peace: 1.state of freedom from war: be at peace whit neighboring countries. make peace (with), bring about peace (with) 2. (often Peace) treaty of peace. 3.fredom from civil disorder, rioting, etc....4.rest.quiet.calm... Peace . maker n person who restore friendly relations. Peace-offering n sth offered to show that one is willing to make peace.
Oxford advanced learner’s dictionary of current English, A.S.Hornby, 1974
Before 1948, in Palestine we encounter the Jewish-Arab-English power & political triangle. Today it is the Israeli-Arab-Palestine triangle, with its two sides trying again to subdue and annihilate the Israeli side. Like the Bermuda Triangle, we don´t know yet the mechanics of this phenomena and still paying the price : this triangular relationship have already paid a high price with the assassinations of Sadat and Rabin...and a lot of Israeli, Palestinian and Arab soldiers and civilians......The peace vortex is sucking a lot of people along with substantial resources. The ideological clashes have never been so strong......and the three sides so far from reconciliation.......
Palestine -the Roman Palestina- came into existence as a consequence of the defeat of the Jews in Judea, in their final rebellion- The First Jewish Revolution-, under Bar-Kohba, in 132-135 BC, against the Roman mandatory authority.
Palestine ceased to exist as a direct result of a victorious Second Jewish Revolution, under David Ben Gurion, against the British Empire and Arab States, in the fateful years 1945 to 1948.
In March 26, 1979 the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel was signed, almost six years after of the terrible Yom Kippur War of 1973, the most costly war since the Second World War, in human lives and also from the material point of view. The three weeks of hostilities cost Egypt, Syria, and Israel more than 14.000 million dollars.
Before The Yom Kippur War there were three important wars in the region : the Independence War 1948-1949, the Suez Crisis in October, 1956, that resulted in the occupation of the Suez Canal by the English and French forces and the Sinai peninsula by Israel ( were given back in December 1956 and March 1957, respectively) and The Six Day War , in June 1967 that changed totally the geographic map , the political and military thought of the region, in which Israel conquered all the Sinai Peninsula ( from Egypt) , East Jerusalem (from Jordan), the West Bank (from Jordan) and the Golan Heights (from Syria). After each War between Israel and the Arab countries, the U.N.´s Security Council has intervened imposing an armistice.
But the big Israeli hope was that this peace treaty could be repeated with other Arab countries (the snow ball effect), especially with those Israel have a common border: Jordan, Syria and Lebanon: that was really the strategic aim that should follow the peace with Egypt...... But instead complications followed, with a growing Arab refugee’s problem and terrorists infiltration’s in Israel which have been a constant problem since (1948).
With the same hope were signed in 1993, in Oslo and Washington, the Palestinian Administration Autonomy, based in the full recognition of the State of Israel in the region. Again the hopes for peace with at least the Arabs neighbors didn’t arrive...and were achieved in part only with Jordan, country that maintains a good public opinion image in Israel.
One of the ideas that I wish to clear up is that the Palestinian problem, was not caused by Israel: since the liberation of the city-port of Haifa, in April 21-22, 1948, that marked the first important step in Israel Independence, till after the Six Day War, Israel never forced the exodus of Arabs people from any city or village of its Country.
The Arab governments and local leaders ordered their people to leave, so later after war they could come back and live in their and the Jewish lands. One of Israel’s offers to the Arabs living in Haifa was to stay in the city as equal citizens and consolidate the city and its economy, living there in peace as they had till then for 40 years. The Arab population instead preferred to follow the instigation of the Arab countries and leave so that the city could be bombed by the Arab forces (never put in practice). The same story was repeated by the other Arabs living in Lydda, Acre, Safed, Latrun, Ramala, Naharia, Isdud, etc.
In The Declaration of Independence, in Tel-Aviv, on May 14-th, 1948, David Ben Gurion said: .... We offer peace and amity to all the neighboring states and their people and invite them to co-operate with the Independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and reconstitution of the Middle East.......“ no Arab country came forward and instead the official war in Middle East started.... Peace should be desired by both parties..... There is no unilateral peace; for it will not last very long.....Never the Arab governments have accepted the status quo. They always thought a complete destruction of Israel, always thinking that next time they will win.
But war, as other fields of human live and activity, have changed since 1948, and transformed itself into a very sophisticated matter, as the Gulf war against Irak in 1991 demonstrated. Missiles have changed the today war philosophy, and a war can change from a tactic problem to a strategic one. A small battle can transform into an all-out war, from a small battle field to big cities. A psychological change (only in the Israeli point-of -vue) was made with the assumption that war is no more the solution , and under this basic assumption an administration autonomy was given to Palestinian people. But is not functioning well: instead of concentrating with the problems at hand of organizing civil live and economic development, they (their liders) again are looking for problems, for assassinations, terrorism and distraction of the peace process.
Peace does not come easy to this part of the world. It is difficult to think in the peaceful environment that reigns in the borders of Holland and Denmark or USA and Canada. There is a special sense of the land property in this part of the world.
The velocity of the peace process should be synchronized with reality. Give people time to adjust and feel the changes taking place. We cannot think that exchanging land will find peace and harmony. At the current exchange rate and (Arab) demands of land for peace, in the moment Israel will sign peace with the last Arab State, there will be no land left to Israel to defend and to maintain the peace for.....
Only understanding the history of the region and the facts that occur after 1947, the behavior of Arab and Israeli leaders can opinion be formed and decisions be taken....and only the people living in the region can feel and understand fully these decisions ........ Nobody else and from abroad can do it better.
For every inch of land that Israel gives to the Palestinian, soldiers, farmers, women and children have died. This is the new Bermuda triangle of the Middle East.....and a big & unloving dilemma.... on one side, we cannot avoid it and on the second, we have to live with it.
All right reserved to Hedi Enghelberg, Caracas-Venezuela, 1997 Publishes in The Jerusalem Post
Sent to Time and Newsweek magasines