Mideast Peace Talks and ‘Land for War’


golan-heights-isra_2488672bThe current peace process is predicated on the conventional wisdom that if Israel just relinquishes enough territory to its enemies, peace will arrive. But on most of Israel’s borders, history has revealed the naïve folly behind an idea that could just as aptly be called “land-for-war.”

Consider Syria. From 1948 to 1967, the Syrians regularly fired artillery shells from their dominant positions on the Golan Heights down at Israeli border communities and Fatah used the territory to launch terrorist raids into Israel, until Israel captured it in 1967. But since the US-brokered talks between Israel and Syria began in 1999, peaceniks have posited that a full withdrawal by Israel from the strategic plateau in exchange for peace with Syria involved a risk worth taking. Their rationale was that – in an era dominated more by aerial threats (jets and missiles) than terrestrial ones (soldiers and tanks) – the territory was no longer vital to Israeli security and could be traded for a double boon: peace with Syria and elimination of Iran’s greatest strategic ally.

Current events reveal the deeply flawed assumptions underpinning the land-for-peace-with-Syria paradigm. No Israeli territorial concession is needed for Iran to lose its only Arab ally; the Syrian civil war will ultimately accomplish that. Basher Assad’s regime will eventually fall because the daily slaughter of one’s own people (with over 100,000 dead) is unsustainable when each atrocity can be instantly uploaded to the Internet. Whoever replaces Assad will be no friend to those who armed, funded, and prolonged his massacres: Iran and Russia. Iran and its proxy Hezbollah have also been substantially involved in fighting the rebels on the ground, and thus will be distanced from post-war Syria far more than any Israeli-Syrian peace could have separated Iran and Syria.

More importantly, the land-for-peace formula with Syria would have transferred the strategic territory from Israel to an Alawite-led regime reviled by the mostly Sunni rebels who will eventually overthrow it and likely disavow its commitments – including any peace deal with Israel. Indeed, the Syrian rebels already control much of the 200 square miles comprising the Syrian side of the Golan Heights (where they recently kidnapped 21 UN peacekeepers stationed there) and have openly threatened to attack Israel next. Israel comprises about 8,000 square miles. If those same rebels were on the 500 square miles constituting the Israeli-side of the plateau thanks to an earlier “peace deal,” Israel would be that much closer to the errant projectiles of Syria’s civil war, and that much more exposed to whatever terrorist attacks on Israel the Syrian jihadist fighters plan after finishing Assad. Hence, Israel’s tangible security asset (earned with the blood of over 2,100 IDF soldiers who died in Israel’s 1967 and 1973 wars with Syria) would have been traded for “peace” with Assad, but land-for-war with Syrian Islamists is what Israel may have received just a few years later.

Indeed, “land-for-war” has a compelling record. In 2000, Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon and in 2006 was attacked from there by Hezbollah. It was only the force of Israel’s military response in the war that followed – rather than any territorial concession – that prevented any subsequent cross-border attacks by Hezbollah, although the terrorist group still pursues murderous plots abroad, including in Europe (which still cowers from labeling Hezbollah a terrorist organization).

Since Israel left the Gaza Strip in 2005, Palestinian terrorists have launched about 10,000 rockets from there at Israeli civilians (including during Obama’s only visit to Israel as president, violating yet another cease-fire agreement). Since the 1993 Oslo Peace Accord requiring Israel to hand over parts of the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terrorist attacks have killed over 1,000 Israelis.

The 1994 Jordan-Israel peace involved very little land (and heavily depends on survival of the Hashemite Kingdom), so the best precedent supporting the land-for-peace model is Egypt, which agreed to peace with Israel for return of the Sinai Peninsula. That cold peace has held since 1979 mostly thanks to over $60 billion of US aid to Egypt and an unpopular, secular autocrat (Hosni Mubarak). With all of the chaos plaguing Egypt now, particularly in the Sinai (from which a single, high-casualty attack on Israel could provoke an Israeli response), the future of the Egypt-Israel peace is hardly certain.

