Originally Posted by blucher
If Israel is sincere about peace they need to give up the notion that more land or the US will save them. Give up all that is fair but insist Arab states openly recognize Israel's right to exist.
In 1945, when the horrors of the Holocaust were fully known, Islamic nations in North Africa and the Middle East, with British encouragement, established the Arab League. The League was purportedly designed to foster Arab unity, but its main purpose was to oppose Jewish immigration and the State of Israel.
In November 1947 the United Nations proposed partitioning Palestine into separate Arab and Jewish nations united in an economic union with Jerusalem being under international control. The Jews accepted the plan, the Arabs did not even though the plan gave the Jews only about six thousand square miles. In the subsequent anti-Semitic violence the British, still responsible for law and order, often sided with the Arabs to the point of disarming the Jews.
Violence continued through May 1948 when the Jews declared their independence in accordance with the U.N.'s partition plan. But Egypt, Syria, Transjordan, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia declared war and invaded. The Israelis fought off the invaders and gained about two thousand additional square miles of land before the U.N. imposed a cease-fire.
During the war many Arab non-combatants fled at the urging of Arab leaders, but Israel urged these non-combatants to stay. Some of the refugees fled to regions, which would be part of the Arab state under the U.N. plan. These regions included the Gaza Strip and West Bank. But Egypt annexed the Gaza Strip in 1948 and Jordan invaded the West Bank during the war and annexed the region in 1950.
Following the establishment of Israel many of the 870,000 Jews living in Arabic nations, in settlements dating back as much as 2,500 years, fled increasing persecution, abandoned all of their property and sought refuge in Israel. These Jews became an integral part of Israeli society. But many Arab governments insisted on maintaining the refugee status of the nearly equal number of Arabs who had fled Israel.
In April 1949 Israel offered to repatriate 100,000 Arab refugees, but the Arab nations rejected the plan. The Arabs also refused to allow the permanent settlement of these refugees in Sinai, Jordan and Syria.
Even after their defeat in Israel's War of Independence Israel's neighbors continued in their anti-Semitic hostility. Jordan refused to allow the Jews to enter or worship in Jerusalem's Old City, and following the cease-fire that ended the War of Independence the entire territory under Israeli control was within range of Jordanian artillery. At one place the distance between the Mediterranean Sea and the Israeli/Jordanian border was only nine miles. Israel was under a continual threat that Jordan would invade and divide Israel in two, making the nation's survival impossible.
Terrorism against Israel continued into the 1950s. Egypt blockaded the Gulf of Akaba closing Israel's Red Sea trade routes to East Africa, Southeast Asia and Japan.
Continued border troubles lead to a second Arab-Israeli War in October 1956. Israel seized the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula and had reached the Suez Canal when the U.N. again imposed a cease-fire and deployed a peacekeeping force. Israel had to give up the Sinai and watch Egypt re-occupy the Gaza Strip, but it still had no guaranteed right to use the Red Sea, no recognition of its right to exist and no peace from its Islamic neighbors.
The Israeli-Syrian border was a scene of constant violence from 1948 to 1967 as Syria attacked Israeli settlements with artillery and machine gun fire. In 1967 Syria, at the urging of the Arab League, made plans to divert the headwaters of the Jordan River- Israel's only source of fresh water. Israel responded by destroying Syria's earthmoving equipment.
Throughout their nation's entire modern history the Jews have used force only when threatened with open hostility. Over 160,000 Arabs either remained in Israel during 1948 or returned in 1949. Arabs living in Israel have full voting rights and can elect members to Israel's parliament. Both Hebrew and Arabic are official languages of Israel. In 1960 Israel had a population of two and half million; the Arab League had a population of ninety-six million. And in 1966 Israel ended military government in all Arab regions of Israel.
But in response to Israel's peaceful intentions its Islamic neighbors formed a united military command in 1967 and massed their armies on Israel?s borders. The Arabs had 547,000 troops to Israel's 264,000. The Arabs had 2,504 tanks to Israel's 800. The Arabs had 957 combat aircraft to Israel's 300.
When Egyptian president Nasser ordered the U.N. peacekeeping troops to leave in 1967, Israel launched the Six Day War. Israel again gained the Gaza Strip and Sinai. Israel also captured the Golan Heights from Syria and took the West Bank and the Old City of Jerusalem from Jordan. For the first time in almost 2,000 years the Jews controlled the Temple Mount, their holiest site- but they have made no effort to rebuild their temple or even remove the Islamic mosque that sits on the site.
Following the Six Day War Israeli opinion as to what to do with the new territory was widely divided. The Old City of Jerusalem was formally annexed and a 1980 Israeli law declared Jerusalem to be Israel?s complete and united capital. Israel did annex the Golan Heights, but not until 1981.
Following the Six Day War the Jews still offered peace. Many Israelis wanted the Arabic inhabitants of the West Bank to remain and assimilate into Israeli society, but the ?Palestinians? responded to the Six Day War, not with calls for negotiation, not with calls for peace, nor with pledges for Israel?s right to exist, but with the formation of Yasser Arafat?s terror group the PLO and attacks on the usual targets- schools, buses, markets and airports.
In 1973 Egypt and Syria joined in launching a surprise attack against Israel on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. It took Israel three weeks to contain the attacks and when the United States sent military aid to Israel, Islamic oil producing nations launched an embargo against the United States that for all intents and purposes ruined America?s economy for the better part of the decade. The oil boycott and Democrat Jimmy Carter?s later failure to effectively deal with Iran (another of Israel?s implacable enemies) lead to double-digit inflation, which many Americans are too young to remember.
In 1979 Israel and Egypt came to peace terms. Israel withdrew from the Sinai. But so far Egypt is the only Islamic nation to recognize Israel?s right to exist. In 1982 Israel, under the generalship of now prime minister Ariel Sharon, drove the PLO into Lebanon. The Israeli government, hoping for peace, allowed Arafat to flee. The result was simply the re-organization of the PLO and a renewal of terrorism.
Throughout their history Palestinians have murdered scores of American citizens, but the Clinton administration legitimized Arafat by recognizing him as a head of state. As part of the Oslo peace agreement Israel accepted self-rule and eventual independence for a Palestinian state in the West Bank in exchange for peace and recognition of Israel?s right to exist. Israel withdrew from some of the West Bank and yet the terrorism continues.
In all of the fighting and political negotiations one thing has been lost. Palestine has never existed as a country and Palestinians have never existed as a people. The Islamic inhabitants of the so-called occupied territories are Arabic. They worship the Arabic God, speak the Arabic language and read Arabic books and newspapers. Unlike the Jews, the Palestinians do not have a distinct nationality, ethnicity, or culture. Yasser Arafat himself was actually Egyptian. The only people that has ever occupied an independent nation in the region popularly called Palestine, either in the present or the most remote past, is the Israelis. Not until World War I did the Arab inhabitants of Palestine ask for their own nation state and when it was offered in 1948 they waged war on their Jewish neighbors. Neither Egypt, nor Jordan offered the Palestinians a homeland when they had the opportunity. The Jews are willing to offer such independence in exchange for peace, but the Palestinians, and their Islamic allies, offer nothing but blood in return.