This morning King Abdullah delivered an eloquent ,well deliverered speech to a Joint Session of Congress.Speaking almost without notes,and without accent, his plea for peace was tailor made for an audience of Americans (and Congress-people ) unfamiliar with the nuances of Middle East policy or rhetoric.I assume most who applauded and even stood up to applaud did so as a matter of courtesy, and to support an ally. If I were ignorant of the facts,I would believe that not only is peace possible, but the elements are in place.
His main theme was the Saudi peace package which has been endorsed by the Arab League.We have previously dissected the offer,however for the purpose of this blog let me point out a fatal flaw."The Right of Return",which as late as last week was deemed untouchacle by the Arab League, after its rejection byIsraeli Foreign Minister Livni.
This demand would mandate the return of MILLIONS or HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of Arab REFUGEES-not to a Palestinian State,but to Israel.It is a codeword for the destruction of Israel.The plan,would bring into Israel a million or more Arabs, allow them to declare Israeli citizenship,and prepare in stages to move first to a bi-national state,and then an Islamic State.
Pres Bush one year ago on April 24, called for the return of any refugees to lands which would constitute the Palestinian State.That after all is the PURPOSE of a Palestinian State.
It is obvious , that a small State such as Israel cannot remain a Jewish State, and absorb so many new individuals,committed to its destruction.
The plan calls for the removal of every post- 1967 area that today houses 250,000 Jews, including Efrat and Maale Adumim,as well as dividing Jerusalem.
The return of the Golan has been much discussed.Yet, the unyielding demands by Syria, would if met, represent a mortal danger to N Israel.
The Palestinians and their new sponsors in Iran,continue to smuggle weapons,produce arms factories and fire rockets into Israel.A recent poll shows that 90% OF PALESTINIAN YOUTH reject the concept of a Jewish State.
The king mentioned the Geneva agreement,but he knows as well as anyone,that this was a group of left wing private citizens who met and came up with a discredited plan.Not only that , but those who ran for office such as Yussie Beilin were rejected by the Israeli electorate.
There is no mention in these plans for compensation for the hundreds of thousands of Jewish Refugees,kicked out of Arab countries and who fled penniless to Israel.
Yes the King was persuasive,and his speech well rehearsed and made for TV.
However peace will only come when the Arabs stop trying to destroy Israel, and accept her as a neighbor that is here for the long haul.As long as Hizbollah,Iran,Hamas, and Islamic Jihad are allowed to hijack the ARAB STREET,there will be no shortcuts to peace.Nor can Israel allow American pressure on it to succeed , if it results as we said yesterday, in national suicide.
Saudi Arabia policy makers are quite sophisticated,and can use their influence and cash to moderate Arab plans . At present, their current plan with a not-so hidden agenda would yield a Middle East without a Jewish State.