The French Initiative and Europe’s Moral Bankruptcy
The French peace initiative promoting an Israeli-Palestinian treaty ended with international representatives agreeing that a two-state solution must be achieved. Israelis and Palestinians were not invited; the plan was to determine parameters before inviting the parties to negotiate face-to-face.
In Israel the ever-shrinking leftist voice mirrors the European leftist elites and Islamic powers; opinion-makers such as Akiva Eldar show no shame. Eldar lists actions Israel must take to achieve peace, including uprooting an additional 250,000 Jews from their homes. There are no moves suggested to the Palestinians. This is the way negotiations have always been conducted in this conflict. Given the intransigence of the Palestinians, it is always up to Israel to make all the concessions.
The Arabs have consistently rejected any solution that recognizes and legitimizes a Jewish presence in the land of Israel, up to and including today’s Palestinian Authority and Hamas leadership. Every deal outside parties and the Israelis have tried to negotiate has been rejected, followed by new terror violence has erupting from the Arab sectors.
Despite nationalistic and revolutionary ideologies spouted by Arab rejectionists, the motivation for refusing to recognize Jewish sovereignty has always been Islamic. Muslims believe that lands conquered by Muslims may never legitimately revert to their prior (and rightful) owners. Muslims have refused to tolerate Jewish or any other sovereignty in any lands claimed by prior Islamic conquest, including Spain and Portugal, which Muslims refer to as “Al-Andalus”.
The ideological forerunner of all Arab rejectionists, the Nazi Haj Amin Husseini, incited attacks against the pre-state Jewish population, most notoriously in the 1929 massacres, which the British colonial powers did nothing to stop. The British were charged with fulfilling the Mandate, but whittled down the territory by lopping off 75% of the land to create the brand-new Transjordan (today’s Jordan, which is up to 70% Palestinian).
The remaining territory was re-divided by the U.N. Partition Plan. Jews were to receive gerrymandered, indefensibly-bordered, narrowly-linked regions; the largest area was the Negev desert, which was mostly unlivable. Jerusalem, which had had a Jewish majority since the mid-1800s, was excluded from Jewish territory. Was the U.N. plan merely a way to make the “Jewish problem” go away? Even this raw deal was too good for the Jews in the eyes of the five surrounding Arab states, which immediately attacked when Israeli independence was declared in 1948. In the end, the Arabs were the big losers, getting no new state, and stuck in refugee camps by their allies.
Participants in the Paris conference also were aiming for an imposition of “solutions”, with the likelihood that a new plan also will lead to further bloodshed. Israel’s own unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, uprooting more than 9,000 Jews, resulted in increased rocket attacks from Gaza; Hamas rockets now reach Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
But is it “no direct negotiations, no results”? This is a misconstruing of reality. Despite the ideological intransigence, on the ground there is a mostly workable stalemate with the P.A. The P.A. leadership is skimming a hefty percentage of the aid monies that flow in from the international community. The status quo has monetary value for them. To quell popular dissatisfaction with their governance, the P.A. incites against Israel, allowing the underclass to vent their frustrations against Jews, not Abbas. The “knife intifada” has been successful in creating new “martyrs”, but at a lower human cost to Israel. Of course this despicable, but Israel works hard to mostly prevent and disarm these terrorists and their handlers.
Israel helps the P.A. to stay in power—if elections were held Hamas, the worse of two evils, would take over in Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”). A Hamas takeover might cut off access to Israeli markets for Palestinian goods and services—Israel receives 90% of P.A. exports—especially the lucrative trade in “settlement expansion”, which employs thousands.
Were there to be an actual peace process and resulting state, aid money might cease to flow in to the P.A. kleptocracy coffers. The refugees-in-perpetuity and all their progeny would find themselves in yet another failed state with ISIS rushing in and making life hell. While in European capitals leftists cry over alleged apartheid, Palestinians have it better than the rest of the Arab world, with the exception of Israeli Arabs.
Given the repeated and expected failure of previous efforts, and a reasonable status quo, what are the French and Europeans looking to achieve? Are they looking to cut off the aid tap, with a strained Arab welfare budget at home? Another mass wave is expected this summer. Perhaps they simply refuse learn from their repeated mistakes, and abandon their old colonial meddling.