It has been a while since Aaron Tillinger last provided a contribution for America’s Right. As the Israel-Palestine conflict has dominated the news cycles as of late, most recently with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech before a joint session of Congress today, I am delighted that Aaron once again took some time out for AR. I consider him a good friend, and a great man. — Jeff
Last Thursday, we were given President Barack Obama’s vision for peace in the Middle East. Shortly afterwards, his sycophants were fumbling over themselves to tell us how lucky we are to have such a genius at the helm. One in particular caught my attention — CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. So enamored was he of President Obama’s intellect, Zakaria bestowed a brand new title upon the president: “It was his role as Educator-In-Chief that came out today.”
Well, perhaps the Educator-in-Chief needs an education.
In his sweeping rhetoric about the situation in the Middle East, President Obama made it perfectly clear that the only means of achieving peace would require Israel to accept what is known as the “1967 borders.” There are several angles from which to view this as to why it is a bad idea. Militarily, the 1967 borders are indefensible, period. I am neither a military strategist nor military expert, so this will need to be addressed by someone in another piece — however, for the sake of our Educator in Chief, I want to examine the historical significance of the boundary and look at the last time the city of Jerusalem was under Arab control, because if the Green Line is to be the new border, we have plenty of reasons to be concerned.
The so-called pre-1967 borders are essentially the battle lines when the cease fire between Israel and the entire Arab world was declared back in 1948. They were never agreed-upon borders, but were rather merely the lines of the armistice. After the battles ended, the plan was that politicians would sit down and hash out permanent borders between Jordan, Syria, Egypt and Israel. It never happened. The last official border was determined by the League of Nations in 1922, delineating for the nation of Israel borders that stretched from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River. All of the city of Jerusalem was to be under Jewish control. When the country of Israel was declared to exist in May 1948, instead of recognizing its legitimacy the nations of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iran decided to attack. As the dust settled, what remained were the lines in the sand agreed upon under a General Assembly Armistice (GAA). These are the lines that our Educator in Chief is so enthusiastically embracing. Jordan controlled the West Bank and Jerusalem, Egypt controlled the Gaza Strip, and Israel controlled the rest.
Actually, Jordan did not control all of Jerusalem; just East Jerusalem. And now, this is where Obama wants Israel to return. Under Arab control, the portions of Jerusalem that is central to Christianity, Islam and Judaism was only free to Muslims. Under Arab control, Christians were not allowed to freely visit and pray at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, nor were they permitted to freely journey to Bethlehem and worship. During the time of Arab control of East Jerusalem, historic Jewish sites that had stood for centuries were decimated and desecrated. Not since the destruction of the second Jewish Temple had such atrocities been levied on the Jewish heritage in Jerusalem. All in all, fifty-eight synagogues were destroyed. Not only were they no longer houses of worship, they were used as chicken coops and pig sties.
Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, holds importance for Jews, Christians and Muslims. From biblical times until today, it has served as a cemetery and the site of many important Biblical events. Under Arab rule, parts of the cemetery were bulldozed to build a road to a new hotel. There were many alternative routes available, but the message was clear. During the construction, workers used the cemetery as a vast outdoor latrine, showing the callous indifference to the dead — so long as they were Jews. Is this the vision that Obama has for Jerusalem?
Perhaps the president, our Educator in Chief, knows of the respect paid upon the holiest site to all of Judaism that was given under Arab control. The Western Wall–which is all that remains from the Temple after it was destroyed and after Muslims built a mosque on its foundation–was used as a garbage dump and slum housing. All of this was a direct violation of the GAA, and yet the world did nothing.
This was the status quo until May 1967. The Arab nations could no longer tolerate that Jews were living freely within the limited confines of Israel. Instead, they decided coexistence was not possible and it was time to rid themselves of the Jewish problem, much like another man and movement had tried a quarter century before. Unfortunately for them, they lost what is now referred to as the Six Day War. During that conflict, Israeli forces not only repelled the attackers but pushed them back to the borders established in 1922, and even beyond. Israel controlled not only the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, but also the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights.
As the area around the Western Wall was secured, soldiers wept and prayed. They did not ransack the Dome of the Rock, they protected it. Since 1967, the city of Jerusalem has been free to people of all religions to worship. Christians, Jews and Muslims are allowed, by Israeli law, to visit any holy site they choose.
Under the Educator in Chief’s plans, the freedoms enjoyed today by all residents and visitors to Jerusalem could be in jeopardy. And before there are calls that I have engaged in strictly irrational, anti-Palestinian ranting, consider what happened the last time Israel withdrew from an area and turned it over the Palestinians. Think all the way back to September 2005–yes, that long ago–when Israeli residents and soldiers departed from the Gaza Strip leaving behind homes, shops, farms and synagogues. Within hours, the synagogues were burned, the farms and homes destroyed.
There needs to be a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Bloodshed has gone on far too long. The steps have been taken over and over, yet peace is still not in sight as long as there are not two partners at the table with one goal in mind. Hamas must lay down its arms, cease its call for the destruction of Israel and the killing of Jews worldwide. They must also understand that there will be two states at the end of the day and accept that fact. If they do not, Israel will continue to defend itself. There is a saying that has been around for years and it is still true today: “If the Palestinians were to lay down their arms, we would have peace tomorrow and a Palestinian state within a week. If Israel were to lay down her arms, the State of Israel would cease to exist.”
Hopefully, President Obama will learn the facts and become an advocate for peace, freedom, democracy and stability in the land that that is the heart and soul of billions of people across the world.