Israel is constantly being told by the mainstream media, academia, the European Union, non-governmental organizations and progressives that the current situation is unsustainable, and that Israel right now must make peace with its enemies. But that is a pipe dream, paternalistic and in fact sprinkled with an undercurrent of anti-Zionism. No one makes peace with its former enemies. In other words, one must defeat one’s enemies to achieve a full-fledged true peace. Otherwise, the conflict will fester.
Israel is the only nation that has not been allowed to finally defeat its enemies, and when it has emerged victorious in wars started by its enemies (1948, 1956, 1967, 1973), it has been the losers (i.e., the Palestinian Arabs), who have been allowed in international forum and the media to sue for peace.
Yet the world continues to push for a historic peace deal—one the Trump administration characterizes as the “deal of the century.” However, such “deals” are not impressive to a people who has been in its ancient home for 3,500 years and has survived in the Diaspora when it has been expelled.
According to news reports, the White House peace team has been working on the special plan for two years—and U.S. President Donald Trump wants it published between December 2018 and February 2019.
But it takes two sides to make a “deal.” The Jewish people and Israel have agreed to a Palestinian state living side-by-side next to it west of the Jordan River six times since 1937, and each and every time the offers have been rejected, spurned and resulted in so-called “counteroffers” of war, violence, terrorism and attacks, not of peace. Israeli Prime Minister Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has laid out a simple formula: Israel will recognize a Palestinian state if the Palestinian Arabs will recognize that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people. Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas have categorically rejected this. Again, no counteroffer.
In fact, Abbas and his representatives in Ramallah have radicalized their people against Israeli officials to a point where meeting or doing business with them is tantamount to treason. The P.A. continues to spew hatred of Jews and Israel in its mosques, schools, camps, media and charters, naming streets and plazas for its murderers of Israelis, and incentivizing its people to kill Jews in a sick program known as “pay to slay.” Normalization of relations is strictly forbidden because this is seen as ending the conflict prematurely, which won’t occur until “all of Palestine is liberated.”
This is why Abbas does not and cannot return to the negotiating table with Israel and also why Abbas cannot change his position towards the Trump administration. Moreover, Abbas has limited clout in the long-term: he is an ailing 83 years old man who is serving the 14th year of his elected four-year term as president, and rules only half of the Palestinian Arabs. The other half, in Gaza, is ruled by the murderous Hamas (the Muslim Brotherhood), whose charter calls for the genocide of all Jews.
The Palestine Liberation Organization has admitted that the Palestinian Arabs are moving on three levels to thwart Trump’s impending plan: collecting worldwide backing for opposition to the plan (sight unseen); rallying all Palestinian Arabs against it; and opposing any normalization of relations between Arab countries and Israel (a thaw that has been happening as Gulf States and others see Israel as a bulwark in their fight against a common enemy: the hegemonic, nuclear weapons-acquiring Iran).
Of course, if Palestinian Arabs spent even a fraction of their time and effort trying to build up their state institutions, imposing reforms, democracy and accountability—rather than trying to destroy Israel—they might actually do something good for their own people. But the proof is in the pudding: the Palestinian Authority leadership is focusing its energies on obstructing the U.S. peace plan because it will presumably involve compromise and demand the end of the conflict with Israel. Unfortunately, the two Palestinian Arab governments—in Judea-Samaria and the Gaza Strip—are far from interested in doing something potentially positive for their own people, which might improve their living conditions. Instead, these regimes are engaged in a struggle to the death over authority, power and money, which is only supplanted by their hatred of the Jews.
And yet it is Israel that is expected to roll over and prostrate itself, and make painful concessions for peace under such circumstances? Only in the fantasy mind of its detractors, whose envy and jealousy of the Jews and their state know no bounds. The “Goliath” are the 22 Arab states with 400 million people versus the “David” of Israel, the lone state of the Jewish people, with a population of 6.8 million whose size is 1/56th of the Arabs. There can be no “land for peace” deals. Israel has seen that movie since its folly of leaving Gaza in 2005; it ends with a terrorist launching pad, failed “mini-state” by a murderous Muslim organization, with tens of thousands of rockets and missiles aimed and fired at Israeli communities.
Now is certainly not the time to impose any such “deal of the century.” That will simply invite more war, terrorism, violence and hate. The best solution for now: manage the situation until such time as the Palestinian Arabs can accept Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people within secure borders—and end the conflict.
Lee Bender is the co-author of the book, “Pressing Israel: Media Bias Exposed From A-Z;” author of dozens of published articles; co-founder of the website www.factsonisrael.com; and co-president of the Zionist Organization of America-Philadelphia Chapter.