It has been 40 years since the miraculous Israeli defeat in six days of the combined efforts of the Arab world to destroy the Jewish state. It was at that time Israeli forces recaptured East Jerusalem from Jordanian control and established sovereign control of their ancient capital for the first time in more than 2,000 years.

But now, 40 years later, the battle for Jerusalem still rages.

Much of what God enabled Israel to gain by that amazing war has been lost through attempts to appease world opinion with foolish concessions. However, world opinion does not take note of the implacable enemy that is still bent on Israel’s annihilation. This is proven over and over again by demanding Israel to concede land for peace to a hostile enemy that never reciprocates with the “promised peace.”

I believe former Prime Minister Netanyahu correctly summed up what was gained and is now being given away: “That victory transformed Israel from a feeble and fragile country whose existence was questionable, into a state that could not be defeated. … Israel’s conquest of the Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula in the Six Day War actually brought the region closer to peace by convincing the Arab side that it could not destroy the Jewish state. However, the recent unilateral withdrawals from southern Lebanon and Gaza Strip, as well as ongoing talk of a pullout from most of Judea and Samaria, has again given hope to the Arabs that their ultimate goal is attainable.”

I believe as he does: If you give the Arab world the perception of weakness, you cause them to mobilize and launch another war of annihilation.

This week, Ehud Olmert again promised to make “painful concessions” to reach a peace deal with the Palestinians, in accordance with an Arab peace plan endorsed by the Saudis in March. “I am ready to discuss the Arab peace initiative in an open and sincere manner,” Olmert wrote. “But the talks must be a discussion, not an ultimatum.”

Israel said on Wednesday that a summit between Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas scheduled for Thursday and expected to discuss aspects of Palestinian statehood had been postponed at the Palestinians’ request. Hamas leader Ismail Hanieyeh said several agreements had to be settled before talks reconvened.

Nothing too sweeping, really. Hanieyeh outlined Hamas’ position in an op-ed piece published in Britain’s Guardian newspaper. He didn’t propose a discussion; he delivered an ultimatum. (What a surprise!)

Haniyeh said if Israel was serious about peace, it had to recognize “the basic rights of our people,” including the right of refugees who fled or were driven out by Israel when it was founded in 1948 to return.

Haniyeh wrote, “In the 1967 war, Israel conquered the land of Palestine but it did not conquer the people. … The 1967 war has over 40 years engendered successive wars and destabilization of the Middle East.”

For the climate to change, he said, Israel had to withdraw from all lands occupied in 1967, dismantle all the settlements in the West Bank, where around 250,000 Jews live among 2.4 million Palestinians, free all 11,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and recognize the right of refugees to return.

“If Israel is serious about peace, it has to recognize these basic rights of our people,” Haniyeh said. “Nothing will stop our struggle for freedom and to have all our children reunited in a fully sovereign state of Palestine, with Jerusalem as its capital.”

What does Israel get in return? Well, nothing, other than a transparent form of “recognition.” Mahmoud Abbas, the allegedly “moderate” leader of the Palestinian Authority, promised to recognize that Israel is occupying Palestinian land.

Said Abbas: “Hamas is not required to recognize Israel. … It is not required of Hamas, or of Fatah, or of the Popular Front to recognize Israel.”

But, he does propose a form of “recognition” that requires PA government officials “recognize their counterparts” to “solve people’s problems,” making clear that this does not constitute an inherent recognition of Israel, just a functional recognition that allows the PA to get what it needs from Israeli counterparts.

In the interview, Abbas explicitly gives as an example the $500 million in tax co-payments that the failed and otherwise disregarded Oslo Agreement says goes to the Palestinians, if only Israel would agree to finance its own destruction. And now, under Olmert’s administration, Israel has all but agreed to do so, in exchange for “recognition.”

Abbas notes the Palestinian finance minister has to come to an agreement with the Israeli finance minister regarding the transfer of that money, but asks, pragmatically, “So how can he make an agreement with him if he does not recognize him?”

“So I do not demand of Hamas nor any other [organizations] to recognize Israel. But from the government that works with Israelis in day-to-day life, yes.”

In other words, Abbas, Hamas and the Palestinians in general don’t recognize Israel’s right to exist. But they do recognize that $500 million is $500 million. And Israel has it and they don’t.

All it takes to get it is to recognize the temporary existence of Israel on Palestinian land.

Amazingly, this form of “recognition” is not enough to satisfy even somebody as thick-headed as Ehud Olmert, who has evidently figured out that all Abbas is looking for is money to pay for arming those who will attack Israelis.

Instead, the Palestinians and Israelis will bypass a face-to-face meeting and will continue to glare at each other through the barbed wire – while the world blames Israel for refusing to commit suicide on demand.

A demand the world has been repeating for 40 years.

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