When asked what the biggest hurdle to the Middle East peace process was, Jimmy Carter said it was the Jewish settlements in the West Bank. I have to ask – did Carter fall down and hit his head somewhere between 1980 and the present day?
Let’s look at a few facts:
* The biggest obstacle is most likely the fact that Hamas – the biggest governmental party for the Palestinians – does not recognize Israel as a legitimate nation
* It is the express intent of such terrorist organizations to “drive the Jews into the sea,” not back to the pre-1967 borders
* Like it or not, Israel won those lands in a battle against 6 different Arab nations. They didn’t take it from the nation of Palestine, because such a nation did not exist. Rather, those lands were owned by Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. There was no Palestinian government (or solidarity movement). It is the equivalent of saying the US needs to return the Southwestern portion of the United states to Mexico, or make it its own nation, even though we won that land in a war
* All land is taken from someone. The land of Israel is no different. It is currently owned by the Jews. Before that, the British. Before that, the Ottoman Empire. Before that, the Muslim armies under Saladin. Before that, the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. Before that, the French. Before that, the Muslim armies. Before that, the Eastern Roman/Byzantine Empire. Before that, the Roman Empire. Before that, the Jews. And the list goes on and on. Multiple nations have staked claim in Israel. To say that it belongs to the Palestinians – a bedouin people who decided to settle there – is quite absurd.
* Israel often takes harsh actions against the Palestinians because the Palestinians are known for blowing Israelis up
* Even if we say the terrorism is a response to what Israel has done, does that make it right? Israel targets military targets surrounded by civilians, which inevitably leads to collateral damage. The Palestinians target civilian targets – the death of Israeli citizens aren’t collateral damage, they are the targets
* The Israelis have shown they wanted peace and want a co-existence with the Palestinians. The Palestinians have shown they want peace by the eradication of the Jewish government
Regardless of one’s religion or views of Biblical eschatology, from a purely rational point of view, Israel is in the right. Israeli settlements may hinder the peace process, but they are a far cry from the biggest obstacle. Every time Israel has done something to move toward peace, it has been met with rocket launches and bombs…and silence from those who want “peace” in Israel. Carter, Obama, Clinton…all of them are silent when rockets fall in Israel or busses are blown up. But the moment those Jews build a house on land they won in a war, well that’s just the biggest obstacle to peace.
A nation with leaders such as these, leaders who are blind and don’t understand the first thing about justice, is a nation that will not survive, nor does it have a right to survive.