Israel’s left-wing newspaper Ha’aretz, which advocates acquiescing to most Arab demands in return for peace, has this week been hosting its first “Israel Conference on Peace,” coincidently scheduled for the same week Palestinian terrorists are pounding the Jewish state with missiles.
Somewhat sidestepping present realities, Tuesday’s keynote speaker largely blamed Israel for the lack of peace in the region.
Phillip Gordon is a special assistant to US President Barack Obama and coordinates policy regarding the Middle East. In his assessment, which is shared by the Arab world, it is Israel’s “occupation” of the biblical lands of Judea and Samaria that is creating the regional instability.
“Israel confronts an undeniable reality: It cannot maintain military control of another people indefinitely. Doing so is not only wrong but a recipe for resentment and recurring instability,” Gordon insisted.
The American continued: “How will Israel remain democratic and Jewish if it attempts to govern the millions of Palestinian Arabs who live in the West Bank? How will it have peace if it’s unwilling to delineate a border, end the occupation and allow for Palestinian sovereignty, security and dignity?”
In other words, Gordon believes that if only Israel would meet Palestinian demands, as his Ha’aretz hosts often recommend, peace and coexistence would reign in the Holy Land.
Like many of the Ha’aretz writers, Gordon conveniently ignored the fact that prior to 1967, Israel did not control Judea and Samaria, but still faced at least as many terror threats as it does today, in addition to several full-scale military invasions by its neighbors.
Nor did Gordan address the fact that prior to the US-brokered “Oslo” peace process that imposed Yasser Arafat’s PLO on both Israel and the local Palestinian population, there was far less tension between Arabs and Jews, even in the so-called “occupied” territories.