Sunday, May 23, 2010

Red lines and the Green Line

Israel continues to march down the same dangerous path towards concessions and surrender. As proximity talks get under way, Palestinian demands and arrogance grows, without conceding anything towards Israel. They have made it clear that should the result of the talks not be to their liking, they will use all means at their disposal- economic, diplomatic and terror, to harm Israel.

Since the failure of the Oslo Accords, Israel's political establishment has committed itself towards the creation of a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria. With each subsequent Israeli administration, the supposed "red lines" which Israel would not cross under any circumstances have disappeared. While it was at one point understood that a Palestinian state in Israel's heartland is an existential threat to Israel's survival, today total commitment to this idea is a sign of political moderation. It was once clear that the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria were there to stay; now it is taken for granted by many that the Palestinian state will be judenrein. A repartitioned Jerusalem, once an idea rejected by even the most Left-wing Israelis, is now a subject for discussion.

Every Israeli retreat has whetted the Arab appetite for more Israeli concessions. The architects of the Oslo Accords sold the world and peace-craving Israelis on the necessity to create a second Arab entity in the territory of Mandatory Palestine (ignoring the fact that such a country already exists under the name 'Jordan'). Ehud Barak set the standard for maximum Israel withdrawal when he promised to retreat to Israel's 1949 armistice line. Ariel Sharon made the expulsion of Jews and the destruction of veteran settlements in Gaza a legitimate option. Ehud Olmert reinforced Barak's disastrous policies and capitulated on the last remaining settlements in Judea and Samaria. Because of this, Bibi has imposed a de facto building freeze in Jerusalem. A divided Jerusalem is now in the realm of possibility, with the help of the most anti-Israel American administration ever.

In the Israeli and Diaspora Jewish political spectrum, anyone who is to be considered a moderate favors the surrender of Judea and Samaria. This attitude is one that is leading Israel and the Jewish world to disaster. One cannot find a Jewish leader willing to speak up for the sake of Judea and Samaria. This must end.

It is commonly assumed by many moderate leftists that whatever falls within the pre-'67 Green Lines is Israeli territory while the territory past it is Arab. It must be made absolutely clear that the Green Line is not a border. It is simply where the Jordanian, Egyptian and Israeli armies marked an armistice in 1949. The Green Line marks a ceasefire, not a border. The only reason why what is inside is Jewish while what is outside is Arab is because the advancing Arab armies ethnically cleansed Judea and Samaria of its Jews. The concept of "East Jerusalem" is a result of the Jordanian expulsion of Jews from Jerusalem after they occupied the city in 1948. Jews built "settlements" after 1967 because Jewish communities were destroyed in 1948! Hebron had a Jewish community stretching from biblical times until 1929 when it was destroyed by Arab pogroms. The community of Kfar Etzion was razed when it fell to the Jordanians in 1948. Jews have had an unbroken presence in Judea and Samaria since biblical times, with the exception of the years between its occupation by Jordan in 1948 and its liberation by Israel in 1967. Jordan's illegal expulsion of Jews should not be enshrined under international law. The San Remo Conference and the Mandate for Palestine stipulate that the legal owners of Judea and Samaria are the Jewish people and therefore the Jewish state.

The conflict has never been about territory. It is ridiculous to assume that a return to the pre-'67 border will bring peace when there was no peace before 1967. The Arab states attacked Israel in 1967 to rectify the wrongs of the 1949 borders, which were the result of the Arab rejection of the UN 1947 partition lines. Beyond all of the talk about borders lies the cause of the first Arab assault against Israel in 1948: the refusal of the Arabs to recognize Israel's legitimate right to exist as a Jewish state.

The ultimate goal of the Arab states was laid out at the Palestinian national assembly in July 1968: “Our basic aim is to liberate the land from the Mediterranean to the Jordan. We are not concerned with what happened in June 1967 or with eliminating the consequences of the June war. The Palestinian revolution’s basic concern is uprooting the Zionist entity.” No Palestinian group has ever disavowed this objective, as seen by Mahmoud Abbas' most recent refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The aim of establishing a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria is merely one stage to the ultimate liberation of all of Palestine. The goal is to deprive Israel of strategic borders, to make the state indefensible, to demoralize and demonize it while slicing off parts of it bit by bit. Even the most moderate Palestinian and Arab leader is determined to swamp Israel with millions of hostile Arab refugees through the so-called "Right of Return", demographically putting an end to Israel as a Jewish state.

The Arabs hate Israel because it is a Jewish state, whether its borders be those of 1947, 1949 or 1967. To appease their hunger for destruction, Israel need not surrender Judea and Samaria, its biblical homeland. Every concession has increased Arab demands, while their greed has not abated one iota. When we surrender Judea and Samaria, we make Jerusalem a legitimate target for their aspirations. "Land for peace" is an enormous failure because the conflict has never been about land. When the Arabs want peace, Israel will give them it- for peace.

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