This week, on the 5th of June, is the 48th anniversary of the Six Day War. This blog celebrates this specific date because – as written – Jerusalem was reunified and Judea & Samaria were reconquered. Another fulfilled prophecy. But, as we all know, this was not the end of plight of the Jewish People; this was only the beginning of the path towards the 'End of Days'.
The Arab Nations, with the support of both the West and the Soviets, decided that the war against the Jews would be a long-term project and that they'd be patient.
Two Muslim countries (one Arab, one Egyptian), however, placed the collective Arab interests in a drawer, and fought for their individual national interests, before their countries would implode.
History has shown us, time and again, that peace is possible when two parties desire it. Saying that one wants peace is not the same as wanting peace; and when one wants it, one doesn't talk about it, one does it.
Egypt-Israel Peace Agreement
In 1974, in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War, Egypt and Israel signed a Separation of Forces Agreement (that entailed an Israeli withdrawal from Egyptian side of the Suez Canal, the exchange of POWs and the subsequent reopening of the Canal) that opened way to a more peaceful existence between the two countries in the Suez Canal area.
In 1975, the two countries signed an Interim Agreement that meant that Egypt was working towards ceasing the conflict with Israel (where it was agreed a further withdrawal by Israel from territories in the Sinai, resolving the conflict not by military force but by peaceful means).
In 1979, a peace agreement (that superseded the previous one) was signed based on UN Resolutions 242 and 338 (i.e. Israel agreed to withdraw fully from settlements and airfields in Sinai, Egypt agreed to supply Israel with oil and relinquish Gaza, the US would aid Egypt and would rebuild the airfields in Israeli territory); having thus changed the course of history.
Jordan-Israel Peace Agreement
Regardless of the circumstances (i.e. Economic difficulties and the Oslo Accords) that led Jordan to actually sign a peace treaty with Israel, in 1994; the fact is that peace was reached. The peace treaty basically entailed no bilateral security arrangements (since the two countries were not the worst of foes), it covered arranging a relationship between the two and other third parties; Jordan would be become a stable buffer against Iraq; and Israel would recognise Jordan as the country of the Jordanians (i.e. it would never support, in the future, the idea of a Palestinian nation in Jordanian territory).
These two Muslim countries actually fought devastating wars with Israel. Egypt and Jordan were the main administrators of the pre-1967 territories: the Gaza Strip and West Bank (respectively).
So, why aren't the Arabs of Palestine (who technically had no legal claims over "Palestine: the historical homeland of the Jewish People" as per the international law) able to make peace with Israel? The most optimistic say that it is because they can't move past 1948 (when the State of Israel was established), that is, they can't go beyond questions that were created during the Independence War of 1947-48: the “loss” of territory and the right of Arab refugees to return to Israel. However, the realists know the true reason, as stated by Fatah (last month): "what was taken by force can only be regained by force, the 67th anniversary of the Nakba." - the Arabs of Palestine, who built a national identity based on “a sense of loss of territory” (contrary to the very definition of national identity: specific history, tradition, culture, language, religion, national symbols), don't want peace, they make sure to incite their brethren against peace; and, thus, if the world wants to assist Israel in ending the bloodshed, then it must re-direct its focus to the Arabs of Palestine and push them to settle.
Israel wants peace. Israelis want peace. In Their Land.
The so-called Two-State Solution is de facto already in place: the State of Israel and the Gaza Strip (and before the critics start reminding us of how over-populated the Gaza Strip is, I suggest they read this article that refutes that claim) – so, why does the world keep insisting upon an unrealistic final solution?
Should we conclude that the absence of a peace agreement between Israel and the Arabs of Palestine is not only due to an Arab political unwillingness (that's proving itself to be futile) but mainly because this conflict serves the interests of the West?
The Middle East is tired of wars. Middle Easterners deserve better.
If the West wants the Middle East perpetually involved in conflicts, then it should be recused from mediating any affair pertaining the region. Perhaps a Sadat-Begin Approach is the example to follow (i.e. preliminary agreement reached without external influence).
On the 5th of June 1967, Israel reunified the City of King David. It eventually reached peace with sovereign countries involved in the conflict.
From the 5th of June 2015 onwards, Israel should start working based on the reunification of Eretz Yisrael. But this time, since the entities directly involved in the conflict have no interest in reaching peace; Israel should find ways to get it by facing Mecca.
(This article was produced thanks to Cristina C. Giancchini's contribution)
(Image: Friday Night at the Kotel - Alex Levin)