There is persistent pressure on Israel to bring "sacrifices for peace". It is understood that these "sacrifices" mean primarily that Israel should allow its dismemberment, in order to bring peace to the region.
What are the facts?
A Bizarre Concept. The concept to bring "sacrifices for peace" is a new one that has never before found application in world history. It was created by Arab propaganda to induce Israel to agree to its dismemberment, to give strategic assets to those who are determined to destroy it, and to allow such self-destructive events as the creation of a hostile state in its heartland and the division of its capital.
Since its creation in 1948, Israel has been subjected to almost constant Arab terror, to unceasing Arab aggression, and to three major wars. Israel emerged victorious from each of these wars. In the Six-Day War, it recovered its heartland of Judea/Samaria (the "West Bank") and the eastern part of Jerusalem, its capital city, that had been occupied by the Jordanians; it captured the Golan Heights from Syria, which had been used for decades to shell and spread terror over much of northern Israel; and it conquered the vast Sinai Desert that had been used by Egypt as staging ground and invasion route to Israel.
Many Sacrifices for Peace. In order to achieve peace with its neighbors, Israel brought sacrifices for peace that have no precedent in the history of the world. For peace with Egypt, Israel returned to it the entire Sinai. There is little thanks on the part of Egypt for this generosity and this sacrifice for peace. In the 17 years since the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel was signed, Egypt has still not established normal channels of cultural and commercial relations with Israel. The controlled Egyptian press spews daily anti-Israel venom. President Mubarak has never visited Jerusalem. It is the coolest possible peace. A sacrifice for peace brought in vain probably a major act of folly on the part of Israel.
Israel made sacrifices for peace by signing a peace treaty with Jordan. In that peace, Israel granted Jordan a large yearly allotment of fresh water from its own dwindling and meager resources and accepted a petty demand for "border rectification" yielding of land. That peace is almost as cold as that with Egypt.
As for Syria, no offered sacrifice for peace seems to be sufficient to satisfy its dictator, President Hafez Assad. Nothing will satisfy him and he is unwilling to consider even an ice-cold peace, except on terms of Israels total surrender of the Golan Heights. Fortunately for Israel and fortunately for the world under the current Israeli government such a surrender is not in the cards.
The greatest sacrifice for peace that Israel has brought was the resuscitation of the bankrupt and moribund PLO terror organization and the acceptance of its "chairman" Yasser Arafat as a negotiating partner. In this ill-advised process, foisted on Israel by world pressure and by its previous government, Israel has made far-reaching and existential sacrifices and concessions. It has yielded control of the Gaza Strip and of all major "West Bank" cities to the Palestinian Authority and has agreed to detailed plans to grant further autonomy to the Palestinians. In what is probably the ultimate folly in this process, Israel has tolerated the formation of a Palestinian "police force" (actually an army) of 40,000 men the largest police-to-population ratio in the world (!) -- and has equipped this "police force" with a complete arsenal of automatic weapons. As the world now knows, these weapons were turned on Israeli soldiers and civilians at the very first opportunity that the Palestinian leaders provoked.
The Arab countries, not Israel, are the oppressors in the Middle East; it is they who are killing peace. The PLO, apart from the bloody crimes that it has committed against Israel, has ordered massacres of over 100,000 Lebanese civilians between 1982 and 1990. It has now established a virtual dictatorship in the territory allotted to it torture and terror are the order of the day. In Egypt, thousands of Copts have been killed and their churches burned. President Assad of Syria has occupied Lebanon and has killed and tortured thousands. Iraq, under its dictator Saddam Hussein, is a rogue state attacking its neighbors and killing its own citizens, including with poison gas. Saudi Arabia is a monarchical tyranny. It prohibits the exercise of any religion except the most orthodox form of Islam. Jews are not allowed in the country. Christians are jailed or worse. Sudan is engaged in the systematic slaughter and enslavement of its black African people. How strange that nobody asks the Palestinians or any of the Arab states to bring any sacrifices at all for peace. Only Israel, an island of peacefulness and civility in that ocean of violence and turmoil, is incessantly being asked to bring such sacrifices. Here are three good sacrifices that the Arabs could bring for peace: (1) Abandon the insistence on recovering the Golan; (2) Stop the clamor about the division of Jerusalem; (3) Disarm the Palestinian "police". Billy clubs are good enough for London Bobbies. Why should any more be needed to patrol Nablas, Hebron, and Nazareth?
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Gerardo Joffe, President