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The Choice of Peace

September 2, 2022
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Peace is a Choice

On September 1, 1967, the member states of the Arab League cemented a decision to retain Israel in the role of sworn enemy with the now infamous Khartoum Resolution. The resolution summarized the attitudes of Israel’s Arab neighbors in what became known as the “Three No’s:” “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it…”

In the 55 years since, a number of Arab states have changed their minds. First Egypt, then Jordan, and more recently the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan all changed their “no” to a “yes” for peace with Israel.

Yet the choice to take Israel’s outstretched hand of friendship goes well beyond an about-face from a stance of enmity to peaceful coexistence with a former foe. Peace with Israel has also meant growth, prosperity, economic gains, increased markets, broadened horizons, broken boundaries and access to countless previously unheard of opportunities. Israel’s peace partners all attest to these benefits—and more.

In theory, nothing stops the Palestinians from joining the fold of Arabs who enjoy the abundant advantages of living in harmony and collaboration with Israel. All it would take would be for the Palestinians to recognize Israel; call a halt to the vicious flood of lies and propaganda; lay down their arms and embrace their Jewish neighbors’ right to exist in the land God promised as part of an eternal covenant with their forefathers.

Yet as Israel’s new Arab allies can attest, peace—and the prosperity, opportunities, growth and expansion that come with it—is a choice. And as long as the Palestinians choose hate—and the poverty, lack and decay that come with it—there can be no peace.

 “I say to all the Arab leaders, to those who have normalized and to those who are thinking and dreaming that they can normalize: If you think that throughnormalization with Israel you can be saved, you are hallucinating.”

—Osama Al-Qawasmi, official Fatah (leading secular Palestinian political party) spokesman

 “Normalization with the Israeli occupation constitutes a knife in the back, permitting [the spilling] of Palestinian blood…”

—Saeb Erekat, Palestinian chief negotiator

 “Palestine is from the sea to the river, from Rosh HaNikra to Rafah…We will not recognize!  We will not recognize!  We will not recognize Israel!”

—Ismail Haniyeh, head of Hamas Political Bureau

 “Destroy the throne of Zion, the house of absolute evil … Raise the banner of victory. Be like the fire of a volcano … Repeat in the name of your Jihad: Death to Israel! … With blood and fire, resist until freedom. Defeat the soldiers of aggression, the enemies of humanity.”

— Mahmoud Zahar, Hamas co-founder

“If they [Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.”

— Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah secretary-general

“All these reports about [the Palestinian Authority (PA)] recognizing Israel are false. It’s all media nonsense. We don’t ask other factions to recognize Israel because we in Fatah have never recognized Israel…[Fatah] will never relinquish the armed struggle no matter how long the occupation continues.”

—Rafik Natsheh, PA minister

 “The Islamic Resistance Movement…strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine…Leaving the circle of struggle with Zionism is high treason.”

—The Hamas Charter or the “Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement”

“I say also—and on behalf of Palestine: Something that has no place in the dictionary of Palestinian sportsmen is the subject of normalization with the occupation. Impossible, impossible, impossible…I understand by normalization that the relationship between me and you will be normal, that we’ll play [sports] together and there’ll be a joint program. I say to you: Under no circumstances will there be normalization.”

—Jibril Rajoub, secretary-general of Fatah’s Regional Committee and head of the Palestine Olympic Committee

[I say to] every Arab person: Teach your children that Palestine is Arab, that Jerusalem is Arab, and that the enemy who occupied this land will not be able to continue doing so. Teach your children that the settlements are a satanic act whose fundamental goal is to destroy the land and take control of it…Teach your children that regardless of what happens, the Zionist entity will come to an end.”

—Mustafa Bakri, Egyptian MK and television host

Photo License: Arab Jewish Girls

Photo Credit: Click on photo to see photo credit

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