Monday, March 31, 2014

Back to Square One

cross posted from TbT (Truth be Told) by Zvi Haris Green   - 

US Secretary of State, John Kerry’s tireless efforts to energize a peace process between Israel and her Arab neighbors seem destined for failure and only because of Mohammed Abbas’ refusal to recognize Israel as the National State of the Jewish people. Such recognition is fundamental to any just and lasting peace. Without it, there can be no real peace. For the peace process to move forward, both de jure and de facto recognition of Israel by the Arab world is essential.
How can the Arab leadership “sell” any deal to their people if they, themselves, don’t believe the Jewish people have a right to establish their National State within negotiated borders? What moral right will they have to call on their citizens to lay down their arms? How will they justify ending the hate speech, inflammatory rhetoric and incitement against Israel? By not recognizing Israel’s right to exist as a National State, Israel will continue to be perceived as an occupying power. Without de jure recognition the peace process can’t survive. Hostilities and incitement will resume immediately after any negotiated concessions are implemented.
We have, of course, already been there.
On November 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 181 calling for the establishment of two National States in what remained of the British Mandate of Palestine. The Jews implemented this resolution and established a state which guarantees full civil rights to all its citizens regardless of race, religion or creed. The Arabs refused to accept this resolution and declared war on Israel. Following cessation of hostilities, Jordan annexed that part of the territory not controlled by Israel – an act regarded as illegal by the international community including the Arab League.
The Arabs never attempted to establish an independent Arab state in these territories. They may not have been satisfied with their slice of the cake, but, by the same token, the proposed Partition Plan fell way short of Jewish aspirations after 78% of the territory earmarked by the Balfour Declaration and endorsed by the League of Nations for the establishment of a Jewish National State, was consumed by the Trans Jordan Protectorate which later became the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
If only the Arab world had a leader of Nelson Mandela’s stature. Somebody who could appreciate the significance of a historic reconciliation between Jews and Arabs. Imagine how many lives and how much bloodshed and suffering could have been saved had the Arabs complied with UN Resolution 181. Billions of dollars that could have been spent on education, health and social services, were spent creating sophisticated military infrastructures.
Why can’t the Arab leadership get their act together and take the necessary decisions to enable a lasting peace for all the peoples of the region?

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