Thursday, September 21, 2006

A real peace proposal for the Middle East



As I promised you yesterday, there is a way to achieve peace in the Arab Israeli conflict..or at least reveal what the real obstacles are, as opposed to the PR. Believe it or not, the solution is in the so-call Saudi Peace Plan of 2002, which has been endorsed by every member of the Arab League.

Now, I could be cynical (and I have been) over the real motivations of the Saudi plan..but I think the time has come for Israel to take this seriously, as an opening gambit to resolve the Arab Israeli conflict and respond in kind.

The Arab-Israeli conflict has been used as a rationale for Muslim attacks on the west for 60 years. Are the Arab nations serious about resolving it - or is it just an excuse and a means of hoodwinking their own people and gullible westerners?

It's time we found out.

I doubt Ehud Olmert has either the intelligence, the requisite manhood or the courage to do so, but if I were Israel's Prime Minister, here's the proposal I'd make...and it would either be a major breakthrough or reveal whether the Arab nations, once and for all, were serious about peace in the Middle East with Israel:

"Salaam Aliekem, to our Arab brothers. I, the Prime Minister of Israel owe you an apology. You proposed a peace plan through the Arab League that you all have endorsed, and our country has been discourteous enough not to respond. I will do so now, in the hope and belief that you seriously want to end the differences between us.

This plan, endorsed by the entire Arab League in Beirut says, essentially, that if Israel retreats back to the pre-1967 borders including Jerusalem and allows all of the Palestinians who claim to be refugees and their descendants to return to Israel, you will respond with what you define as `normal relations.'

I think your proposal addresses all of the main issues between us that need to be dealt with; Jerusalem, the issue of borders, and justice for the refugees. I recommend that we address each one of them in a fair manner, with compassion and with a sense of justice.

I fully support a settlement for the refugees of the Arab Israeli conflict. We must, finally, have justice for the refugees who have been created because of the strife between us. There can be no peace without it.

We Jews know only too well the plight of being a refugee and the bitter pain of losing one's home. It has happened to us too many times in our history. It happened to some 400,000 of the Arabs living in what is now Israel, and it happened to 800,000 Jews living in the Arab world in the years between 1948-1967.

There is no possibility now, after all that has happened of those Jews returning to their homes in the Arab world, just as there is no possibility of Arabs returning to their homes in what is now Israel. For either side to insist on this is not only to perpetuate this conflict between us, but to condemn us to interminable war in the future.

I propose the following solution to the problem of refugees: that Israel and the Arab nations cooperate together in setting up a joint committee to arbitrate, process and compensate the claims of all of the
actual refugees from the conflict, Jewish and Arab, who lived either in what is now Israel or who were expelled from the Arab world as a result of the Arab Israeli conflict and who can also provide legal evidence to substantiate a claim from whichever nation expelled them.

There are numerous precedents for this kind of settlement of refugee issues in history, and they provide a model for us to use to move forward and finally address this. We must provide justice to
all the refugees, and we must do it within the framework of the law.

Next, let us turn to the issue of borders, and the desire of the Arab nations to see Israel return to those borders that prevailed before the 1967 war, including half of our capitol, Jerusalem. Since Israel has settled its borders with Egypt and Jordan and has already returned over 80% of the land captured in that conflict, it is obvious that any further land demanded from Israel is intended for a 2nd Arab Palestinian State on our borders.

After much careful thought, I must respectfully say that a second Arab Palestinian state on our borders is an unacceptable risk to peace for us at this time. We wish it were not so, but we must deal with the reality of the last 60 years. So much blood has been shed, and so much hatred voiced that we do not feel that a second Palestinian state living in peace next to Israel is possible.

AT Oslo, Israel took a major risk for peace and provided the Palestinians with land for a state...perhaps not all that they wanted, but land, nevertheless. We have come to the conclusion that this was a mistake. There is simply not room for two antagonistic countries to live next to each other in the small area available, and it is simply a set up for failure.

In the interests of peace between us, we would prefer that the areas of Gaza and the West Bank now occupied by the Palestinian Authority be the subject of final settlement talks between Israel, Egypt and Jordan, with the idea of providing secure and final borders between our nations, establising homogeneous areas and integrating the Palestinian populations in Gaza and the West Bank, respectively, as part of Egypt and Jordan. We enjoy peaceful relations with both nations, and according to Jordanian law all Arabs residing in the West Bank are already de facto Jordanian citizens, so this is by no means impossible.

