AlertNet which is part of Reuters has a story today about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refusing a US request to halt settlements in the occupied West Bank. There are a few things here that need to be looked at.
1. If giving up the West Bank would bring peace, where was that peace in 1967 when the Arabs had that land and attacked Israel anyway?
2. Why are we calling it the ‘occupied’ West Bank? Is Texas our ‘occupied’ southern border?
According to the article:
“Half a million Jews live in settlement blocs and smaller outposts built in the West Bank and Arab East Jerusalem, all territory captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East War.”
Does anyone remember that Israel was originally given that land? The Arab countries invaded Israel in 1948 (as soon as Israel became a nation) and took that land away from them. The borders of Israel today much more resemble the United Nations mandate than the borders of Israel before the 1967 war, why are we asking them to give land back that was taken away from them as soon as they became a country?
The above map is from the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
This is the land originally set aside for the nation of Israel at the San Remo Conference in 1920. A large part of that land was later given to Jordan. Has any other country in the world ever been treated so badly as to have had their promise of a homeland cut by more than half and then have the world ask that they give more of it up?
This is a map of Israel after the six-day war in 1967. This map is also from the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Sinai was given back to Egypt after the Israel-Egypt peace treaty in1979 following the Camp David Accords of 18 September 1978. There have not been terrorist attacks from Egypt in Israel since that time–in fact Egypt has done what it could to stop weapons smuggling into Gaza through tunnels in Egypt. That is the difference between what peace between Israel and Egypt is and what would not be peace between Israel and a country called Palestine.
Another thing we might remember is that when Israel is in charge of Jerusalem, all the religions of the world have access to their religious sites; when the Arabs were in charge of Jerusalem, Israelis did not have access to the wailing wall–one of their sacred sites–or other historic and religious sites. It seems as if both sides are not playing by the same rules.
Land for peace has not worked so far, why do we think it will work in the future?