The spoils of war normally go to the victor. In 1848, the US captured much of its western territory (including California, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah) from Mexico in the Mexican-American war. Sometimes – as with Southern Lebanon, Gaza, or the 1938 Munich Agreement transferring the Sudetenland to the Nazis – land-for-peace turns out to be an illusory promise that only encourages military aggression.

Given the many more urgent (and far bloodier) problems in the Middle East that have nothing to do with Israel, why has Obama invested so much more in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process than in any other Mideast issue? And, more importantly, why is Obama so convinced that, if Israelis withdraw from the West Bank (thanks to the current peace process underway), this time they will get land-for-peace instead of land-for-war?

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  • muchiboy

    “What history tells us about Israeli territorial concessions to the Palestinians.”

    The moral equivalent of :

    “What history tells us about European Colonial (i.e.American ) territorial concessions to the American First Nations people.”

    or

    “What history tells us about Boer territorial concessions to the South African Blacks.”

    Laughable,if it weren’t so tragic,shameful and unconscionable.

    • StanleyT

      muchiboy, did you think we’d forget reality and you could come back and repeat all the lies we have already refuted time and time again? If so, you’re a lot less intelligent than I gave you credit for.

      Your “moral equivalents” are idiotic. The “European Colonial (i.e. American)” project and the Boers were not granted territory under international law. See San Remo Conference, League of Nations Mandate for Palestine (and the League of Nations Mandate for Mesopotamia – Iraq – Syria and Lebanon, giving the Arabs way more land than was given to the Jews, so they have nothing to complain about) and the UN Charter, Chapter 80.

      For Jewish willingness to share the land, see their reaction to the 1937 Peel Report and the 1947 UN Partition Plan. See also the Jewish offer that was greeted with the Three Nos of Khartoum, the Jewish offers at Camp David and Wye and in Jerusalem in 2008.

      With all these considered, the fact that anybody – even you – can continue to support the genocidal “Palestinian” project, is what is truly tragic, shameful and unconscionable.

      • muchiboy

        The decision by the UN to approve the partition of Palestine(at the expense of the Palestinian Arabs) was ill conceived and morally suspect,this at a time when the evils of Colonialism were becoming apparent and its death knell ringing in the background.The arrogance and power of the white race was still alive and well at the time.Time has shown UN Resolution 181 to be fatally flawed.It needs to be revisited and corrected,with the interests of Christian,Jew and Muslim in mind.

        • gray_man

          Nonsense.

        • Abu Zubi

          “Palestine” was partitioned at the expense of the Jews, who had the right to all of it! The evil occupying colonists were and are the Arab invaders and squatters.

        • Drakken

          Effem, the palis deserve everything they get and more. Next time one of those pali savages launches a rocket, give them rolling arty barrages and drop a few MOABS, if that doesn’t stop the attacks, give Gaza a taste of Carthage and call it a day.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          “The arrogance and power of the white race was still alive and well at the time.”

          So you are a racist.

          “Time has shown UN Resolution 181 to be fatally flawed.It needs to be revisited and corrected,with the interests of Christian,Jew and Muslim in mind.”

          The world is not a democracy. We support democratic movements when they are respectful of the values of our republic as well.

          There is no way that we should ever support any sharia regimes or factional movements. That should leave the “Palestinians” with the same status as al Qaeda. But the fakestinians are useful tools of the imperialist jihadis and the totalitarian leftists. And their dupes rally around the green-red lies.

          • Moa

            Very well said.

        • ObamaYoMoma

          You are still exceedingly unhinged Muchiboy. Nevertheless, the sole fundamental purpose of Islam is the subjugation of all religions and all infidels into Islamic totalitarianism via jihad and through the eventual imposition of Sharia, which is Islamic totalitarian law, and Israel is merely just one theater of many in that global jihad.

        • ObamaYoMoma

          The arrogance and power of the white race was still alive and well at the time.

          Like the unhinged leftwing moonbat you always were, you condemn the white race for doing the exact same thing that all races and all cultures are guilty of since time immemorial. Indeed, you have been rendered into little more than a self-hating loon.

    • Abu Zubi

      SO muchiboy, how much of your own property have you turned over and returned to the American Indians? Show the Israelis how it needs to be done!

