Monday, March 02, 2009

MidEast: Peace in the Holy Land: An Op-Ed

'Peace in the Holy Land'
is the title of Nobel peace prize winner Jimmy Carter, the former President of the United States. Is it realistic? Is it biased? Can it be achieved? President Carter is now on the talk show circuit to try and publicize his book. His last book, "Palestine Peace Not Apartheid" was widely seen by those in and outside of the Jewish community as extremely biased against the Jewish state....

President Carter comes with a history. Yes, he did get Sadat and Begin to a peace treaty. No, the cold peace between Egypt and Israel hasn't been an overwhelming success.

I agree that we need a two state solution to the 'Palestine Problem', but as the last sixty years has proven, there can be no peace, until a piece of land has been given to both parties.

Starting the peace process using the 1967 borders is like balancing your checkbook without your bank statement. You can arrive at a solution, but the problem will not be resolved, because you don't have all the information you need to fix the problem.

I contend that ignoring the politics of the British Mandate period (1917-1948) is just like balancing your checkbook without all the information you need.

British Mandate policy on the territories it administered totally distorted and affected the entire Mideast. After defeating the Ottoman Empire in the 'Great War', Britain was charged with administering all the territories fairly for its people.

In this Britain totally failed. Sir Winston Churchill, in one of his earlier overseas postings made a mistake that stills reverberates to the current day. In a move which today looks strikingly partisan, Sir Winston (in 1924) gave one half of the entire Palestinian territory that Britain was "watching" to a person (in Jerusalem) that was giving him problems.

This land, which would later be called, "Trans-Jordan' has FIFTY percent of the land from the 'Palestinian Mandate', that the League of Nations authorized Britain to administer until new nations could be created there. This country (Trans-Jordan) is also the nation that annexed ALL of the land (25% of the original "mandate") designated to be the Arab Palestinian state by the U.N. resolution in 1948.

It's startling to think that "Sir Winston", so totally messed up the entire Mideast, with a simple proclamation in 1924.

One of the most important things all Jews can do is to: first learn more about this, and second, to demand that the borders of the two state solution be based on the U.N.'s 1948 Resolution. However, the most important step we need to take as Jews, is to demand that all Arab states ratify and accept the U.N. 1948 two state Resolution, and that there are two states there, Israel, and an Arab/Palestinian state.

In the eighty years since the British gave half of the proposed two states of Palestine/Israel away, it has been shown time and time again that the Arab countries (and its people) do NOT respect the right of the Jewish state to exist. It is futile for Jews to support a 1967 border. It is futile for Jews to support a 1956 border, or a 1980 border. The only way that the Jewish land can survive is if ALL of its people understand that the 1948 two state solution does the following:

  1. Establishes Two different states, an Arab/Palestinian state AND a Jewish State (Israel).
  2. Establishes two states with borders that are SUBSTANTIALLY different then the borders after the war.
  3. Establishes that a great deal of the PALESTINIAN state resides in what is now JORDAN.
  4. Forever will put to rest (since the Arab states will need to ratify this before getting their land) any question of a Jewish state existing (or not existing).
  5. Makes the question of Arab treatment of the Palestinian 'refugees' a question of second class treatment.. Why were the residents of the west bank in Refugee camps for twenty years under Arab rule? Where were the Human Rights activists then?

  6. To summarize, I believe that negotiations based on any borders except the 1948 borders will NOT lead to peace, will not lead to a cessation of violence, and are useless. This does not mean I do not want peace. I do. However, if the Arab world really wants Peace, they have to, 'put some blood' in the deal, and also make concessions. Israel has made many many concessions in the past (remember we occupied Sinai not once in 1967, but also in 1956 too, and were forced to give it back under threat by President Eisenhower) , but has not gotten peace for ANY of its concessions. Until the Arab world also has to feel pain, there will never be peace.

    This is my answer to George Mitchell, who also failed in 1991 to come to a fair and honorable peace.

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