The Middle East has always been in conflict, from biblical times, to the crusades, and on through modern times. Since around 1900, the conflict has primarily been between two groups, Jews and Arabs. During this time, the British occupied the land and under their control the conflict remained minimal. But within months of their departure, and the division of the land between Israel and the surrounding Arab nations, war broke out. The Arabs were unhappy with the UN’s divisions of the land, and in an attempt to obtain the land, which they believed was rightfully theirs; they attacked the State of Israel. To the surprise of many, the armies of Egypt, Syria and Jordan fell to Israeli troops and instead of gaining land, they lost it. Almost twenty years later war broke out once more. This time Egypt had blocked off the Straits of Tiran, which supplied most of Israel’s exports, and mobilized most of their fighting army on the border with Israel. Israel, instead of waiting for Egypt to attack first, Israel made the first move and attacked Egypt. Israel destroyed almost all of Egypt’s bombers while they were still on the ground. Syria and Jordan both responded to this attack with an aerial assault on a few Israeli bases and war was waged. The war only lasted six days, hence the name The Six-Day War, and during this time Israel more than doubled its territory. They secured the Golan Heights to the north, the hills of Judea and Summaria to the east, and the Gaza Strip and the Sinai desert to the south. Besides the Sinai Desert, which was returned to Egypt as part of a peace agreement, most of these lands are part of Israel today. The Yom Kippur War was latter fought between the same countries but in this war no territory was gained or lost.
Palestinians, as they are now called, were the people that were left in the territories that were capture by Israel in the Six-Day War. Palestinians were unwanted by the countries of their origin, even specifically told to stay in Israeli refugee camps, and were forced to stay in Israel. The Palestinians now claim that the land is theirs and that Israel stole it from them. In response to the Israeli “theft” of their land, Palestinian terrorist groups have sent suicide bombers into prominent city squares, heavily populated markets, and on to multiple buses; all in the attempt of regaining the land that they believe is theirs. Even though these bombings occur virtually weekly, the rest of the world pushes Israel towards peace. Thousands of Israeli men, woman, and children have been killed, most of them civilians, and the US persuades Israel to make concessions, that they should surrender to the terrorist’s demands. Besides the fact that peace would be allowing terrorism to prevail, peace is an impossible proposition, because the man that Israel is negotiating peace with isn’t part of the terrorist groups. Another Reason why peace is not a reasonable option for Israel, is they rightfully own the land and they have no reason to give it back. For these reasons, peace with the Palestinians isn’t possible and isn’t beneficial to Israel.2
The United States’ demand for Middle East peace in hypocritical. Since the September 11th incident, they have been saying that they must strike in response and find Osama Ben Laden so they can show the world that terrorism won’t be tolerated. Yet Israel is expected to tolerate terrorism. Since the attack the United States created a “list” of terrorist groups yet Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and Hezbola weren’t put on the “list”, they aren’t considered terrorist groups by the US. Groups that kill place bombs in populated areas and kill innocent civilians aren’t considered terrorists. Israel retaliates to these bombings in the same way as the US does yet Israel is shown admonished for these actions. Israel in a similar situation as the United States but only the Israel is seen as committing appalling acts. The US doesn’t make peace with Afghanistan why should Israel?
After Israel gives the land to the Palestinians there is guarantee the acts of terror will stop. In 1995 Yiztchok Rabin and Yasser Arafat had agreed on a peace treaty. Peace was supposed to be at hand. Yet the problems are no different the situation is worse than when the treaty was agreed on. This treaty, which the Palestinians agreed on, was useless. Ultimately it did nothing but hand cities over to the Palestinains.3
If Israel was to agree to a peace treaty they would be, besides giving in to terrorism, getting only a promise on paper, and the Palestinians would receive land, something concrete. The Palestinians wouldn’t give up anything; Israel would be the one making the sacrifices. Israel won the war in 1967, they own the land, and have military superiority over the Palestinians who lack any semblance of army and Israel would be the only one making concessions.
Israel owns the land in question; the Palestinians never owned that land but this land is treated as if it doesn’t belong to Israel. On most American maps of the Middle East, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights are marked as disputed Territory. Especially since the land never belonged to the Palestinians there is no reason for them to lay claim to it. Palestinians as a nation never existed until they were amassed in refugee camps. Before 1900 no one lived in Israel. Only once Jews moved in and started trying to buy the land did it become populated. Jordanians, Syrians, Egyptians, and Jews lived in Palestine before the State of Israel was created but not Palestinians. Yet even though they never owned the land they still claim it to be theirs.5
These are reasons why the peace process shouldn’t happen but even if it did happen it could never work. The Peace Process is an attempt to prevent terrorist activity, to stop innocent people from dying. Israel is trying to stop the terrorism, yet they talk to Yasser Arafat to make peace. They are trying to make a deal with a person who doesn’t represent the terrorist groups, and can’t control the terrorist groups. Yasser Arafat, the head of the PA is not affiliated with any terrorists; he is the leader of the Palestinian people. If Arafat doesn’t control the terrorist groups he can’t stop the violence, he isn’t the person to create peace. If Arafat can’t cause peace making a deal with him won’t help anything.6
Ideally, people want the whole world to live in peace, unfortunately that isn’t possible. True peace can’t be found in the Middle East. The US doesn’t see this; they keep talking of fixing the problem yet there only answer is a peace agreement. There is no reason, no gain, and no guarantee in peace with the Palestinians. It is not as if there is nothing to lose in it for Israel, they lose their land that their soldiers fought for and died for. Because an agreement can’t be reached without Israel losing something that is has precious little of, an agreement can’t just be tried or given a chance. Especially since Israel has the upper hand in this situation; which ends up being tied behinds its back, a little bit because of fear of war and a little bit out of lack of American support; it shouldn’t be the one who is required to give up something for nothing. But unfortunately it doesn’t work that way, the peace process can’t be tested, it isn’t an equal agreement, and it isn’t the next step to world peace, so it has no chance of surviving. Peace can’t answer the problem. The terrorist won’t stop until they get all of Israel, they have said so. The problem that believers in the process have is that they don’t realize the motives of the terrorists, they don’t want some land they want it all. Peace won’t be able to satisfy that. Peace just won’t work.
Bibliography
Israeli Defense Forces. Internet: World Wide Web
http://www.idf.il/english/statistics/statistics.stm, 10/06/01
Katz, Samuel BattleGround Fact And Fantasy In Palestine. New York: Bantam
Books,1973.

Palestinian National Authority The Official Website. Internet: World Wide Web
http://www.pna.net/peace, 10/06/01
Westwood, J.N. The History Of The Middle East Wars. New York: Mallard Press, 1984
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