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How not to achieve Middle East Peace

Reader comment on item: Give Up on the Two-State Solution? Other Ideas
in response to reader comment: The Whaling State of Palestine

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Jun 6, 2016 at 19:09

I'm sorry, Daniel. I didn't notice that Khaled Abu Toameh had written that sentence.

I wonder why this talk about two-state "solutions" has come up again. A "Middle East Peace Accord", which has ALWAYS amounted to Jews being removed from ancestral lands they live on, seems to be the Holy Grail of US Presidential accomplishments. Democrats seem especially prone to want to go on quests for it, but Republicans have not been immune:

1. President Truman has "brilliant" policy: First, he supported statehood for the Jewish people (during the 1948 election campaign); then, after the armies of five neighboring countries attacked Israel, attempting to drive the Jews into the sea, Truman supported an arms embargo that would allow the Jews to be wiped out. Fortunately for us, Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union helped Israel, and it survived.

2. During the 1956 election campaign, the British and French conspired to kick Egyptian nationalist President Nasser out of the Suez Canal zone and replace him as President This was the oft-used boilerplate of Eurpean Colonial powers; and the Brits and French had reason to believe that the US President would go along with it. For cover, they orchestrated Israel into their plans: Nasser had taken over the Straits of Tiran along with Sinai, providing Israel with a cassus belli.

Ike went ballistic, attacking America's allies and siding with the Soviets, even as the latter went about crushing an uprising by freedom fighters in Hungary. A debate ensued in Europe and America; and a "peace accord" was cobbled together in which the British, French, Russians and Americans were given freedom of navigation through Suez, and the Israelis had to surrender all their gains. Nassar remained in power, and Ike got re-elected.

3. President Kennedy never made it to the election cycle, being shot by an assassin. His brother would be killed five years later by another assasin, a Palestinian Arab.

4. President Johnson was unable to either hurt or help Israel in 1967, when Egypt broke its 1956 treaty, because he was so tied up with the Vietnam War. He ducked out of the 1968 contest without a "peace plan" in his pocket

5. During the 1972 election cycle, Palestinian terrorists bankrolled by Mahmoud Abbas massacred the Israeli Olympic team in Munich. During the election later that year, President Nixon was too busy covering up his spying on the Democrats at the Watergate Hotel, to pay attention to the Middle East. The next year, Egypt violated the 1967 ceasefire the way it had violated the 1956 one; and Nixon, egged on by his Jewish advisor Kissinger, did all he could to to ensure the Israelis would be badly bloodied, This, Kissinger thought, would drive Israel to a "Middle East Peace Process". Instead, the Israelis beat the daylights out of the Egyptians and Syrians, along with thousands of Russian tanks. After the Americans secured the relief of the Egyptian 2nd Army, which was dying of thirst in Sinai, Nixon and Kissinger proceeded to negotiate -- guess what -- more Israeli withdrawals from land it had captured. Before finishing his dirty project, Nixon had to resign in order to elude impeachment.

6. President Ford negotiated further Israeli giveaways. He became the first US President never to win election as either President or Vice-President'

7. President Carter oversaw the signing of a "Middle East Peace Accord" between Egypt and Israel (conditioned, of course, on yet more Israeli giveaways of territory), complete with photo ops with Egypt's Sadat and Israel's Begin. Later that year, Carter and the US were humiliated by the Iranians kidnapping the US Embassy staff in Tehran and parading them through the streets. He lost re-election the next year in a landslide against Ronald Reagan. The year after that, Sadat was assasinated by a sympathizer of the Muslim Brotherhood.

8. In 1982, Israel won a war against Palestinian rabble-rouser Yasser Arafat, causing him and his "Palestine Liberation Organization" (PLO) to flee to Tunisia. The Lebanese Christians helped him on his way, massacring "Palestinians" by the hundreds. The US, along with the rest of the world, blamed Israel for the killings which they had no part in, and President Reagan sent several hundred US Marines to Lebanon to protect Lebanese civilians. 220 of those Marines were killed by the Lebanese, and sent fleeing from the country. As part of the accords, of course, Israel gave up land it had liberated, withdrawing to an enclave in S. Lebanon where they protected Christian Lebanese from their Iranian-backed enemies.

9. To his credit, President George H. W. Bush did not try to produce a "Middle East Peace Accord". Instead, he persuaded the Israelis to let Saddam Hussein use them for target practice for his Skud missiles while Bush set about to impress his Saudi and Kuwaiti clients. Enjoying 80% popular approval at that time, Bush went on to lose the Presidential election a little over a year later to Bill Clinton.

10. Without help nor harm from the Americans, the Israelis and Jordanians moved on their own to reach an accord in 1994. This was conditioned on the disastrous "Oslo Accords" that allowed Yasser Arafat to come out of exile in Tunisia and be triumphantly received into the heart of the Jewish homeland. Bill Clinton sought to improve on this situation, getting the Israelis and Palestinian Arabs together for many red-carpet receptions. He ended up with a plan in which Israel surrendered nearly everything to Arafat. Arafat refused the offer; and around the time that Israel unilaterally abandoned its enclave in Lebanon, leaving its Christian allies there to the tender mercies of Hizbullah terrorists, Arafat proceeded to attack innocent Israeli civilians with bomb attacks in school buses and pizzarias.

11. George W. Bush inherited the Middle East disaster that Clinton helped make. After the US itself was attacked by Arab fanatics on 9/11/2001, Bush declared that "Islam is Peace". He continued the Clinton precedent of red-carpet receptions for Arabs, but insisted that the Jews from Israel enter through the servant's entrance. He did not secure a "Middle East Peace", and is not well remembered.

12. Barack Obama gave us the overthrow of Arab governments in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, and the installation of Muslim Brotherhood-dominated governments in their place. This was the start of endless wars throughout the Middle East. None of these troubles involved Israel; but Obama has devoted much of his Presidency trying to achieve a "Middle East Peace Accord" based on Israel giving up yet more land.

That's the record so far. Let's see how President Trump does, or, if the "Never Trump" camp wins, "Benghazi" Hillary. If Israel does finally achieve peace, it won't be because of the efforts of the Russians, French, British and Americans -- especially of US Presidents.


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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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