By Ugonna Emechebe
Recently, U.S President Donald Trump set a slightly new twist in U.S foreign policy by officially recognizing and acknowledging Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This act has ruffled more than a few feathers but there are some things we must understand about the Middle East and Palestinian conundrum before we make proper assessments.
For several years now it has been consensus that a 2 State solution is the way to calming the intractable crises in the Middle East. This was acknowledged as far back as 1947 when the League of Nations resolved there should be two states carved from the tract of land- one wholly Arab and the other wholly Jewish.
The Arabs rejected the resolution outrightly and invaded the fledgling State of Israel in 1948 a day after Ben Gurion proclaimed a sovereign State of Israel in accordance with the League of Nations resolution. At least 5 Arab armies invaded Israel with just ONE aim – to commit genocide and push the Jews into the Mediterranean.
The U.S, U.K, and U.S.S.R pulled away as they believed it to be a foregone conclusion that the Arabs would overrun the new State. And so the only external help to Israel came from Czechoslovakia who sent some outdated fighter planes to join the ragtag Israeli militia with their old rifles and Molotov cocktails. They resisted the Arab attempt at pogrom, and since then it has been battle after battle for just one thing – survival.
All the lands Israel has “annexed” (I put this in quotes because all the land was theirs originally) they got after attempts by Arab invaders to destroy them. The Golan Heights was taken from Syria after a war, the Gaza Strip was taken from Egypt after a war, and what the world calls the West Bank was taken from Jordan after a war.
All these conflicts were designed to eliminate Israel.
The Palestinians now want a State they initially refused because they wanted the whole land, but now they want a State that is meant to have the Gaza Strip and also the portions known historically and biblically as Judea & Samaria, which is what the Arabs and the rest of the world now call the West Bank.
But there are some problems.
They are now demanding for the pre-1967 Israeli borders to be re-established. These borders were expanded after the Six Day War and refer to the 1949 armistice lines (Green Line borders) between the Israelis and Arabs from before this war, when Israel captured the Gaza Strip from Egypt and the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, among other land.
Now the Arabs want pre-1967 borders.
After the war the Israelis took Gaza and the West Bank militarily and allowed Jews to build settlements in both territories. In 2005 former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon gave back Gaza to the Palestinians and the whole Strip is under control of the Islamist group Hamas. Hamas rejects Israel’s right to exist – Green Line or no Green Line – while Fatah, which rules the West Bank has reconciled with Hamas, and now wants a Palestinian state spanning Gaza and the West Bank with East Jerusalem as its capital.
A joint Palestinian government that has two parties, one being funded by terror sponsors and the other in complete opposition to the existence of Israel, governing a whole corridor linking Gaza to East Jerusalem and the West Bank and essentially cutting through Israel.
And there is more, much more. We will pick up where we left off.