Six Compromises for Peace
- 6 minute read
- • by Sharon Koifman
- • September 22, 2022
If anyone had any doubt that Israel offered so much to achieve peace. Let me offer you the six proposals the Arabs to have their own land.
During the Great Arab Revolt in 1936 (which lasted until 1939, and it was Arabs clashing with the British because they wanted to stop Jewish Immigration), the British established a commission to investigate the causes of the revolt and propose a solution. Named Peel Commission, it aimed to contain the conflict between the two communities, Jews and Palestinians, by dividing Palestine into three separate areas for each community:
- the creation of an Arab state (80%),
- the creation of Israel (it would have 15% of the land)
- and 5% would still be British.
The Mufti of Jerusalem and the main leader of Arabs in Palestine, Amin al-Husayni, refused, and a pro-Mufti newspaper called al-Lidaa labeled anyone who accepted the proposal as a traitor. He also refused, because 15% of the land offered was about 4.2km², around half of the area of Cyprus, and two-thirds of the West Bank+Gaza Strip area.
After World War II and the Holocaust, the recently created United Nations contemplated the creation of a Jewish State, which would provide the security and self-determination so much needed by the Jewish People. The UN called both community leaders and diplomats to discuss a solution or a partition and sent a committee to the region, called United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP).
After UNSCOP released its report, Azzam Pasha, the General Secretary of the Arab League, threatened a genocide attempt against the Jews to an Egyptian newspaper, saying: “Personally I hope the Jews do not force us into this war because it will be a war of elimination and it will be a dangerous massacre which history will record similarly to the Mongol massacre or the wars of the Crusades.” He also told Alec Kirkbride (British diplomat) that “we will sweep them (the Jews) into the sea.” The United Nations Resolution 181 proposed the partition of Palestine into two states: Jewish and Arab. The Jews accepted this compromise. According to Benny Morris, a scholar who used to criticize Israel, the Arabs answered by shooting two buses full of Jews in Kfar Sirkin, and snipers campering in Jaffa shot Jews in Tel Aviv. A civil war ensued, followed by a military one with many Arab nations involved.
After the 1948 independence war, in the Lausanne Conference, Israel proposed about 100,000 Palestinians to return in exchange for a peace agreement. The initiative was refused because the Arab representative wanted full repatriation plus more lands. Plus, the Arab states wanted to talk en bloc, and Israel wanted to talk with each one separately. Israel wanted to settle all the important issues (refugees and the borders) in one row; the Arabs not only wanted to discuss all the issues separately but also refused to meet with the Israeli delegation, and the Commission of the Conference had to send messages by message like they were an old fashioned Messenger.
Since the Arab states were one of the sources of the Palestinian exodus (no war means no exile), they had to accept responsibility for the refugees by absorbing them. Israel offered financial aid, which was refused. The Arabs wanted the Palestinians to be returned, and financial aid was offered to them for being expelled from the country and for Israel to retreat to the UN Resolution 181 borders. Only King Abdullah agreed to talk with Israel properly because he annexed the West Bank and wanted to keep it.
Cabinet Resolution 563: On 19 June 1967, after days of discussion in the Cabinet, Israel offered “to give up Sinai and the Golan in exchange for peace” after the Six-Day War. The idea wasn’t even to have lasting peace, but a momentarily one with Egypt and Syria, but they weren’t very fond of the offer.
The offer was rejected on 2 September 1967 by the Arab States by the Khartoum Resolution, which became famous for the “Three No’s”: “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it…”
We have learned something valuable from the experience; making concessions about borders in return for peace treaties and security arrangements with the Arabs doesn’t work very often (but sometimes it does, like Egyptian President Anwar Sadat accepting peace with Israel for Sinai in the 70s).
2000 Camp David Summit: Ehud Barak wanted to make peace asap and asked Clinton for help. Clinton invited Arafat and Barak to Camp David. While Mohammad Dahlan, chief of Palestinian Security Forces and diplomat, pressed for peace, Mahmoud Abbas, main diplomat of the Palestinian side of the Oslo Accords and today the President of the Palestinian Authority, pressed for no negotiations, leaving the other diplomats astonished. Abbas and Dahlan have a grudge against each other until today.
Ehud Barak made many offers, around 86% and 92% of the West Bank and 100% of Gaza, in exchange for peace and East Jerusalem.
Arafat not only refused but started the Second Intifada.
Olmert Peace Plan: Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas joined very often for dinner and talked about peace deals.
Once, Ehud Olmert then told him that his wife had cooked Abbas’ favorite dishes and implied that she would be very upset if Abu Mazen (Abbas’ nickname, so to speak) didn’t show up. That made Abbas agree to meet him. You can see a video about their dinner here: https://youtu.be/-63LoMA8i7I
After months of dialogue, Ehud Olmert offered:
- Israel would concede around 94% of the West Bank to the Palestinians, and they would have a state.
- Israel would retain approximately 6.4% of the West Bank, with room to negotiate land swaps. Sparsely populated settlements would be evacuated, but Gush Etzion, Ma’ale Adumim, and Ariel would be annexed by Israel.
- In exchange, Israel would give up the area around Afula-Tirat Tzvi, the Lachish region, an area near Har Adar, and areas in the Judean desert and around Gaza, equaling 5.8% of Israel’s own territory.
- A tunnel would be built to maintain the contiguity of the future Palestinian state and create a safe passage between the West Bank and Gaza.
- Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem would be under Jewish sovereignty, and the Arab ones would be under Palestinian sovereignty, so East Jerusalem could be the capital of the Palestinian state.
- A jointly administration (Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the Palestinian state, Israel and the United States) would administrate the Holy Sites in Jerusalem and no country would claim sovereignty.
- Israel would agree to accept 1,000 refugees every year for five years “on the basis that this would be the end of conflict and the end of claims.”
- An international fund would be created to “compensate Palestinians for their suffering.”
- The agreement would also include recognition of the Mizrahi and Sephardic Jews refugees from Arab countries who were ethnically cleansed out of their homes.
- Palestine would have a strong police force. It would have no army or air force of his own. The border with Jordan would be patrolled by international forces – possibly from NATO.
- The Palestinian state would not allow any foreign army to enter Palestine, and its government would not enter into any military agreement with a country that does not recognize Israel’s right to exist.
- Israel would retain the right to defend itself beyond the borders of a Palestinian state, and the IDF would still be allowed to pursue and capture any terrorists across the border, but no checkpoints or constant IDF presence whatsoever.
- Israel would have access to airspace over Palestine, and the IDF would have rights to use of the telecommunications spectrum.
He pretty much gave everything. If you argue that he did not give the last 6% (which even that he was willing to negotiate), you are simply an asshole, sorry.
The evacuation from Gaza
In 2005 Israel left Gaza entirely in a good will gesture, leaving behind a multimillionaire industry of flowers and beautiful beaches.
Instead, from day one, the infrastructure was tarnished by the poor people who needed money. They ransacked it for a few bucks. The PA sat idle and did nothing. Two years later, Hamas took over the entire Gaza Strip, ignoring the welfare of its people, creating a terror government that killed PA officials, and putting the blame on Israel for its own crimes.
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