      • objectivefactsmatter

        I don’t think we’re talking to an American. If so, he’s a leach taking his socialist-defined “fair share.” Which to a leftist is as much as he can get for free.

      • muchiboy

        America and Canada both embrace First Nation peoples within their respective countries.There are no First Nation peoples living outside our borders as a result of ethnic cleansing as is the case in Israel.Occupation and colonization are dirty at the best of times,but the occupation and colonization of Palestine by the mostly European Diaspora was accomplished by de facto ethnic cleansing,and the only thing distinguishing it from Apartheid South Africa is the efficient and effective means of the ethnic cleansing.

        • StanleyT

          You continually display a level of ignorance that is absolutely astonishing. There are millions of Arabs living within Israel, both inside its current “internationally recognized” lines and the original territory granted to it by the international powers.

          As for UN Resolution 181, it is completely irrelevant . It became so when the Arabs invaded the territory that was supposed to become Israel. When that happened, international law immediately reverted to what it was before – with the Jews legally entitled to ALL of Judea and Samaria and ALL of Jerusalem, as stipulated in the Mandate for Palestine (the Jews were also granted ALL of what subsequently became Transjordan and then Jordan, but voluntarily relinquished their claim to this territory. Similarly, the only thing that can change the law created by the League of Nations is Jewish agreement to such changes – which they offered in 1948, but which was rejected).

          If you think the Mandate for Palestine “needs to be revisited”, then you must equally call for revisiting the creation of the Mandates for Mesopotamia (Iraq), Syria and Lebanon, and you must even more strongly contest the creation of Jordan.

          If you refuse to condemn all of these equally and save your opprobrium only for the Jewish state, then Muchiboy, you once again reveal yourself for the Jew hater that you truly are.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          “America and Canada both embrace First Nation peoples within their respective countries.There are no First Nation peoples living outside our borders as a result of ethnic cleansing as is the case in Israel.”

          Are “first nation” non-citizens attacking Canada’s sovereignty?

          “…the occupation and colonization of Palestine by the mostly European Diaspora was accomplished by de facto ethnic cleansing,and the only thing distinguishing it from Apartheid South Africa is the efficient and effective means of the ethnic cleansing.”

          Um, yeah…no. Not.

          Got any evidence to back up your accusations?

          • muchiboy

            Evidence? No,it’s all been cleverly hidden and camouflaged by “facts on the ground.”
            My God,man,how does a country,i.e.Palestine,with a majority Palestinian Arab population,go to a majority Jewish population over a decade or less.Throw in tens of thousands of European Jews emigrating to Palestine,and the displacement of near equal numbers of Palestinian Arabs from their lands,and,Presto!,you have a majority Jewish state accomplished by,yes,ethnic cleansing.An extremely effective tool in the right,i.e.Zionist,hands.And no right of return of war refugees or their descendents,unless they were Jewish war refugees fleeing the Holocaust.You aren’t a rocket scientist,are you?

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “Evidence? No,it’s all been cleverly hidden and camouflaged by “facts on the ground.”"

            I’ll play along for a moment. Assuming that’s true, where did you get your information in the first place? You just read jihadi “grievances” and accept them at face value?

            “My God,man,how does a country,i.e.Palestine,with a majority Palestinian Arab population,go to a majority Jewish population over a decade or less.”

            You hate facts I see.

            “Throw in tens of thousands of European Jews emigrating to Palestine,and the displacement of near equal numbers of Palestinian Arabs from their lands,and,Presto!,you have a majority Jewish state accomplished by,yes,ethnic cleansing.An extremely effective tool in the right,i.e.Zionist,hands.”

            I see no indications that you have any accurate knowledge of the relevant history. You just process the red-green propaganda and assume those nasty religious people are lying, except of course for the “victim” jihadis. They would never lie.

            “And no right of return of war refugees or their descendents,unless they were Jewish war refugees fleeing the Holocaust.”

            There is a current war going on. You don’t ever allow “refugees” to return during a war. Furthermore, those legitimate refugees are dead. Now you have an entirely new warrior class bred on some of the same lies you spew who are gathering around demanding rights they never had in the first place.

