The history of the Arab-Israeli conflict reveals 24 major junctures when compromise was offered since the 1920s, dating from pre-state, League of Nations Mandate to the present time. Plan after plan, including patently pro-Arab proposals, were put on the table. Since the 1993 Oslo Accords, 15 agreements and memorandums have been signed. This piece examines those agreements and Arab response or compliance in each case.
28 March '15..
“The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.“
Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban
Arab claims that the Israeli “Occupation” prevents peace is nothing more than a red herring. It is not “The Occupation” that Arabs reject; it is Israel 's right to exist as a Jewish, sovereign and legitimate political entity.
What prevents achieving peace is Arab rejectionism, which began in the 1880s when the first Jewish immigrants returned to the land of Israel . 1 Since the 1920s, long before the establishment of Israel or the 1967 Six-Day War, Palestinian Arabs have used a combination of diplomatic moves and violence, particularly terrorism 2 against Jewish civilians, effectively rejecting every form of compromise.
At the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict is the Arab world's refusal to accept a non-Muslim political entity in the Middle East.
Peace requires an Arab world that recognizes Israel as a legitimate political entity. Legitimacy means a polity with viable and defendable borders where the Jews can exercise their own rights of self-determination by virtue of demographics (i.e., a Jewish majority) –hegemony that is reflected in the cultural and the political life of the Jewish nation.
The Arab refusal to recognize Israel and their attempts to destroy the Jewish state are among the defining characteristics of Palestinian society. Measures designed to destroy Israel vary from use of force (through wars, Intifadas , violent riots, revolts and terrorism) to use of economic and demographic forces (economic boycotts, demands for jobs in Israel, Palestinian infiltration into Israel without visas or other permits, and demands that Palestinian refugees from 1948 and their descendants be allowed to return to Israel). Absolute antipathy and intolerance towards non-Muslim political entities is a fate Jews shared with the Maronite Christians in Lebanon , even though Israel inhabits no more than 0.01 percent of the Middle Eastern landscape.
For almost 100 years, Palestinian behavior has been based on rejectionism and political violence. The Palestinian refugee problem created in 1948 did not spark those strategies, nor did the “Occupation” of the Territories in the wake of the 1967 Six-Day War, which brought Israeli control over West Bank (Judea and Samaria ) and Gaza .
Arabs have rejected the presence of Jews with political aspirations to rebuild their ancient homeland since the advent of political Zionism. When in 1891 the number of Jewish immigrants leaving the country equaled the number of new arrivals, and nine years of Zionist endeavor, had produced barely a dozen struggling and insolvent Jewish agricultural settlements. Arab notables from Jerusalem called upon the Ottoman administration to ban Jewish immigration and the sale of land to Jews. 3
At each juncture when attempts to reach a ‘live-and-let-live' solution have been advanced, Arab responses have boiled down to a two-pronged offensive that dovetails diplomacy with violence. In short, the Arabs, and particularly the Palestinians, have refused to recognize Israel as a legitimate entity or to negotiate genuine compromise. Instead, they have tried to drive the Jews out through violence and terror.