Allegation: If only Israel would not occupy the West Bank and Gaza There would be Peace
Counterargument: Israel has uprooted its own people from Gaza and the result was Arab rockets being fired from the areas where they lived into Israel.
The Arabs went to war in 1948 before Israel gained control of Judea and Samaria (the occupied territories) with the goal of destroying her. If the conflict was all about the “occupied territories” then why did they go to war in 1948 when there were no occupied territories? The reason for the Arab Israel conflict is Muslim intolerance of Jews.
Verification: The argument that the goal of the Arabs in 1948 was the annihilation of Israel is verified by the statements of Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab League, When the full-scale invasion of Israel's territory by the armies of the Arab States begain on 15 May, 1948, he declared: "This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre, which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades." Palestinian TV and radio broadcasts demonstrate that hatred of Jews place a major role in the conflict in the Middle East (To see movie clips see Inciting to Genocide: PA Racism and Anti-Semitism)
Counterargument: Ephraim Karsh in an article titled What Occupation?[i] wrote:
“For most Western observers, the term "occupation" describes Israel's control of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, areas that it conquered during the Six-Day war of June 1967. But for many Palestinians and Arabs, the Israeli presence in these territories represents only the latest chapter in an uninterrupted story of "occupations" dating back to the very creation of Israel on "stolen" land. If you go looking for a book about Israel in the foremost Arab bookstore on London's Charing Cross Road, you will find it in the section labeled "Occupied Palestine."…
Ephraim Karsh’s counterargument that the Arabs consider all of Israel occupied is bourne out by their maps[ii] (Figure 1).
If Israel was not present in Judea and Samaria the vulnerability of Israel would invite war.
An excellent Flash presentation that shows the strategic vulnerability of Israel without the mountains of Judea and Samaria can be viewed at
One section of the Flash presentation quotes U.S. generals on the importance of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria. Here are a few quotes from the presentation:
The late Admiral Bud Nance: “The eastern mountain ridge of the West Bank is one of the world’s best tank barriers. Invading tanks will have to climb a 3,000ft feet stope from the Jordan Valley. The western mountain ridge, whisch is a 2,000 ft gentle slope, constitutes a dream platform of invasion to Israel’s narrow (8-15) miles) coastal plain. Control of the West Bank provides Israel the time to mobilize its reservists, which are essential to its survival during a surprise attack…
No logical reason for Israel to give up one inch of the disputed areas. Quite to the contrary, I believe if Israel were to move out of the Golan Heights, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, it would increase instability and the possibility of war, increase the necessity for Israel to preempt in war and the possibility that nuclear weapons would be used to prevent an Israeli loss, and increase the possibility that the US would have to become involved in a war.”
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Earl Wheeler: The minimum required for Israel’s defense includes most of the West Bank and the whole of Gaza and the Golan Heights (document submitted to the Secretary of Defense on June 29, 1967).
General (ret.) Al Gray, former Commandant, US Marine Corps: “Missiles fly over any terrain feature, but they don’t negate the strategic significance of territorial depth. The key threat to Israel will remain the invasion and occupation by armored forces. Military success requires more than a few hundred missiles. To defeat Israel would require the Arabs to deploy armor, infantry and artillery into Isarel and destroy the IDF on the ground. That was true in 1948, 1967 and 1973, and it remains true in the ear of modern missiles.”
Lt. General (ret.) Tom Kelly, Chief of Operations in the 1991 Gulf War: “I cannot defend this land (Israel) without that terrain (West Bank)… The West Bank mountains, and especially their 5 approaches, ar the critical terrain. If an enemy secures those passes, Jerusalem and Israel become uncovered. Without the West Bank, Israel is only 8 miles wide at its narrowest point. That makes it indefensible.”
General John Foss, former commander of the 82nd airborne division of the US Armed Forces: "As a military man, I have to say that the '67 borders are not defensible in the long term. The State of Israel absolutely cannot exist within these borders."
100 retired Generals and Admirals signed an Oct. 1988 advertisement in the
Israel should not withdraw from Judea and Samaria, lest it fail to provide security to its people. It is impossible to demilitarize Judea and Samaria effectively.