            The only reason you think you’re positions are reasonable is because you know that there are plenty of other deranged dupes that also accept these lies. That’s all you’ve got for “evidence.”

        • ObamaYoMoma

          Actually, the resurrection of Israel from Islamic totalitarianism represents the first successful liberation of dhimmis, and that is why it is such a particularly painful thorn in the side of the Islamic world that must be avenged.

    • Drakken

      Your lucky to even be breathing, we left you alive and you lost. Get over it.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      In the sense that the “Palestinians” are imperialist jihadis, yeah, but they’re inspired by an imperialist ideology that’s a lot worse than any other in world history.

      You must really hate the Jihadi liars. Me too. But you’re wrong about moral equivalence. Obviously you exaggerate to the point of delusion.

      • muchiboy

        I am by no means a fundamentalist,religious or otherwise.I am as suspect of our own religious right as I am of their Jihadists.However,I do not believe Islam or the world Muslim community is any more defined by that flawed creed than is our Western Christian community.
        As for my moral equivalent examples,try walking in their shoes,mate.Of course,they should do likewise,the old,tried and true,”Golden Rule”.And I have come across Palestinian sensitivities and tolerances here,in their poignant self view of themselves and their Jewish occupiers and oppressors; i.e.”Victims of victims”.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          “…I do not believe Islam or the world Muslim community is any more defined by that flawed creed than is our Western Christian community.”

          Well then I have some exciting or frightening news for you: Islam is fundamentally coercive.

          “As for my moral equivalent examples,try walking in their shoes,mate.Of course,they should do likewise,the old,tried and true,”Golden Rule”.And I have come across Palestinian sensitivities and tolerances here,in their poignant self view of themselves and their Jewish occupiers…”

          Sure, you can in theory find people in various societies that are not equal in any sense, but these selected individuals can be used as examples to show that people are more or less the same in terms of potential.

          We’re not attacking every individual. And those individuals that you mention can not take leadership roles unless they somehow convince the masses that they believe in (totalitarian) Islam.

          Basically when you criticize a civilization you’re critical of the results overall and you’re criticizing their leadership. Hopefully if you want to figure out solutions you figure out fundamental reasons for these problems.

          Hence the focus on Islam. And the “Palestinians” are driven by (even though some members of the movement and many who hope to gain by the movement are not) Jihadis. Jihad is imperialism.

          “…Jewish occupiers and oppressors; i.e.”Victims of victims”.”

          Israel is in control of land that they might be willing to seed to a new nation. That’s not the legal definition of “occupation” but in this context we can call it that. But to call the only legitimate sovereign “oppressors” is in this particular case beyond sick. There are jihadis and there are the oppressed. Yes, the jihadis oppress their own people and blame “the Jews.” And if they get a hold of any Jews, we know what happens then.

          Don’t fall for it if you want to be a humane person. You’ll never get your bearings straight no matter how good your intentions are if you can’t accurately identify the evil trouble-causing parties.

        • Moa

          muchibo, I hope you are aware that there is no “Golden Rule” in Islam. Despite Islam being an Arian heretical offshoot of Christianity it happens that Christianity explicitly teaches the Golden Rule while Islam rejects it.

          In Islam all non-Muslim are required to be subjugated and treated with severe discrimination (including the onerous extra ‘jizya’ taxes). This discrimination is mandated in Qur’an Surat At-Tawba 29 [Verse of the Sword, Sura 9:29], which the Muslim scholar Pickthal translates as:

          “Fight against those who

          (1) believe not in Allah,

          (2) nor in the Last Day,

          (3) nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger

          (4) and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians),

          until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

          See how Muslims *must* subjugate and discriminate against Muslims, and force them to pay the jizya tax.

          Personally I’m against this dscrimination which is so clearly laid out in the Qur’an. I don’t know why you would advocate for such discrimination against all non-Muslism, including against Israelis.

          Why would you advocate for something so immoral?

          Do you want to be immoral as to promote the evil Qur’anic doctrine that drives the Muslims against Israel and the West ?

          Surely you see yourself as a good person seeking justice, yes? then why do you promote the evil discriminatory agenda of the Islamists against every non-Muslim? Surely you’ve read the Qur’an and hadiths yourself and know that Mohammed’s Arab imperial supremacist teachings are as far from the Golden Rule as you can get. You know this, right?

