By Donald Sensing
President Obama says that the basis for peace between Israel and the Palestinians should be the (so-called) pre-1967 borders "with land swaps." Set aside the now the fact that there is no such thing as "pre-1967 borders" because even if there were, reverting to the pre-'67 lines would not mean peace for Israel.
The conflict is not about land.
The plain fact is that Hamas, Fatah/Palestinian Authority and Hezbollah are united in one goal: the elimination of Israel as an independent, Jewish state. This has also been Syria's goal since modern Israel was founded in 1948. Syria is an Iranian client and I am sure no pixels need be expended to explain Iran's hostility to the Jewish nation. Israel's enemies want to destroy the country as a political entity. Hamas has said bluntly, over and again, that all Jews must be expelled or killed.
The conflict is not about land. The conflict is over Israel's very existence, not its "borders." In 2000, Israeli PM Ehud Barak and staff met with Yassir Arafat and staff at Camp David. The conference was sponsored by President Clinton. Using the pre-67 lines as a basis, Barak proposed a modification of the lines based on defensibility, but offered a hectare-for-hectare swap to the PA for each modification. Barak also offered to dismantle dozens of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Israel also offered the PA control over two of Jerusalem's four historic quarters, but Arafat demanded actual sovereignty over East Jerusalem and all its holy sites, including the Western Wall, the holiest site of Judaism. There were other issues, too, mainly the "right of return," but basically Barak offered Arafat about 95 percent of what Arafat had been demanding all along.
Arafat's response was simply to leave and return to the West Bank without making a counter-proposal of any kind. Subsequently, President Clinton and his chief Middle East envoy, Dennis Ross, both wrote that Arafat was solely responsible for the conference's failure. Ross said that Arafat's staff told him that Arafat was shocked by Barak's offer because it was so generous and that Arafat said before he flew away that if he accepted Barak's offers, he (Arafat) would be murdered by other Palestinians within a week.
Why? Because Fatah/PA and Hamas have never sought and do not want a "Palestinian state" with Israel as a Jewish state alongside. They are driven instead by their desire to incorporate all Israel under Arab rule and sovereignty. Fatah would grant the Jews who remained severely restricted religious and political rights. Hamas says that all Jews who do not leave must be killed.
This issue is not over what happened in 1967. It is over what happened in 1948 - the creation of the modern state of Israel.
The situation on the ground
Hamas controls Gaza. Fatah/PA controls the West Bank. Hezbollah controls Lebanon. Hamas and Hezbollah are longtime allies. Hamas was a sub-faction of Palestinian terrorism until 2005, when Israel completely pulled out of Gaza. Hamas took over Gaza in 2006 by force, killing PA officials and Fatah fighters who tried to oppose them. Only now have Hamas and Fatah/PA become realigned with one another. But make no mistake. The end of Israel has always been their goal. That is explicitly the reason Hamas was founded. Hamas is not a nationalist organization. It is a terrorist one. It does not seek to build but only to destroy. Its very charter states plainly:
"Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it."
"The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. "
"There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors."
Fatah's goal is no different. True, in 1988 Yassir Arafat, Fatah's supreme commander in the 1950s and 1960s, declared in English before Western cameras that he explicitly recognized Israel's right to exist. This apparent breakthrough ultimately led to the Oslo Accords in 1993, which in turn made possible the founding the the PA as a proto-state for Palestinians, of which Arafat served as first president.
However, what Arafat did not say to Western media or audiences in English is what he made abundantly clear to his domestic audiences in Arabic: that the right of Israel to exist, that Arafat claimed to recognize, was not its right to exist as a Jewish state separate from an Arab nation of Palestine. In fact, Palestinian curricula for kindergartens on up graphically made clear that "Palestine" consists of all of Israel, the West bank and Gaza - that is to say, the very same geography that Hamas claims.
Fatah's reputation as moderates is unjustified. While Hamas has launched thousands of rockets at southern Israel in the last several years, it was from the West Bank, always under Fatah's rule, that the vast majority of suicide bombers entered Israel. These bombers killed multiples more Israelis than Hamas's rockets.
The conflict is not about land. It is about Israel itself. To close, here is a video of
Hamas MP and Cleric Yunis Al-Astal the Jews were brought to Palestine for the “great massacre” in preparation for the United States of Islam caliphate for which Palestine will be the capital.
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