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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April 14, 1950: Arabs try to turn back the clock

The Palestine Post newspaper from April 14, 1950 - exactly 60 years ago - is eerie.

The main headline talks about how Israel wanted to negotiate peace with her Arab neighbors, based on the armistice lines - now called the Green Line. But the Arabs wanted nothing to do with the reality of what was on the ground, and insisted to negotiate based on the 1947 partition plan that they had rejected, as well as to return all the Arab refugees who fled Palestine during the fighting.

Here is the Palestine Post editorial about these issues (click to enlarge):

The editorial points out that as soon as the Arabs attacked the 1947 plan (figuratively and literally), not only was the Partition plan destroyed, but "with it went irrevocably the reserves of goodwill which alone would have made this precarious plan workable."

It goes on to say that "Israel cannot help knowing today that the war that was forced upon it ended in creating more stable conditions, shorter frontiers and more homogeneous areas for settlement than those which had been patched together at Lake Success." It ends off saying that "once the war on the Yishuv began, the men who were killed did not die fighting for the 1947 Lake Success decision, but for the establishment of an Israel that should be viable and secure. This goal they reached, and those who lived to see the state born are not likely to barter any part of it away either now or at any later date."

The exact same words can be stated about Israel capture of the West Bank in 1967 - a war forced upon it that the state did not want, that resulted in much more secure and viable borders. And now, after hundreds of thousands of Jews have moved to this vitally important area - for strategic and defensive reasons as well as cultural and religious reasons - the Arabs want to turn the clock back again, this time to 1967 instead of 1947, but with the same ultimate goal.

Just like then, Arabs are pretending to use the same "international law" that they flagrantly violated as a basis to pressure Israel to begin the process of cutting its own throat.

Just like then, they pretended that they cared about the Palestinian Arabs to use them as a lever to get their own political ambitions realized, as this laughable front page story from the same date shows:
This statement was made mere days before Jordan annexed the West Bank and closed the door on an independent Palestinian Arab state there, which occurred on April 24th.

While the Arabs have barely changed since 1950, there is a big difference now. The Israeli leadership at the time realized what their own red lines were and those lines were treated as such, no matter who was applying pressure.

It does not appear that any of the recent Israeli leaders have quite the same ability.