Published by The Freeman Center
The Maccabean Online
Political Analysis and Commentary
Peace At Last
by Steven Plaut
It was in the year 2008, three years after Israel’s unilateral
capitulation to Palestinian terror in its "Gaza Disengagement."
In 2008, the Israelis at long last gave up their feeble attempts to
resist the pressures of the world. They elected a new government headed
by Prime Minister Yossi Beilin, the original promoter of the Oslo Peace
Process, in coalition with the Jewish and Arab parties of the Left.
They announced that Israel was willing to accept the unanimous proposal
for peace supported by every single country in the world, and would
return to its pre-1967 borders, remove all Jewish settlements from the
territories of the new state of Palestine, recognize Palestine and grant
Palestine all of East Jerusalem, that is, all of the city located east of
a line running north-south through Zion Square, renamed Jihad Square.
The world had not seen celeb! ration like this which greeted the Israeli
decision since the fall of the Berlin Wall or the transferal of power
in South Africa to the black majority. All-night celebrations were held
in every city on the planet, but none so enthusiastic as the party held
in Tel Aviv in Rabin Square. Speaker after speaker appeared under a banner “Liberation
at Last” and praised the decision to agree to the terms of the accord
as the ultimate completion of the work and dreams of Yitzhak Rabin.
The settlers were marched out of the lands of Palestine at bayonet
point, with crowds of jeering Israeli leftists pelting them with garbage,
as they moved into their temporary transit camps inside the pre-1967
"Green Line" borders of Israel. Liberal Jews in the United States
organized a million man march in Washington together with Arabs and the Nation
of Islam to celebrate the breaking out of peace and the final
settlement of the conflict. “! Peace at Last” was the number one pop single. The
State Department sent out a message urging Israel and Palestine to
conduct good-faith negotiations and round-the-clock talks on all outstanding
issues of disagreement still separating the two sovereign states.
At long last, there were two states for two peoples. Land had been
exchanged for peace. Peace had broken out in the world’s most troubled
The morning after the Palestine Independence Celebrations, the message
arrived in the Israeli parliament, brought in by special messenger.
The newly formed government of Palestine had only a small number of
issues it would like to discuss with Israel. It proposed that peaceful
relations be officially consummated, as soon as Israel turned over the
Galilee and the Negev to Palestine, as part of Israel’s withdrawals to the
borders that had been proposed in the 1947 UN partition resolution,
accepted at the time by Isra! el but rejected.every Arab country and the
Palestinian representatives. That resolution had proposed creating a
Jewish and an Arab Palestinian state in Madatory Palestine, with roughly
Israeli cabinet ministers were nonplussed at this demand from
Palestine. We thought we had settled all outstanding territorial issues by
giving the Palestinians everything, they protested. The spokesman for the
Palestine War Ministry explained: the Galilee was obviously part of the
Arab homeland. It was filled with many Arabs and in many areas had an
Arab population majority. Israel was holding 100% of the Galilee
territory, and Palestine none at all, and surely that was unfair. As for the
Negev, it too has large areas with Arab majorities, but is in fact needed
so that Palestine can settle the many Palestinian refugees from around
the world in lands and new homes.
Israel’s government preferred not to give offense! and sour the new
relations, and so offered to take the proposal under consideration.
Within weeks, endorsements of the Palestinian proposal were coming from
a variety of sources. The Arab League endorsed it. The EU approved a
French proposal that the Galilee and Negev be transferred to Palestine in
stages over 3 years. Within Israel, many voices were heard in favor of
the proposal. Large rallies were held in the universities. The Israeli
press endorsed the idea almost in full unison, with only some regional
weeklies from the north and south dissenting. Israeli film producers
began turning out documentaries on the sufferings of Galilee and Negev
Arabs under Israeli rule.
Sociologists from around the world produced studies showing that these
Arabs were victims of horrible discrimination and that Israel is
characterized by institutional racism. Israeli poets and novelists wrote
passionate appeals for support of the Galilee a! nd Negev ‘Others’.
When Israel’s cabinet rejected the proposal, the pressures mounted. A
Galilee and Negev Liberation Organization was founded and immediately
granted recognition by the UN General Assembly. It established consulate
facilities in 143 countries.
Weeks later, the infiltrations began. Squads of terrorists infiltrated
the borders between Palestine and Israel, and suicide bombers produced
a carnage of 75 murdered Jews a day.
