I had always assumed that if the Israelis were to agree to return the entire West Bank and Gaza that the Palestinians would accept this offer and peace in the Middle East would finally be achieved.
Boy was I wrong!
Lately, I have been watching Youtube videos on this subject from both the Israeli and Palestinian perspectives. This is what I have learned:
Israel has offered to return over 90% of the West Bank and Gaza and the Palestinians have refused. The Palestinians want all the land—no, not just 100% of the West Bank and Gaza strip—but every square inch from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea! After all, they say, they and their ancestors have owned this land for hundreds of years. The British had no right to give away their land to the Jews. The Palestinian Arabs never agreed to the British partition.
I also learned that many Jewish settlers and right-wing Israelis believe that every square inch of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea belongs to them and they see nothing wrong with establishing settlement after settlement on Arab occupied land even if it means displacing Arabs from their homes. They want the Arabs out! After all, their ancestors owned the land 2,000 years ago.
Who is right?
I would say, both are right. Both sides have legitimate claims to the land. So who should get it?
Here is my suggestion: The international community must impose a solution; not a perfect solution but a fair solution. After viewing the intensity of the passions and beliefs on both sides (in particular, the religious passions and beliefs), I believe that this conflict will never be resolved if left to the two warring parties. And only if the United States applies its full weight and support to this imposed solution would it work.
That’s my two cents. What’s yours?
End of post.