By Katy Sorsher Smith
In his New York Times op-ed article from January 28, 2014, columnist Thomas L. Friedman outlined the points he believes will make it into the U.S. framework proposal for peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
Now, let’s forget for a moment that “Palestine” is an invented country, and “Palestinians” are an invented people. Let’s forget for a moment that before the Six-Day War and even before the proclamation of Israel’s Independence on May 14, 1948 the people in “Palestine” – a derogatory name for Israel – were under the rule of either a British Mandate or Jordan and Egypt. Let’s forget that the “Palestinian Issue” was an invention of a terrorist named Yasser Arafat….
Let’s simply examine the issues mentioned by Mr. Friedman one by one, exposing the blatant hypocrisy and chutzpah of the entire proposal to the eyes of the reader.
The “Kerry Plan,” likely to be unveiled soon, is expected to call for an end to the conflict and all claims, following a phased Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank (based on the 1967 lines), with unprecedented security arrangements in the strategic Jordan Valley. The Israeli withdrawal will not include certain settlement blocs, but Israel will compensate the Palestinians for them with Israeli territory. It will call for the Palestinians to have a capital in Arab East Jerusalem and for Palestinians to recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. It will not include any right of return for Palestinian refugees into Israel proper. (NYT op-ed, 28Jan14)
Let’s talk straight. Asking Israel to go back to pre-Six-Day-War lines is pretty much as ridiculous as asking the U.S. to give Texas back to Mexico. Nevertheless, if Israelis believed this would bring true peace, the majority would probably agree to it.
The big problem for Israelis, something that was proven in last week’s feud between PM Netanyahu and the energy minister Naftali Bennett, are the settlers, who would have to be uprooted from their homes in the event of the withdrawal. Not only does this territory include minor settlements of just a few families, on the land promised to Israel’s forefathers by God Himself, but also Biblical sites such as the Machpelah cave (burial place of Abraham, Sarah, and others), Rachel’s Tomb, and more.
Though reportedly Netanyahu suggested they can remain in their homes under Palestinian rule, I doubt this will be an option, especially since PA President Abbas and other major PA figures in the negotiations process said they will definitely not be welcome (and yes, I put it nicely).
The “certain settlement blocs” mentioned in the op-ed to be exchanged for other Israeli territories is another major issue. Kerry’s plan suggests what Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs has been talking about for a long time – that the “triangle” area, which includes large blocks of Israeli Arabs in Israel proper, be given to Palestinians in exchange for “settlements” like Maale Adumim (near Jerusalem) and more.
Once the idea was a few weeks introduced in the Israeli media, these Arabs – who on Israel’s Independence Day proclaim a day of mourning and openly stand against Israel and her existence – started saying they were not interested in the swap.
Is that a surprise? Well, not really. You see, Israeli Arabs – Muslims and Christians alike – enjoy true freedom by living in the only democracy of the Middle East. The opportunities this freedom grants them – from studies in every Israeli university to voting without fear for their fellow Muslim Knesset Members – are not something they are willing to give up.From the view point of the Jewish settlers, according to Martin Indyk, the U.S. special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, 70-75% of the settlers will remain in their homes on the swapped land, the 25-30% remaining means hundreds of thousands of people who will have to either be forcibly removed from their homes like the settlers of Gaza in 2005, or live in the Palestinian State… see the point above on that issue.
PALESTINIAN CAPITAL IN EAST JERUSALEM
The issue of Jerusalem is like Pandora’s Box that should never be open. The claims in the U.S. proposal are vague. Before the Six-Day-War, East Jerusalem – including the most holy site of Judaism – the Temple Mount and the Western Wall – was a part of Jordan. No. Not Palestine, because it never existed. Did the Jews have freedom to pray there at will? No. Were archeologists free to excavate historic sites proving the extensive Jewish history of the place? Of course not.
While the Jordanians had the Temple Mount, was it regarded as holy and worth dying for? Not really. Even today, when this part of Jerusalem belongs to Israel, are Jewish people allowed on the Temple Mount freely? No. Even in January, a group of Jews who planned to go up to the Temple Mount to pray were stopped by the Israeli Defense Forces.
Why can’t Jerusalem be a capital of two nations, you ask? I don’t have an answer other than because it’s impossible. The Word of God states clearly that Jerusalem will be a heavy stone for all nations. We now see it being played out live in front of us.
RECOGNITION OF ISRAEL AS A JEWISH STATE
This is the most naïve point of all… especially since Abbas and other PA officials continue saying it over and over again – they will NEVER recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
In my last blog, I spoke about this issue extensively, so I won’t repeat myself here. I will just say that where PM Netanyahu is concerned, this is a fundamental issue, and, as he said, while this will not prevent Israel from sitting at the negotiations table, it will prevent us from signing a peace agreement.
NO RIGHT OF RETURN
Well, this is a point Israel is really happy about, but the Palestinians will not accept.
The idea of allowing 600,000 to 700,000 of Arabs who left right as the Independence War was breaking (with a promise from Arab nations that Israel will soon be annihilated and they would be able to return) along with their descendants (which amounts to several million people today), to return to Israel proper, is sure death to Israel.
If this happens, our nation will be dead in a day…. Well, in one vote, really. There will be no Jewish state, since the majority vote will be Arab (Muslim), and on the day of the elections it will be all over.
There are rumors of compensation to which these “refugees” (who left willingly and were not forced out, I might add) will be entitled. There are also rumors that Jewish refugees who fled the Arab countries at that time for fear of certain death will be entitled to such compensation.
Regardless of all that, because the true agenda of “Palestinians,” being used as pawns in the bigger plan of Islamic nations, is to simply wipe Israel off the map, this issue shall become non-negotiable as soon as the proposal is out.
TRUE PEACE IS COMING
Yes, I know that the proposal is not out yet. Yes, I am aware of the fact that “consequences” are coming should Israel and PA fail to negotiate an agreement, the deadline of which is now being pushed off to the end of 2014.
But just as I do it time after time, I will say that while a false peace is certain to come before Yeshua returns, a true peace only God can bring upon His second coming.
And what a joy it is to know that God, who loves the Arab people just as much as He loves the Jewish people, will work it out for His glory.
While it saddens me that we don’t have an honest partner in trying to reach peace, that on the Palestinian side there are people just like us who are tired of the struggle, the death, the spirit of murder, I know the day is coming when the King of Israel will reign – in a Jerusalem that will be united under His banner.
May that day come quickly.