THE TAPESTRY OF ISRAEL (“Thread” 12 & 13)


When analysing the history of the conflict between Israel and the Arab nations, the question of why this conflict arises must be asked. What attempts have been made to bring about peace to the region and why have they not been successful? Israel as a nation has continually sought to live in peace with its Arab neighbours, to the extent that it has made extremely painful concessions in the attempt to pacify the Arab hostility towards her. At this stage, of the 22 Arab states Jordan and Egypt have signed peace agreements with Israel in 1979 and 1994 respectively, and the Abraham Accords normalised diplomatic relations between Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco, facilitated by the U.S. Administration between August and December, 2020. Below is summarised the continual battle that Israel has had in her efforts to attain peace with her Arab neighbours and to be accepted as a legitimate state in the Middle East by the Arab world.

1937: Based on the Peel Commission report, a British partition plan for Israel is formulated. The recommendation is that a Jewish state should be formed on only 4% of the original land set aside for Israel by the original British Mandate, while Jordan and a Palestinian Arab state would have the remaining 96% of the land. The Zionist leaders (with certain reservations) accepted the offer but the Arab leaders rejected it.

1947: Great Britain terminates its mandate over Palestine and takes the matter before the United Nations. The UN members vote ‘yes’ (33 to 13) for a partition plan; the majority that vote ‘no’ being Muslim nations [Resolution 181(11) (A)]. The recommendation was for a two-state solution for the 22% of the land that remained available from the original British Mandate. 45% of the land was designated for an Arab state and 55% for a Jewish state. Jerusalem and its suburbs would be placed under an international trusteeship. More than 60% of the Jewish portion would include the Negev Desert, with the majority of arable land going to the Arabs. The Arab nations rejected the recommendation and continued to escalate the conflict with the aim of taking over the whole area. The UN did not intervene to enforce its recommendation.

1949: After the 1948 war, Israel signed armistice agreements (between February and July) with all the invader Arab nations that attacked her. The Old City of Jerusalem and the West Bank occupied by Jordan and the Gaza Strip are retained by Egypt? The UN arranges the Lausanne talks which are aimed at attaining permanent peace agreements between all the antagonistic Arab nations and Israel. The Arab states refuse the offer of peace once again. The Secretary General of the Arab League, Azzam Pasha, explains their stance regarding Israel by saying that their secret weapon against Israel is time; as long as the Arab nations refuse to make peace with Israel the war will not be over and that if the war is not over then there can be no “victor nor vanquished.”

1957: The Israeli army captures the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt during the 1957 Suez War. Israel, after assurances from the UN that it would maintain a military presence in the Sinai to police the area, withdraws her forces from the Sinai, even though a defeated Egypt refuses to make peace with Israel.

1967: During the Six Day War, Israel soundly defeats the antagonist Arab nations of Egypt, Jordan and Syria. Drawn on 22 November, the United Nations Security Council resolution 242 states that Israel is entitled to new defensible borders. The resolution states that Israel has the right to live in peace with “secure and recognised boundaries free from threats or acts of force.” In return Israel withdraws from some of the territories it has captured during the war. The Arab states continue their unending animosity towards Israel by refusing to negotiate, to make peace with, or even to recognise the state of Israel.

1979: Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, is known for his opinion that the land gained by Israel after the 1967 war is not “occupied land” but rather “liberated land.” He considered it to be a part of greater Israel. Yet when president Sadat of Egypt presented Israel with a sincere peace offer it is he who brokered the treaty with Sadat that required Israel to return the whole Sinai Peninsula to Egypt. The agreement was finally signed at Camp David under the auspices of President Jimmy Carter; this was the first treaty to be signed by Israel with one of her Arab neighbours. But the Arab nations refused to recognise the existence of the State of Israel. With Sadat signing a treaty with Israel, Egypt had recognised the existence of Israel, and so the treaty attracted much distaste and hostility from other Arab nations. Israel had established a number of Jewish settlements in the Sinai, but had to expel her own citizens from those settlements where Jews laboured long and hard to bring life to the desert. The treaty caused Israel to relinquish valuable oilfields in El Tur and two airfields. President Sadat was later assassinated by Islamic extremists in Egypt for brokering a peace treaty with Israel.

1993: Israeli Prime Minister Rabin and PLO Chairman Arafat entered secret negotiations which resulted in the Oslo Accords (evolved from the 1991 Madrid peace plan). Yitzhak Rabin believed that he needed to give peace a chance and so he brokered a deal with Arafat with the aid of America’s president Bill Clinton. The deal was concluded by the two old foes shaking hands on the White House lawn. Israel relinquished land in the hope of peace. The agreement resulted in Israel withdrawing from most of the territories and the PLO governing 98% of the Palestinian people by 1997. For this, the PLO was to stop inciting hatred towards Jews and it was expected to renounce terrorism and keep Hamas and other radical groups in check. The PLO did not.

1994: King Hussein of Jordan secretly made contact with Israel and brokered several working agreements. After the changes in 1993 that the Oslo Accord brought about in Israel, Jordan publicly began to make its negotiations with Israel official.

