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October 25, 1991 - Image 27

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-10-25

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

It wants recognition, legitimacy and demanding detailed answers —
security in the region, an end to the about the future borders of the Jew-
decades of suspicion, hatred, hostili- ish state.
In the real world, Israel will prob-
ty and war.
It wants urgently to convert at ably have to return territories on at
least some of its swords into plow- least some fronts and cede a large
shares, to transform a chunk of its measure of control on others.
The land most likely to be relin-
military expenditure into civilian
quished is the Golan Heights, a pro-
development.
It wants normal economic and cess that will be accompanied by the
trade relations with its neighbors sort of iron-clad demilitarization
and the free movement of people agreements and international guar-
across recognized international antees that accompanied the return
frontiers. It wants to stop being of the Sinai Desert to Egypt.
Like the Sinai experience, the re-
measure of consensus within Israel Sparta and become Athens — all
turn
of the Golan is likely to be a
this
at
no
further
territorial
cost.
that this strategically vital territory
bitter
affair, encountering impas-
In
a
perfect
world,
Israel
would
should not be relinquished and there
sioned
resistance from the 15,000
like
continued
control,
if
not
actual
was little dissent when former
Jewish
settlers
who have made their
Prime Minister Menachem Begin sovereignty, over the West Bank
homes
in
the
area.
and
Gaza;
unquestioned
rule
over
an
extended Israeli law over the ter-
But unlike the full-blown peace
ritory, one step short of outright undivided Jerusalem; control over
treaty
it received from Egypt in re-
the
Golan
Heights.
annexation, 10 years ago.
turn
for
its pain and concessions, Is-
But
conditions
at
the
various
con-
Israel's opening offer regarding
rael
will
probably also have to settle
ference
tables
in
Madrid
will
be
far
the Golan Heights is likely to be a
for
something
less from Syria, per-
from
perfect.
Like
it
or
not,
the
Arab
request for a long-term lease of the
haps
an
"understanding"
of non-
parties,
supported
by
the
United
land while a semblance of mutual
belligerency.
States
and
the
Soviet
Union,
will
be
trust and confidence is established.
In the West Bank and Gaza Strip,
The remainder of the territories asking searching questions and
that were occupied by Israel in the
Six Day War present difficulties
and problems of a far more awesome
quality.
By far the most complicated is
that of east Jerusalem, which was
formally annexed by Israel two
months after its capture in 1967 and
which is now regarded as the
"indivisible, eternal capital of Isra-
el."
So firmly does Prime Minister
Yitzhak Shamir cleave to Israel's
sovereignty over Jerusalem that he
has refused to permit Palestinian
residents of the city to attend any
stage of the peace talks and has
threatened to pull out of the process
if Jerusalem became a subject for
negotiation.
The West Bank (Judea and Sam-
aria) and the Gaza Strip are only
slightly less complicated. Israel has
not only ruled out any concessions
in these territories but it has re-
jected a request from Washington
to freeze its settlement activities, a
decision which has jeopardized the
$10 billion loan guarantee.
Instead, Israel is proposing a re-
turn to the 1978 Camp David Ac-
cords, which offer the Palestinians
"full autonomy" — the freedom to
run their own daily affairs with Is-
raeli security forces in place — and
the promise of negotiations over the
final status of the territories to start
after a three-year period.
What is on the Israeli wish list?
What does it want out of the negoti-
The intifada was a major political success for the Palestinians
ations?
before turning inward, with Arabs killing Arabs.
It wants peace with its neighbors.

Israel Wants
Peace, But Not
At Any Price

The land most likely to
be relinquished is the
Golan Heights, with
east Jerusalem the
firmest territory in
Israeli hands.

HELEN DAVIS

Foreign Correspondent

sk Israeli officials what
they are prepared to give
in exchange for peace and
they invariably reply:

"Peace?'
While they politely decline to
share future negotiating positions
and strategies with the media, their
tough opening postures are clear.
The Israelis will, in fact, be fight-
ing on two fronts — political and
strategic — when they confront
their adversaries in Madrid on
Tuesday at a peace conference to be
co-sponsored by the United States
and the Soviet Union.
Israel's quarrel with the Palestin-
ians over the future of the West
Bank, the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem
is essentially political, but the de-
bate over the Golan Heights goes to
the heart of Israel's purely strategic
concerns.
The Golan Heights present both
the easiest and hardest problem to
unknot — easiest because the moun-
tain area does not possess the pow-
erful historic or religious connota-
tions embedded in the rest of the oc-
cupied territories; hardest because
it offers a significant strategic ad-
vantage to Syria, Israel's most seri-
ous military adversary.
The windswept piece of real estate
commands an uninterrupted view
across Israel's breadbasket, the fer-
tile Galilee valley, whose in-
habitants served as live targets for
Syrian snipers before it was con-
quered by Israel during the Six Day
War of 1967.
There has always been a broad

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

27

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