Monday, July 9, 2007

The Flaw in the Land for Peace Concept

This headline, Arab League to visit Israel, caught my attention...

This article talks about the Arab League sending envoys to Israel to discuss an Arab "Peace initiative" which I think is flawed in its very core.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said the foreign ministers
would lead an Arab League mission to Israel to discuss the Arab peace plan,
which would trade full Arab recognition of Israel for an Israeli withdrawal from all lands captured in the 1967 Mideast war and
the creation of a Palestinian state.

This is wrong. It is flawed to exchange something real and physical like land for something non tangible and vague like recognition. What does recognition even really mean? How can you say you don't recognize us if you're willing to talk to us about recognition?
We exist, whether they like it or not. This is not a matter of discussion. In my opinion, giving weight to their non-recognition of us gives them the power to play with us. It's a negotiation chip. They'll trade us recognition for something, but through that negotiation we will have actually gotten nothing.

The very act of party A negotiating with party B for recognition of party B implies the acknowledged existence of party B by party A, therefore the whole negotiation is futile.

The whole concept of land for peace is ridiculous. These disputed lands, we got them because THEY broke the peace. Had they not decided to wage war against us (I realize this is a very general THEY) then these lands would have never been in our hands. So we should reward both their war initiation and their losing the war by giving them land? If we had lost the Six-Day War, would we even have the option of negotiating anything? We would have been dead.

The concept of land for peace is flawed at the root. This is because in exchange of land, a physical tangible thing, we get back a concept, an idea, a warm fuzzy-wuzzy feeling which we hope is shared with our counterparts, but have no way of ever really knowing.
By this Israel pays for something which was rightfully hers from the beginning, the notion of peace.
Peace is not something which can be achieved in a day, there is no "On/Off" button for peace. It is achieved over time, with a respective cooperation of some sort (One which, I would imagine, would be ensured in a fair peace negotiation). Land can be given in one day, it does have that immediate property which can change in an instant from "ours" to "theirs".
On the other hand, if one day peace is achieved, it can disappear in a moment. The concept of peace can be erased with one movement. But the land given for this peace would then remain in their hands.
At this point, Israel will have lost everything and gained nothing.

"This is the first time the Arab League is coming to Israel," Regev said.
"From its inception the Arab League has been hostile to Israel. It will be the
first time we'll be flying the Arab League flag."

So they already won something. We're flying their flag. Are they flying ours?

And then the article talks of another part of the peace proposal, which in and of itself proves that this "peace proposal" is nothing more than a Trojan horse.

Israel has welcomed aspects of the plan, while rejecting its call for a
return of all of the West Bank and an implied demand to resettle within Israeli
borders the Palestinian families who became refugees from the 1948 war that
followed Israel's creation.

The refugees issue has always angered me. Not only the issue itself, but the world's blindness to what it means.
First the issue itself:

  1. Even though about 680,000 people of Arab descent became refugees at the time of Israel's creation, most of them did so without ever seeing an Israeli soldier. Had they decided to stay, they would have been part of today's Israeli Arab population. These people have become refugees in their respective host countries, and have remained so for almost sixty years. We are now three or four generations later.
    At about the same time, about 1,5 million Jews were forced or threatened out of Arab countries throughout the Middle East. About 600,000 were resettled in the newly established Israel (the others fled to Europe or the United States).
  2. These "Palestinian" refugees have lived in squalor ever since becoming refugees. One of the distinguishing marks of poverty is having many children per family. They excelled at that. Oddly enough descendants are also refugees, making them the only population on earth whose refugee status seems to be hereditary.
    If you would compare to other situations, this would mean that I, as a descendant of four European Jews displaced during WWII, would still be qualified as a Polish refugee, just as my grandparents were for a few years after WWII.
    I am sorry, but children, grandchildren, and whatever the ensuing family tree might be, they ARE NOT refugees. Of the original 680,000 refugees, how many are left? This is the only number that should be considered.
  3. Obviously, having 8 kids per family or what not has increased their population to 3 or 4 million (I lost count). They are asking to relocate these 3-4 million refugees back in Israel. Since Israel is a democracy, a sudden increase of its Muslim population will make sure that the only Jewish country in the world will de facto no longer be Jewish. Why would they propose such a thing under the guise of a "peace proposal"? It's a sure death of Israel as we know it, and that is what they really want to achieve.

But the point that really angers me, and that no one seems to talk about, is the absurdity of this claim.

This claim, to return 4 million Palestinian "refugees" in Israel, is claimed and repeated in parallel with the claim for a Palestinian country. What do they need a Palestinian country for if the plan is for them all to be relocated in Israel? Why do they need to return to Israel if they have a Palestinian country? Isn't this an obvious attempt to erase Israel? Either from the outside, by creating a terrorist state as a neighbor, or from the inside, by eliminating the unique Jewish identity of the country through demographics.

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