A few days before writing of this article, the United Nations renewed and strengthened it’s call that peace be along the lines of the 1949 armistice lines set in the first war fought by the modern country of Israel. Jerusalem has gone back and forth between all sorts of conquerors for thousands of years – it’s name, according to Jewish sources is a mix of “yeru” meaning to fear or be in awe of G_d because of Abraham’s fear of G_d there … and “salim” which the people before him called it. It was a compromise.
More recently, there’s a picture of Jordanian soldiers “ethnically cleansing” Jews from their homes in Jerusalem in 1948. The building in the background still stands and one typically walks by in a courtyard on the way to the Western Wall. I myself have walked by it many times. If I recall correctly, it was a orphanage.
We can choose any arbitrary period of time to set the borders of Israel. The United Nations just said, “hey, choose 1949 … we like that.” It just happens to be that this is one of the worst dates to choose for one side and the best for the other … when between the Jordan river and Mediterranean, there were people of any ethnicity living in “Israel” and where in the area Jordan took over, it was forbidden to be a Jew. The U.N. wants to tell Israel, in yet another one-sided resolution … go with this date … go with the date the Jordanians kicked you out of your homes and to the hell with the fact that populations shift over time and 2/3 of a century later, this would mean uprooting another 600,000 people from their homes.
The U.N. says Israel should agree to this – ratify what happened when Jewish holy sites were destroyed and tens of thousands had to flee their homes. It wouldn’t be any different in modern times – one need only look at 2005 and see how greenhouses, synagogues, and other places which could have been used in Gaza (Aza) for useful purposes were pillaged, looted, and destroyed. No Arab, of course, has to leave their home if they live in Israel because they live their peacefully. However, Jews have to leave their homes across the ’49 armistice line because the world wants to see it ethnically cleansed of Jews. Why the incongruity?
This is supposed to bring us towards “peace”. Politicians drawing arbitrary lines in the middle of people has never brought peace. Is there peace in the arbitrary border drawn by politicians between India and Pakistan? Is there peace in the arbitrary border between Iraq and Syria? WWI political lines that ignored ethnic lines and cultural sensitivity brought WWII. One could easily argue all the civil wars in the Arab countries are related to same from the Iraq/Kuwait divide to the Picot-Sykes line. ISIS merely touched upon decades of anger of being split from their family on the other side of a line drawn by western powers. It’s the same stupidity repeated over and over again.
The reason Israel is so much more calm and peaceful compared to the rest of the region around is because the side with power for sixty years (since circa. 1952) doesn’t care to kill people or kick other people out of their home (they legally own). Yet, the U.N. and the PLO still seeks this objective and wants to go back to the picture on the right. Then, it’s not trained soldiers with rule of law who at least gave civilians a chance to flee for their lives. Now, it’s Hamas with rockets aimed at population centers and Arab teenagers running in the streets with knives – and in the Golan, it’s ISIS itself on the border seeking to destroy the world, most of all other Muslims. One can only imagine what the region would look like right now if Israel didn’t control the high places which are on the western bank of the Jordan river and the Golan Heights.
Self-preservation trumps U.N. resolutions. The best place for self-preservation in the entire middle east, whether you’re a Jew or Muslim, is in the place between the Jordan river and Mediterranean controlled by the government of Israel. There, all people can live and prosper should they choose to. If the PLO were the moral equivalent, there’d be no need to remove hundreds of thousands from their homes. Thus, the U.N.’s moral equivalency fails on it’s face – the two sides are not morally equivalent and cannot be treated as equals.
In summary: You don’t give power to people who want to kill you. That’s called suicide.