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Why Doesn't Israel Go Back To The 1947 Borders For The Sake Of Peace?

Debate Information


Would there be peace or a massacre of Israelis?

A war was fought in 1948. Those borders were the reason for the war.

Specifically, those who, on May 14, 1948, would start calling themselves Israelis, accepted the UN-proposed borders and established Israel on the land allocated to them. The Arab world did not accept those borders, and forces from seven Arab national armies invaded Israel. They openly announced that their goal was to erase Israel entirely.

They did not succeed… and ever since, many Arabs have asked "why can’t we go back and try again?"

Because you don’t do that after a war, ever. You don’t settle grievances by going back to the way things were before the war. 

The side that started the war — and lost it! — does not get a do-over.

Nomenclature



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  • NomenclatureNomenclature 1245 Pts   -   edited February 2023
    @JulesKorngold

    The Arab world did not accept those borders, and forces from seven Arab national armies invaded Israel. They openly announced that their goal was to erase Israel entirely.
    More horse crap. 

    Contrary to popular framings of the 1948 war, and despite their fiery rhetoric, the Arab countries and leaders were not interested in a war with Israel. Barely coming out from under colonialism, their actions during the war showed that they never really joined the war with eliminationist intent, as the popular narrative goes. The Jordanians were more interested in acquiring the West Bank as a stepping stone to their real ambition, which was Greater Syria. As a matter of fact, there is ample evidence of collusion between the Israelis and Jordanians during the 1948 war, with deals under the table pretty much gifting parts of the West Bank to Jordan in return for not interfering in other areas. This is why Glubb Pasha, commander of the Arab Legion, described the 1948 war as a “phoney war“.

    The Egyptians intervened in an attempt to counter the Hashemite power-play that could change the balance of power in the region. The Arab armies generally intervened in the territories of the mandate destined to be part of the Palestinian Arab state according to the 1947 partition plan, and with very few exceptions, stayed away from the area destined to be part of the Jewish state. Yes, support for Palestine and Palestinians played a large role in the legitimization of such interventions, but they were never the real reason behind them. As per usual when it comes to international relations, interests are always at the center of any maneuver despite the espoused noble and altruistic motivations.

    Ultimately, Israel enjoyed a number of advantages which are often downplayed if not completely omitted from this “underdog” mythical version of history:

    Significant superiority in numbers, technical and military training courtesy of veterans of the world wars, sympathetic allies in Europe who smuggled advanced weaponry and equipment and troops into the country, as well as a centralized command which ensured unity in goals, organization and tactics.

    In short, there was nothing “miraculous” about the Israeli victory in 1948. The better organized, better armed and most numerous side won. This is why when spreading this narrative the only numbers mentioned are the number of Arab states that wanted to team up on Israel but still couldn’t win. This is an attempt to imply numerical superiority on the side of the Arab states without explicitly claiming it, as it is complete nonsense when even briefly researched.

    https://decolonizepalestine.com/myth/israel-was-outnumbered-and-outgunned-in-1948-war/

    Dee
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 6015 Pts   -  
    That is not even logistically possible. Apply the same argument, say, to the US: for the sake of peace with the native American population, the US will go back to, say, the territory of the original 13 states. Well, what is going to happen to the people in the remaining 37 states and multiple special territories? Are they all to leave their property and move away? Or are they to subject themselves to the rule of native American tribal chiefs?

    All these squabbles over chunks of land are incredibly retrograde, reminiscent of thinking of ancient kings who measured the success of their rule by the amount of surface on the world map they could paint in the same color. Singapore shows that you do not need a lot of land to build a prosperous state, and Russia shows that even owning 1/8 of all land on Earth does not make for successful state-building.

    Israeli occupation is PNA's bread and butter: the moment the "Everything sucks here because of Israel" excuse is no longer applicable, Palestinians will turn on it. It is incredibly naive to think that making any concessions here would placate them: quite the contrary, regimes like this see any concessions as a sign of weakness and only start making even more aggressive demands. And if Israel is one day completely destroyed and taken over by PNA, it will just find another scapegoat to pick on.

    I am all for states transferring their territores to much more prosperous and liberal states: Russia or China selling their territories to Japan would benefit virtually everyone involved in those dealings. That is not the case here, and virtually every single person living under the rule of the Israeli government would be significantly worse off after the PNA's takeover. Quite the contrary, completely obliterating the PNA and Hamas and taking over the wjole of Palestine seems the most rational course of action, something the Israeli government should have done decades ago. The international community would come around eventually.
    JulesKorngold
  • AmpersandAmpersand 858 Pts   -  
    I don’t think anyone is seriously suggesting that there should be a return to the 1947 borders, all discussions about the peace process have proceeded on the basis of the 1967 with mutual and equal land swaps.

    Your account is also incorrect and biased.

    Israel was not allocated land by the United Nations. United Nations Resolution 181 was a General Assembly Resolution which lacks legal force or standing. It had no power to allocate any land to Israel, it was instead broaching it as a plan. The Jewish population of Palestine used this as a pretext to start a civil war and establish their own country.

    I’d also note that at the time the UN Assembly was filled with imperialist powers. As colonised nations became sovereign states, the assembly is now much larger member-wise and more empathetic to colonial nations being absurd by larger powers. One of the most consistently agreed UN General
    Assembly resolutions is the yearly vote for Israel to end its occupation and withdraw to the 1967 borders. If you believe UN resolutions should dictate reality, you can’t have it both ways.

    Also Arab armies only intervened after Israel began ethnically cleansing Palestinians and even then the efforts ranged from token forces without much real effort (Yemen) to actively colluding with the Israelis (Jordan).

    Also many wars have been solved by returning to the way things were, there is even the specific term status quo ante bellum to refer to it. Indeed several long running conflicts between an oppressed group and a oppressor have only been solved by ending the oppression - see Apartheid South Africa, the Troubles, etc.
    JulesKorngold
  • AmpersandAmpersand 858 Pts   -  
    @MayCaesar

    Israel and Palestine versus the USA and the Native Americans are very dissimilar for a whole host of obvious practical and legal reasons.

    The idea that control of territory is not important is also proven very long by taking even a quick glance at the I/P situation. Israel uses its occupation of the Palestinian to commit a whole host of human rights abuses which impact the entire population. Then you talk about the possibility of achieving wealth regardless of the size of your country - but that again assumes some actual country as a sovereign power - which would require Israel going forward with the peace process and agreeing to borders with the Palestinians. You can’t build a functioning economy when your occupier will blow up everything you try to build.

    The PNA is also a collaborative body which works WITH Israel. Why would you advocate that they destroy them - or are you advocating wholesale ethnic cleasing seeing as that would be the only basis which Israel would wish to annex Palestinian territory?
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