As with so much involving Israel, it is strange that much of the world seems to demand things of Jews that it would never demand of anyone else. The most abominable slaughter in the Sudan or Congo go virtually unnoticed; wholesale ethnic killing in Syria or Pakistan seems just fine with people; but let the Israelis build a wall or some houses and the act instantly decried as an abomination. Even fighting back against endless attacks is characterized by far too many as unacceptable.
I thought that the territorial and resettlement demands placed on the Israelis would be better understood in light of some precedents from the century before the founding of Israel, so here is some information on that subject.
The Franco-Prussian War
In 1870, the French lost a war to the newly unified Germany. This war was, in large part, the result of manipulation of the French by the German diplomatic Genius Bismarck:
"The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War was a conflict between the Second French Empire against the German states of the North German Confederation led by the Kingdom of Prussia. The conflict emerged from tensions caused by German unification. Prussian chancellor Otto von Bismarck planned to provoke a French attack in order to draw the southern German states—Baden, Württemberg, Bavaria and Hesse-Darmstadt—into an alliance with the Prussian dominated North German Confederation.
Bismarck adroitly created a diplomatic crisis over the succession to the Spanish throne, then rewrote a dispatch about a meeting between king William of Prussia and the French foreign minister, to make it appear that the French had been insulted. The French press and parliament demanded a war, which the generals of Napoleon III assured him that France would win. Napoleon and his Prime Minister, Émile Ollivier, for their parts sought war to solve political disunity in France."
Note that even though the origins of this war were so clouded, at the end of it, the French, who had technically started the war, were forced to cede the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine to the Germans. This was regarded as eminently appropriate, and no one raised a voice in protest (other than the many residents of the are who did not particularly appreciate the prospect of becoming Germans.)
World War I
Well, this time the Germans lost and were held responsible for the war. Back went Alsace and Lorraine to France; but this was only one of the territorial transfers exacted from Germany at the end of the war. Here's a map showing former German land broken off to form Poland and several other territorial losses suffered by Germany. Note that all of the later recriminations about the terms of the treaty ending World War I centered around what were thought to be excessive reparations; no one thought the loss of territory suffered by Germany was inappropriate.
In addition, the other perceived malefactor in World War I, the Austro-Hungarian empire, lost so much territory in the settlements that it virtually ceased to exist:
The Germans' and Austrians' other strong ally, the Ottoman Empire, also was stripped of so much territory that it brought an end to hundreds of years of rule:
No one demanded that any of these countries had a right to have this territory returned to them.
World War II
The loss of Germany's new territories acquired through the means of aggressive war (pretty much in the same manner as Jordan's acquisition of the West Bank) is pretty well known, so I will just provide a map here, without much comment:
Lesser known is the stripping of Japan of territories it had acquired by aggression:
"The Treaty of Peace with Japan (commonly known as the Treaty of San Francisco, Peace Treaty of San Francisco, or San Francisco Peace Treaty), between Japan and part of the Allied Powers, was officially signed by 48 nations on September 8, 1951, at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, United States. It came into force on April 28, 1952.
This treaty served to officially end World War II...
The document officially renounces Japan's treaty rights derived from the Boxer Protocol of 1901 and its rights to Korea, Formosa (Taiwan) and the Pescadores, Hong Kong (then a British colony), the Kuril Islands, the Spratly Islands, Antarctica and Sakhalin Island."
Although other examples could be given, I think that this should be sufficient to demonstrate that the stripping of territory from the attacking power was widely practiced in the century before the creation of the State of Israel, and was considered an appropriate consequence for having started a war of aggression, as the Arab states surrounding Israel have done numerous times, (in order to deter future aggressive conduct.)
Transfer of Populations
To demonstrate the appropriateness, in world opinion, of the transfer of populations, where those populations were sufficiently irredentist and revanchist, I want to mention what happened at the end of World War II.
