Saudis Recognize Israel’s Right to Exist

 

I couldn’t believe my ears — yes, my ears. I learned about this by phone from my Torah study partner in Israel. I had to search to find out more. Thanks to Ben Shapiro, I finally believe it. He quotes an article in the Atlantic where Prince Mohammed bin Salman says:

I believe that each people, anywhere, has a right to live in their peaceful nation. I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land…. we have religious concerns about the fate of the holy mosque in Jerusalem and about the rights of the Palestinian people. This is what we have. We don’t have any objection against any other people.

I know that the Saudis and Israelis have been working together in a number of areas, including the sharing of intelligence. In a meeting with Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority, Salman proposed a peace plan that…

…would give Palestinians a state ‘but only noncontiguous parts of the West Bank and only limited sovereignty over their own territory. The vast majority of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which most of the world considers illegal, would remain. The Palestinians would not be given East Jerusalem as their capital and there would be no right of return for Palestinian refugees and their descendants . . .’

It’s reported that this shift may be due to the work of Jared Kushner, Trump’s special advisor and son-in-law, working around the State Department.

I feel quite certain that Prince Mohammed’s peace proposal fell on deaf ears with the Palestinians. And I’m not convinced that a two-state solution is the remedy for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. But the Prince’s acknowledging Israel’s right to exist in his role as one of the leaders of the Arab world is a deeply meaningful statement not only to Israel but to the entire world.

Published in Foreign Policy
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  1. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Chris Campion (View Comment):
    Pretty such that thing was already alienated. And perchance avoided being perforated in Pakistan.

    @chriscampion, could you clarify this comment?

    • #31
  2. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I see little to no hope that Hamas will accept Israel. Thanks for these thoughtful ideas!

    I see little to no hope that Likud will ever accept Palestine/Palestinians.  But I do believe that Israelis eventually could.  Focusing just on Likud is an excuse, not a reason.

    (And even Hamas is not immovable.)

    • #32
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I see little to no hope that Hamas will accept Israel. Thanks for these thoughtful ideas!

    I see little to no hope that Likud will ever accept Palestine/Palestinians. But I do believe that Israelis eventually could. Focusing just on Likud is an excuse, not a reason.

    (And even Hamas is not immovable.)

    Yes, that effort does demonstrate some movement, a positive sign. But from your link–

    Ed Royce, the chair of the House foreign relations committee, said: “Until Hamas recognises Israel’s right to exist, its words are meaningless. I will see to it that Hamas remains designated a terrorist organisation as long as it continues to launch rocket attacks against Israeli civilians, remains an Iranian proxy, and engages in other acts that threaten the US and Israel.”

    Also, Likud, although powerful, is only one of many parties. Hamas is Hamas.

    • #33
  4. Kay of MT Member
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/plocov.asp

    This is the Palestine Charter, you might want to read it Zafar, especially no. 15. As long as this charter is in effect without amends, there will be no peace between Israel and the PLO. Notice how much of the document is fiction, such as the “Israelis have no historical history” to Israel. Most of these discussions completely leave out what their Charter says, as if it was of no account.

    • #34
  5. Chris Campion Coolidge
    Chris Campion
    @ChrisCampion

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Chris Campion (View Comment):
    Pretty such that thing was already alienated. And perchance avoided being perforated in Pakistan.

    @chriscampion, could you clarify this comment?

    Thing = Hamza Bin Laden. 

    And meant to say “Pretty sure that thing was already alienated”.  Meaning bin laden.

    • #35
  6. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I see little to no hope that Hamas will accept Israel. Thanks for these thoughtful ideas!

    I see little to no hope that Likud will ever accept Palestine/Palestinians. But I do believe that Israelis eventually could. Focusing just on Likud is an excuse, not a reason.

    (And even Hamas is not immovable.)

    Yes, that effort does demonstrate some movement, a positive sign. But from your link–

    Ed Royce, the chair of the House foreign relations committee, said: “Until Hamas recognises Israel’s right to exist, its words are meaningless…”

    But how can we be sure that Hamas’ words will be meaningful once it recognises Israel’s right to exist?  Will Israelis suddenly see them as partners for peace? Would you? I doubt it, regardless of what Hamas says – and in fact regardless of what Hamas does for a long while.  (Because they could always start doing something else, right?)

    Will Palestinians suddenly believe that Israel is trustworthy if its elected leaders say they believe in a two state solution?  Again – I really doubt it.  No matter what Ed Royce (somehow a relevant spokesperson?) says.

    It really seems to me that many of the people most involved in this are ruled by their “unanswerable questions”. 

