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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

No-man's land: the difference between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs

The AP quotes Abbas' demands:
In a television interview, Abbas said the Palestinians want to establish a state on 6,205 square kilometers (2,400 square miles) of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It was the first time he has given a precise number for the amount of land he is seeking.

"We have 6,205 square kilometers in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip," Abbas told Palestine TV. "We want it as it is."

According to Palestinian negotiating documents obtained by The Associated Press, the Palestinian demands include all of the Gaza Strip, West Bank, east Jerusalem and small areas along the West Bank frontier that were considered no-man's land before the 1967 war.
Let's talk about those small areas:
Two Bay Area visionaries have teamed up to turn a Jerusalem battlefield into a peace park.

San Francisco environmentalist and philanthropist Richard Goldman, the man behind the Goldman Environmental Prize known as the "Green Nobel," and celebrated landscape architect Lawrence Halprin, designer of the FDR Memorial in Washington and the new Sigmund Stern Grove, will receive a special award in June for their part in creating a 1 1/2-mile promenade linking East and West Jerusalem.

The promenade was built across Government Hill Ridge, a mountainside in southern Jerusalem that was no-man's land between Jordan and Israel from 1948 to 1967.

According to the New Testament, this was the Hill of Evil Counsel, where 2,000 years ago Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver on the eve of the crucifixion. More recently, it was where the Six Day War erupted in Jerusalem in 1967.

Thanks to Goldman and Halprin, the site is today a vast, tranquil park with a picture-postcard view that is shared by Muslims, Jews and Christians from across the city and around the world.

The Haas Promenade -- named in honor of Goldman's parents-in-law of the Levi Strauss family, and designed by Halprin -- was completed in 1987. It allows visitors to enjoy a spectacular view of the ancient Old City of Jerusalem, the surrounding biblical landscape and the new neighborhoods of East and West Jerusalem across a park with more than a mile of twisting pathways among olive trees and shrubbery.

The same team extended the park to create the Goldman Promenade, which was opened in 2002. This smaller path meanders eastward through a forest of Jerusalem pines toward an observation point overlooking the Judean Desert, the Dead Sea and the Mountains of Moab in Jordan.
Rather than "Judaizing" Jerusalem, as the Arabs always claim, these Jews worked with the Israeli government to build a beautiful park and promenade for all of Jerusalem to enjoy - Arabs, Jews and Christians.

Now, Mahmoud Abbas, that man of peace, not only wants all of East Jerusalem - not only does he want the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, not only does he want the Western Wall of the Temple Mount - but he is also "demanding" an area that was never even Jordanian.

An area that Jews cultivated and beautified for all of mankind - he wants to take away so it could become another Arab slum. He would prefer to see it turn into another Hamastan rather than let the hated Jews control it.

In the mind of even the most "moderate" Palestinian Arab, Jews must be restored to their rightful, second-class dhimmi status by any means possible. Negotiations, terror false promises of peace - they are all the same as long as the end result is that Jews control less land in the Middle East.

The contrast between Abbas' bigotry and extremism, and Israel's desire to compromise and find solutions for everybody, has never been more striking. His demand for an area that was never "Palestinian" on any map proves yet again that the goal of Fatah is identical with the goals of Hamas - not to gain "Palestinian" Arab lands but to take away land from Jews.

From 1948 to 1967, Palestinian Arabs didn't care when they were under Jordanian or Egyptian rule. their desire for a state was close to non-existent, and their efforts were aimed towards taking away Jewish land, not establishing a "Palestinian" Arab state. And this has not changed one bit.

The international community, cowed by fears of Arab terror, are more than willing to convince themselves that yet another Arab state in part of Western Palestine will help keep bombs out of their cities for a few years. It is that fear, rather than any real desire for truth of justice, that fuels the relentless pressure on Israel to keep on conceding more and more land over and over again in exchange for worthless promises that usually get broken within months. Annapolis is yet another exercise in this chapter of the vast effectiveness of terrorism in accomplishing its goals.

And the diabolical brilliance of Yasir Arafat was in his starting his major terror campaigns against Western airplanes - and then stopping to concentrate only on Israel. He understood that continuing to directly confront the West would bring his downfall, but to offer the West a deal where they only have to sacrifice Israel to mollify the terrorists was an irresistable offer to a world that has no love for Jews to begin with.