Peace Offer Was Turned Down

By Professor Shlomo Maital.

     Wars occur as a result of tragically missed opportunities.

      Writing in the New York Times, October 12,    columnist David Brooks notes that Israel made a generous peace offer to the Palestinians long ago.  It was turned down.  The result has been great suffering for the Palestinians, and now, Israelis. 

     Here is what he wrote:  “Throughout this horrible week, my mind has repeatedly flashed back to Dec. 23, 2000. That was the day the Palestinians were offered a path to having their own nation on roughly 95 percent of the land in the West Bank and 100 percent of the land in the Gaza Strip. Under that outline, Israel would also swap some of its own land to compensate the Palestinians in exchange for maintaining 80 percent of its settler presence in the West Bank.

     “The Palestinians would control, in President Bill Clinton’s formulation, Arab areas of East Jerusalem. And on the most sensitive religious sites, there would have been divided sovereignty or jurisdiction, with Palestinians controlling the Haram al-Sharif (including the Aqsa and Dome of the Rock mosques) and Israel controlling the Western Wall and the holy space of which it is a part. There would also be a return of many refugees into the new Palestinian state (without the right of return to Israel itself).

  “They turned it down.”

    Why?  Extreme elements of the Palestinians, widely supported, seek only the destruction of Israel.  Any deal that leaves Israel alive and kicking is to the Islamic radicals not acceptable.

      Leaving Israelis no choice but to fight.