Image: A Palestinian man making the traditional Middle-Eastern symbol for peace.
Cal Thomas writes that the failure to understand that the Arabs are more interested in destroying the Jewish state than building a Palestinian one has "been the fundamental flaw in American foreign policy for decades". The American government simply does not understand that the goal of the so-called Palestinians is not to create a 23rd Arab state but rather the elimination of the Jewish state, and the massacre of its people. For those who would dispute this honest assessment of the conflict, a look at the history that is all too often ignored, denied and revised, is in order.
In July 1922, the League of Nations entrusted Great Britain with the Mandate for Palestine. Recognizing "the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine," Great Britain was charged with supporting the establishment of a Jewish national homeland in the Land of Israel. Shortly thereafter, the British severed four-fifths of Mandatory Palestine from the Jewish people in order to create a new Arab entity, Transjordan. The Arabs now had one state in eastern Palestine, and the remaining fifth on the west bank of the Jordan would be divided among Arabs and Jews. If the goal of the Arabs had been to have a state, four-fifths of Palestine would have sufficed.
Following WWII, seeking a solution for the refugees of Hitler's Final Solution, the UN established a Special Commission on Palestine (UNSCOP). The Commission recommended the division of Palestine, with the Jewish majority areas becoming part of a Jewish state, while Arab majority areas would be part of an Arab state. On November 29, 1947, the UN adopted this partition plan, giving Jews a tiny, disconnected piece of land, severed from the holy city of Jerusalem. Despite being unsatisfied with the dimensions of this new state, Jews worldwide rejoiced in the knowledge that for the first time in 2000 years, there would be an independent Jewish state in the Land of Israel. The Arabs, on the other hand, rejected any notion of compromise. The chairman of the Arab Higher Committee said the Arabs would "fight for every inch of their country." Two days later, the holy men of Al-Azhar University in Cairo called on the Muslim world to proclaim a jihad (holy war) against the Jews. Jamal Husseini, the Arab Higher Committee's spokesman, had told the UN prior to the partition vote the Arabs would drench "the soil of our beloved country with the last drop of our blood . . . ." Following the UN vote, the Arabs called a general strike and rioting followed. Immediately after the declaration of the State of Israel, one million Arab soldiers from 5 Arab armies invaded, their intentions quite clear. Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab League, made clear that this was not a conflict about the territory or land: "This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades." If the Arabs had wanted a "Palestinian" state in 1948, they would have accepted Partition. Instead, they went to war and were defeated.
From 1948 to 1967, Judea, Samaria and Gaza were under illegal Jordanian and Egyptian control. This would have been a perfect time for the "Palestinians" to fight for their independence, yet not such thing happened, especially since there wasn't even a concept of a "Palestinian" people before the 1960s! Right before the Six Days War, the Arab rhetoric against Israel reached a fever pitch, and again, the aim of the Arab armies was not the creation of a "Palestinian" state. As Nasser told the United Arab Republic National Assembly March 26, 1964: "Israel and the imperialism around us, which confront us, are two separate things. There have been attempts to separate them, in order to break up the problems and present them in an imaginary light as if the problem of Israel is the problem of the refugees, by the solution of which the problem of Palestine will also be solved and no residue of the problem will remain. The danger of Israel lies in the very existence of Israel as it is in the present and in what she represents."
