With great hoopla, two private citizens, unconnected with and unauthorized by their respective governments, have taken it upon themselves to produce the draft of a “peace treaty,” which would finally bring an end to the century-old struggle between Jews and Arabs. The treaty, the “Geneva Accord,” would almost immediately bring about a “Palestinian” state.
What are the facts?
Negotiators without standing: Yossi Beilin, the “negotiator” for the Israeli side, has no official standing at all. He is a former minister of justice, but has been repudiated by the Israeli electorate. His Arab counterpart Yasser Abed Rabbo has no standing either. He is said to have Yasser Arafat’s ear, whatever that may be worth.
This is extraordinary. It is as if an American citizen, say, for instance, Al Gore or Pat Buchanan, were to negotiate with an Iraqi confidant of Saddam Hussein about the American-Iraqi relationship.
Apart from the sheer illegitimacy of this process, provisions of this Accord need examination. They are, without exception, damaging to Israel, which, as usual, is asked to make all “concessions.” If this Accord were to come to fruition, it would threaten the very survival of Israel as a Jewish state. The Accord cedes the Temple Mount, the Jewish people’s holiest of holies, the focus of its two-thousand-year yearning, to the “Palestinians.” Jews could be admitted only at the sufferance of the Muslims. Why would any Jew concede the very soul of his people and of his nation? Would the Muslims concede Mecca, would the Catholic Church concede the Vatican?
But there are equally or perhaps even more weighty matters than these “sentimental” considerations. Under this Accord, Israel would agree to almost total withdrawal from Judea/Samaria (the “West Bank”) and Gaza, dramatically increasing the number of “settlers” who would have to be repatriated. Since the Accord considers them to be “illegal occupiers” no compensation would be conceded to them. Under the Accord, the high ground dominating the Tel Aviv region and the central coastal strip would be in “Palestinian” hands. More than seventy per cent of Israel’s population lives in that area and most of its industrial and military capacity and its major civilian airport are located there. Only a fool could believe that the Arabs, who have broken every provision of the vaunted Oslo Accord, would not avail themselves of the opportunity of critically damaging or, if possible, totally destroying the Israeli state.
Israel naked before its enemies: Further, the suggested transfer of the Jordan River Valley, Israel’s first line of defense against attack from the east, would put it into an untenable military position. Any safety net, any viable security for Israel would disappear. Israel would lie virtually naked and helpless before its mortal enemies if this disastrous Accord were ever implemented.
The Accord is ambiguous about the so-called “right of return.” There is apparently no longer insistence that all “refugees” be allowed to settle in Israel. The “refugees” are the descendants of those who, at the urging of the Arab armies that invaded the Jewish state at the very day of its founding, fled the fighting. There were about 500,000 of them; they have now miraculously swelled to five million. Nobody talks about returning the millions of German refugees to what is now Poland and Czechoslovakia, and nobody dreams of compensating them. But under the Geneva Accord, all those “refugees” are to be paid “compensation,” which could amount to hundreds of billions of dollars. Significantly, no compensation is countenanced for the about 800,000 Jews, who were expelled or who had to flee for their lives from the Arab countries, where in most cases they had lived for over 1,000 years.
Under the Geneva Accord, Judea/Samaria (the “West Bank”), which, together with Gaza, would form the “Palestinian” state, is to be free of Jews, made judenrein, in line with the Nazi model. But how about the over one million Arabs who live and prosper in Israel? Would it not be fair and reciprocal if they were transferred from “Israel proper” and were moved into the new “Palestinian” state? The Geneva Accord does not address this obvious question, and nobody else does either.
If the Geneva Accord were accepted and implemented, it would be an unmitigated disaster for Israel. It would give its holiest site, the very essence of the Zionist dream, to its Arab enemies. It would accept perhaps hundreds of thousands of so-called “refugees,” which would thus finish Israel as a Jewish state. It would make Israel militarily indefensible. The Geneva Accord is a Trojan Horse, meant to destroy the State of Israel. The world and Israel should firmly repudiate it.
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Gerardo Joffe, President