"Millions of German Reichsdeutsche (German citizens) and millions of ethnic German Volksdeutsche (citizens of other European states) were forced to migrate to Germany during the later stages of World War II and the post-war period. The areas of expulsion included former eastern territories of Germany which were transferred to Poland and the Soviet Union after the war, as well as areas annexed or occupied by Nazi Germany in pre-war Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, northern Yugoslavia and other states of Central and Eastern Europe.
By 1950, a total of at least 12 million Germans had fled or been expelled from east-central Europe into the areas which would become post-war Germany and Allied-occupied Austria."
Much of this was accomplished through the "Potsdam Agreement:"
"The Potsdam Agreement was the agreement between three of the Allies of World War II, United Kingdom, United States, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, for the military occupation and reconstruction of Germany
The Three Governments, having considered the question in all its aspects, recognize that the transfer to Germany of German populations, or elements thereof, remaining in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary, will have to be undertaken. They agree that any transfers that take place should be effected in an orderly and humane manner."
The Allies had acknowledged the legitimacy of the Polish Provisional Government of National Unity, which was about to form a Soviet satellite state. Urged by Stalin, the UK and the US gave in to put the German territories east of the Oder-Neisse line from the Baltic coast west of Świnoujście up to the Czechoslovak border "under Polish administration. The cession included the former Free City of Danzig and the seaport of Stettin on the mouth of the Oder River (Szczecin Lagoon), vital for the Upper Silesian Industrial Region.
The Germans in Czechoslovakia, known as Sudeten Germans but also Carpathian Germans, were expelled according to the Beneš decrees—from the Sudetenland region, where they formed a majority, from linguistic enclaves in central Bohemia and Moravia, as well as from the city of Prague.
Though the Potsdam Agreement only refers to Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary, expulsions also occurred in Romania, where the Transylvanian Saxons were deported and their property disseized, or in Yugoslavia. In the Soviet territories, Germans not only were expelled from northern East Prussia (Oblast Kaliningrad) but also from the adjacent Lithuanian Klaipeda Region and other lands settled by Baltic Germans."
This was considered appropriate for the following reasons:
"The long-term goal of Nazi Germany was to Germanize or eradicate the population of Poland, Czechoslovakia and certain western parts of the Soviet Union. Nazi Germany's Generalplan Ost envisioned the eventual extermination of between 45 to 70 million "non-Germanizable" people from Central and Eastern Europe, but they lost the war before these aims could be achieved."
This is virtually an identical goal, albeit on a larger scale, to the intention of the "Palestinians" and the surrounding Arab states, toward Jews in Israel since its founding.
With Israel, however, everything has changed. Now, as a result of a propaganda effort extending for several decades, it has become world opinion that it would be some sort of abomination if the countries that repeatedly attacked Israel lost a shred of territory as a result; and it has also been decided that the Israelis must allow not only the intransigent population of Palestinians who left Israel in 1948 be allowed to return, but that all of their descendants, generation after generation, be allowed to declare themselves Israeli citizens. I think it is obvious that both of these claims- essentially the denial of the right of Israel to impose any consequences on attacking Arab nations, thereby licensing them to attack again and again, and the allowing the surrounding Arab population to drown the Israelis in a flood of millions of "refugees," only a few percent of whom have ever set foot in Israel- are both schemes to eliminate the State of Israel. What is not obvious to most is the degree that these conditions demanded of Israel are contrary to the normal, virtually inevitable, results of waging aggressive war- conditions that, of course, only apply when Jews are attacked.
At this point, given what has happened in recent decades, I believe that, in the interests of long-term stability, Israel should have followed long international precedent and simply annexed the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights. Intransigent, violent segments of the Arab population should have been treated like the Sudeten Germans and expelled. This behavior is consistent with accepted international law, and Israel's failure to muster the will to apply the lessons of World Wars I and II to its own situation has contributed as much as anything to the disastrous conditions which exist in the Middle East today.
I certainly didn't feel this way a few years ago, but Hamas has taught me to see things differently. Maybe if they abandon their commitment to slaughter all Jews worldwide, and stop their constant bombardment of Israel, I will change my mind again.