There’s nothing the anti-Zionist Huffington Posters like to talk about more than the Arab Peace Initiative. To hear it from them: It was the perfect plan, but Israel turned it down because it was so perfect, it wouldn’t let them continue to oppress the Palestinians and steal their land. It is really the only example of Israel turning down what is a viable peace treaty on the surface, and so the Huffington Posters cling to it all they can to back up the worldview that Israel doesn’t want peace.
But as it is with all things that seem too good to be true: the Arab Peace Initiative is far from perfect. Steve Greenberg sums up the problem in this one cartoon:
You can review the exact wording of the proposal in the Wikipedia link above: But here’s the basics: Israel withdraws unilaterally from the West Bank. All the Arab nations make peace with Israel (including the Palestinians) and make full “normalization” with Israel as well.
There are two major problems with this. Read on to see them:
Problem 1: What if the Arab nations don’t keep their word? Israel has made real sacrifices on the ground and receives nothing in return. What if the Palestinians start launching terror attacks and Israel responds? Will the Arab nations still recognize Israel? What exactly does “normalization” mean? Egypt and Jordan are at peace with Israel but relations are still frosty at best. The other Arab nations might sign a peace treaty with Israel and stop there, only paying lip service to peace. Others might continue to fight Israel through proxies like Hezbollah. And the withdrawals that Israel makes will make them very vulnerable to any kind of attack.
Problem 2: The API sidelines really important issues like the “right of return.” What if Israel withdraws, the Palestinians demand their “rights,” Israel refuses, and the Palestinians charge? Only now the Palestinians aren’t burdened by occupation, have a great starting position in the West Bank, and might even have other Arab armies as backup. Other ignored issues include Jerusalem, the settlements, and a guarantee of security for Israel.
Of course, the Huffington Posters will pooh-pooh these problems and say that Israel is just making excuses. But they aren’t Israel’s government, and they don’t need to live with the consequences of hasty decision-making. People’s lives are on the line over there. Israel’s government can’t afford to make mistakes. Their country has already come very close to destruction at least twice.