Like its Arab neighbors (Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq), Israel was created on land that belonged to the Ottoman Turks and was not part of any nation in any meaningful sense of the term. It was not created by Jewish conquest but by the edict of the victorious powers in World War II who shifted national boundaries and also large populations in Europe to create a new order when the war was over. As allies of the defeated Axis, the Arabs were in a weak position to oppose the change, but they massed armies that had once served Rommel to attack the newly created state of Israel with the explicit intent of achieving its destruction.
The history of the Middle East conflict refutes the myth that it is about a Palestinian state or about land for the Palestinian Arabs. Both land and a state were offered at the outset of the dispute and fifty years later in the Oslo proposals, and were rejected twice. Moreover, from the Arab side it is only Jews who are regarded as an obstacle to Palestinian aspirations. The disenfranchisement of the majority Palestinian population in Jordan by its Hashemite rulers evokes no protest at all from the Arab world or the Palestinians. There could not be clearer evidence that other agendas prevail.
The war launched by the Arabs in 1948 to destroy the state of Israel has continued without formal interruption for more than half a century. In the intervening years, Jordan and Egypt signed peace agreements with Jerusalem, demonstrating that such agreements are feasible and their rejection is one-sided. The military occupation of the West Bank by Israel is a result of three Arab wars of aggression and the failure of other Arab states to negotiate, let alone sign such agreements. As a result of Arab aggressions using the West Bank as an attack corridor, the disputed terrain of the conflict is a security matter for Israel, which can only be resolved by a peace treaty that would allow the withdrawal of Israeli troops.
A Palestine Liberation Organization expressing the “national” aspiration of Palestinian Arabs was not established until 1964, fifteen years after the creation of the state of Israel. Even then it was not created by Palestinian Arabs but by the Egyptian dictator Gamal Abdul Nasser, architect of the 1967 war against Israel, whose explicit agenda was the destruction of the Israeli state. This was also the attitude of its eventual leader Yassir Arafat, who in 1970 rejected the idea of a Palestinian state in Palestinian Jordan, explaining that, “We shall oppose the establishment of this state to the last member of the Palestinian people, for if ever such a state is established it will spell the end of the whole Palestinian cause.” That cause was the destruction of Israel and the creation of a Palestinian state from the Jordan to the sea.
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