A Discussion - September 2014
Arthur Seltzer, M.D.
PREMISE 1 - Israel's right to exist in secure and internationally recognized boundaries
Foundation of UN Security Council Resolution 242 - 1967
•Palestinian Right to Enjoy Sovereignty - This is supported by Israeli government and electorate, provided the Palestinian's agree to #1. Current Government of Israel Position presented when Netanyahu came into office at Bar Ilan University - support a 2 state solution - Jewish State of Israel and demilitarized Palestinian state. Any return of refugees and their descendants should go to the Palestinian Arab state
1947 UN Resolution 181 - Partition - Arabs voted NO
Pre - 1967 Founding of PLO - there was no West Bank or Gaza Administration by Israel - its goal = elimination of Israel
Post 1967 War - Arab League - Khartoum - No recognition, No peace, no negotiations
2000 - Camp David - Clinton/Barak/Arafat - proposal for withdrawal from 95 - 97% of West Bank, Settlement Blocks vs comparable land swaps from pre - 67 Israel, all Gaza, most Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem including in the Old City - rejected by Palestinians; start of Intifada of Terror
Hamas and recent Gaza War - Hamas - Islamist group - no acceptance of Israel anywhere in the Land, terrorist activities since Oslo Accords 1990's, suicide bombings, thousands of missiles, terror tunnels, use of human shields, indiscriminate rockets to inflict harm on Israeli civilians, terrorized Christians in Gaza
PREMISE 2: Is Israeli "Occupation of Palestinian Land and Human Rights Abuses a Major source of Conflict?"
Until 1918 - "Palestinian Land" part of Ottoman Empire
1918 - 1948 - West Bank and Gaza under the British Mandate for Palestine
1920's - League of Nations - Support for "National Homeland for the Jewish People" as stated in the Balfour Declaration
1947 - UN Resolution for Partition of Palestine - opposed by Arabs; continuation of fight to destroy Israel
1948 - 1967 Jordan rules the West Bank; Jordan destroys synagogues in the Jewish Quarter; denies access of Jews or Israeli Christians to Holy Sites
1967 - Present - Israel Administers West Bank; Settlements in <3 bank="" land="" of="" p="" west="">
SETTLEMENT BLOCKS - need to remain part of Israel in any reasonable agreement
GUSH ETZION - Agricultural Villages on land purchased by Jews in the 1920's and 1930s
- Over-run by the Arab Legion in 1948
- Kibbutz Kfar Etzion - Jewish fighters surrendered May 1948, but 127 massacred by the Arab Legion
- Settlements Re-established 1948, includes offspring of the original residents
- 70,000 residents in the Gush Etzion Block
MAALEH ADUMIM - over 40,000 Israelis - settlement built on a barren hill just East of Jerusalem
ARIEL Block - built on a barren Samarian hill
- Includes University with 12,000 students; 2000 students from abroad; 400 from Arabic speaking homes
Multiple Factories in Settlement Blocks; Thousands of Palestinian Arab jobs - respected employees - see PA Press
Major Source of Conflict - Acceptance of existence of a Jewish People - historical connection to the Land, with rights to sovereignty and self - determination in any part of the Land. Israel willing to compromise, withdraw....not willing to commit national suicide. Dangers on all borders - Islamist rejectionists - North, South, East, Islamic Republic of Iran and nuclear ambitions. Wherever Israel has withdrawn for the purpose of moving towards a peaceful resolution, the response to a "perceived weakness" was more terror and rockets.
Resolution Concerns Raised re Israeli Actions:
1. Separation Barrier and Checkpoints - results of Terrorism and Suicide Bombings; 1000 Israelis killed 2001 - 2002 in acts of terror
2. Water - Israeli fulfilled its commitments; Palestinians did not
3. Travel Restrictions into Jerusalem - Security needs - perhaps too strict or extensive; not for us to judge - ask families who lost loved ones in acts of terror
4. Segregated Roads - Danger is for Israeli Jewish citizens to travel on roads in Palestinian Authority Area A; signage marks danger for Israeli citizens to enter PA lands
5. Arrests and Israeli Military - Actions are under the rule of Law; free press; extensive presence of media; vibrant democracy; Trials, Appeals; Contrast with Extra-Judicial Executions in Gaza
PROBLEMS WITH BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT, SANCTION APPROACH
1. Puts the onus and blame on one party - Israel
2. Does not recognize decades of rejection by Palestinian Arabs of any Jewish State
3. Does not reflect historical facts and security needs in light of geopolitical threats to Israel, prior terror, rockets, violence, Islamist threats - Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran
4. The movement is against efforts at cooperation between moderate Israelis and Palestinians
a. Trade Union Agreement between Israel Labor Groups and Palestinian Labor Group - opposed by BDS
b. Groups to support Academic Cooperation between Hebrew U and AL Quds University - opposed by BDS
c. Film Producer Agreement - opposed by BDS
5. Supports Unlimited Right of Return - demographic destruction of the Jewish State
6. Settles for Nothing short of elimination of Israel
BDS: Makes Peace more Difficult to Achieve
Discourages Moderates to Compromise and Cooperate
Sanctions Firms on West Bank that employ Palestinians -
May deprive people from health benefits of Israeli discoveries - South Africa example
Hurts the Academicians Most Eager for a Resolution and Dialogue
Strengthens the Rejectionists
Christians are under distress in Syria, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, and Lebanon. Where is the outcry?
Path to peace - Support of Israel as a Jewish , Democratic State and Model of Freedom and Western Democratic Ideals; Encourage Palestinians to Negotiate Directly with Israel; Support demilitarization of Gaza and Hamas; Support the concept of a Jewish State next to a demilitarized Palestinian State; Recognize the incredible security risks for Israel in a volatile Middle East.
BDS is not the path to peace.
The BDS anti-Zionists want the elimination of the Jewish State.