How to end the Middle East conflict in four easy steps

Dennis Ross and David Makovsky in Israel’s Drive Toward Self-Destruction, argue that Prime Minister Netanyahu must offer up hope to Palestinians or face a revived de-legitimization movement. They’re certainly right to point out that the delegitimation movement will grow, but they are wrong to suggest that the answer is for Israel to offer hope to the Palestinians. How facile is that? They argue that what Israel needs to do is begin capitulating even before the negotiations commence, let alone, conclude. They want Israel to give up its bargaining chips for nothing in return.

The Palestinians don’t hope to be given a state, they hope to destroy a state, namely Israel.

It’s not Israel that needs to prove its bona fides, it’s the Palestinians that need to.

The problem with the Ross/Makovsky recommendations is that they are put forward to achieve a pre-ordained (at least by the international community) solution, namely two states for two people based on the '67 lines plus swaps, a divided Jerusalem and "just solution"  for the Palestinian refugees, of which there are few (60,000), and their descendants.

And the recommendations ignores the many threats to Israel along its borders. Ross and Makovsky assume that these threats will eventually evaporate but offer no arguments why this will be so. Yet they want Israel to put herself in jeopardy by offering “hope.” The greatest of these threats, Iran, is now becoming greater due to the deal being negotiated by the Obama administration that will, in Netanyahu’s words, pave the way to them getting the bomb.

On March 31/15, the Times of Israel, reported, Iran militia chief: Destroying Israel is ‘nonnegotiable’

The commander of the Basij militia of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said that “erasing Israel off the map” is ‘nonnegotiable,’ according to an Israel Radio report Tuesday.

In 2014, Naqdi said Iran was stepping up efforts to arm West Bank Palestinians for battle against Israel, adding the move would lead to Israel’s annihilation, Iran’s Fars news agency reported.

’Arming the West Bank has started and weapons will be supplied to the people of this region,’ Naqdi said.

’The Zionists should know that the next war won’t be confined to the present borders and the Mujahedeen will push them back,’ he added. Naqdi claimed that much of Hamas’s arsenal, training and technical knowhow in the summer conflict with Israel was supplied by Iran.

There is a major war looming, aided and abetted by the Obama administration, yet Ross and Makovsky ignore Israel’s reality and peril.

Israel National News reports on April1/15, IDF Scenario for Next Hezbollah War: 1,500 Missiles Per Day

Army updates estimates for damages in possible northern war, expects dozens or hundreds of lives lost per day.

IDF experts estimate that the number of missiles to hit northern Israel on a given day would be 1,000-1,500, and the number of people killed daily will be in double or even triple digits.

Of course President Obama’s new bedmate, Iran, is responsible for providing Hezb’allah with an enormous arsenal of rockets, reputed to exceed 60,000, with which to wreak havoc on Israel. Ross and Makovsky make no mention of this threat.

Furthermore, the international community is responsible for the lack of a solution because it keeps supporting the weaker side. Normally, a labor dispute in which the workers have stuck is settled when one side decides to compromise their demands because of economic necessity. In the "peace process" the Palestinians are supported at every turn, both politically and financially, and are held blameless. So they have no reason or necessity to compromise.

This support has thwarted the intent of the Oslo Accords.  Former PM Rabin once said that the Palestinians would have to bend to the will of Israel because Israel is the stronger party and holds all the cards or something to that effect. What he did not factor in was that the international community would bolster the Palestinians, making a settlement impossible.

So my first recommendation would be to set aside the pre-ordained solution. Instead, let the only parameter be UN Security Council Resolution 242.

Secondly leave the parties to their own devices. Stop supporting the Palestinians financially or politically

Thirdly, UN Works and Relief Administration (UNWRA) should be done away with and all so called refugees should be resettled like all refugees are resettled. UN General Assembly Resolution 393 provides for this.

"4. Considers that, without prejudice to the provisions of paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, the reintegration of the refugees into the economic life of the Near East, either by repatriation or resettlement, is essential in preparation for the time when international assistance is no longer available, and for the realization of conditions of peace and stability in the area

Thus it recommends "reintegration of the refugees into the economic life of the Near East either by repatriation or resettlement". There is no reason why these "refugees" can't also be resettled throughout the world just as the Syrian refugees are being resettled. Or just normalize them where they are by giving them citizenship. If the host countries refuse to do this then they must be resettled in countries that will.  It would help considerably if the standard definition of what a refugee is be applied rather than to consider their descendants as refugees also.

I should point out that the "right of return" derives from Resolution 194, which, like all UN General Assembly resolutions, is a recommendation only.

The world community, by maintaining the refugee status of these people, is contributing to the impasse in the "peace process". By maintaining the "right of return" they are adding to the unsolvables.

Fourthly, support the emigration of Palestinians from Judea and Samaria and from Gaza, (rather than rebuilding Gaza). There are currently about 3.5 million Arabs living there. If the world would absorb 2 million of them, Israel would extend its sovereignty over these lands and offer citizenship or autonomy to the remaining Arabs. Thus the conflict would be over.

In summary, if the West wants to end the conflict, it should resettle the "refugees" and absorb 2 million Palestinians. It’s that easy.

Instead, Ross and Makovsky prefer to demand Israel accept the deal that they have pre-ordained, at their peril, which Israel isn't about to do.

Ironically, just as President Obama is reconsidering his options on how to impose a solution, support for a “two-state solution” to solve the Israel-Arab conflict is less popular in the United States than it has been in at least two decades, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

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