In 2000, at the Camp David Accords, Ehud Barak made the most generous offer any Israeli prime minister ever made to Yasser Arafat. He offered to withdraw from 90 percent of the West Bank and 100 percent of the Gaza Strip. In addition, he agreed to dismantle 63 isolated settlements. In exchange for the 5 percent annexation of the West Bank, Israel would increase the size of the Gaza territory by roughly a third. Israel would also agree to the division of Jerusalem, with east Jerusalem becoming the capital of Palestine, and allow the Palestinians sovereignty over the Temple Mount and Muslim holy sites. At the time, Prince Bandar ibn Sultan, the ambassador of Saudi Arabia, who was present when this offer was made said: “If Arafat does not accept what is available now, it won’t be a tragedy, it will be a crime.” Arafat rejected this most generous offer, presented no counter proposal and instead went home to stir up the Oslo War, popularly known as the Second Intifada. As always, the Arabs presented their goal quite explicitly. "We plan to eliminate the state of Israel and establish a purely Palestinian state. We will make life unbearable for Jews by psychological warfare and population explosion. . . . We Palestinians will take over everything, including all of Jerusalem,” Arafat explained. What about peace? “Peace for us means the destruction of Israel. We are preparing for an all-out war, a war which will last for generations.”
In 2005, Israel decided to completely evacuate its soldiers and citizens from the Gaza Strip. This would give the Palestinians a chance to build a viable society there, on the road to a Palestinian state. Israel presented the Palestinians with the state-of-the-art greenhouses that had made Gush Katif such a successful agricultural enterprise. The Palestinians, instead, destroyed them, as well as desecrated synagogues left behind by the Jewish residents. Rather than work for peace, Hamas, a terrorist organization which aims to destroy Israel, was elected. They used the former Jewish towns as rocket launch sites, using them as bases to attack southern Israeli towns like Sderot and Ashkelon. If the Palestinians had truly wanted a state, they had a golden opportunity to demonstrate this after 2005, when "Israeli occupation" could no longer serve as an excuse in Gaza.
After ending his term as prime minister, Ehud Olmert offered details of his secret "final deal" proposal to Abbas. Olmert claimed to have offered "to make concessions more painful than those offered by Ehud Barak at Camp David.” Olmert offered the eviction of thousands of Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria, as well as the redivision of Jerusalem. "There was one point when I put things on the table and offered Abbas something that had never been offered and dealt with the crux of the problem, with the most sensitive issues that touch the most exposed nerves and historical obstacles," Olmert said during conference in Herzliya. "I told him – 'let's sign.' It was half a year ago and I'm still waiting," he said. Of course, no deal was reached.
Much has been written about the supposed Saudi peace proposal of 2002. This plan is "quid, but no quo", to quote Thomas. Israel must surrender Judea and Samaria, expel half a million Jewish residents, and return to its indefensible pre-67 "Auschwitz borders". Israel must redivide Jerusalem, removing hundreds of thousands of Jewish residents from their homes. Israel must also surrender the Golan Heights, liberated from illegal Syrian occupation in a defensive war. Israel must also allow itself to be flooded with millions of Arab refugees who fled during the War of Independence and the Six Day War, making Jews a minority in their own country and effectively marking the end of Israel as a Jewish state. All of these painful compromises all for the Arabs recognizing the simple fact that the State of Israel has existed for 61 years. Of course, there is no reason for most of these Arab states not to be at peace with Israel now, since Israel does not hold the territory of any of them, nor does it pose any threat to them.
The goal of the Arabs has never been "a Palestinian" state. As Arafat explained, it is a Trojan-horse plan to make Israel withdraw to indefensible borders and weaken it, as a first stage to its elimination. This is the main difference between the "extremist" Hamas and the "moderate" Fatah: Fatah still believes in a two-state solution as a means to destroy Israel. Article 12 of the Fatah Charter makes it abundantly clear that they have no interest in compromise with Israel: "Complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence." The Hamas Charter also negates compromise: "The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine has been an Islamic Waqf throughout the generations and until the Day of Resurrection, no one can renounce it or part of it, or abandon it or part of it... The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him! "
Again and again, the Arabs have announced their intentions. A Palestinian state would not change the generations of Arabs raised on a steady diet of hate, the demonization of Jews and anti-semitism displayed in the Islamic media. It would not change the insatiable Arab desire to destroy the State of Israel, but only encourage it, interpreting compromise as weakness. Israel has made the mistake of believing the Arab lies before- let us hope that we learn from history.