Whenever the Israelis and Palestinians begin peace talks there always seems to be a litany of demands that can easily stall the peace process like water in a gas tank.
The stakes are high for both the Palestinians and Israelis, however, the Israelis will always pay a higher price for peace. The Israelis will pay more monetarily and emotionally, while always having to bear the burden of the repercussions that come from Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.
Take for instance the Gaza Disengagement from 2005, when then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon approved to unilaterally uproot more than 9,000 Israelis from the Gaza Strip. Financially, the Israelis paid around $6.25 billion dollars on the disengagement and what has resulted since 2005. They also lost more than $100 million dollars a year from exports from the Gaza when it was under Israeli control. Emotionally, more than 9,000 Israelis lost their homes that some have lived in for more than forty years and many lost their livelihood. Synagogues were dismantled and even the dead were exhumed to make way for peace.
Yet did that peace ever come? Since 2005 almost 10,000 rockets have been launched from the Gaza into Israel, and two wars have been fought. As you can see Israel is willing to pay a lot for the prospect of peace, and all that they demand from the Palestinians in return is recognition.
Recognition, that’s it?
That’s right folks, recognition. The recognition that Israel is the Jewish state.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been quoted saying, “Until the Palestinians recognize our right to exist as a national state, no matter what the borders, and until they declare that the conflict is over, there will not be peace… Unless these things happen, even if we reach an agreement, it will serve to keep the conflict going by other means.”
Palestinian rejectionism is nothing new, they’ve been rejecting the existence of Israel since 1947 when the U.N. signed the Partition Plan. After the Six Day War in 1967 the Arab world adopted a philosophy that still affects Israeli-Palestinian relations today: no to negotiations, no to recognition, no to compromise. How can true long-lasting peace ever be reached when the Arab world and Palestinians refuse to recognize the country they’re attempting to make peace with?
Israelis are willing to give billions of dollars, land, and even return Palestinians terrorists for a simple head nod of recognition from Palestinian leaders.
So do you recognize Israel’s right to exist?