This is particularly fair in our eyes since a substantial part of the land where Jews now live in what we call Judea and Samaria and you call the West Bank - among them the Ariel and Gush Etzion areas - was legally purchased through the Jewish National Fund from its Arab owners prior to 1948, and seized after that time with no compensation to the owners. We think it would be unfair to dispossess them of their homes a second time. I am certain thatyou also would recognize the unfairness and injustice of doing so.

Should Egypt and Jordan agree with this proposal, Israel is prepared to do its share to help with the logistic and financial issues involved. Others, such as the US, the UN and the EU who have expressed a desire to assist in promoting peace in our region would undoubtedly be prepared to help with these matters as well.

Should this be unacceptable, a second alternative we would be willing to discuss would be for the Arab nations to provide at least as much land for a future Palestinian State as Israel has provided for a Palestinian state ,preferably away from our borders to eliminate any future conflict. Such generosity from the Arab world towards the Palestinians would be a major contribution towards peace in our region and a better life for the Palestinian people.

Jerusalem is the ancient capitol of Israel. It is the single most holy site of our religion, and the spiritual center of our nation and our people. Dividing it would be the equivalent of asking you to divide Mecca with non-Muslims. Yet, for the first 20 years of Israel's rebirth, we were faced with exactly that situation. After 1948, Jews were ethnically cleansed from East Jerusalem, old and historic synagogues were desecrated and destroyed and Jews were forbidden to access their holiest sites.

It is exactly that history, and the modern desecration of holy sites like the tomb of the ancient prophet Joseph and synagogues in Gaza that make us adamant that Jerusalem shall never be divided again.

We recognize that Jerusalem is holy to other faiths besides ours, and we have tried to honor that. I remind you that after 1967, not a single mosque in Jerusalem was destroyed or desecrated in retaliation for what happened 20 years before, and that the
waqf in charge of the al Aksa mosque was allowed to remain in control of that area.

Unfortunately, the al Aksa mosque, which is the chief Muslim religious site in Jerusalem has become a symbol of the conflict between us. Erected as a symbol of conquest in the 7th century on the site of our destroyed Holy Temple, as long as it stands where it is Jerusalem will never be accepted by you as the capitol of Israel.

I propose that as part of a peace settlement between us, the al Aksa mosque be moved to a place of your choosing, and that Israel pay the cost and provide the labor to do so. As part of this settlement, Israel will also waive compensation and claims for the many synagogues that have been destroyed in the Arab world. Let the new location of the al Aksa mosque become a shrine to peace between our peoples.

Not only will this sacrifice for peace on your part be a major symbol of good will between us, but it will allow us to rebuild the
Beit Hamikdosh, the Third Holy Temple and thus fulfill the words of a prophet that Muslims also revere, Isaiah: "They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not rise up against nation, neither shall they learn war any more".

Let us make this come true now, and in our time. Let us sit down together like brothers and end this conflict, pursue justice and make a better future for our two peoples. Let us,the children of Abraham, provide an example to the world.

My heart is open, and I await your answer."



14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I had this dream last night and it was wonderful and full of brotherly love and unity. And then I woke up......

Freedom Fighter said...

Au contraire, anonymous.

Read this carefully and you will see that, behind some of the flowery rhetoric, there is a real peace proposal here, based on the usual talking points that constantly come up.. one that is fair to both sides, can be practically implemented and would solve the Arab Israeli conflict - IF THAT'S REALLY WHAT THE ARABS WANT.

They claim that they want `justice for refugees' and a fair solution.

This encompasses that.It is a peace proposal.

Do they want it? I guess that Israel would have to propose it to find out, and more importantly, for the world to find out.

And that's the point.

Rosey said...

You know ff, that's beautiful. And rational. And it will never happen. Afterall, the holocost never happened. And even if it did, which it did'nt, it didn't happen in Palenstine so what's it got to do with the Palenstinians?

Freedom Fighter said...

Hi Rosey,
L'Shana Tova.

You are probably correct. But it is a win win for Israel either way if it is at least proposed.And it should be.

If the Arabs accept it, or at least the meat of it, then both sides win.

Unlike Bush's ridiculous Road Map, which depends on compliance by p[eople who have no intention of a sincere peace settlement this is a practical plan.

