This Op-Ed/Analysis is the author’s personal opinion and does not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of JerusalemOnline.com if you would like to send us your op-ed to be published – [email protected]
Denis Ojalvo, an expert on international relations and a member of the European Jewish Parliament, explained the faults in US Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent speech on Middle Eastern peace.
Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
On December 28th 2016, US Secretary of State John Kerry delivered a speech on Middle Eastern peace which lasted 72 minutes. With a prologue, he exposed his knowledge on the subject in order to convince the audience on the accuracy of his diagnostics and the applicability of his suggestions for reaching it.
His first argument was that an equal number of Jews and Arabs lived on the land strip from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea and that the State of Israel could not be both Jewish and Democratic if it didn’t share the land with the Arabs. He asked Israel to make room for “two states for two peoples,” which in fact would be a Jew-free Arab state and a Jewish state with almost 2.000.000 Arabs. He asked for the fulfillment of UN Resolution 181 where citizens of the respective Jewish and Arab states would enjoy full equal rights. One should ask, where is the reciprocity if there are no Jews in the Arab state?
His second argument was the necessity of providing “secure and recognized borders for Israel” and “contiguous land for a viable Palestine.” That equation is problematic: First, because the sine-qua-non condition for the solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict is not a “viable Arab state of Palestine” but a “viable Jewish state of Israel,” which is under a constant genocidal threat from the date of its birth. No Arab state faces or ever faced such a threat.
Secondly, US Secretary Kerry didn’t mention that the land strip in question is only 40 miles wide and that Israel’s 11 miles indefensible narrow waistline invited the Arab aggression in 1967. Whereas the Arab nation enjoys plenty of land from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean, Secretary Kerry’s call for “Secure and recognized borders for Israel” proves farcical and malicious.
Did US Secretary Kerry ever question why the USA has military bases beyond its national borders if not for safeguarding its security? But he sees no inconvenience in squeezing Israel back in an indefensible narrow coastal strip!
US Secretary Kerry mentioned land swaps between Israel and the future state of Palestine based on the 1967 lines. US Secretary Kerry knows that real estate four-fold bigger than the Mandate of Palestine was confiscated from its lawful Jewish owners in Arab lands. He could have asked justice for Jews too. But he didn’t !
He asked for compensation for Palestinian Arab refugees but did not mention that an even bigger Jewish population was kicked out or had to run for their lives from Arab lands and were not compensated.
US Secretary Kerry posited that provided it withdraws to the 1967 lines, Israel’s security challenges would be solved through cooperation with Egypt and Jordan.
Asking Israel to tender its existence to former enemies prone to regime change as already witnessed with the Muslim Brotherhood take-over in Egypt is definitely malicious.
For US Secretary Kerry, history seems to have begun with the foundation of the United Nations in 1945 and it’s Palestine Partition Plan of 1947. No need to go back 3000 years to King David’s time. It is sufficient to abide by the provisions of the internationally recognized 1922 British Mandate for Palestine and the Transjordan Memorandum which stipulate that Jews have the right to settle anywhere West of the Jordan River within the limits of Mandatory Palestine.
Finally, US Secretary Kerry puts a dubious quote in the mouth of the late Shimon Peres whereby the “Original mandate” attributed 48% of the land to the Arabs, that it shrank to 22% and that 78% was enough for him.
The 1947 Partition Plan was NOT a “Mandate”! Moreover, the land slated for the “Jewish National Home” initially comprised not only the whole land west of the Jordan River but the land to the east known as Transjordan as well.
US Secretary Kerry is knowledgeable and definitely not naive. That unfortunately leaves us with the sad answer to the rhetorical question stated in the title of this piece.