By Simon Fischler
Are there always two sides to a story?
That is what I keep hearing about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But this theory smacks of just another way of giving the Palestinians an excuse for continuing their aggressive behavior towards Israel.
How are there two sides, when the Palestinians rejected every plan of partition leading up to the Israeli War of Independence?
It is very simple: the Jews of Eretz Israel accepted a greatly decreased piece of land from what they were originally promised, through international law, by the League of Nations.
Many argue that the Yishuv (pre-state Jewish government) accepted partition in the hopes of attaining more land later.
This contention overlooks the fact that the Yishuv put its hopes to the side in an attempt to reach an agreed settlement with its Arab neighbors.
Plain and Simple, the Yishuv accepted partition to attain self-determination for the Jewish Nation on land that was legally theirs -- no matter how much less than originally promised.
The Arab side, ever more greedy, ever more colonialist, refused partition -- no matter how much more land than the Jews they would receive.
This is not a disputable point, this cannot be argued, this is fact.
There is only one side to this beginning: Arabs wanted war; Arabs thought they would win a war; Arabs STARTED the war; Arabs lost the war.
This scenario took place over and over again (1947-48; 1956; 1967; 1973 ... etc., etc., etc.)
This aggressive, imperialistic thought pattern is obviously intrinsic to Arab culture and tradition.
The Arab peoples were not born in the Levant, as the Hebrew, Israelite and Jewish Nation was.
So where do the Arabs come from? ARABIA.
The Arabs invaded and conquered the Near East, Northern Africa and Spain, more than seven centuries after the beginning of the Christian Era.
This too is a fact whether Saeb Erekat likes it or not!
Hence a conquering, colonialist culture would never let the Jews have a state in their midst, even if this land belonged to the Jews first, or whether Jews had always been living in this land (making up the majority of the population in most major cities).
That’s a short version of the history of what we call Israel today, as well as a nutshell version of the Arab occupation of that part of the Middle East, which was once the ancient kingdom of Israel.
Now let’s jump to the year 2000, Camp David, Maryland.
Then Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Barak, and U.S. President Bill Clinton offered Yassar Arafat and the Arabs of Judea and Samaria the most generous entitlement a LOSING group has ever received.
Roger Waters and his anti-Semitic philosophy can't deny this undeniable fact either.
Offered up was 97 percent of the West Bank (which, remember, was once the sections of ancient Israel known as Judea and Samaria), East Jerusalem and the Muslim and Christian Quarters of the old City. Control over the Temple Mount was also offered to the Arabs. Of course all the Gaza Strip would be included in the future Muslim/Arab state of Palestine.
In return the Palestinians had to relinquish their made-up notion of the Right of Return, accept Israel as the Jewish State and agree to an end of conflict.
As always this was too much for Yasser Arafat. Believing he could still destroy Israel, he rejected this offer at Camp David and later at Taba, Egypt.
Instead he went on to start a guerrilla war against the Israeli public.
Another fact of history Thomas Friedman can’t rewrite!
The solution to the Arab/Israel conflict has nothing to do with occupation -- unless you choose to erase the fact that the occupation could have been negated with Palestinian acceptance of peace and statehood in the year 2000. That is erase history!
Should Israel be blamed for the horrible leadership of the Palestinian Arabs? I think not.
After all, even Mahmoud Abbas admits the disaster the Second Intifada brought upon his people. The leader of the Palestinians has admitted responsibility for his nation’s situation!
We could call Arafat’s rejection of Barak and Clinton’s peace plan “The Second Catastrophe,” second only to the original Arab rejection of Partition.
If the world really wants peace and a solution to this conflict, it is high time to make the Arabs take responsibility for their actions.
It is and always has been RACIST and COLONIALIST Arab culture that is behind the Arab/Israel conflict.