If the Arabs won't even consider it, then the onus is on them, and Israel has made a sincere offer and scored a victory by at least proposing it.

Heck, I should be advising the israeli government! They certainly couldn't do worse.

ff

Anonymous said...

Not to make lite of your peace proposal, mon amie. It has a lot of thought and merits consideration.
The problem is that Israel does not have a bonafide peace partner with which to deal and an attempt to show the world one more time who is at fault will only result in more ridicule. The Palestinians do not want peace; only the land Israel calls home.
50 plus years of hate for Israel will not change with words on paper or good gestures. Only a strong and mighty IDF.

Freedom Fighter said...

Oh, I concur, Anonymous.

Don't get me wrong.

The only other thing I would mention is that (a)if you look, this litle piece addresses many of the talking points used to demonize Israel

(B) The propaganda value to Israel would be enourmous if the Arabs rejected it out of hand. It's a win either way

(c) Egypt and Jordan, who are extremely worried about the terrorist enclave known as the Palestinian Authority hunkering down next to them might just decide to act unilaterally..and a number of Palestinians might just decide thatthis is a better idea than continuing to live in a hellhole.

D) If adopted, it takes the ball and puts it in the hands of the principals - where it belongs, and where it should have been handled sixty years ago.

E) I think Israel owes the Arabs a response, regardless.

Thanks for dropping by.

Anonymous said...

You want to know what is really crap? This:
http://www.epicos.com/epicos/portal/media-type/html/user/anon/page/default.psml/js_panename/News+Information+Article+View;jsessionid=264EBE864008EA240201A6B6CCDF42F1?articleid=62578&showfull=false

Guess how much of this top shelf gear will end up in the wrong hands?

Makes me sick!

David S. said...

The lack of concession of Jerusalem, and in particular the suggestion to move the Al Aqsa mosque, would never fly, not simply because the Arabs are unreasonable (which they are, and don't want peace, as you are pointing out here), but because these are considered legitimate holy sites in Islam NOT because of the buildings but because of the LOCATION upon which they stand. The equivalent would be to suggest that Christians move the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to Switzerland, and calling it fair. It entirely misses the point.

Freedom Fighter said...

Hi David,
I'm afraid I don't agree that it's unfair.

The al Aksa mosque was established by conquest on an existing Jewish Holy Site, just as the Grand Mosque in Constantinople was established by force on the site of St. Sophia's Cathedral. To compare the al Aksa Mosque with the Church of the Holy Sepelchure is a bit ingenuous.


Jerusalem is never mentioned in the Qu'ran or Hadiths and
was never important in Islamic theology...until recently. Nor was the the al Aksa mosque, which was an abandoned wreck until it was rebuilt in the 1920's by Faisal Husseni, the fascist Grand Mufti of Jerusalem as a way to counteract the Balfour Declaration and the influx of Jews into the region.

A number of Jewish Holy sites have been desecrated under Islamic rule, as I point out, as have Christian ones. Even to this day, the Muslim waqf that controls the mosque is doing illegal building and deliberately destroying any artifacts that predate the Muslim takeover.It would definitely be fair to move the mosque to another location, if it were done at Israel's expense, as a sacrifice for peace and as recompense for the many Jewish Holy sites destroyed by the Arabs, such as Joseph's Tomb.

Would the Arabs agree to it? Probably not. But that doesn't make the suggestion itself unfair, or counterproductive to peace.

And that's the point.

Don Matterhorn said...

50 years on and still no solution! Diplomacy has failed. The use of force - also didn't solve the problem.
Here's a new proposal how to end the war in the Middle East. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTRRQnLmiJc)

Maddy Bellew said...

Dear Freedom Fighter,

For my 7th grade Geography class, I'm paired with three other people. A Art Director, Theologion, Historian, and me, the Ambassedor. (SP??) Well, me, being the group leader, must write a two page peace proposal on our religion, Shinto. And I just wanted to say, that this example gave me an "A" on my work! Thank you for helping!

(I didn't copy I just used the layout and design for it.)

Madeline Brianne Bellew

Freedom Fighter said...

You are more than welcome, Ambassador Bellew!

Glad I could help...congrats on the `A'.

Best Regards,
FF

Anonymous said...

