“On the 29th November, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution calling for the establishment of a Jewish State in Eretz-Israel; the General Assembly required the inhabitants of Eretz-Israel to take such steps as were necessary on their part for the implementation of that resolution. This recognition by the United Nations of the right of the Jewish people to establish their State is irrevocable” – Israeli Declaration of Independence, May 1948 “
Despite the historical injustice inflicted on the Palestinian Arab people resulting in their dispersion and depriving them of their right to self-determination, following upon UN General Assembly Resolution 181 (1947), which partitioned Palestine into two states, one Arab, one Jewish, yet it is this Resolution that still provides those conditions of international legitimacy that ensure the right of the Palestinian Arab people to sovereignty” – Palestine Declaration of Independence, November 1988 The French are coming! Sometime over the next two weeks France is expected to present a new draft resolution to the United Nation Security Council aimed at completing the process undertaken by the international community in 1947, with the support of the Zionist movement and world Jewry, to ensure the safety and security of the Jewish people, in a nation-state for the Jewish people on part of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. Only part of that resolution was fulfilled at the end of the British Mandate in May 1948.
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The refusal of the Arab world and the Palestinian leadership at the time to agree to the partitioning of Palestine into two states – one for the Jews and one for the Arabs, does not change the reality that the solution proposed 68 years ago remains the same solution today. Today it is the Jewish side which refuses to accept the proposal and attempts to suggest that those nations which support the upcoming Security Council Resolution are anti-Israel and even anti-Semitic. This is untrue and unfounded.
If US pressure is removed from the members of the Security Council, a draft resolution to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will pass with an overwhelming majority. The Resolution will call for the end of Israel’s occupation of Palestine, with a timeline, a renewal of Israeli-Palestinian direct negotiations with parameters setting the borders between the two states on the basis of the armistice lines of 1949 (the “green line”) with agreed territorial swaps enabling large settlement blocs to be annexed to Israel, two capitals in one open and physically undivided city, an agreed-to solution to the Palestinian refugee issue based on UN Resolution 194, security arrangements guaranteeing the safety and security of both peoples and both states, assurances for the protection of the rights of minorities, and the end of the conflict and all claims.
Most of the members of the Security Council, all 28 member states of the European Union, the United States and all of the other democratic nations in the world support Israel and its right to live in secure and recognized borders. These countries are not anti-Israel. These countries are anti-Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian people and the denial of the right of the Palestinian people for self-determination in a state of their own on 22 percent of the land between the River and the Sea. The French proposal in the Security Council will stress the right of both peoples to live in their own nation-states and will also declare that the conflict must end through negotiations between the two peoples.
The UN will not attempt to impose a solution because no one has the ability to do so. The international community is taking responsibility to ensure that the chances of success in negotiations will be improved by putting the parameters for Israeli-Palestinian peace into a Security Council Resolution which will provide a new benchmark strengthening the viability of a two-state solution – the only solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict.
I believe that this new resolution, which will essentially replace UN Resolution 242 from 1967, which didn’t even mention the two-state solution or the Palestinian people, referring only to a “refugee problem,” is a pro-Israel expression of what most of the world believes to be true – that Israel’s right to exist cannot and must not prevent the right of Palestine to exist. As a Zionist who believes strongly in the right of the Jewish people to a nation-state of its own, I see the proposed Security Council resolution to be an affirmation of Zionism.
Israel and Palestine have failed to successfully negotiate an end to this conflict. The failure of negotiations has not swept the problem away, nor will our continued avoidance of recognizing the Palestinian people’s right to a state of their own. The continuance of constructing settlements in areas that will have to become the state of Palestine only deepens the animosity between the two peoples, complicates the eventual partition of the land into two states and places Israel under the criticism and anger of the international community.
France, which according to the news reports has taken the strongest positions in the negotiation with Iran, clearly supports Israel’s right and need to protect itself against Iranian aggression and the possible nuclearization of Iran. The government of France has taken very strong positions against anti-Semitism in France and has declared that France without its Jewish citizens would not be France. It would be highly inappropriate and incorrect to declare that France is anti-Israel when it tables the draft resolution. We Israelis must understand that in order to remain pro-Israel, the world must also be pro-Palestine.
This is what we must also come to terms with.
I am pro-Israel which means that I am also pro-Palestine.
I find no logic whatsoever in wishing my neighbors to suffer. As an Israeli I have a most supreme interest in the welfare of the Palestinian people. I want my neighbors to be happy, secure, prosperous, democratic and peaceful. While Israel cannot ensure that this is how the Palestinian people will develop over time, Israel does have an enormous amount of power to enable this process to take place.
The first step in moving Israel toward real peace would be for Israel to surprise the world and declare its support for the French resolution in the Security Council.
The author is co-chairman of IPCRI, the Israel Palestine Creative Regional Initiatives, a columnist for The Jerusalem Post and the initiator and negotiator of the secret back channel for the release of Gilad Schalit. His new book Freeing Gilad: the Secret Back Channel has been published by Kinneret Zmora Bitan in Hebrew and as The Negotiator: Freeing Gilad Schalit from Hamas by The Toby Press.