Esor Ben-Sorek

The Proposed Peace Plan — “Not Loved, Not Hated”

President Donald Trump’s proposed peace plan for Israelis and Palestinians has not yet been revealed. The dynamic American ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, will only say of it that it is a plan which will not be loved nor not be hated by both sides. Such a dream is impossible. Both sides are bound to find flaws or details unacceptable to them. Then, it’s back to Square One.

To quote one of my favorite Hebrew prophets, Amos, in his confrontation with Amatzia, the high priest:

“Lo navi anochi v’lo ben navi” — I am not a prophet nor the son of a prophet. But, unlike Amos, I attempt on occasion to use my “prophetical” insights on matters of concern to my homeland, Israel.

It is my prediction that the Palestinian role in Jerusalem, the right of return of 1948 refugees, the demolition of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria and a halt to further settlement building will be a Palestinian demand. And an end to terrorism, security on its borders, cessation of all anti-Jewish materials in schools will be an Israeli demand.

Speaking “prophetically” (or rather “pathetically”) I can see no agreement to the proposed Trump peace plan. A Palestinian can say “halas”… it’s over, finished. An Israeli can say “yesh tikvah”…there is hope.

The problem first began in November 1947 when the United Nations decided upon the partition of British-mandated Palestine giving an independent state to both Jews and Arabs. While   the Jews did not like the idea of division, they nevertheless accepted the partition plan as “better than nothing” and a beginning of the rebirth of a Jewish nation on its soil after 2000 years in exile and wandering.

The Arabs, on the other hand, rejected partition totally and the very next day began the war of seven Arab nations against a tiny Jewish soon-to-be-independent State.

Since 1947 there has been no peace and no movements toward peace on the Arab side. Their determination to “drive the Jews into the Sea” was thankfully their dream that never came true.

One war followed another. Territories lost. Territories re-gained. A bitterly divided Jerusalem from 1948 to 1967 when, in violation of armistice agreements made with the United Nations, the Arabs prevented Jews from worshipping at the Western Wall or in the ancient synagogues in the Old City.

Things changed following Israel’s heroic victory in the 1967 war.  East Jerusalem was conquered by the Israeli army and holy Jerusalem was once again unified. Jews flocked by the hundreds of thousands to worship at the holy places from which they had been deprived for nineteen years by the Jordanian army.

Ancient Biblical cities, for thousands of years the birth-places of the Israelite people, in biblical Judea and Samaria (West Bank) were liberated and Jews began the re-building of Jewish life there to the anger and anguish of Palestinian Arabs who resided in those cities and villages. Hostilities between the two peoples began at once and sadly continues to this day.

Terrorism is a new word in our vocabulary. But for Arabs, it is not a word. It is a plan to exterminate the Jews. And as the Muslim (non-Arab) regime of tyrannical Iran threatens, to annihilate the Israeli commercial center of Tel-Aviv.

Under these circumstances, Ambassador Haley was almost correct. “Some loved, some hated” will surely become “all proposals hated”. Perhaps on that matter both Israelis and Palestinians may find themselves in agreement.

The American Embassy is now scheduled to be opened in Jerusalem on May 14th of this year, commemorating Israel’s 70th year of independence.  It will not yet be a full-serviced embassy since much of the diplomatic work will continue in the present embassy building in Tel-Aviv.

But on that May 14th date which Israelis and Jews call “Yom HaAtzmaut” (Independence Day) and which Palestinians and Arabs call the “Nakba” (Day of Catastrophe), when the brass nameplate “Embassy of the United States of America” is affixed to the building, both Arabs and Jews will be weeping.. the Arabs from sorrow and the Jews from joy.

“Prophetically” I wish good luck to the American president’s proposed peace plan.

I don’t think I’ll live to see it!

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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