By Ted Belman
I was one of four bloggers asked by The Hill to write a 500 word essay in answer to this question, “Can the Obama administration forge a peace agreement, and what steps should it be taking in Mideast policy?” It picked two bloggers from each side although only two were posted. The Hill has enormous traffic so I was honoured and relished the opportunity to address a large audience.
My dilemma was in deciding how best to use the 500 words. Here’s my essay. Should I have used the words differently? You can go to the link above to read my opponent’s piece of trash.
Time for a paradigm shift in the peace process
By Ted Belman
One cannot answer this question without regard to the religious, historical and legal context for the conflict. The conflict has continued for over 100 years and for good reason.
More than 3,000 years ago God promised these lands to the Jewish people. King Solomon built the Temple in Jerusalem 2,900 years ago. The Temple was destroyed 400 years later, only to be rebuilt less than 100 years thereafter. In 70 AD the Romans destroyed the Second Temple, massacred over one million Jews and sent much of the rest into exile. Thus Jewish sovereignty over the land lasted for 1,000 years with a couple of short interruptions. The Promised Land and Jerusalem are as central to Judaism as Jesus is to Christianity.
For 2,000 years Jews prayed for a return to Jerusalem. The Ottoman Empire was defeated in World War I. By international law, the victorious powers have the right to redraw borders, which they did at San Remo in 1920. They awarded Palestine, a province of the Ottoman Empire, to the Jews as their homeland. This decision was reaffirmed in the Palestine Mandate two years later. According to Jacques Gauthier, an expert on international law, who wrote his doctoral thesis on the matter, Jerusalem belongs to the Jews. It was res judicata.
In the seventh century AD, Mohammed founded a new religion called Islam, submission, and wrote the Koran. It mandated on all Muslims, the duty of Jihad, struggle. They must struggle to conquer all the land for Allah and keep it. Thus, the Province of Palestine, which included the Land Of Israel, having been in the past conquered for Allah, must be recovered.
Jerusalem is mentioned 823 times in the Bible (669 times in Old Testament; 154 in New Testament). Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Koran, even once
The Arabs don’t want a 23rd Arab state. They want to destroy the Jewish state of Israel. They want to recover the land for Allah. That is why they have been fighting the Jews for the last 100 years, why they make no concessions and why they don’t want to negotiate. This will never change.
The Jews compromised 63 years ago when they accepted the Partition Plan, which gave them a state on part only of the land awarded to them at San Remo. They are still willing to compromise for peace but demand the Arabs also compromise and sign an end-of-conflict agreement. This the Arabs will not do.
Neither party will make the concessions the other demands. It is for this reason the Arabs have threatened to declare a state unilaterally, President Obama has mooted the idea of imposing a solution and Israel has mooted the idea of annexing Judea and Samaria (The West Bank).
What is needed is a paradigm shift. The U.S. should no longer push the peace process. Instead, she should back Israel and strengthen her to prevent the expansion of Iranian hegemony. With America withdrawing from Iraq, she needs a strong Israel all the more.