The conventional wisdom that talk, negotiation and compromise are the best way to resolve conflict is not true. It certainly wasn’t true of the Pax Romana, the American Civil war or of the case of the belligerents Germany and Japan at the end of WWII. Compromise has certainly done nothing to resolve the conflicts over Cyprus, Darfur, the Ukraine and the Korean peninsula.
Likewise, talk, negotiation and compromise certainly hasn’t worked in the Arab-Israeli conflict and in the current iteration of the so-called “Palestinian”- Israeli conflict. American policy has long been to prevent Israel from achieving a decisive military victory over the Arabs.
In 1956, President Eisenhower forced Israel to abandon its territorial gains from the Suez Crisis. Similarly, following the 1967 Six Day War, the U.S. helped engineer a U.N. resolution calling on Israel to return unspecified “territories occupied” in the war. The Reagan administration stopped Israel from obliterating Yasser Arafat’s PLO forces in Lebanon in 1982, and, most recently, the Obama administration pressured Israel to limit its objectives in its 2014 war with Hamas. Roman, G. 2016.
By removing the consequences of failure, Israel’s adversaries need not fret over irrevocable loss because they know the international community will pressure Israel to return to the status quo ante.
In violent, armed, protracted conflict, one can only win if the other side loses and, for there to be peace in this current iteration of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the “Palestinian” Arabs need to undergo visible defeat as well as acknowledge that they have been defeated. Only then can pace be born. This will also need to be the case in the coming of the inevitable conflict with Hezballah in Lebanon.
But, beginning in 1964, and certainly after 1967, the Arabs have succeeded in creating an ancient nation and people called Palestinians who have been deprived of their indigenous rights by colonising Jewish occupiers.
Mainly to reduce the threat of terror on their own citizens in the air, as well to ensure a supply of vital petroleum, Western Europe went along with the Arab charade with difficult consequences for Israel.
It is as well to get this over and done with at this stage: No Arab or Muslim state of Palestine ever existed.
Prior to 1964, and after 16 years of continuing conflict between Israel and the Fedayeen, there was never a prior concept of an Arab OR Muslim Palestine as a people, nation or state.
Particularly between 1948 and 1967, Arabs in the nascent state of Israel who were caught in the middle saw themselves as of the same nation as the Arabs in Jordan, Egypt and Syria – they were not ‘Palestinians.’ So much so, that the League of Nations, and the UN, until 1967, meant the Jews when they wrote ‘les palestiniens.’……..
These recently discovered “Palestinian People”, who allegedly demand political “self determination” were created by the Soviet disinformation masters in 1964 when they created the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
The term “Palestinian People” as a descriptive of Arabs in Palestine appeared for the first time in the preamble of the 1964 PLO Charter, drafted in Moscow. and affirmed by the first 422 members of the Palestinian National Council, handpicked by the KGB.
Why in Moscow? In the 1960s and 1970s, much like Iran (Hezbollah, Houthis, Hamas, al-Sabireen…) is doing today, the Soviets were in the business of creating and supporting “liberation organizations”: for Palestine and Bolivia in 1964, Columbia 1965, in the 70s “The Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia” that bombed US airline offices in Europe, and “The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine that bombed Israelis.” But the PLO, was by far its most enduring success.
In the PLO Charter preamble, the phrase “Palestinian Arab People” was used to exclude those Jews who had retained a presence in Palestine since Biblical times and had been a majority population in Jerusalem as early as 1845. But it was Romanian Communist dictator Nikolai Ceausescu, at Soviet urging, who persuaded Arafat to abandon his claim of wanting to annihilate the Jews in Israel in favour of “liberating the Palestinian People” in Israel.
It was the first step in reframing the conflict between the Arabs and the Jews from religious jihad to secular nationalism in a quest for political “self determination”, a posture far less offensive to the West.
And the west, desperate to stop Arafat and the PLO from blowing up its citizens in the tactic of plane skyjackings perfected by these Arabs, played along with the pretence.
So desperate was the west to keep the oil flowing that on April Fool’s Day, 2014, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas signed letters requesting that “the State of Palestine” be granted accession to 15 international conventions and treaties.
This action by the Palestinian leadership, and the consequent, hurried acceptance of the Palestinian applications by the UN which was expedited in an unseemly manner by the Swiss government, raised serious questions.
This was despite a 2011 UNSC ruling that rejected a Palestinian request for membership, citing disagreements on whether “Palestine” fulfilled the requirements set forth in the UN Charter for membership.
The reason that the “ancient” “Palestinian” people should be recognized as having a state was all the more ludicrous, in that nothing had changed in the interim.
Thus, the November 2012 UN General Assembly resolution upgrading the status of the Palestinian representation in the UN to that of a non-member observer-state did not establish a state, and therefore did not grant statehood to the Palestinians.
This is because the United Nations – whether the General Assembly or the Security Council – does not have the power to grant statehood. It only has the prerogative to invite existing states to apply for UN membership and to consider if such states fulfill the criteria for membership as set out in the UN Charter.
And, by all accepted international legal and customary criteria, no sovereign Palestinian state exists/ed because such statehood can/could be achieved only in accordance with the accepted international law criteria of a permanent population, a defined territory, government and the capacity to enter into relations with the other states.
As is manifestly clear today, Hamas, as Gazan “Palestinians”, cannot even enter into relations with their brother-“Palestinians” in Ramallah, let alone oversee a defined and agreed territory of any future Palestinian state.
But more than this, the whole notion of an Arab Muslim “Palestinian” “state” runs in direct contravention of the ill-fated 1995 Oslo accords which clearly stated in Article XXX1(7) that “neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (emphasis mine) pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations.”
Writing in 2014, Alan Baker presciently stated:
The enthusiasm with which the international community appears to encourage and pamper the Palestinians, and to play along with their attempt to accede to international conventions, under the flawed illusion that there exists a sovereign state of Palestine, will only serve to encourage the Palestinian leadership in its refusal to return to a negotiating mode in order to reach a final status agreement with Israel, solving all the relevant and outstanding issues that can be solved only through negotiation.
As such, the Palestinian leadership assumes that the international community will go along with any Palestinian demand, thereby obviating any need for negotiation and agreement.
One has only to view and/or read the vehement and violent “Palestinian” rejection of the 140 page Trump Peace to Prosperity Plan to understand better what Baker forecasted 5 years ago.
And so, to return to this article’s opening thesis, NO peace will be possible until the “ancient” “Palestinians” are thoroughly defeated in (the coming) war and where no constraints are made upon Israel.
It is time that the international community stopped lying to itself, stopped relying on cheap politicization rather than legal competence and international law, and accepts fully that this last vestige of the 100 year Arab-Israeli conflict has been protracted only through self-serving lies in that community which have nothing to do with either international law OR treaty.