Why Peace Is Impossible

How is a resolution possible if Palestinians deny basic facts of Jewish history?

"With this video, the Israeli government has left no doubt on its pro-conflict agenda. Now the international community knows the Israeli government is committed to denying the Palestinian people their inalienable right to self-determination and on continuing their illegal and colonial enterprise in the occupied Palestinian territory.”

These are the words of chief Palestinian “negotiator” Saeb Erakat, in response to an Israeli-made educational video (cartoon) featuring deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon, which provides an accurate account of Israel’s legal acquisition of territories in Judea and Samaria during its defensive war of 1967, and subsequent (ongoing) inability to graciously hand over to the Palestinians the vast majority of these lands, in accordance with UN resolution 242.

According to Erakat, however, the movie depicts “an official representing the State of Israel present[ing] a cynical and falsified account of history and international law.”

Needless to say, Erakat presents no alternative historical “narrative” (lie) to counter the film’s undeniable claims, but rather reflexively condemns Israeli “intransigence and illegal settlement activity in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.” In doing so he provides yet another baseless Arab “sound bite” to delegitimize the Jewish State in the eyes of people who will certainly not find the time to view the movie for themselves.

So exactly what are the falsities of which Erakat speaks?

Mr. Ayalon summarizes the 6-minute video as follows:

“Israel’s presence in the West Bank is the result of a war of self-defense. The West Bank should not be considered occupied because there was no legal sovereign in the area [when Israel captured the territories]. Therefore, the real definition should be disputed territory.… That is why the presence and construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank should not be considered illegal.”

Ironically, these are not uniquely Mr. Ayalon’s opinions: “They are based on the conclusions made by world-renowned jurists like Professor Eugene Rostow, Justice Arthur Goldberg, and Stephen Schwebel, who headed the International Court of Justice.”

Apparently, though, Erakat believes that these great legal figures were also part of the Zionist conspiracy to “steal” Palestinian land.

The point is that when truths are conveyed as falsities—as they are by the Palestinian leadership to the Palestinian populace and the world at large—there is no chance whatsoever of fostering the preconditions necessary to forge an Israeli-Palestinian “peace.”

Without truth, there is no reason, the inevitable outcome of which is lawlessness.

The Israeli-Palestinian saga is a consequence of this chaos, the product of "rational" (Israel) attempting to placate "irrational" (Palestinians). How on Earth is common ground to be found when confronted by a people that are fully comfortable with distorting history?

Consider this: a recent survey by American pollster Stanley Greenberg of 1,010 Palestinian adults in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip found that 72% of Palestinians support overtly denying the historical presence of Jews in Jerusalem, which includes the Jewish people’s biblical connection to their eternal capital. In other words, nearly three quarters of Palestinians would conscientiously alter history to satisfy their personal whims and ambitions. More importantly is how this revisionism manifests in a manner that stifles Israeli-Palestinian negotiations: the poll found that a full 92% of Palestinians believe that Jerusalem should be the capital of Palestine only, whereas a mere 3% said that Jerusalem should be the capital of both Israel and Palestine.

It is not surprising that a people willing to throw 4000 thousand years of Jewish history out the window would also reject sharing Jerusalem with the Jewish state. By extension, there can be no negotiated settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict so long as the Palestinians virtually unanimously hold this position.

This is what happens when people ignore “inconvenient” truths, the flip-side of which contributes to the ongoing propaganda war being waged by the Palestinians against the Jewish state of Israel. There cannot be peace when the majority of Palestinians believe, or are willing to blindly accept and promulgate the notion that Jewish history is a “Zionist” fabrication.

This delusion is reinforced every time that a “chief” Palestinian figure, not unlike Saeb Erakat, makes egregious allegations.

And the fact the West accepts such folly is a reflection of the intellectual degeneration taking place herein, best evidenced by the accelerating transformation of Western universities from protectors of truth and disseminators of knowledge into bastions of ignorance and hate. Playing to this reality, and expecting the West to tow the Palestinian line, Erakat called “on the international community to demand an official explanation from the Government of Israel regarding th[e] video.”

Unfortunately for Erakat, unlike nearly every other legitimate action taken by Israel to defend itself, this film will not draw the ire of the world. For requiring Israel to further explain itself would paint the truth in brighter colors, plain for the world see, thereby more overtly exposing what many of us already know: Palestinian nationalism is founded upon lies, a reality that, in truth, negates the entire Palestinian movement, thus the Palestinian right to self-determination.

As stated by Mr. Ayalon, “There is no magic solution to the situation.… But the only way a solution will ever be reached is if we base our negotiations [with the Palestinians] on legal and historical facts.”

This will never happen, as using this premise would effectively reduce every Palestinian “right” to rubble.

At which point, the peace process would be over.

Charles Bybelezer is publications chairman for the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research. He can be reached at [email protected].