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An Offer for Peace: Disarming Hamas and Fatah

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Fresh hope for Middle East Peace lies in the revitalization of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, offering Israel normalized relations with all Arab (League) states.

In return: Israel is expected to withdraw from and create a Palestinian state on the territory taken in the 1967 war, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and offer “a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem.”

Through the years both populations have come to mistrust the other side. Most Israelis will not accept their government sacrificing part of their sacred Jerusalem without firm guarantees that the violence from the Palestinians, most notably, the rocket fire will end. Not to mention the substantial settler movement within Israel who balk at the prospect of giving one inch of land, even for peace.

Outsiders will say that the above is a small price to pay for peace — but why should Israelis pay, for something that their military’s reputation for disproportionate retaliations and collective punishment has practically gained already?

The Arabs need to offer more for Israel to accept the initiative — disarmament could well be the answer.

Currently, the biggest threat to Israel comes from within the Palestinian territories. I believe U.N. peacekeepers could verify the decommissioning of, for arguments sake, 10% of Hamas and Fatah’s arms for every 10% of land returned, both processes completing on an agreed date. After Hamas and Fatah were disarmed and the withdrawal was complete, the U.N. force could maintain the peace from parties outside the agreement, such as Islamic Jihad, to allow the creation of the new Palestinian state.

Setting up P.A. police and security forces when Israel has gained trust in the unity government’s commitment to the agreement would be the U.N forces’ next task.

The new P.A. force’s first job: disarming all Palestinians, starting with Islamic Jihad. In an independent Palestinian state, free from Israeli forces, settlements, controls and restrictions, I can’t see why anyone would refuse to give their trust and their arms to the new state’s security forces.

The issue the initiative fails to deal with, the peacekeepers could: ensuring the Israeli security wall is torn down after a suitable period of Israeli security.

Israel and the Arab League both seek to stop Iran developing nuclear weapons and dominating the region, suddenly peace may not be so distasteful to governments on both sides. The Arabs offering disarmament in conjunction with Israel meeting its commitments would allow Israel to sell peace to its understandably cautious population

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About Liam Bailey

  • MBD

    Since day one, the Israeli government has salivated over taking the West Bank, the Golan and Gaza.

    Now do you expect a reversal of this policy in return for “peace”?

    As Ariel Sharon said, “we have peace.”

    At the end of the six day war in 1967, Ariel Sharon said, “We have peace – a piece of Egypt, a piece of Jordan, a piece of Syria, a piece of Lebanon.”

  • http://www.sixdaywar.co.uk Terry Mendoza

    This analysis has been based on a somewhat contentious quote, supposedly uttered by Ariel Sharon. This is the third time it has been cited within blogcritics, yet I have been unable to find the primary source for this quote anywhere else. Can anybody point me to an authoratative source? Without such proof I will be relegating it to the status of an urban myth – used as a stick to beat Israel.

  • http://warpages-leejay.blogspot.com Liam Bailey

    Terry:

    I hope you’re not talking about my article. Because I can assure you the first time I hard that Sharon quote was MBD’s comment, above yours.

  • http://www.sixdaywar.co.uk Terry Mendoza

    No Liam Your article is excellent – it was MBD’s comment to which I was referring. I realized the ambiguity of my comment only after I posted!

    Should an authoratative source exist for the comment attributed to Sharon then it would need to be included and discussed on our site.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    I don’t have trouble with your article – not because I agree with it, but because it is aimed at an Arab market.

    I do not think that any but a few intellectuals reading the publications you write in will take your proposals seriously.

    But the fact that you make them, rather than some dumb Israeli trying hard to run away from the hard realities of the Middle East, means you continue to move to the fulcrum of balance in looking at this issue.

    Good!

    As to the meat of your proposals, the only thing that differs between your proposals and the disaster that I warn against is that you call your outside force “UN peace-keepers” and I call them “the European fleet sitting off Lebanon.” In essence, what you propose is a European imposed diktat to kick the Jews out of their rightful inheritance, but to disarm Arabs at the same time. That is exactly what I foresee happening.

    The difference between what I foresee and what you propose is that those who would occupying Judea and Samaria (and Jerusalem and the Heights of Golan, and possibly Israel as well) do not give a tinker’s dam about either Jews or Arabs – they care only about extending the power of the EU and imposing a “Pax Europa” on this land. If Europe were not practically in the hands of the Arabs, that would not be as tragic as it is likely to be.

    As to the Israelis on the loony left – and the idiotic Jews overseas who agree with them – they are going to be disappointed when the reality of the Cossack’s whip they invite now strikes and draws blood and brings pain and humiliation.

    Evidently Hitler’s ovens were not education enough.

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