Israel's Poor Decisions--or Indecisions--Created Today's Political Mess
Immediately following the Six Day War, the Arab League convened in Khartoum and passed the famous three No's resolution: No to peace, no to recognition and no to negotiations with Israel. Meanwhile, Israel also had No's of its own: No to pulling back to the '67 borders and no to a Palestinian state.The Jerusalem question is a case in point. Not only did Jordan do nothing about Jerusalem in the nineteen years it had sovereignty over the city from it's aggressive war against the nascent state of Israel in 1948 (called "the War of Independence") until the Six-Day War of 1967 (another Arab aggressive war) when it was defeated by Israel, but for over a thousand years Muslims reigned over Jerusalem and never, ever considered it important enough to them to make it their capital.
There were some weighty considerations behind the decision to oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state that are still relevant today. It was a national consensus that only the radical Left contested. However, despite clear resistance to the establishment of a Palestinian state, Israel has in fact been integral to the advancement of such a state.
The only real interest the Arabs have in Jerusalem is that by demanding it be their capital now, in a future Palestinian state, it would further weaken Israeli and Jewish ties to this city, and further weaken, with their goal of finally eliminating--the Jewish State, which they never accepted in the Middle East to begin with. The Palestinians are already denying historical connections between the Jews and Jerusalem, thus attempting to de-ligitimize any Jewish claim to the Holy city which is of course, as are most of their claims, a pack of lies. Par for the course.
Mr. Friedman claims that had Israel made an agreement with Jordan at the time it controlled the so-called "West Bank," the results would have been more favorable towards Israel, because Jordan would not have cared about Jerusalem--Amman would have continued to be its capital--whereas the Palestinians are adamant about Jerusalem being their capital, and that being "non-negotiable." G-d forbid.
An agreement with Jordan regarding the West Bank would have required an agreement regarding the Holy Sites, but the question of declaring Jerusalem the capital of two cities would not have arisen as it has with the Palestinians. For Palestinians, making Jerusalem their capital is a non-negotiable precondition, making it the first time in history Jerusalem has been called upon to be the capital of two separate states.These days, because of its poor decisions, Israel is faced with the possibility of an adjacent terrorist Palestinian state, which would have to be demilitarized (do you see them even agreeing to this?), with a group which refuses to this day to recognize the legitimacy of the state of Israel. It makes no sense whatsoever to any thinking person. No nation in its right mind would even consider accepting such an enemy as a state right next door. It's totally insane.
I look at it this way: you can argue back and forth about the poor decisions Israel made from 1948 onward, when they agreed to be created with "Partition" losing a huge chunk of the territory promised them by the British, and the Arabs didn't agree--and promptly attacked--but in my mind there is only one poor decision which was made by Israel, and that was after the 1967 war.
Israel should have learned by then, after three wars of aggression by the Arabs (1948, 1956, and 1967) and countless wars of attrition and terrorist attacks on its civilians in between, that after soundly defeating the Arab aggressor in 1967, she should have annexed all the territories gained in that war as part of Israel proper, subject to Israeli law--period. And the option should have been given to the Arabs to become loyal citizens of the Jewish state, studying its history, culture and laws and pledging allegiance to it--or get out (they could have chosen which of the many Arab states to go to). After all, they were the aggressor, not Israel. And they lost. That's the way it works.
Israel didn't do that. And now we have. . . our scenario today.