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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

This week we gladly note the November 29 70th anniversary of the United Nations’ passing of Resolution 181, making history with the partition of the former British Mandate for Palestine into two states, one Jewish and the other Arab, with Jerusalem designated an international zone under U.N. control.

History shows that in 1948, Israel, a fledgling state, was almost immediately forced to fight an existential war against the major military powers of the Arab world who rejected at the outset any Jewish homeland.

Those same Arab nations, with Soviet military aid and ambition, returned again in 1967 and in 1973, with Israel living to see another day still existing in a narrative as the “David” versus the Arab world’s combined might as “Goliath.”

With the introduction of Yasser Arafat’s PLO, a terrorist war against Israel’s citizenry continued, yet in the eyes of most of the seemingly duped world, the narrative changed. Without examination of history’s very facts, Arabs who left Israel who were living in the former Transjordan, Gaza and other lands prior to the Six Day War were largely rejected by the very Arab nations that launched attacks on Israel.

Now the narrative turned Israel into that Goliath, and in the Arab world and Europe, the Palestinians became David. That change in narrative was sorely noted by nations who would still seek Israel’s destruction, be it Iran, Syria or others. Israel has tried from Oslo, Norway, to Camp David, Maryland, to negotiate peace through West Bank land swaps with the Palestinians, with the hope of working with the United States to urge a peaceful Palestinian neighbor state, with emphasis on an infrastructure of peace instead of war, and schools, libraries and commerce instead of rockets, tunnels and terrorism.

The Palestinians, however, never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Even when the Palestinians’ two factions, Fatah and Hamas, feign unity and any prospect of returning to the peace table with Israel, there is little hope for any change.

Fatah, considered the more “moderate” of the two factions, sticks to the right of return of Palestinians to the land partitioned originally by the U.N. in 1947.

And Hamas? Its idea of a right of return means that the Jews should be annihilated.

The narrative hasn’t changed. Sadly, the idea of a military victory over Israel and the destruction of Zionism through terrorism or even BDS seems, for the majority of Palestinians, the only narrative. Palestinian children are weaned on this narrative instead of one of peace, progress and perhaps statehood.

The Trump administration and its Middle East negotiating team tell us that lately there is a peace plan that could establish that Palestinian state, with Israel maintaining its security.

Who wouldn’t want peace? Still, understanding that we haven’t seen a change in the “river to the sea” mantra of Israel’s destruction from the very voices the administration talks to, as well as an even more destruction-focused Palestinian street, we urge our president and his peace team to proceed with the utmost caution.

Peace among partners who want their people to live in a spirit of cooperation.

We’re just not sure the Palestinians and their disappointing “leadership” are up to the task that peace demands.