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More concessions to the Palestinians? Do concessions run on a one way street?
November 27, 2010
More concessions to the Palestinians?
Pamela Levene, Saturday, November 27, 2010
We tried it your way, Mr. President.
Israel is called intransigent when not acceding to President Obama’s demands to make more concessions to the Palestinians. What about the concessions we already made?
In 1917 Britain declared that Palestine should be a national home for the Jewish people.
Then France took control of part of Palestine, which became Syria (Arab). A second part became the Kingdom of Jordan (Arab). Britain took another part and retained the name Palestine (Jews and Arabs).
In 1947, the UN voted for a two state division of Palestine. This would happen the following year, as the British gave up their mandate.
The Jews conceded. The Arabs embarked on a war of attrition which became a full blown war when the British left and the State of Israel gained independence, May 1948.
Israel lost the Old City of Jerusalem to the Jordanians. The Jewish holiest places were out of bounds. Not a single UN resolution protested this violation of the religious freedom of the Jewish people.
Gaza was in the hands of the Egyptians.
The Syrians were in control of the Golan Heights, an area comprising less than 1% of Syrian lands.
Jerusalem The Jewish majority in the Old City were expelled from their homes which, together with 68 synagogues were systematically destroyed. For 19 years not one Jew was allowed to enter the city to visit the Temple Mount or pray at the holiest sites. Jordanians patrolled the walls of the Old City and randomly shot at the houses beyond.
Jews driven out of the Old City built new lives in their ancient homeland, alongside Holocaust survivors and thousands of Jewish refugees from Arab lands.
The Gaza Strip festered for 19 years under Egyptian rule. Refugee camps were maintained for Arabs who had fled from Israel and a new generation was born into deprivation and was taught hatred. The refugee camps became a breeding ground for terrorists.
The Golan Heights All Jewish villages were destroyed. Little new building went on. However planting was carried out with zeal. The crop would be death, the planting was land-mines. Syrian soldiers posted on the Golan Heights had a clear view of the Sea of Galilee and the kibbutzim along its shore.
For 19 years the kibbutz farmers worked under the guns of the Syrians. Children spent more nights in shelters than in their own homes. Fishermen on the Sea of Galilee risked their lives to bring home their catch.
In 1967 five Arab countries went to war against Israel.
They lost the war and they lost lands.
Under Israel’s control, Jerusalem became an open city to all faiths.
Gaza opened up and many Arabs found work in Israel. Jews lived in Gaza and the economy flourished.
Vines were planted instead of mines on the Golan Heights and kibbutz children no longer slept in shelters.
The Arabs tried again to destroy Israel in 1973. Again they failed.
So they decided on another tactic – peace negotiations. To take by manipulation what they could not take by force.
In 1995 a peace treaty was signed, and the bombings escalated. Thousands of Israelis lost their lives in buses, cafes, malls and discotheques while people like Thomas Friedman suggested that to make the peace stick Israel should give more.
In 2005 Israel pulled out completely from Gaza but left the multi-million dollar green-houses. . The Palestinians destroyed them. Egypt has a border with Gaza – apparently food and regular supplies can’t make it but arms and weapons come through on a daily basis! To date, 11,000 rockets have rained down on Israel and children once more cower in shelters. When Israel launched a short sharp attack in 2009 to destroy terrorist bases, the UN condemned Israel.
In Israel today Muslims, Jews, Christians all live and worship in Jerusalem. The 70,000 Arabs who remained in Israel in 1948 prospered. In 2010 their numbers have swelled to 1,400,000.
Israel is told to give up the Golan Heights because this MIGHT bring peace with Syria. Forgive my being obtuse but what exactly would Israel gain in return for handing over the Golan Heights to the Syrians? At present the Syrians on the other side of the Golan Heights go about their business without any threat. The Israelis enjoy a peaceful and safe border. Things are blooming. The Druse community grows apples; the Jews grow cherries and grapes. President Obama suggests that for the sake of peace Israel should make more concessions. Name a single concession the Syrians or Palestinians have made.
Thousands of new Palestinian homes are being built in the disputed territories and yet no-one suggests that this is an obstacle to peace talks. The Palestinians should be held to the same restrictions as the Israelis.
Why not demand the Palestinians put a freeze on their building?
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