Reference the preceding post: I was probably negligent by not pointing out part of the reason for sustained peace in Ireland is the respect for established borders. Borders between Ireland and Northern Ireland haven’t changed significantly since they were agreed to by both sides. No understanding would be gained by posting a map of Ireland.
Israel is a comparatively young, new nation. Zionists evidently tend to harken back to Biblical times when they consider boundaries. They probably don’t understand that the older, more mature nations take borders seriously.
And the borders of Israel haven’t changed since 1966. The Palestinians own East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Syria owns the Golan Heights. However, 300,000 Israeli settlers occupy the West Bank. 200,000 Israeli setters live in East jerusalem.
On the other hand, here’s a map of Israel when it was established by the UN in 1947, and recognized by the US in 1948.
Here’s a more detailed map of the pre-1967 borders of Israel with later claims by Israel shown in red.
Here’s Israel and the occupied areas today.
In 2005 Israel withdrew from Gaza. But it maintains a strong security force in both places.
Every country probably wishes more land was contained within its borders. However, most modern countries recognize if they attempt to occupy territories belonging to other countries they’ll draw criticism from some quarters. Often the people living in the areas being occupied.
Israel could make a far stronger case for being a peace-loving country, a more believable case in the eyes on non-Zionists, by withdrawing to areas the world recognizes are contained within its established borders.
Otherwise it will forever having to fall back on the argument that everyone just hates Jews is the only reason for all the problems with neighbors. An outward sign of a desire for peace sometime during the past 50 years might have gone a long way toward achieving it.
Some strategy along the lines Ireland’s used, maybe.
Old Jules, You are looking at the problem through an outside lens when you talk about Israel. In 1947 the UN voted on the partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states. Those boundaries which eventually became the Green Line placed Jews in the Arab parts, and Arabs in the Jewish part. When Israel declared independence after the vote the neighboring Arab states refused to recognize the Jewish state and attempted to invade. Those Jews in Arab Palestine living in what is today Gaza, the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, and the West Bank fled to inside the boundaries of the Jewish mandate. Similarly Arabs in the Jewish state either fled or were driven from their homes to become refugees on the Arab side of the war front. When the Green Line that became the 1949 armistice boundary was established, neither Jew nor Arab could return to their homes.
But in 1967 (and this is when the Jewish settlement problem started) after Israel fought a third war with its Arab neighbors, Jews with long memories began to advocate for the right of return to Gaza, East Jerusalem and the West Bank. At first they did this clandestinely without government assistance. But in Israel’s multi-party coalition governments they found willing ears to fund settlements as temporary army camps which soon became permanent Jewish towns. There was no corollary for Arabs because they were on the losing end of the 1967 war.
Today the Settler Movement has become a powerful lobby stopping all efforts to roll back the frontiers to the Green Line of 1949. I hope this puts the current issue of borders and land for peace in context.
Thanks Lenrosen. Israel certainly has as much right to occupy those places taken in the 1967 War as the US has to send settlers off to occupy and claim Iraq. Or to invade Mexico and make it another US territory. But if the US didn’t want to continue in a constant state of war it would be well advised not to do it, no matter what Arizona or Texas might think. If it weren’t for the outside involvements in Israeli defense issues probably the problem would be best solved letting nature and blood settle it all. But since nobody’s going to allow anyone to nuke Israel, and everyone’s inclined to wish Israel wouldn’t nuke anyone, it ain’t often easy, ain’t often kind. Context and blame are matters already fixed in time. Someone over there is going to have to work hard and show signs of determination if both sides over there aren’t going to experience some memorable bloodshed. 50 years is plenty of time to form the opinion the problem won’t go away by itself. Gracias, J
The debate of settlements and occupation goes on in Israel today. The Left is at odds with the Settlement movement. The right needs to placate the settlers to win enough seats parliament to create a government…
In Israel these issues are debated openly. Jews and Arabs participate in the Government and in the Debate. Not perfect but it happens. This does not happen elsewhere in the Middle East.
Israel has few options except to be hypervigilante about their security, given the rhetoric from the other side. Take Iran- “Jewery is cancer on humanity” Nisrallah in Lebanon “Next time we have to be sure to count the jews better so we don’t miss any”- referring to the Nazi’s. Morasi in Egypt “Jews are related to pigs and dogs” and our man in Turkey Edrogan who today blamed Israel for the Military coup in Egypt. It’s a crappy neighborhood and Israel is small enough that one nuke can take out most of the populated areas of the country.
Couple points of clarification- there is NO Israeli presence in Gaza. The borders are sealed by the IDF for the reason of preventing arms and missiles from Iran from entering the strip and making it another Lebanon. Since Hamas targets civilians this is unacceptable. No country on the planet would stand for having their cities bombed.
Israel and Egypt controls what goes in and out, but there is no military or civilian presence in the strip.
In 1967 Israel took the West Bank from Jordan, not from Palestine. The Gaza Strip was taken from Egypt… after the 1947 War the surrounding Arab countries carved up Palestine.
Hi Sank: Thanks for coming by. I agree there wouldn’t be much left of Israel for anyone to fight about if one nuke detonated there. Good reason one would think for a alot of enthusiasm on the part of Israel for finding a way to peace with the neighbors. Everything else has been tried. Might as well take a shot at it. Gracias, J