Israeli conservatives act like ostriches: Olmert soothes their conscience by promising to relegate the Jerusalem issue to the last stage in peace talks with Palestinians. It’s not even important that Olmert lies and, as Palestinians never fail to announce, negotiate Jerusalem now.
Leaving the core issues for the last stage in negotiations is fundamentally wrong. Would you discuss a delivery time for the furniture set if you don’t agree with the seller on price? In our situation, the seller doesn’t even want to sell.
Leaving the core issues for the later assures that Israel would give way on them, as the entire pressure now dispersed over several subjects will be concentrated on the issue of Jerusalem. The story would go thus: “Okay, we have agreed with Palestinians on just everything else, the peace is so close.
Should we refuse peace because of the Arab-populated Jerusalem areas which we the Jews cannot live in, anyway?” Once all other issues are settling, partitioning of Jerusalem will be passed automatically. Neurotic Jews can rebel and refuse such peace, sublimating into the issue of Jerusalem all the distrust they feel to their government, but if counting on that, then what the peace process is for?
Israeli policy of piecemeal concessions is devastating. Jews give away their bargaining chips one by one, lose bargaining power, and have the international pressure on the “leftover” issues increase. Back in 1972, Israel rebuffed Sadat’s peace offer (whether realistic or not) of comprehensive peace with Arabs in return for Sinai; the Palestinians were ignored. Four decades later, Israel will find herself without the Sinai, the Golan Heights, and the West Bank – but still not at peace with Arabs. Almost every Muslim leader have already declared that even ceding the West Bank and Jerusalem to Palestinians would not lead to immediate peace with Arab countries. And even where Israel has peace, there is no normalization: common Egyptians and Jordanians hate Israel now just as before we signed the peace treaties. Iraq and Kuwait, two countries under the US foot, flatly refused peace with Israel. Iran cannot be expected to sign peace with the Zionist entity even if Palestinians get a state. Saudi Arabia is the last country Israel wants to be at peace with, as the flow of Saudi oil money into Israel, already considerable, will skyrocket as Saudis buy out the Holy Land.
Hezbollah-dominated Lebanon cares not a bit about the Palestinians and would not embrace Zionists even if Arafat is re-buried on the Temple Mount, as he might be if the Palestinians get Jerusalem. Peace with Syria would spell a military fiasco for Israel, as Syria will upgrade its arsenals under the protection of peace agreement like Egypt does – to strike later with vengeance.
Negotiations over Jerusalem with Fatah are puzzling. British hunted down Jewish terrorist groups Etzel and Lehi instead of negotiating with them. Fatah members continue attacking Jews, Fatah pays salaries to Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades with the money dutifully transferred by Israel, and in especially odd occurrence, a bodyguard of Ahmed Qurei, a top Palestinian negotiator, was killed in a firefight with IDF.
The peace process is fraud. Israel is not at war with Palestinians – or if we are, then bomb them out of existence rather than supplying them water and electricity. Palestinian threat to Israel is laughable: just ban the Arab migrant workers, and suicide terrorism, already happening just once a year, would almost cease. At any rate, Arab terrorism claimed many times less Jewish lives than ordinary car accidents. Ending Kassam and Katyusha rocket fire is also a no-brainer – not with the absurdly expensive Iron Dome system, but with the common police measure of invading Gaza once a year or so, killing a couple of thousand Palestinian guerrillas, damaging their infrastructure to the Bronze Age level, and enjoying calm for another few months. Banning the UNRWA and other aid sources from Gaza and the West Bank would be a much greater service to peace than ceding the Arabs Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa together: Palestinians should care about employment rather than live on foreign aid and use the ample idle time for radical activities. Paupers in search of food won’t have time for terrorism.