I was asked why I could not see the city of Jerusalem being divided. I said that the Western Wall is right next to the Dome of the Rock. I have exact measurements to verify that claim. Both the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock lay on Temple Mount, and all of Temple Mount is 40 acres. So I ask, can an international boundary be place within a medieval urban environment of just 40 acres?
The United Nations plays a very strong role in the Middle East. First of all the U.N. voted for the partition of Palestine in 1947. The U.N. voted to pass Resolution 242, calling on Israel to withdrawal from the territories it seized in 1967 -- which it as done so far in the Sinai and Gaza. The U.N. has had peacekeeping forces along the border between Israel and Lebanon -- I have seen them. The reason why the League of Nations become an institution of the past, was because first the United States refused to join. Japan, Italy, and the Soviet Union were all expelled. Germany withdrew. They was no peacekeeping force nor international tribunal on war crimes, so the massive slaughter of civilians in Belgium, Serbia, and the Ottoman Empire during World War I, was never addressed nor punished. The United Nations has already played a strong role, and it obviously will continue.
Ghazi, Israel should be making plans to contain its population, not spreading into other countries. It is a highly irresponsible gesture to think you can move into the territory of others on the basis of your own invincibility. It is no wonder that Israel has serious problems maintaining peaceful relations with its neighbours when Israelis have attitudes like this.
With Israelis maintaining this kind of belief system, we have to ask ourselves about the extent of their egocentricity, because it is well understood that no Palestinian (or Syrian or Egyptian or Jordanian) could presume to think the way these Israelis do about their own entitlement to expand onto land that is legally owned by other people living in other countries.
When Israel and Egypt signed the peace accord of 1979, one of the things Israel did was evacuate the settlement of Yamit. So Israel is capable of withdrawing its civilian population from territory it overran in 1967. The West Bank is a different situation, but in order to make the West Bank into a nation-state it is going to have to become a contiguous entity. It cannot be patch quilt of an Israeli settlement here, and a Palestinian village just over the hill (which I have seen). So Israel will have to make a decision about returning the 300,000 settlers back to the pre-1967 borders -- like it did with Yamit in the Sinai -- or accept the Palestinian proposal of letting them stay and become citizens of Palestine. So it is like when the Soviet Union broke up, that Latvia still had 40% of its population ethnic Russians. So Israel took action over the Sinai, but it will have to take action over the West Bank, and eventually the Golan Heights.
As noted, Sussan, Israel is making no plans to withdraw from the Golan Heights because it is too dangerous and too insecure for Israel. You can see what Syrians do to its own population. What do you think would happen to Jews if Israel were overrun. And, incidentally, one of the reasons Arabs left what became the state of Israel in 1948 was that they believed a victorious Israel would do to them what Arabs would have done to Jews had the Arab armies been victorious: rape, pillage, torture, rob and kill (see Howard Sachar, noted historian).
By the way, geographically speaking, Israel covers .1% of the entire Mideast and yet you insist on Israel renouncing The Golan. Every time Israel has retreated, incidentally, it has placed itself in danger. Leaving the Sinai, given the ascendance of the Muslim Brotherhood, the oil fields and the blowing up of pipelines now looks like a poor deal (for Israel). No, it`s not going to happen, Sussan, not even to satisfy political correctness. Israel will maintain and survive. That is its existential duty.
Right now, I am not worrying about the Golan Heights. Israel and Syria only had one introductory meeting on it in Washington, D.C., and there has been no follow up. So for the time being the Golan Heights are frozen in time. It will be interesting what type of government arises out of Syria, but Syria's revolution will be much longer and bloodier than anywhere else in the MIddle East. In Egypt, they were threatening to cancel the peace treaty with Israel, but realize that Egypt is the world's largest wheat importing country in the world, and that wheat is brought with U.S. aid. I think we will hear bluffing out of Egypt, but like Hamas they have no economic power to back it up. I go along with what Shimon Peres who says 'let us trade land for peace." But like the Versailles Treaty, making sure it has some catalyst behind it.
The reason why there was no negotiated surrender of either Germany or Japan, is because the Allies would only accept non-conditional surrender, which is what both Germany and Japan gave. Because they both submitted to non-conditional surrenders, the Allies were able to dictate all of the terms, that both nations had to accept. If there was Palestinian unity at the Camp David Meeting, then why was there a coup in Gaza, where Hamas was able to take full control away from Al Fatah? That happened in 2006, with upcoming Palestinian elections in May, and with Hamas leaders either resigning or announcing that they will not seek re-election, that hopefully that will put an end to Hamas resistance against Al Fatah. But Hamas had resistance in Gaza from the Salafists, so that could be a headache to both Al Fatah and Israel. So it is not realistic to say that something like the Camp David Accords failed, simply because of Israel. Mandela was able to negotiate a settlement that did not lead to two things. A white flight out of South Africa, and the Zulus not participating in the elections, and breaking off Natal into a separate Zulu kingdom. Which is what the Inkatha Party -- which is ran by the Zulu royal family -- was threatening to do. Arafat is gone now, so he is not the negotiating partner. So that means that Mahmoud Abbas will be the negotiating partner, after the results of the May elections, then there should not be anything standing in his way. Hamas was the great challenger, and the results of the elections, should verify if they are out of the way. The Salafists are a threat, but the questions is, are they are as great of a threat as Hamas was? There three things to be sceptical about: 1. That Al Fatah can definitely take control after the May elections, and not go through what is went through before. 2. That a vote of no-conflidence can bring down the Likud government, and if new elections can make Kadima the ruling party. It was Labor that was the negotiating party at the Camp David Accords, and when they collapsed it was voted out. 3. With 74 signers already, can the Cohen-Yarmouth-Connolly letter pass it through the U.S. Congress. So there are many factors involved, then just trying to blame all on Israel.