          • muchiboy

            From the hadith, the collected oral and written accounts of Muhammad and his teachings during his lifetime:

            A Bedouin came to the prophet, grabbed the stirrup
            of his camel and said: O the messenger of God! Teach me something to go
            to heaven with it. Prophet said: “As you would have people do to you, do
            to them; and what you dislike to be done to you, don’t do to them. Now
            let the stirrup go! [This maxim is enough for you; go and act in
            accordance with it!]”

            —Kitab al-Kafi, vol. 2, p. 146

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “A Bedouin came to the prophet, grabbed the stirrup
            of his camel and said: O the messenger of God! Teach me something to go
            to heaven with it. Prophet said: “As you would have people do to you, do
            to them; and what you dislike to be done to you, don’t do to them. Now
            let the stirrup go! [This maxim is enough for you; go and act in
            accordance with it!]””

            Right. This is interpreted as having everyone submit to sharia as jihadi Muslims do. Not quite the same as the golden rule to Christians or Jews who believe in liberty.

          • Moa

            Ah, it’s all about “abrogation”. The less hateful verses of the Qur’an have all been replaced (formally, this is known as “abrogation”) by verses of pure evil. Like Sura 9.

            You were right in your thinking. I’m just giving your the name of the word from Islamic doctrine that shows you are right. Don’t forget to research about it at jihadwatch.org and use it in future against the misguided and the deceitful.

            Keep up the great posts, please :)

          • Moa

            Hey n00b, ever hear of the doctrine called “abrogation”?

            Islam is allegedly a “progressively revealed” superstition. It meant that when Mohammed wanted to have sex with someone he’d already ruled other Muslims could not then suddenly a new “relevation” would come to him and the rules would change. Even his underage child sex bride Aisha called Mohammed out for this scam.

            Anyway, because Islam was revealed at Mohammed’s whim it means later verses “abrogate” the previous ones. All the nice peaceful verses from the Meccan Period are replaced with the evil, discriminatory, genocidal and racist verses from the Medina period.

            Islamic verses that the ignorant spout like the classic, “There is no compulsion in religion” and your hadith have all been abrogated by the last revelation – which is the pure hatred contained in Sura 9, The Verse of the Sword (which I have already quoted to you). The vile commandments of Sura 9 are the last from Mohammed, they abrogate everything else, and nothing abrogates them.

            The hadith you quoted is abrogated. N00b. How about you learn a bit more about Islamic doctrine before you pull out more abrogated verses and embarras yourself again.

            Your are defending pure evil. It is not your fault, the four doctrines of lying to promote Islam were probably used on you (that is, taqiyya, kitman, muruna and tawriya). Unfortunately you have been too credulous and never cross-checked the facts. Hence, in error, you have been promoting evil.

            Like I said, there is not Golden Rule in Islam. Any niceness in the Qur’an and hadith has been abrogated by the hate speech verses. So stop spreading falsehood and defending evil. Doing so makes you evil.

        • ObamaYoMoma

          However,I do not believe Islam or the world Muslim community is any more defined by that flawed creed than is our Western Christian community.

          Which reveals that you are more than just a little unhinged, and explains why you are an incredibly gullible useful idiot.

  • Abu Zubi

    The real problem with “land for peace” is that it was never formulated on the presumption that the Arab aggerssors must grant parts of their lands to Israel as the price for peace.

    • ObamaYoMoma

      Uhm…it’s not an Arab – Israeli conflict and never was. Instead, its a perpetual jihad being waged by all Muslims, not just Arabs, in the cause of Allah for the establishment/expansion of Islam, as the sole fundamental purpose of Islam is the subjugation of all religions and all infidels into Islamic totalitarianism via jihad and through the eventual imposition of Sharia, which is Islamic totalitarian law.

  • DontMessWithAmerica

    I am losing all my respect for Israel as they make concessions to Obama and to the Palestinians. How much more admirable are the Egyptians who stand up to their enemies, remove them and tell Obama, “Keep your money and stay away from us.” It’s the bourgeois need of Israelis for their “Gemutlichkeit” that will be their undoing. You don’t negotiate with people who seek only your destruction. They’ve had enough experience now not to play dumb and ignore reality.

