8 Points for Peace

Finding durable peace is the real goal.

By Dr. Shmuel Katz

Daily life in Israel is accompanied by the acknowledgement that Palestinian and/or Arab terrorism is a constant threat, and that war could break out at any minute. No activity, from grocery shopping to an evening of dining and dancing, is undertaken without proper precautions. Israelis are used to this way of thinking and behaving, and Americans who visit soon adapt and cease to find searches of their personal belongings at bars and restaurants uncommon. For certain, this is the way life in Israel has always been. Still, with weapons grown more sophisticated and attacks more brazen, not to mention world opinion more manipulated, we should continue to work toward resolution. No doubt, a comprehensive agreement will benefit not only Israel but the entire world.

To that end, high-level agencies are currently involved in formulating a peace plan for the Middle East. Unfortunately, it will not be easy to achieve, given the highly complex dynamics in the region and beyond. For success to be attainable, the Palestinians and the Arab neighbors must understand that they have much to gain from a durable peace, and not much from a region in turmoil.

A rush toward appeasement will not solve anything either. With the immediate creation of an independent Palestinian state, without first eliminating the terror infrastructure, without implementing education for peace, and without the removal of vicious anti-Israeli propaganda in the schools and media, the Palestinian population and leadership will not proceed toward a serious peace agreement.

Just after the failure of the Oslo Accord, I spoke to Dennis Ross, the special Middle East coordinator under President Bill Clinton and he told me that one of the most important reasons for the failure of the peace process was the lack of preparation of the Arab street, by their leadership, to agree to peace.

In addition, should the Palestinians achieve an independent state without a peace agreement with Israel, all the forces of evil (Iran, Syria, Hamas, Hezbollah and Turkey, to name a few) will be delighted to use that territory to expand malicious plans against Israel and the free world.

A serious educational effort must precede any relinquishing of land, to explain the true historical facts as they relate to occupation, refugees and the rights of the Jews in the region. Once those in the region and around the world understand Israel’s just cause, they will respect Israel’s willingness to make real sacrifices for a true peace, and they will support the Israeli demand for security measurements.

Most people who correctly understand the situation support Israel. As of now, those aforementioned supporters defend Israel, but those who are convinced by propaganda believe that Israel is occupying Jerusalem and the territories, but also Tel Aviv, Haifa and Beer Sheva. Therefore, premature evacuation of large territories will only embolden the enemies of Israel to demand even more concessions.

Many world leaders display good intentions, but unfortunately, if Israel shows weakness it will encourage some to tighten the screws on the country, hoping to gain benefits and favors from the larger Islamic Middle East.

A large number of Arab leaders have made it clear that their willingness to Daily life in Israel is accompanied by the acknowledgement that Palestinian and/or Arab terrorism is a constant threat, and that war could break out at any minute. No activity, from grocery shopping to an evening of dining and dancing, is undertaken without proper precautions. Israelis are used to this way of thinking and behaving, and Americans who visit soon adapt and cease to find searches of their personal belongings at bars and restaurants uncommon. For certain, this is the way life in Israel has always been.

Still, with weapons grown more sophisticated and attacks more brazen, not to mention world opinion more manipulated, we should continue to work toward resolution. No doubt, a comprehensive agreement will benefit not only Israel but the entire world.

To that end, high-level agencies are currently involved in formulating a peace plan for the Middle East. Unfortunately, it will not be easy to achieve, given the highly complex dynamics in the region and beyond. For success to be attainable, the Palestinians and the Arab neighbors must understand that they have much to gain from a durable peace, and not much from a region in turmoil.

negotiate with Israel is only another stage in the greater plan to liquidate the “Infidel State” in the Middle East—before intensifying their efforts to take over Europe and later the USA. And the international community, too busy with itself, will have no patience with a weak Israeli entity, and will not offer help.

As far as weaknesses go, even after so many years, Israel still has major problems accommodating the 8,000 individuals who were removed from Gaza (Gush Katif). Imagine what will happen if Israel tries to remove many more people from the West Bank. In a true, peaceful agreement, Jewish families should be able to live securely under a Palestinian rule, the same way that Arabs live peacefully in Israel and enjoy equal rights as Israeli citizens. But even their own people, the Palestinian Arabs, are oppressed by self-serving Palestinian leaders.

Furthermore, building a strong Palestinian economy and extensive international relations, without a serious change in their anti-Israeli education and political intentions, will create an even more dangerous and aggressive opponent who will be better financed and better equipped to fight and oppose Israel.

Finally, we cannot rely on the UN or international observers to enforce a feeble agreement. The disarmament of Hezbollah, as supervised by the UN—following Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000, and again following the 2006 war—was and still is a sad joke. (Hezbollah now has rearmed with 40,000 missiles.) We do not want to create a similar situation on the West Bank.

The salient question before any peace deal: Is there a responsible Palestinian leadership courageous enough to make bold decisions toward a real peace, which is supported by a majority of the population?

Therefore the key points of any agreement must include:

  1. End of conflict.
  2. End of claims.
  3. Recognition of Israel as the Jewish homeland.
  4. Recognition that Israel is not occupying Arab land.
  5. Recognition of the experience of Jewish, as well as Palestinian, refugees.
  6. No cleansing of Jews from Palestinian territory, just as Israel does not advocate uprooting Arabs from Israel.
  7. Establishment of solid security arrangements without reliance on outside enforcement.
  8. Serious educational effort to promote peace, stop propaganda and dismantle terror infrastructure.

This last point, of utmost importance, would be of immediate implementation; otherwise, what gets reinforced is the traditional teaching of Muhammad that permits deceiving the enemy in order to accumulate enough power to destroy them later, as he did to the tribe of the Quraish in Medina. This was one of Yasser Arafat’s favorite ways of explaining why he negotiated with Israel.

This will undoubtedly take a bit more time, but it is better to have a durable peace than a shaky interim pseudo-agreement.

Written By

Jewish Way is a lifestyle magazine created with the passionate goal of integrating the Jewish Community. The magazine also contains sections on Jewish education, life in Israel, travel, food recipes, interior design, health, fashion and much more!...