The American Model for the Israeli Peace Process

Abraham made his debut in Eretz-Israel 4,000 years ago. Jacob, the grandson of Abraham, lent his name to the land after his name was changed to Israel. Jews are descended from Judah, the son of Jacob, and great-grandson of Abraham. There have been occasional wars, wanderings, and expulsions of much of the Jewish population, but we have called this land our homeland for 4,000 years.
To accent this fact, we returned to Zion in large numbers after the Shoah, saying, “Never again.” Unfortunately, the Nazi killing machine was replaced by a Palestinian killing machine. While Palestinian negotiators on occasion have paid lip service to peace in exchange for financial aid, incitement to violence against Israeli civilians has never stopped. In the Palestinian Arabic press, peace deals with Israel are only seen as temporary arrangements until the Arabs can acquire enough military power to destroy the Jews.
When David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the establishment of a Jewish State on May 14, 1948, to be known as the State of Israel, he promised that the new political reality would uphold the full social and political equality of all its citizens, without distinction of religion or race. Arabs born in Israel are Israeli citizens with full civil rights.
Unfortunately, Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza are not very welcoming to the Zionist enterprise. Palestinians claim that their residence in the land for the past almost 1,400 years makes them more indigenous than Jews who have called it their homeland for 4,000 years. They say that we should leave.
In spite of unfriendly neighbors, we continue to strive for peace. The world loves to give us advice on how to go about this. I hate to be a bearer of bad news, but every conflict is different. What may make peace between the British and the Irish, let’s say, may not be a recipe for success with someone like Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein or Mahmoud Abbas.
Every situation is different with its own set of unique variables, but in deference to our Palestinian neighbors, let’s permit them to lay claim to 1,400 years of indigenousness for the sake of this discussion. What does such a label earn them within the context of history?
Native Americans fought against European settlers in many wars in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but the conflict wasn't finally settled until about 1890. Tragically, only after great national loss to Native Americans, the struggle with former European settlers was resolved.
No one expects or demands that non-native Americans return to the lands from which they came. Why? The current U.S. government has the power to successfully defend its land. The issue has been settled.
Civil issues between Native Americans and the U.S. government are settled through the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), which is a part of the U.S. Department of the Interior. We are not discussing an obsolete agency in American history. It is currently an organ of the U.S. government. Native Americans live in semi-autonomous regions known as tribal lands. They no longer seriously discuss armed struggle against the people or government of the United States.
The United States has become the great melting pot with both former Europeans and Native Americans living happily together as neighbors. Indian casinos regularly earn billions of dollars in revenue from non-Indian gamblers. In fact, there are 479 Indian gaming operations in the United States.
Interestingly enough, there has been some talk among Palestinians of likewise building casinos to fleece any Israelis lacking any practical understanding of statistics. Such an arrangement would no doubt help solve any future economic problems of semi-autonomous Palestinian areas.
The Israeli government accepted Oslo II or what is known as the Taba Agreement in 1995. According to this agreement, the Palestinian Authority was given full civil and security control in Area A, which is about 3% of the West Bank. In Area B, which comprises about 23-25% of the West Bank, Palestinians enjoy civil control, whereas security control is shared with Israel.
If the current agreement concerning Areas A and B became the permanent arrangement, we wouldn’t have to worry about violent West Bank Palestinians becoming the majority in our Jewish state, which would be located between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. The Palestinian areas would remain demilitarized just like Native American tribal lands.
Would the international community balk at such a proposal? It would be highly hypocritical for the Americans to criticize an Israeli Bureau of Palestinian Affairs within the Israeli government since the Bureau of Indian Affairs is still an important part of the U.S. Department of the Interior. If the EU continued to pressure Israel to capitulate to terrorists, perhaps we could advise them to convince the United States to abolish the Bureau of Indian Affairs on the way to creating a fully independent Native American State. How would that go over at the White House?
Eli’s Mandate: Leave your mark, make a difference for the good, and do your part to make sure that they never again devour Jacob or make his habitation waste.
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