    To broadbrush: Israelis’ some version of “are we safe?” and Palestinians’ some version of “are we safe?” too.

    • #36
  7. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/plocov.asp

    This is the Palestine Charter, you might want to read it Zafar, especially no. 15. As long as this charter is in effect without amends, there will be no peace between Israel and the PLO. Notice how much of the document is fiction, such as the “Israelis have no historical history” to Israel. Most of these discussions completely leave out what their Charter says, as if it was of no account.

    So what actions could one take that moved Palestinians (the people) to want to change Article 15 of the charter:

    The liberation of Palestine, from an Arab viewpoint, is a national (qawmi) duty and it attempts to repel the Zionist and imperialist aggression against the Arab homeland, and aims at the elimination of Zionism in Palestine. Absolute responsibility for this falls upon the Arab nation – peoples and governments – with the Arab people of Palestine in the vanguard. Accordingly, the Arab nation must mobilize all its military, human, moral, and spiritual capabilities to participate actively with the Palestinian people in the liberation of Palestine. It must, particularly in the phase of the armed Palestinian revolution, offer and furnish the Palestinian people with all possible help, and material and human support, and make available to them the means and opportunities that will enable them to continue to carry out their leading role in the armed revolution, until they liberate their homeland.

    Clearly they seem pretty okay with it still, 70 years later, so actions to date haven’t really succeeded.

    Article 6 seems like something to build on:

    The Jews who had normally resided in Palestine until the beginning of the Zionist invasion will be considered Palestinians.

    ??

    Frankly it’s a bit ambiguos wrt when the Zionist invasion began, but fwiw.

    • #37
  8. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    @susanquinn – an interesting thing from Corey Gil-Shuster on Force (and, it seems, Rights).

    On Hamas.  Apparently a real reluctance to sign a peace treaty :  – ( and a truly depressing bit about not wanting Jewish neighbours (most of the Palestinians interviewed didn’t – though I didn’t quite follow Corey’s attempt to differentiate between Jews from Israel moving to someplace in the West Bank and a Jew from Canada moving there. I know I’m missing something….).

    • #38
  9. Kay of MT Member
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    Zafar (View Comment):
    Frankly it’s a bit ambiguos wrt when the Zionist invasion began, but fwiw.

    The Zionist “invasion” began with the Jews purchasing land from the Ottoman Empire in the 1880s. All legal purchases.  They drained the swamps they were sold, improved the desert lands and made it productive, while the Arabs parked in squalor and did nothing. Those that were actually living in the land at the time. But the Jews are to be condemned for turning their ancient homeland into a land of “Milk & Honey” and not giving their hard work to the Arabs, who to this day still live in squalor. Except their leaders, who have millions in other countries and what they keep use for bombs to destroy Israel and pay their Killers of Jews.

    Mark Twain in the Holy Land

    Mark Twain visited Israel in 1867, and published his impressions in Innocents Abroad.  He described a desolate country – devoid of both vegetation and human population:

    “….. A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds… a silent mournful expanse…. a desolation…. we never saw a human being on the whole route…. hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.”

    He was amazed by the smallness of the city of Jerusalem:

    “A fast walker could go outside the walls of Jerusalem and walk entirely around the city in an hour. I do not know how else to make one understand how small it is.”

    And he described the Temple Mount thus:

    “The mighty Mosque of Omar, and the paved court around it, occupy a fourth part of Jerusalem. They are upon Mount Moriah, where King Solomon’s Temple stood. This Mosque is the holiest place the Mohammedan knows, outside of Mecca. Up to within a year or two past, no christian could gain admission to it or its court for love or money. But the prohibition has been removed, and we entered freely for bucksheesh.”

    Chapters 45-56 of Innocents Abroad can be read on Shechem.org.
    More quotes from pilgrims to the Holy Land can be found on the COJS website.

     

    • #39
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Zafar (View Comment):

    @susanquinn – an interesting thing from Corey Gil-Shuster on Force (and, it seems, Rights).

    On Hamas. Apparently a real reluctance to sign a peace treaty : – ( and a truly depressing bit about not wanting Jewish neighbours (most of the Palestinians interviewed didn’t – though I didn’t quite follow Corey’s attempt to differentiate between Jews from Israel moving to someplace in the West Bank and a Jew from Canada moving there. I know I’m missing something….).

    Sorry, @zafar. I promised myself I wouldn’t discuss the Israeli/Palestinian situation with you a while back. I erred in going in that direction in this OP. If others want to discuss it with you, that’s fine.

    • #40
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