Op-Ed

Who is Israel’s peace partner?

This we know, you don’t shake on a deal when the other guy has his fingers crossed behind his back.

Uri Dromi’s Oct. 31 Other Views column, Bibi should not let relations with U.S. deteriorate further, calling for Israel to adopt the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, is dangerously naive because he assumes Israel has a trustworthy peace partner. It does not.

The Palestinians have had decades of opportunities for an independent state and they rejected or sabotaged them all, from the 1937 Peel Commission to 2008 when Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered to cede almost all the West Bank and to share Jerusalem.

That’s 71 years. The Arab response? Five major invasions of Israel, intifadas, suicide bombers, point-blank murders of innocent Israeli citizens, rock throwing and rockets smuggled through Gazan tunnels and fired on Israeli civilians.

The initiative calls for a complete withdrawal by Israel back to the 1967 lines. Remember, Israel regained the West Bank only after successfully defending itself against Arab invasion and maintained control as a buffer zone against future attacks. The future would prove its wisdom. In 2005, when Israel withdrew every Jew from Gaza, the Palestinians turned it into a launching pad, sending thousands of rockets into Israeli civilian areas. Imagine an independent Palestinian state abutting Israel’s border, where it takes a plane only two minutes to get from the Jordan Rift to Jerusalem. Where Iran or any terrorist group can set up base?

Adherence to U.N. Resolution 194 is called for in the initiative, which the Arabs have twisted to mean allowing the return of millions of refugees. But that’s not what it says. Compensation is generalized to all parties. Israel didn’t cause the Arab refugee problem; the Arabs fled when Israel was attacked by seven Arab nations, and it is they who should provide compensation. Indeed, when hundreds of thousands of Jews had to flee for their lives from their homes in Arab countries, only the infant state of Israel helped.

From 1948 to 1967, Egypt controlled Gaza and Jordan controlled the West Bank. Not Israel. Where was the demand for a Palestinian state then?

As for sharing Jerusalem, the Old City is already divided into four sections, with a Muslim quarter.

There has been violence at the holiest site in all Judaism, the Temple Mount, the Jews’ ancient capital, which predates the Dome of the Rock by hundreds of years. It is now a danger zone for Jews to visit, while Arabs pray unimpeded at their mosque.

The Arabs have shown they have no intention of living peacefully with the Jewish State. Fingers crossed behind their backs.

June S. Neal, Delray Beach

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