The border fences that Ariel Sharon had constructed were reinforced,
but to no avail. The US State Department proposed that Israel defuse the
situation by considering compromise on the matters of the Galilee and
Six months later, the victims of Jewish discrimination in the Galilee
and Negev decided to escalate their protests. Gangs of Arabs lynched
Jews throughout the disputed territories. Roadblocks were set up, and
entire families of Jews were dragged from their cars by t! he activists and
beaten to death or doused with flames. The EU sent in observers, but
warned Israel that there is no military solution to the problems of
terrorism and violence. When Israel arrested gang leaders from the riots, the
General Assembly denounced Israeli state terrorism against Galilee and
Negev Arabs. French universities gave the pogrom leaders honorary
Meanwhile, boycotts of Israel arose throughout Europe. Professors at
the US Ivy League colleges demanded a total embargo and divestment from
ties with Israel until it ended its racist apartheid regime.
The leaders of the Reform synagogue movement supported the State
Department and demanded that Israel end its obstinacy, redeploy out of the
Negev, and formally acknowledge gay marriage.
Israel’s own leftists - led by tenured academics at taxpayer-financed
universities - launched a Movement against Apartheid, and the foreign
press reporte! d that 400,000 protesters attended a rally by the Movement
in Rabin Square. Cars around Israel had bumper stickers that read “My Son
Will Not Die for Nazareth” and “Peace Now”. The Israeli Left urged
people to refuse to do army service outside metropolitan Tel Aviv. The
Israeli Labor Party proposed erecting a series of separating barriers
throughout the Galilee under the slogan “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors”.
But Palestine could not sit idly by. Barrages of rockets and mortars
drenched Israeli cities. The death toll rose to 7,000 Israelis per month.
The White House and State Department threatened to cut off all supplies
from Israel if it dared to launch reprisal raids against independent
Palestine. Large cargo ships from Egypt laden with advanced arms entered
the port of Gaza. Thousands of Moslem and"anarchist" volunteers
streamed into Palestine to assist in the campaign to rescue the Galilee and
Negev Arabs from Israeli oppression.
On the afternoon of Yom Kippur, tank columns cut Israel in two just
north of Tul Karem. Palestine offered to withdraw in exchange for
transferring the Negev and Galilee to its control. Two Israeli newspapers and
the Israeli Peace Movement proposed transferring the disputed areas to
EU control until things could be settled.
Synagogues in Belgium and France were torched. Teach-ins for the Negev
and Galilee were held on US campuses. A new conference was called in
Durban to denounce Israeli apartheid. The White House insisted that
Israel not expel the invading Palestine troops who had divided the country,
for it was a matter for negotiations and dialogue. The President
invited both sides to Camp David, with observers from the Negev and Galilee
militias present. Al-Qaeda threatened new attacks on cities in Europe
unless Israel capitulated.
Increasing numbers of Israeli politicians urged that Israe! l respond to
the situation by granting limited autonomy to the Negev and the
Galilee. When the government proposed to withdraw from Safed, right wing
inciter web sites broadcast non-stop protests against the move. The Israeli
government then passed a bill that shut them down. The owners of these
web sites were thrown into prison as inciters against peace. The
Americans offered to send in ground troops to protect the remaining Israeli
territories, if Israel decided to accept the proposal to give up the
Negev and Galilee.
Let’s at long last have peace in the hills that Jesus roamed, suggested
Jews living in the Galilee and Negev were under siege everywhere and
the roads were unsafe. The road through the Negev to Eilat was cut by
Arab gangs in four places. Leftist Israeli professors officially joined
the Arab militias fighting for liberation. Two of them blew themselves up
on a Jewish school bus to show the! ir solidarity with the oppressed
Arabs. The head of the largest Galilee Arab militia insisted he was doing
everything possible to stop the suicide attacks against Tel Aviv and
Haifa, but the Americans demanded that he do more. The UK demanded 100%
effort from the Galilean Arabs to stop the violence. The PLO proposed, as
a compromise, that instead of being annexed by Palestine, the Negev and
Galilee be allowed to form a separate state. The Arab League endorsed
CNN broadcast a series of specials on the plight of the Negev and
Galilee Arabs, and the BBC started referring to Tel Aviv as
illegally-occupied Arabian Jaffa. Netanya and Beer Sheba were described by them as
illegal colonial settlements. When the carnage exceeded 10,000 a month, the
New York Times, for the first time, expressed regret in having promoted
the peace process and ran as its lead headline “Oops”. The Washington
Post, however, urged more Israe! li flexibility and concessions.
The Negev and Galilee liberation organizations raised their flags over
their towns and proposed that the Jews living in their territories be
resettled elsewhere. Israeli leftist professors proposed that Israel be
dismembered and converted into a web site. The Palestine War Ministry
was shipping them guns and explosives. The first word came of a
detention camp north of Nazareth in which Jews expelled from their Galilee
homes were being concentrated, with a second camp opened in the Negev near
Strange black smoke rose from the chimneys….