2000: On 24 May, the last of the Israeli troops withdrew from the strategic “buffer zone” in southern Lebanon after an 18-year presence, with over 1 000 Israeli soldiers killed. President Barak, without an agreement with Hezbollah, decided to evacuate the security zone. This was done in the hope that the withdrawal of forces would promote peace, despite the fact that there was no immediate peace agreement between Israel and Lebanon, and that there were continuing hostilities from Hezbollah.

From 11 to 24 July, the Camp David summit was held by American Bill Clinton in an attempt to negotiate a final settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in accordance with the 1993 Oslo Accord. President Ehud Barak of Israel offered Yasser Arafat generous concessions for peace, meeting 95% of Arafat’s demands. The offer included the withdrawal of Israel from nearly all of the West Bank and all of Gaza to create a Palestinian state, Palestinian control of East Jerusalem, the removal of Jewish communities from those areas and 30 billion dollars of aid to assist in the resettlement of Palestinian refugees in the territories being handed over. Refusing the offer and declining an opportunity to negotiate further, Arafat walked out of the meeting. President Clinton was frustrated and irritated with Arafat as he had come to the negotiations with no counter offers or ideas of his own to help reach a settlement and bring peace to the region. Arafat had not come to Camp David with the genuine intention of brokering peace with Israel. For him, it was an all-or-nothing deal; there would be no negotiating.

2005: After a meeting with US President Bush in April, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon agreed – despite the Palestinians not having lived up to previous commitments – to the closing of twenty-five Jewish settlements. Twenty-one were in Gaza and four in Samaria. This required the relocating of 8 500 Jewish citizens, and action was taken by the Israeli government in the hope of a two-state solution with defined borders being attained; and that peace with the Palestinians could finally be reached. Once again, the Palestinians take, but renege on their side of the agreement.

2006: The continuing desire of Israeli citizens to forgive and forget in order to live in peace with their Arab neighbours was once more evident when the Kadima party won the national elections – a party that went to the elections with the platform of further disengagement. This victory was despite the fact that earlier in the year the Palestinians had shown hatred and malice towards the Israelis by voting to power the political wing of the terrorist group Hamas, that called for the complete destruction of the nation of Israel.   

The evidence is very clear that Zionism, and eventually the state of Israel, has continually sought to establish peaceful relations with her Arab neighbours. A relationship with Israel would immensely benefit the economy of the Arab nations through trade and Israel’s superior advancement in the fields of technology, agriculture, science and medicine. Yet the hand of friendship which has been repeatedly offered has not only been shunned but every means possible has been used to harm it. The continuing injustice incurred despite Israeli peace talks with her Arab neighbours being abhorrent; that a tiny nation has its citizens and the many tourists who visit her continually put under threat by an intolerant ideology is reprehensible. Yet it is Israel that is continually under the media spotlight while world politics kowtows to Arab Petro billions.


An old saying about mankind’s ability to learn from their past mistakes goes as follows: “History teaches man that history teaches man nothing.” There is clear repeated evidence in the history of the Middle East that the Arab world will not tolerate a Jewish presence amongst them. This is evident in their rhetoric and their actions, yet they will continually make demands through violence, war and terrorism for Israeli land in exchange for peace. While nations like Russia, North Korea and China smile and nod knowingly, the humanists of the West rush to be the ones who bring peace to the Middle East, which means that Israel will be pressured by them to give up more land to a greedy adversary who is never sated and whose ideology will not tolerate a Jewish presence in the Middle East.

The Palestinians and Arab nations have no intention of living in peace with Israel. When they condescend to have talks with Israel, there is no intention on their part to live in peace with the Jews. They talk with Israel because they are foolish enough to start conflicts with Israel.  They talk with Israel because they would like Israel to stop killing their soldiers, destroying and purloining all their military equipment; to leave their countries. They also talk with Israel to negotiate peace for land deals which they have no intention of keeping. These talks are only a means to claim more land from one of the smallest nations in the world.

The Arab governments and the Palestine Liberation Organisation have offered Israel “peace for land.” But what kind of “peace” are they offering? Grant R. Jeffery, (1) explains that there are two concepts of “peace” in the Arab language. One represents a true peace such as Britain and France enjoy – they may dislike each other’s cultures, but there is recognition of mutual benefit from having good relations with each other. The other Arab concept of “peace” is in reality “an armed truce.” During the crusades Saladin, the great general of the temporarily-defeated Muslim armies, offered the English king, Richard the Lion-Heart, a peace treaty. However, two years later, after rebuilding his armies, Saladin broke his agreement and defeated the English armies. The peace the Arabs offer Israel is “the peace of Saladin.”

It is time that the world learns from history; the Arabs have no intention of living in peace with Israel. The Arabs will continually play on the hopes of a battle-weary people in the vain hope that they will one day be able to live in peace with their neighbours. This unfortunately will never happen because peace will only come to Israel when the Prince of Peace returns to earth to rule.


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