Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Whither the "Peace Process"? Part II


by Ted Belman

 2nd part of 2 

Some Israelis argue that Israel should nevertheless accept it, providing agreement could be reached on mutual exchanges of land and the number of refugees to be repatriated to Israel. Under this scenario, if Israel wanted to keep land which contains major settlements, she would have to offer in exchange some land from Israel proper, of equal value, in exchange. There is also some suggestion that the Arabs would be satisfied if Israel were to repatriate, perhaps 100,000 Arab refugees, and apologize for expelling them. The advocates of such a deal argue peace is worth it.

But most Israelis disagree. If the Arabs are not willing to negotiate or to make reasonable compromises, how can anyone have confidence in their peaceful intentions?

As to whether Israel can rely on the peace offered, the definitive Encyclopedia of Islam [10] simply states:


The duty of the jihad exists as long as the universal domination of Islam has not been attained. Peace with non-Muslim nations is, therefore, a provisional state of affairs only; the chance of circumstances alone can justify it temporarily. Furthermore there can be no question of genuine peace treaties with these nations; only truces, whose duration ought not, in principle, to exceed ten years, are authorized. But even such truces are precarious, inasmuch as they can, before they expire, be repudiated unilaterally should it appear more profitable for Islam to resume the conflict.


Of course she can't. Why trade tangible security for a temporary peace.

Besides the Arabs have presented it as a take it or leave it offer. Saudi Arabia is demanding that the international community "put pressure on Israel to conform to its obligations towards resolutions agreed upon internationally, and based on the Arab Peace Initiative". [11]


When Netanyahu met with Sen. Mitchell, he told him, "Israel expects the Palestinians to first recognize Israel as a Jewish state before talking about two states for two peoples,". Obviously Hamas will not do this and Abbas will want Israel's commitment to a Palestinian state before he does, if at all. According to Haaretz, [12]


A decision has been made in Washington to follow a regional peace plan that will be based on the Arab peace initiative, bolstered by international security guarantees for Israel.


Under this plan, Arab states will proceed with normalization of their ties to Israel in parallel with progress in the negotiations to be held on the Palestinian and Syrian tracks.


Although a "regional " solution is an advance over just dealing with the PA, Israel will be adverse to discussing final status issues at this time, will not want to cede the Golan, uproot 100,000 Israelis, return to the pre '67 borders or permit the return of some refugees all of which are required by the Arab Peace Initiative. And she certainly will not want to accept "international security guarantees". There is a long history of international security forces not doing their job in Sinai and in Lebanon.


Iran and its proxies are dedicated to Israel's destruction as exemplified by Hamas' Charter [13] calling for same and President Ahmedinejad's speech [14] in 2005 to the conference, World without Zionism, in which he said "Israel must be wiped off the map". Don't think for a moment that the Arab Peace Initiative negates that goal. It merely brings the Arabs closer to it.


How so? The Arab Peace Initiative weakens Israel by requiring her to retreat to what Abba Eden called "Auschwitz borders". Were Israel forced to accept a significant number of refugees, said refugees would constitute a fifth column and diminish the Jewish majority. Finally if Israel were to retreat from the Golan and Judea and Samaria, she would be attacked from the land vacated just as she was, after retreating from Lebanon and Gaza. Israel must retain control of the Golan and Judea and Samaria in order to be secure.


This week the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) published a Report, [15] authored by former national security adviser Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Giora Eiland. It concludes that the "present border line is the only one affording plausible defense for the State of Israel." The Security establishment is even more adamant on the need to maintain a presence on the Jordan River and to maintain a security zone around Ben Gurion Airport and the Tel Aviv/Jerusalem highway.


If that is not enough, recent polls among Israelis [16] and Palestinians [17] have shown that both are strongly against a two-state solution.

Some suggest that the alternative to the Two-State Solution should be a bi-national single state. For Zionists, this is a non-starter. After all, the San Remo Conference in 1920, [18] awarded all of the Ottoman province of Palestine, including Trans Jordan to Jews. It decided in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine


This decision is binding in international law and thus the matter of who is entitled to Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem is res judicata. [19] Great Britain was responsible to execute this decision but violated it instead by awarding Trans Jordan, which amounted to 77% of the lands given to the Jews, to Abdullah bin Hussein. Thus Jordan was born at the expense of the Jewish homeland. In 1922 what was left of the original award was incorporated into the Palestine Mandate [20] which included the following recital

Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country;


Not only did the League of Nations recognize the historical connection of the Jewish people to the land but it also recognized that this was the grounds for reconstituting their national home there. Thus it recognized the right of the Jews to recreate their ancient homeland in Judea and Samaria. This flies totally in the face of Arab claims to the land. Furthermore, the "non-Jewish communities" i.e., Arabs and Christians, were protected as to "civil and religious rights" only, not political rights.


On June 30, 1922, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States unanimously endorsed the "Mandate for Palestine," confirming the irrevocable right of Jews to settle in the area of Palestine — anywhere between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. [21]. Thus it lies ill in the mouth for the U.S. to now deny Jews the right to settle the lands. It is the settlement freeze that's illegal, not the settlements.

Great Britain in violation of the spirit of the Mandate, restricted Jewish immigration, even during the Holocaust, and permitted immigration by Arabs. The Arab population doubled in size between 1922 and 1947. [22].


In 1947 the General Assembly of the United Nations, the successor to the failed League of Nations, passed the Partition Plan which proposed that two states, one Arab and one Jewish, be established. The General Assembly was thus violating the Mandate which had granted political rights only to Jews.


Nevertheless the Jews accepted it and formed their state, Israel, and the Arabs rejected it and invaded Israel. Thus Jewish rights to all the land remained intact. In no way can the so called Palestinians rightfully claim that Judea and Samaria (West Bank) are Palestinian lands. They are Jewish lands, recognized so by law.


Netanyahu has been clear. He won't commit to a two-state solution and he doesn't want to rule over the Palestinians. He wants to give them autonomy or limited sovereignty. .He is fully within his rights to do so. He deserves our full support.

The sooner we abandon the Arab Peace Initiative the better.

Ted Belman is a Canadian lawyer.

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.





[1] Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Speeches/Statement_by_incoming_FM_Avigdor_Liberman_1-Apr-2009.htm? DisplayMode=print


[3] Al-Sharq (Qatar), April 2, 2009.

[4] See MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 492, "An Escalating Regional Cold War — Part 1: The 2009 Gaza War," February 2, 2009,

[5] Saudi Arabia's capitulation to Syrian and Iranian pressure before and during the summit requires explanation, given that it followed long months, including the Gaza war period, during which Saudi Arabia remained committed to the peace initiative, and did not heed the calls to suspend or withdraw it. This change is perhaps attributable to one or more of the following factors: the unrest reported in Saudi Arabia in recent weeks; King 'Abdallah's weakness; a Saudi adjustment to U.S. President Barack Obama's policy of engagi ng Iran and Syria; and the electoral victory of the right wing in Israel. archives&Area=ia&ID=IA51009#_edn5

[6] Kissinger transcript

[7] Bush-Sharon letters of 2004

[8] The Arab Peace Initiative

[9] The Arab Peace Initiative: Offer for Peace or Ultimatum.

[10] War and Peace — and Deceit — in Islam

[11] Saudi Press Agency

[12] Haaretz

[13] Hamas Charter

[14] BBC Report

[15] Defensible Borders on the Golan Heights

[16] Maagar Mohot Survey Institute

[17] Fafo Institute

[18] San Remo Convention

[19] Howard Grief, Nativ

[20] The Palestine Mandate

[21] Myths and Facts

[22]. MidEastWeb


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