A very idealistic, and highly unlikely peace settlement here. It sounds nice, but i feel that the Egyptians and Jordanians would never agree to take control of Gaza and the West bank (respectivelly). The problems they would face with Palestinian terrorism demanding their own state would be impossible for the countries to contend with.

The second huge flaw in the plan is the moving of Al-Asqua. Sadly i doubt that this will EVER happen, the Muslims not only beleive in it as a holy site, but its also acts as a bit of a middle finger to the Jews, for lack of a better term. As long as Al-Asqua stands there will be a morale highground in the favour of Islam on temple mount.

These are ideas, sadly which i feel are left floating in the wind, and largley unpractical.

Shalom

Steve in Brooklyn said...

I concur. Here is a post I made recently on a clearly anti-Israel website a few weeks ago. The underlying problem of course is the "Palestinians" are a real threat to both Jordan and especially Egypt. Mubarak is already clinging to power and engaged in a deadly struggle with the Muslim Brotherhood. As for Jordan, just remember Black September. Any reasonable person knows the Hashimite Kingdom's booby prize was the "Palestinian state of Jordan".

Here's the post

Jews have lived throughout the world, including Iran, Iraq, Morocco, Yemen, Syria as well as in Europe too. The original partition plan of Palestine considered what is now the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan as part of the partition plan. This after the Saudi Wahhabist’s sent the Hashemite’s out of Saudi Arabia. So this clan was offered Jordan, which has a population of more than 60% “palestinian”. People on this site speak as if they have any knowledge of the true events in the Middle East after the fall of the Ottoman Empire and than later the end of British and French Colonialism in the region. The main point I would like to make is that there were over 750,000 Jewish refugees who were forced from their homes at the start of the War of 1948. These families were forced from their homes often with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. Loss of property being the least of their problems, they finally had after two thousand years a place to return to and not face the pogroms and other atrocities of living in Dhimmitude under Islamic regimes.
There were 750,000 Jewish refugees in the years between 1948-1967. They were ALL absorbed by the nation Of Israel and are now living in a technologically advanced open and free society. The Arabs who lived in Jordan, and pre partitioned Palestine were also refugees. The numbers perhaps may have been close to 500,000, but none of the 23 Arab nations would provide them refuge, and even more embarrassing is that Jordan, kept their Arab brothers in refugee camps for 20 years, refusing to incorporate them into Jordanian/Palestinian society. Same goes for Egypt and the Arabs in Gaza.
Look up some info on Black September and you may get some insight as to why the Monarchy of Jordan refused to provide safe haven and normalcy for the displaced peoples after the Arab League chose to attack the tiny strip of land partitioned by the UN for the Jews of the world, including those living under dire circumstances in the Arab Middle East. This is not to mention the small surviving population of European Jewry that survived the Holocaust, perpetrated by the Nazi’s but aided by all European nations, including the UK, Ireland and even the USA across the pond.
Why do the Palestinians stand as the only group of refugees not to be absorbed by their own ethnic brothers? With all of the true atrocities of the 20th century and now into the 21st century and as we watch the Islamist gov’t of Sudan rage genocide against Black Christians and now Black Muslims, they don’t consider true Muslims the answer is obvious. The Palestinians have been used like pawns in a long standing battle by the Nazi regime’s ally the Muslim Brotherhood. The best selling book in Judea and Samaria is The Protocals of the Elders of Zion. Second is Mein Kampf. The destruction of the Jewish people is a stated goal by the Islamists and their regimes. The blood libels ring out throughout the middle east. The TV dramas show evil Jews trying to control the world (protocals). Blood libels abound. They teach Jew hatred from a very young age and rather than aspiring to be doctors or lawyers they aspire to be Shahids. (Martyrs) for the many uneducated people on this website. It is a disgusting tragedy that with all of the millions and millions of refugees, including Palestinians from Kuwait in 1990 after they chose to side with Saddam. That the world sees Israel as an evil occupying entity. A nation of 6 million surrounded by 500 million plus Muslim enemies who could have solved the refugee crisis a hundred times over by now.
Wars are fought, refugee situations occur. But much can be learned by seeing how the Arabs have used and abused their Muslim brothers for the last half century. Shame on you all. Shame on the UN. There are only 16 Million Jews in the entire World. It’s about time you left them alone. Because after the Holocaust they said NEVER AGAIN and they mean it!