By Ken Abramowitz, President & Founder, SaveTheWest
See the sources for this article and more research in the Additional Reading section.
The Trump administration has claimed that it will introduce a “Deal of the Century” peace plan. (See my previous assessment of this prospective plan here.) The administration is seeking to fund a compromise solution that has eluded the two sides in this dispute — the Jewish state of Israel, and the Palestinian Authority (P.A.), which aspires for its own state, atop all of Israel — for over 70 years. Unfortunately, the gap between the sides is very wide.
Israel seeks ironclad guarantees that the Palestinian “governments” in the West Bank (Judea-Samaria) and the Gaza Strip will publicly declare, and affirm in writing, that they will stop:
- Indoctrinating their children to believe their highest religious duty is to kill Jews and steal their land; below is one compilation of examples of this:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has publicly expressed a willingness to accept a demilitarized Palestinian state, but he is unwilling to abandon any Israeli communities in Judea-Samaria.
The P.A., in contrast, has demanded a Palestinian state in Judea-Samaria (what they call “The West Bank”), and to designate Jerusalem as its capital. Further, the P.A. has publicly stated that:
- No Jews may live in Judea-Samaria (including Jerusalem), implying the displacement of nearly 500,000 Jewish residents
- No deal can proceed without the return to Israel of all of the descendants of refugees (Jordanian and Arab Muslims) from 70 years ago, along with all their descendants, estimated at 4-5 million people (from 700,000 original refugees)
- That Jews not only have no connection to the land, the P.A. will not allow their “filth” to despoil Jerusalem or the future Palestinian state; below is P.A. chairman Mahmoud Abbas claiming:
“The Al-Aqsa [Mosque] is ours… and they have no right to defile it with their filthy feet. We will not allow them to, and we will do everything in our power to protect Jerusalem… We bless every drop of blood that has been spilled for Jerusalem, which is clean and pure blood, blood spilled for Allah, Allah willing. Every Martyr (Shahid) will reach Paradise, and everyone wounded will be rewarded by Allah.” – Mahmoud Abbas
Some important questions at this point:
- How can well-intentioned U.S. negotiators bridge this enormous gap?
- How can the Israeli government make more peace offers, when every previous major concession it’s made to the P.A. were rejected?
- How could the P.A. make concessions when elements of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) — a notorious terrorist gang — would violently object, and P.A. rivals like Hamas (an extensions of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organization) and Hezbollah (a proxy of Iran, the world’s largest Islamist terror state), both of which would use any concessions as an excuse to violently take over the P.A.? [UPDATE 10/16: ‘PA elections will result in Hamas taking over the West Bank’ – Israel Hayom]
It’s worth keeping in mind that recently, a senior official of Hamas openly declared that Jews should be exterminated – not just in Israel or disputed territories, but all over the world. This did not come out of nowhere — it is in Hamas’s founding document. How is Israel supposed to negotiate “peace” with those who are openly sworn to Jews’ extermination?
The answer is simple: Israel should decide what is its own self-interest, and “just do it.” It should seek U.S. approval or acquiescence, as Israel and U.S. interests rarely diverge. Here are several steps that should be taken by Israel, soon:
(1) Israel should finally take total control over the educational system (including UNRWA) in Eastern Jerusalem, by imposing the curriculum taught in the Arab-Israeli schools.
(2) Israel should annex the Jordan Valley (20% of Judea/Samaria), to protect its eastern border with a Jordan.
(3) Israel should annex Area C (40% of Judea/Samaria) which incorporates most of the Jews’ biblical heritage on that land, and which contains over 200,000 Israeli citizens, while removing illegal Arab settlements in the area.
As Prof. Jason Hill of DePaul University recently wrote in an article entitled, “The Moral Case For Israel Annexing The West Bank—And Beyond”:
The Palestinian terror war Fatah launched after the 2000 Camp David Peace Summit and unilaterally accepted by the Palestinian people places them in a precarious position. Whatever actions Israel or any of her allies take against them in a war against terror are their responsibility, and are moral. A people that overwhelmingly approves of their terrorist leaders cannot be made to become citizens of any civilized country such as Israel. No moral or political distinctions must be made between Fatah, Hamas, and the people who elect and or support them. No constituted people responsible for the election and appointment of terrorist actors can or should be entrusted with the responsibility of voting.
The key point is that the U.S. and other Western nations have no obligation to wait indefinitely for Islamist dictatorships to compromise, which they are institutionally incapable of making, in any case. Furthermore, the P.A. is supported by surrounding Islamist dictatorships that are also incapable of compromising on what they falsely claim to be Muslim lands.
So why wait?
It is finally time for Israel (and the U.S.) to act in their own self-interest. No concessions to the P.A. are warranted. Any concessions would merely reward the P.A. for its historical intransigence.