    • Moa

      Israel has just told America that it doesn’t want its defence aid money. An interesting development for sure. The Democrat Administration now has lost all leverage over Israel, Egypt, Syria, Iran and Russia. It is simply not possible to be doing a worse foreign policy job than the Democrat White House is doing at the moment. It’s gross incompetance.

      • DontMessWithAmerica

        It this the foreword to a new book of fiction?

        • Moa

          What, you can’t cope with the fact that the Israelis are far far smarter than stoopid Kerry, Obama and Hilton.

          You can be in denial if you want – that way you won’t have to drop a favourite meme that if not for the generosity of the Americans then Israel would fall. What idiotic poppycock spouted by fools! Israel clearly does not need a duplicitous and treacherous “friend” like the Obama Administration telling the whole World Israel information classified for Allies only.

          You can take your filthy money. The Israelis won’t accept it as the bloodymoney for treachery. That’s why they’ve been cutting their military, in preparation for Kerry to try and use money as leverage – but the Israelis are too smart to fall into the trap of the Leftist Loons in charge of the U.S. of A.

  • Walter Sieruk

    These ” peace talks” idea of Obama and Kerry are a sick joke. In that that the “land for peace” policy is both folly and foolishness. At best it’s an example of extreme futility. For the Muslim/Arabs [the"Palestinians"] will use any land that by might obtain from the State of Israel and let the jihadists use it as a base to launch murderous rocket attacks into Israel.As for examplein the case of Gaza. Thus in any so called “negotiations” the”Palestinian” leaders will be very disingenous in their intentions and with their claims. They will dissimulate. For history has shown that “dialouge” of this type does not work and then no rational reason be believe that it will work in the future. Such a thing as this is described in the Bible. Which reads In Psalm 55:20,21. “Such men do violence to those at peace with them and break their promised word; their speech is smoother then butter but their thoughts are of war.” [NEB]

    • Moa

      While you give a Biblical precedent the Islamic one is the “Treaty of Hudaybiyyah” where Mohammed allowed a temporary ceasation of the *duty* of jihad while the Muslims built up their strength to defeat their enemies.

      The temporary ceasefire that Muslims make against Jews is called “hudna”. Muslims cannot make permanent peace with non-Muslims. All treaties are considered non-permanent ceasefires until hostilities can be resumed at a time when the Muslims have the advantage. As much I wish this was different, this is core Islamic doctrine.

  • Drakken

    You can not negotiate with Islamic savages period, how many times do you folks in Israel need to be shown that the savages want you dead and gone? The only thing the muslim respects and understands is the mailed fist, use it regularly, they cannot wage jihad on you if they have no jihadist to do so.

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    • Moa

      The reason the Muslims want Israel deal and gone is summed up in hadith Sahih Muslim 6985. This calls for the genocide of the Jews to bring the (Islamic) Day Of Judgement. That’s why land swaps for peace are not permanent solutions as long as the Arabs are believers in Islamic doctrine. Of course, there are many verses in the Qur’an and hadiths that also call for this, but the reference I have is clear and undeniable. Just thought you might like to know so you can quote it for others next time you post :)

  • ObamaYoMoma

    None of it matters or is even important. What is important to understand is that Islam is not a so-called “religion of peace” but a very aggressive and destructive totalitarian cult instead with the sole fundamental purpose of subjugating into Islamic totalitarianism all religions and all infidels via jihad and through the imposition of Sharia, which is Islamic totalitarian law. Indeed, that is why Islam is waging jihad against not only Israel, but also all non-Islamic countries around the world that have the misfortune of bordering Islamic countries. Hence, there is no peace possible as long as Islam remains strong enough to pursue jihad. Indeed, that’s all we have to know.

  • INTOLERANTOFEVIL

    Please ISRAEL use your nuclear weapons on Washington DC….

    • objectivefactsmatter

      If only someone sane had the political equivalent of nuclear weapons.

      • INTOLERANTOFEVIL

        If only someone would destroy Washington DC…