The Way Forward
By Ted Belman
In my article Why I hate the “peace process”, I set out in point form what is wrong with the peace process.
Bottom line is that it is a vehicle that the world community rides to force Israel to capitulate to Arab demands. Many people including Jews support the process and even support US pressure on Israel to make more concessions. Without making a further argument in support of my rejection and against their designs, I would like to identify certain facts which inform the reality upon which I base my ideas of the way forward.
1. Before the Oslo Accords, the Arabs living in Judea and Samaria had good relations with Israel. Israel provided schools for them and even universities. As a result, such Arabs, now called “Palestinians” had a better education than their Arab brethren in adjacent countries. Their standard of living was higher also and they weren’t dependent on the world for charity. Jews and Arabs mixed freely for the benefit of all.
2. Oslo changed all this. The US led the way in forcing Israel into a peace process by convening the Madrid Conference in 1991. No doubt it did so at the request of Saudi Arabia. Why, I don’t understand, because the US had just invaded Iraq to protect Saudi Arabia. It owed it nothing. As a result of the process that it started and kept pushing, Arafat and his PLO terrorists who had been exiled to Tunisia were invited into Israel to form the Palestinian Authority. This influx of terrorists enabled the terrorists to take over from the local Palestinians.
3. The authority given to the PA by the Oslo Accords, lead to an incessant diet of incitement to hate and violence. As a result, the peace process brought war not peace. This war has resulted in about 1700 Israeli deaths which is more than double per capita than the US suffered in the Vietnam War. Furthermore the US kept compounding the problem by its decision to
- arm and train the Palestinians
- restrain Israel in its self defense
- require that Israel not control the border between Gaza and Egypt thereby enabling the transfer of arms, munitions and terrorists from Sinai to Gaza
- insist on Hamas being allowed to contest the elections
- convene the Annapolis Conference which humiliated Israel
4. Hamas continues to arm and train for war and to fire daily rockets at Israel. Israel must deal with the problem sooner or later resulting in what’s been estimated at over 100 IDF fatalities. The longer it waits, the more the casualties. A Hudna, even if offered on terms acceptable, will only postpone the problem and enable it to become an even bigger problem.
5. The parties have been unable to agree on a settlement of the core issues despite 14 years of the peace process. Now both Evelyn Gordon and Yossi Alpher report that the gaps separating the parties are wider than ever. In my opinion they are unbridgeable no matter how much pressure may be applied.
So what’s to be done?
Israel must accept that the peace process is a deadend street, literally.
Judea and Samaria
Israel must abrogate Oslo and the PA. It must then return to the pre-Oslo days. This would involve expelling the terrorists, stopping the incitement, changing the school curriculum to one designed for peace not war, disarming the Palestinians and arranging for local leaders to maintain order. The Palestinians will then be rewarded for cooperation and progress by the lifting of roadblocks and by humanitarian relief as required.
Israel must pass a Constitution that declares Israel to be a Jewish state and ensures human and civil rights for all. The Palestinians should be entitled to citizenship after the elapse of 15 years (to enable their detoxification) providing they speak Hebrew, pledge allegiance and sign a loyalty oath. They should also be given financial incentives to emigrate if they so wish. National service, military or otherwise, should be a prerequisite to certain state benefits.
Israel must extend Israeli law to the Jordan, just as it did in Jerusalem and the Golan.
Israel should investigate whether Jordan is prepared to extend citizenship to the Palestinians as set out in the Elon Plan, but it should not depend on it.
Israel should immediately retake the Philidelphi Corridor to prevent smuggling. It should retake the norther five miles of Gaza to prevent rocket attacks on Ashkelon and vicinity. Similarly it should occupy whatever is needed to stop rocket attacks on Sderot. As for Gaza City, I leave that to the military to decide both when and how. It should be a military decision and not a political one.
At some future time say in five years after Israel’s policies have proven themselves in Judea and Samaria, Israel should do the same in Gaza.
The “right of return” should in no way be recognized.
This is the only way to peace. It is the only way forward