Ban Ki-moon, former secretary normal of the United National, has had a thought. It is, sadly, not a superb one. Acknowledging that the Oslo Accords are a failure (true), he then posits two issues.
First, that the Israelis and Palestinians should acknowledge “the fundamental asymmetry between [them]. This is not a conflict between equals that can be resolved through bilateral negotiations, confidence-building measures or mutual sequencing of steps—the traditional conflict-resolution tools.” (Both unfaithful and true.)
Second, the negotiation failure is as a result of “Israel has pursued a policy of incremental de facto annexation in the territories it has occupied since 1967, to the point where the prospect of a two-state solution has all but vanished.” (Just unfaithful.)
It isn’t a “conflict between equals,” however it’s true that “confidence-building” and so forth won’t work—as a result of the Palestinians stay in a self-avowed state of battle with Israel. It is the final remnant of the pan-Arab battle towards the Jewish state that started earlier than 1948 and is now slowly resolving as follows: “Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.”
Those phrases ought to sound acquainted to Ban as a result of they’re from UN Resolution 242, adopted within the wake of 1967’s Six Day War. Starting with Egypt and Jordan, adopted by the Sunni Gulf states, then Sudan and Morocco brazenly in addition to different Arab and African international locations quietly, the normalization movement represents exactly the “new approach” Ban seeks.
Countries that profit from the brand new association have been making it clear to the Palestinians that each Hamas and Fatah present their very own impediments to pan-Arab assist. Nowhere does Ban point out that corruption and repression of their very own individuals—in addition to ongoing incitement to violence towards Jews and “pay for slay” funds to convicted terrorists—have rendered the Palestinians unacceptable interlocutors to everybody within the area.
Notice that the international locations that have not moved in towards Israel are exactly these decimated by Iran over the previous twenty years: Iraq, Syria and Lebanon (plus, in fact, Hamas). Maybe, simply possibly, Iran is a part of the issue—however its varied malign machinations obtain no point out from Ban.
There is a clause in UN Res. 242 that requires “withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent  conflict.” (Note: not all the territories.) Under the phrases of the Camp David Accords, Anwar Sadat expressly rejected retaking Gaza and Israel withdrew from your complete Sinai—greater than 90 % of the territory occupied after the 1967 battle. Leading U.S. negotiator Eugene V. Rostow to say that Israel had complied with UN Res. 242 whether or not it will definitely returned “all, some or none of the remaining territory.”
Rostow later added: “For causes that stay compelling, 242 prescribes that Israel is beneath no obligation to withdraw from the West Bank or the Gaza Strip till Jordan makes peace.”
And even when Jordan did make peace many years later, the related treaty didn’t demand a return to Jordan of the “territories occupied in the recent conflict” as a result of (a) Jordan didn’t need them, given its already-delicate inhabitants steadiness between Palestinians and East Bankers dwelling collectively beneath a Hashemite king; and (b) Jordan’s 1949 occupation and 1950 annexation of the territory was unlawful. Ban would possibly recall that solely two UN member states acknowledged the Jordanian occupation: Britain and Pakistan.
So, who in Ban’s thoughts ought to get the disputed territory? The PLO? The group was established in 1964 (earlier than there have been any Israel-administered territories) to overthrow the king of Jordan. In 1970, the PLO and PFLP had an uprising in Jordan, throughout which the king’s forces killed as much as 15,000 Palestinian militants and civilians. Swaths of Palestinian cities and refugee camps, the place the PLO had amassed weapons, have been leveled. Jordan requested a show of force from the Israeli air pressure towards Syria. Israel responded, incomes the appreciation of Jordan’s King Hussein. But giving the PLO a state bordering Jordan would have been a transparent recipe for catastrophe.
The Oslo Accords have been an try to alter the considering, a need Ban claims to share. Oslo tried to create a purely interim step—it nowhere talked about a Palestinian state, nor did it essentially envision one. The “two-state solution” actually is not in there. And at this time, there are three governing our bodies within the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea: Hamas, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel. Which one will disappear to attain two states?
Hamas and the PA agree that Israel has to go; Israel demurs. It is mostly assumed that Gaza and the West Bank territory would conjoin and grow to be a single PA-controlled governing entity. Well, May’s Hamas rocket war against Israel was, in no small half, supposed to show to Palestinians that Hamas is the extra vigorous social gathering and the yet another more likely to eliminate Israel than the PA. Hamas asserted its place in Jerusalem, together with on the Temple Mount—lengthy the purview of the PA. What if there have been Palestinian elections and Hamas received? That is exactly what led PA President Mahmoud Abbas to cancel the recent scheduled election.
Finally, Ban errs in his conclusion: “An end to the [Israeli] occupation must remain the primary goal.”
The major purpose is a safe and acknowledged Israel, and the forward-looking states of the area are on their technique to offering that. A secondary, although much less lifelike, purpose is for the Palestinians to attain a authorities that does not threaten its personal—or different—individuals. And third could be to rescue the northern tier of Arab states from Iranian affect.
Slightly assist from the Ban Ki-moons of the world can be good.
Shoshana Bryen is senior director of the Jewish Policy Center and editor of inFOCUS Quarterly.
The views expressed on this article are the author’s personal.