Commentary | What will follow withdrawal?

A response to Gideon Levy's visit to campus

L ast Monday, Gideon Levy spoke at McGill. Accordingly, The Daily interviewed him (“The unknown occupation,” News, September 20).

After all, he is an Israeli criticizing Israel! Never have I seen something similar…

Except of course when Khaled Abu Toameh spoke at McGill. A Palestinian lambasting his own leaders. But The McGill Daily didn’t cover that.

No, they only cover the talk by Gideon Levy. Well I was there as he urged Israel to immediately withdraw from Judea and Samaria. (Oops… I mean the “West Bank.”)
I asked Mr. Levy to envision such a withdrawal. I have an aunt and an uncle in Israel. What if they come to visit Canada?
The Judean (I mean West-Bankian) Hills oversee Israel’s only international airport. No doubt terrorists will use it launch rockets. As they have from Gaza since Israel withdrew in 2005.

The terrorists plan to continue launching rockets as long as Israel exists. Their charter says they “will fight the Jews (and kill them)” to bring about the end of days.

And what if one of their rockets hits my aunt and uncle’s plane?
What does Levy suggest to prevent their deaths?
He has no suggestion. It doesn’t matter to him. Israel is the evil occupier and that’s the end of the story.

Well, I, for one, think it matters. I prefer my family alive.

I want Israel to withdraw from the West Bank. But I also want guarantees. Terrorists must be prevented from launching rockets. The West Bank cannot be a stepping-stone to kill my aunt and uncle.

Those guarantees are possible. And they will happen.

They will happen when Palestinian and Arab leaders stop rejecting peace agreements.

In 1921, the land of Israel – then the British Mandate of Palestine – was first partitioned. Another Arab state was created: Jordan. The Jewish Agency accepted this partition. They just asked for the remaining quarter of the land. In 1937, the British Peel Commission came up with another proposal. Most of this remaining land would be yet another Arab state. A small part in the north would be a Jewish state. The Jewish agency accepted the plan. The Arab leaders did not and it was never implemented.

In 1947, the UN proposed another partition plan, this time splitting the remaining land. Many Jewish leaders, including David Ben-Gurion accepted it. The Arab leadership did not.

In 1967, Israel called on Arab leaders to negotiate a peace agreement. The call was not accepted. In 2000, president Clinton proposed a peace agreement. Israel accepted it, but Yasser Arafat did not. In 2008, Ehud Olmert called on Mahmoud Abbas to accept a similar agreement. He did not.

Peace will come. Terrorists will be stopped. A Palestinian state will be created. These things will happen – when the Arab leaders finally accept peace.

Michael Morgenthau is a U1 Political Science student. You can reach him at michael.morgenthau@mail.mcgill.ca.


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