Have “Palestinians” ever said yes to a peace plan?

by Phil Schneider

Peace Plans in the Middle East have come up from time to time since the 1930’s. Even ten years before the formation of the State of Israel, there were peace plans that were tossed around by the British Empire. But just as in the 1930’s till today, there has never been a peace plan in the Land of Israel that has truly accomplished the goals of those who proposed the plan. The problem – nearly every time – is that one side consistently turns away any proposal. Why do the proposals get turned away? This is the key isssue.

Who Wants Peace?

From the very start of the State of Israel, Israel has stretched out it’s hand to peace with the Arabs. But there is an essential difference between the two sides. The Arab side has basically never stretched it’s hand out to the State of Israel. The unfortunate reason is that so many Arabs still hold on to the hope that the State of Israel will cease to exist. So, it’s hard to make a peaceful agreement when someone is still holding on to a hope to destroy the other side.

There have been exceptions. The Empire of Jordan, under the leadership of King Hussein agreed to make a peace agreement with the State of Israel and Yitzhak Rabin. This was a genuine peace treaty, and it has endured to this very day. Back in 1979, Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat shocked the world when they met with Jimmy Carter and negotiated a Peace Treaty at Camp David. That has been a cold peace, but it has also withstood the test of time. For 40 years since then, there has not been any war between Egypt and Israel. But Anwar Sadat paid for the peace treaty with his life. Radical Arabs in Egypt turned a military parade into a political assassination.

The point is that a peace treaty or peace plan does not need to be perfect in the Middle East to be effective. So, the idea of striving to make a peace treaty is reasonable. The problem though, is that the price that Israel pays every time a peace plan is advanced is usually high – in blood. Radical Arabs usually fight peace plans with terror. So, the argument that Israel has nothing to lose is wrong. Peace plans are very risky. But in certain situations, they do indeed improve things quite a bit.

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