Op-Ed: Israel's Preconditions
Paula R. SternPaula R. Stern is the Founder and Documentation Manager of WritePoint, a technical writing company.
The Palestinian and Arab preconditions are ever rising.
should they settle for that? No, they want the 1947 Partition Plan and no one in the Israeli or US governments have the nerve to laugh and tell them they missed that boat 60 years ago.
- Before we attend, we demand immediate and full disclosure about our missing soldiers. This includes proof of their health situations verified by independent sources. Ideally, we'd like the session videotaped, because we don't really trust the United Nations or even the Red Cross to honestly report. But that's not really necessary, because Hamas and Hizbullah won't agree to this anyway.
If, as they are now claiming, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev are not alive, then we want to know when they died. If they were murdered after being taken captive, then we demand their murderers be brought to Israel for trial. If they died during the kidnap attempt, then we demand an immediate and full apology for the agonies inflicted upon their families for the last 15 months.
- We demand the immediate release of Ron Arad. This is non-negotiable. We won't even hail the taxi to get to Ben-Gurion Airport until Ron is given to us. And if the unthinkable has happened and he is no longer alive, then we demand his remains be given over for burial. We suggest they hurry, because once the remains are given to us, we will declare an immediate period of mourning out of respect for Israel's longest held prisoner and our leaders wouldn't dare fly during this time.
- We demand the immediate return of Eli Cohen's remains by the Syrian government and this, too, is not negotiable. We'd like time to check that they are indeed his remains, of course, and then a reasonable mourning period must be arranged.
- We demand the immediate and complete cessation of rocket attacks from Gaza and compensation for all the damaged buildings in Sderot. We also demand, in advance, that the Palestinian government reimburse the Israeli government and public for all medical bills resulting from these rocket attacks and generous long-term payments to victims still suffering from wounds received.
- We demand immediate and full restoration of rights and property of the Jews forced from Arab lands in the early years after Israel was created. Since we know that the number of Jews who fled Arab countries is around the same as the number of Arabs who fled the newly created State of Israel, we are willing to do a cancellation of debt on both sides. We want this in writing - no more rights to return for either side. That means all those Yemenite and Iraqi and Syrian Jews living in Israel will simply have to give up their right to leave the democratic state of Israel, but we are sure we can convince them and so our government is authorized to sign this in advance.
- We went to know, in advance, and in writing, of course, exactly what and whom the Palestinians want in exchange for Gilad Shalit and they can forget the idea that we will release murderers. In our country, murders sit in prison, not in the government.
- We want a guarantee, in writing, that the so-called Palestinian government will pay all outstanding court and utilities bills. We suggest they give a check to the Americans and once the check has cleared the bank, we will begin arranging plane tickets for our leaders or fueling up the jets or whatever we do when our leaders fly abroad.
- We demand an immediate halt to all digging going on illegally on the Temple Mount and the immediate cessation of all damage being done to archaeological evidence of the First and Second Temples. We demand that no further digging be done without cameras (video, of course - color, digital), and that at least two Israeli or internationally-recognized archaeological experts onsite whenever any digging is done. Should any digging be done on the surface, we demand that some sunshade and extra water be provided to these experts and that they be allowed to take at least a one-hour break (we suggest they be given a salary so that they can eat at Bonker's Bagels, but we are willing to cover that expense).
- And finally, we demand full recognition that the Jewish people have a long claim to this land that will be given respect. Arab leaders will stop trying to "prove" that Israel didn't exist here 2,000 years ago and will stop claiming that we have no right to be here. This must be done in writing and must be signed by Joseph Massad and Nadia Abu El-Haj of Columbia University, as well as by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
We will not go back to the days of suicide bombings in our buses and cafes.
suicide bombings in our buses and cafes. We will not give in to threats of violence. Attack, and you will be attacked. Fight and terrorize, and we will act like every other normal nation in the world and fight right back.