Israel Wants Peace
Israel wants peace... and is willing to sacrifice a large portion of its homeland to end the conflict. Here are three clear points that highlight Israel's commitment to peace and shared Western values.
1) Creation of the State
A key feature of the Jewish movement back to the Land of Israel has always been a desire to come back peacefully. From the very beginnings of the State of Israel, peace was offered to its Arab neighbors, though usually not accepted. On May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion, read Israel's Declaration of Independence:
We appeal in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months to the Arab inhabitants of the state of Israel, to preserve peace and participate in the up-building of the state on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions.
We extend our hand to all neighboring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighborliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land. The State of Israel is prepared to do its share in a common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East.
2) Land for Peace - The Sinai
The phrase used most in the peace process is "land for peace." In essence, Arabs are asked to compromise by offering peace in order to attain their objective -- land. Israel is asked to compromise land in order to attain their objective -- peace. Thus the very cornerstone of all negotiations takes as a given that for Arabs, agreeing to peace is a concession to their true goal, whereas for Israel, peace is the goal.
The most notable example of Israel sacrificing land for peace occurred in 1979, when the most right-wing prime minister in Israel's history, Menachem Begin, met with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and U.S. President Jimmy Carter at Camp David. There, Begin signed a peace treaty with Egypt, returning the entire Sinai Peninsula -- constituting 80 percent of Israel's land mass - in exchange for normalization of relations with Egypt. Begin not only gave away massive amounts of land, but also dismantled settlements containing thousands of Jews, dismantled Israel's largest air force base, and gave up possession of oil fields in the Sinai. Thus, land, oil, money, military strength and settlements were compromised for the primary Jewish value of peace.
3) Modern Day - Camp David II
Israel's great willingness to seek peace is clear even today. In 2000, Prime Minister Ehud Barak returned to Camp David, this time to negotiate with Yassir Arafat, the head of the Palestinian Authority. At Camp David, and later at Taba 2001, Barak went further then any previous Israeli government had ever dreamed of going. Israel offered:
- to give Palestinians 97% of the territories (the PA already controlled 40% of the territories, containing 97% of the Palestinian population of the territories), with the remaining few percent to be made up with land in the Negev connected to the Gaza Strip.
- to give Palestinians military control of eastern Jerusalem and even parts of the Old City. Administrative control of the Temple Mount, which overlooks the Western Wall, was also offered. This despite that the Temple Mount is Judaism's holiest site, and despite the occurrences of rocks being thrown by Muslims from the Temple Mount at Jews praying at the Wall.
- to allow many Palestinian refugees to return to Israel through family reunification, as well as giving compensation to those refugees who couldn't return.
Sadly, Arafat walked away from the negotiations without making a counter-offer. Instead he launched a war of terror.
Israel Should Make Peace With Whom?
Can someone please explain to me, how there ever will be peace in the Middle East with the current situation? How is making a treaty with the Palestinian Authority going to do anything? It's great and all that both sides want peace but the PA doesn't control Gaza, Hamas does. Hamas took it over in 2005 when Israel unilaterally withdrew from it in a peace gesture.
Hamas has repeatedly refused to recognize Israel and has said it plans to wipe Israel off the map. They repeatedly shot rockets into Israel, and teach Palestinian children hatred of Israel and that they should "liberate it" and kill the Zionists. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrieBhaGgHM
the PA have no control over Gaza and have virtually no power in Israel.
Not to mention there's a group called Hezbollah that runs the Lebanese government. It is a terrorist group and also want to destroy Israel.
So somebody please tell me how making a peace treaty with the PA will make peace, when it doesn't do anything to stop the threats of Hamas in Gaza? (and Hezbollah) It seems to me that all that would happen is Israel would become even smaller and easier for Hamas, and Iran to eventually destroy.
And what would stop Hamas from taking the new parts of Palestine over?