By Simon Fischler
What if Bibi Netanyahu had countered the Palestinians’ pre-conditions for a full settlement freeze with the pre-condition that they recognize Israel as a Jewish state?
In fact, what if Israel, for the first time ever, proposed her own peace plan, rather than the U.S., Saudi Arabia or the PA
Instead of the partial freeze he has offered, which simply allowed the PA to pooh-pooh, Netanyahu could have -- and probably should have -- said, “Fine ... you want a total freeze on settlements? All you need do is recognize Israel as a Jewish state and you have your wish.”
However, the PA could counter that by recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, one of their “negotiating tools” would immediately be removed from their array of demands.
Israel could immediately return with, “Yes, but, by proposing a full settlement freeze -- something which has never, NEVER been put on the offering table before, we have willingly ceded one of OUR major negotiating tools.”
Would this mean yet another stalemate? Not necessarily.
If nothing else, this exchange would point out to the rest of the world, which appears to be blind to this reality, that the PA is not, nor has it ever been, truly directed toward earnest negotiations, with the possibility of a peaceful co-existence anywhere on the Middle Eastern horizon.
They have been -- always have been -- making absolute demands that are only geared toward the destruction, negation or cancellation of Israel as we know it.
The result of this one constant: the refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, where it is and how it is, means that it is the PA and the other Arab countries which have no treaty, of any sort, with Israel which are practicing “apartheid” -- that nasty word former US President Jimmy Carter is so fond of casting Israel’s way.
What does “apartheid” mean but Afrikaans for, "apartness" or "separateness," or in South African political terms “separate house.” It is the Palestinians, the Syrians, Hezbollah, Hamas and Iran who would go further than conventional apartheid: they would deny Israel even a separate house.
This situation has been compounded by PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ threat to declare, unilaterally, a Palestinian state, followed by the possibility of the EU and the UN announcing their potential support of such a unilateral declaration.
WHAT IF? ...
The Palestinian threat to unilaterally declare statehood might appear on the surface to be a potential favor to Israel. With the West Bank and Gaza an actual state, Israel would have the right -- by international law -- to attack with full force after the very next rocket that hits Sderot.
Hypothetically Israel would also have the right in international law, by virtue of “spoils of war” tradition, to officially annex any or all of the parts of the West bank that they won in the 1967 six-day war.
Now enter the EU, where many countries have stated they would recognize a unilaterally declared state of Palestine and furthermore, would “support” such a state.
What does the EU mean by “support?” Does it entail military as well as economic support?
Look at the EU today and examine what it resembles. Does the Roman Empire come to mind?
When the Roman Empire destroyed the Second Temple in Jerusalem after the Bar Kokba revolt (70 C.E.) and established the puppet state of “Palestinia” (the ONLY time the area has actually been called Palestine), it was not merely comprised of Rome and Italy.
The Roman Empire at that time included what today is Spain, France, the British Isles, Germany, Eastern Europe and North Africa.
Since the EU would be supporting the Arab League’s (North Africa) anti-Israel stance, doesn’t she then become the Rome of modern times?
WHAT IF? ...
The European Union HAS begun to fancy itself the reincarnation of the Roman Empire?
The ramifications of this possibility are enormous, terrifying and endlessly complicated, involving the decline of U.S. power in both the Middle East as well as the “de-Americanization” of the UN.
The Israel of the 21st century is not the Israel of 70 C.E., however, and the EU would do well -- for the sake of the Middle East, itself and the greater world -- to remember this.
Even the most peace-loving, left-wing, liberal Israeli always has supported the belief that “there will never be another destruction of the Second Temple; there will never be another Masada.”
This is no longer simply a nation of shepherders, grape and olive growers, but a first-world, hi tech, multi-ethnic democracy with nuclear capabilities.
However, if the EU persists in its proposal to “support” a unilaterally-declared Palestinian state, it is high time that it ascertain every single Euro goes into the creation and development of a functioning economy, infrastructure and a democratic state, rather than into the pockets of its leaders (ask the widow of Yasser Arafat how her bank account is doing).
It is also high time, particularly as nations of the EU struggle with variations of insurgent Islamic immigrants (i.e., Switzerland banning the construction of Muslim minarets; France outlawing the burqa; bombings in England and Spain) to admit that the “side” of the Middle Eastern conflict which is more like them, with more similar values, systems, needs and hopes (despite their being Jews) is Israel ... not the Palestinians.
Otherwise it is high time for the EU to admit what lies in its heart of hearts, to own up to what is behind its leaders’ constant undermining and negative judging of Israel: their basic anti-semitism.
It is high time for the EU -- and the entire western world -- to admit that they are as sorry as any radical Muslim cleric that the state of Israel ever came to exist.
It is beyond high time for the EU to admit to itself that it would secretly love nothing more than to see the destruction of the State of Israel ... again.