SAN DIEGO, Ca. — Dec. 14, 2010 —Few conflicts in world news have experienced as much historical revision as the tension between Israel and the Palestinians. Because this saga is falsely associated with “the real reason” Muslim terrorists attack Americans, and because few take the time to crack open books that could shed some much-needed light, a crash course may be in order.
If the reader will indulge me, I’d like to begin with a well known illustration: Do you remember the recurring Peanuts story line where Lucy used to set up the football for Charlie Brown, inviting him to some friendly, sporting, good fun?
“Here, Charlie Brown, I’ll hold the football for you. Run up and kick it!”
After Charlie Brown runs toward the ball and lifts his foot in the air, Lucy quickly yanks the football out of the way. Charlie Brown lands flat on his back.
This was not a one-time piece from Charles Shultz. It was as repetitious as Linus’ blanket and Schroeder’s piano. Again and again (sometimes once a year, sometimes more frequently) Lucy offers to secure the football for Charlie Brown.
“You must think I’m pretty stupid if you’re planning that old trick again!” Charlie Brown shouts.
Lucy looks sincere as she answers, “But I’ve changed, Charlie Brown. Don’t you have any faith in the betterment of human nature?”
Charlie Brown tries again. As always, Lucy swipes the football out of the way and Charlie Brown lands on his back for the five-hundredth time.
Who could have imagined that a cartoon might serve as an analogy for important world affairs? Perhaps this was the farthest thing from Charles Shultz’ mind, but his football scenario does remind me of Israel’s dealings with the Arab world and the Western World.
When we think about it, voices similar to Lucy’s have been bargaining with Israel for many years:
“Here Jews! Some wealthy Arab landlords have land for you to purchase. Of course, after you buy it, the land will be in dispute, but go ahead, take the land.”
“Here Jews! We, the British Empire, run the entire Middle East. And we have worked out (in accordance with The League of Nations) the Balfour Declaration: This means we are inviting Jews from all over the world to return to their native homeland, joining the Jews who were already living in that region of the Middle East for several thousand years.”
“Here Jews! It looks like (heh heh) we had to make a deal with the Arabs too. So 75 percent of what we offered you has been given away and made into a new country called, Jordan, but the remaining 25 percent is all yours. Knock yourselves out kids!”
“Here Jews! Boy, have we got a surprise for you! This is going to be one of those good news/bad news things. First the bad news: The Arabs don’t want you to have anything, not even the remaining 25 percent. They claim they should own all of it. And now, the good news: We are not going to give them all of it. We are going to only give them half of it. So half of the remaining 25 percent is all yours. Oh…I guess we should tell you; it’s a checkered map with indefensible borders. But it’s all yours.”
“Here Jews! The Arabs rejected their half of Palestine. Instead they are going to join their neighbors, Egypt, Jordan, Syria and others to snuff the life out of you! However, the United Nations did just vote to partition the land. So it’s all yours! (If you can defend it.)
“Here Jews! You won your War of Independence, but now there are displaced Arabs from Palestine and most of the Arab countries will not take them in. Since you took in every Jew displaced from Arab countries, you should consider taking in Arab refugees too.”
“Here Jews! What a year for you! 1967! You have the admiration of the entire world, for in just six days you defeated those neighbor countries who said, once again, that they wanted to wipe you out. But now the Palestinian refugees who were part of Jordan are your responsibility. We hope you treat them well.”
“Here Jews! Good job giving the Sinai back to Egypt even though you had to take it from her when she threatened to annihilate you in 1967. Now you and Egypt are at peace. Never mind that she will sponsor terrorists who want to destroy you and say vile things about you in her newspapers. Congratulations, for giving peace a chance and returning the Sinai.”
“Here Jews! Now that you agreed to give Yassir Arafat 90 percent of what he wanted in the Oslo Accords, please realize, that was not enough. He wants more!”
“Here Jews! We know the intifada is bad, with Jewish children getting blown up on buses and all. If you make a deal with the Palestinians to turn over occupied territory one city at a time, peace can come to the Middle East at last. Here’s the deal: You return land. They will promise to stop killing you. Sound fair?”
“Here Jews! The day after you made that peace deal, more suicide bombers attacked. That means your deal was not enough. You need to offer more. Oh, and make very sure you do not send soldiers after the terrorists. That will make them especially mad and they’ll have to stop with the Mr. Nice Guy stuff.”
“Here Jews! Thanks for giving the Gaza Strip back to the Palestinians. In return, they are burning down all the synagogues in Gaza and will fire missiles into Israel day after day.”
“Here Jews! Thanks for agreeing to turn over more towns to the Palestinians. Just one thing: We know you built that wall to keep out the suicide bombers, but such a wall really obstructs the peace process. Those walls should come down.”
Are you catching on? Nothing Israel does will please the Palestinians. No deal, or treaty will make a difference, neither will money nor concessions of further land. When Palestinians mention “occupied territory,” they do not mean the West Bank and the Golan Heights. They mean all of Israel! But then, people shouldn’t be surprised: The complete dismantling of Israel has been in the Palestinian charter from the beginning.
NOTE: Anyone who disputes the facts of this article is invited to read my 12 part series entitled, The Truth About Israel And Palestine. These writings provide extremely specific, detailed, and documented information.
Bob Siegel is a radio talk show host and columnist. Information about his radio show can be found at www.bobsiegel.net.
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