For decades, there has been a supposed axiom that only if Israel gives up land will they be able to have peace with their neighbors. This has been proven untrue – time and again. But now, with the new peace treaty on it’s way between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, it has become more clear than ever. The issue of peace between Israel and it’s Arab neighbors actually has nothing to do with Land. The issue of war between Israel and it’s neighbors is based on Land. When Arabs genuinely care about making peace with Israel, they talk about commerce. When they care about preparing for another war against Israel, then they focus on Israel giving up Land.
The first major peace agreement between Israel and it’s Arab neighbors was in 1979. Jimmy Carter successfully brokered a peace agreement between Israel and Egypt. This was a controversial agreement that has proven to be a successful agreement – and it did indeed include Israel rescinding the entire Sinai. So, doesn’t that mean that Israel needs to rescind Land in order to have peace? Well, not exactly. The Sinai – according to most of the State of Israel was not actually part of the historical State of Israel. It was land that was conquered in Israel’s defensive war against Egypt in 1967. But, the real story of that peace agreement was Sadat’s willingness to go out on a limb and say the brave words, “No more war.” Unfortunately, he was assassinated a few years later – in no small part, due to the peace agreement with Israel. But, Israel has had no major conflagrations with Egypt since. So, this must be viewed as a victory for peace in the Middle East.
Around 20 years later, Yitzhak Rabin set up a peace agreement with Jordan. Very little land was exchanged here. It was largely a business-based agreement. This was also a success. Israel has largely had a peaceful border to their east also,
But the Oslo accords, where Rabin set up an agreement with Yasser Arafat was predicated on Israel giving away huge parts of it’s homeland – both strategically and historically important to the State of Israel. This agreement has led to years of terror and thousands of Israelis killed. It was a horrible mistake to learn from.
Thank God, Israel, seems to have learned from this that we need more agreements like the Jordan and UAE peace agreements. Netanyahu has learned his history well. This is a great achievement for him and the State of Israel.