For more information regarding Israel’s Requirements for Defensible Borders see http://www.defensibleborders.org/steinitz.htm
Topographic maps that illustrate Israel’s vulnerability without the mountains of Judea and Samaria are given below.
Counterargument: Palestinians Mourn the Founding of Israel
According to an article in wnd.com Palestinians to Mourn Israel’s Founding 5/12/05
The head of the PA's Refugee Department announced it will mourn Israel's Independence Day, which falls on Sunday according to the secular calendar, with protests and the sounding of a siren to mourn what Palestinians call the "Nakba," or catastrophe of the formation of Israel on May 15, 1948.
"We will sound a siren for one minute in all our areas to express our grief on this painful occasion," PA official Zakariya al-Agha said.
Israel uses a siren to mourn fallen soldiers and victims of the Holocaust and celebrates its Independence Day today, the date upon which it falls on the Jewish, lunar calendar.
Al-Agha added the Palestinians are planning a day filled with anti-Israel rallies in the West Bank and Gaza
These Palestinian Arabs are not mourning the presence of Israel in Judea and Samaria they are mourning the existence of Israel.
The following is from a report from Palestinian Media Watch (May 15, 2005)
“Do you know what happened in 1948?” asks a pretty young girl on Palestinian Authority (PA) TV. “They [Israelis] took everything,” is her answer.
This message was broadcast today in a music video for children, and was part of the full day dedicated to mourning the creation of Israel 57 years ago today, on May15,1948. This message to children, “Israel took everything in 1948” summarizes the essence of PA ideology, and the motivation for the continuing PA war against Israel today. [To view the children’s video click here.]
Friday’s sermon likewise reiterated the PA rejection of Israel together with the promise that Israel will be destroyed:
“This “Nakba” – “Catastrophe” is the worst day
of remembrance for the Palestinian people… because with the lose of Palestine,
the Arab nation was lost, and with the establishment of the false state of
Israel, the whole Muslim nation was lost… He who says that the Jews have any
right over this land – besides being occupiers – is a liar, and they will
[Ibrahim Mudayris, May 13 2005 PA TV]
The climax of the day was when the siren sounded across the PA at 12:00 noon, and Palestinians stood for a minute of silence to mourn Israel’s existence. It is important to note that the PA mourns as the Nakba -the catastrophe – not Israel’s acquiring Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip in 1967 - but Israel’s creation in 1948.
Counterargument: Three-fourths of historic Palestine is sovereign Arab territory, and has been barred to Jews for 80 years. Adding another chunk of Palestine is not going to assuage their appetite for more. Steve Plaut wrote the following (5/2005) counterargument in an article titled Lying About Middle Eastern Land:
One of the few things unchallengeable about the Middle
East conflict is
that it has virtually nothing to do with land. Arab countries already
control 6,145,389 square miles of land. That is almost twice the land area
of the United States, which is 3,537,438 square miles, and about the same
as the land area of Russia. Israel, even when including all of the
"occupied territories" retained from the 1967 SIx Day War, controls less
than 10,000 square miles.
The West Bank and the Gaza Strip comprise about 2300
square miles (a bit
less when deducting Jerusalem and its suburbs from the account), which is
about half the size of the Everglades. The Moonbats-against-Israel lobby
wants us to believe that with 6,145,389 square miles, the Arabs want war
and genocide, but with 6,145,389 plus 2300 more, then they will want
peace. If Israel only trades .land for peace. with the land-deprived
Arabs, and never mind that its abandonment of the West Bank would leave an
Israel ten miles wide and waiting for the Arab armies to annihilate, then
all will be well.
The "anti-Zionists" want the world to believe that the
entire Middle East
war is due to the fact that those evil selfish Jews are unwilling to share
their 10,000 square miles with the poor land-starved Arabs. But in
reality, the obvious true cause of the Middle East war is the fact that
the Arab world is unwilling to allow the Jews to control even a sixth of
one percent of the territory of the Middle East. The Arabs, controlling
more land than any other ethnic group on the planet besides the Russians,
are simply unwilling to share even the tiniest sliver of the Middle East
with the Jews.
If the "anti-Zionists", for their part, get what they
want, then there
will be no Jews left alive in Israel.
[i] Karsh E, “What Occupation” Commentary Jul/Aug 2002