to reorganize and build-up capabilities. The same way Berlin, Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were leveled and led to the end of the Nazi regime, Gaza’s terror infrastructure needs to be erased and Hamas needs to be eradicated. Yes, in the process there will be many civilian casualties, and possibly Israelis that are kept hostages, because of Hamas’ use of the population as their human shields. Israel should not be deterred by it. There’s a higher objective that in the end will benefit Israel and the Palestinian wider population.
The media needs to act responsibly – It takes no time to create and spread a lie. It takes time to investigate the truth. The media, especially the mainstream media, should have a more responsible attitude. It should not rush to publish unverified information. It should verify and publish facts. Lies are fuel for the conflict, as they inflame the tensions and lead to more antagonism. It is harder to ask for this behavior from the fringe media or the social media, but once the mainstream media takes a more responsible attitude, it will become a strong force in helping reject the lies that circulate in those other venues.
Recognition of Israel as a Jewish State – The international community needs to be unanimous in conveying this message to the Arab world, and the Arab leaders need to convey it to their own people: Jews have the right to their own State. First and foremost, the idea of a State for the Jewish people needs to be instilled in the minds of the Arab population in general, and the Palestinians in particular. Arab states and the Arab media should stop promoting and giving space to demonstrations that call for the destruction of Israel. Is this impossible?
An acquaintance who travelled with the late Israeli President Ezer Weizmann to Egypt in 1996 recounted a story: Weizmann had commented to Egypt’s President Mubarak that he was impressed by the people lined up in the streets waving Israeli flags as he went from the airport to the Presidential Palace. Mubarak answered: “always remember that with a snap of my fingers I can change that, and they’ll be chanting ‘Death to Israel.’” I am not saying that there won’t be opposition if today’s Arab leaders direct their people to accept Israel, but this needs to be done if we want a path to an agreement. And there should not be snap of fingers reverting the situation after that.
United Nations should not play a role – The UN has sent Israel a clear and unequivocal message over the years: “don’t trust us.” This applies to the General Assembly, to the Security Council and all the other UN institutions including UNIFIL. If Israel is now experiencing shelling from Hezbollah in the north, it is exactly because UNIFIL did not fulfil and is not fulfilling its mandate. Over 150,000 rockets were amassed by Hezbollah in south Lebanon under UNIFIL’s supervision. And UNIFIL is doing nothing to prevent them from shelling Israel now. Therefore, the UN should not be included in any agreement, either because it’s not an honest broker, or because of its operational incompetence when it comes to its peacekeeping forces.
Single Palestinian leadership – Israel needs to have a single counterpart for negotiations. That is why it is imperative to eliminate Hamas, Islamic Jihad and all the other such groups that seek the destruction of Israel. But as important as it is to have a counterpart for negotiations, this counterpart needs to be sincere in its intentions, and not see it as a tactical move. Israel needs an honest, strong, and capable counterpart that can speak in the name of all Palestinians who seek a better life, and that can implement a peace agreement.
Israel tried multiple times to reach such an agreement but was always answered with “no’s.” This will only happen when Israel’s invincibility is restored, and Palestinians understand it.
In the meantime, we can do our part by empowering all the organizations that work in this process, including the FIDF to care for the soldiers and their family’s needs, HonestReporting.com, to ensure truth, integrity and fairness in the media, and organizations like AIPAC in the US and ELNET in Europe, which act in the political arena.
After the Holocaust, we promised NEVER AGAIN. This is the way to achieve NEVER AGAIN.