They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
The positions of the Palestinian Arabs in the latest round of peace talks, being pushed by Obama Administration and Secretary of State John Kerry, and the concessions being expected of Israel by the U.S. and media, will most certainly lead to a failure.
In the parallel universe in which Israeli-Palestinian Arab peace negotiations take place, the Palestinian Authority’s outright abrogation of prior agreements (Oslo Accords) and rejections of prior proposals (Camp David 2000 and 2008), which were pretexts for engaging in a terrorism war, the intifadah, must be placed back on the table as the starting point for the next round.
In every other situation throughout the world, when two parties are negotiating for something, there is the expectation of compromise, recognition and respect for the other side. Yet, none exists on the Palestinian-Arab side, nor do the media hold them to account. Is there no price to pay for intransigence and rejection? Or defeat in war?
Moreover, the head of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, has a limited and questionable authority: his term as president expired five years ago, and he only “rules” the West Bank/Judea-Samaria. The Gaza Strip is under the thumb of Hamas: an elected terrorist Islamic resistance movement, whose genocidal intentions against Jews and Israel are evident and proudly displayed.
There is no proof that even if Abbas signs an agreement, it will be honored by Hamas, let alone that it will be binding on the PA. This is blithely disregarded by the media.
Yet, it is Israel that is held to impossible standards by the media.
Even the venerable Wall Street Journal labeled the recently passed Knesset law requiring any ceding of territory to Palestinian Arabs in a future peace deal to be approved in a public referendum as “yet another hurdle to the U.S-backed peace efforts to achieve a peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians.”
But why in the world doesn’t Israel, a sovereign, democratic nation, have the absolute right to bring such a momentous decision and choice to its own people in exchange for an elusive piece of paper peace?
Israel’s Security Needs Minimized
The international media have been willing to blame Israeli “settlements” – even on land that has been under Israeli control since their capture in the defensive war of 1967, and per the Oslo Agreements of 1993; and “restrictive security practices” in PA controlled areas (i.e. checkpoints); and even the Israeli-built security barrier, which has prevented innumerable terrorist attacks and saved countless lives on both sides- as the biggest obstacles to Middle East peace.
What is rarely ever discussed are Israel’s strong rights to the land, both historic and legal. Israel has recently begun to redress this by its issuance of the Levy Report, which unfortunately has not yet been formally adopted by the government.
The late Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin of the Labor Party, was considered by many in his time a pro-peace leader. Like the authors of U.N. Security Council’s Resolution 242, he recognized that Israel’s pre-1967 armistice lines left the nation too vulnerable to future aggression.
Rabin insisted Israel must hold onto a significant portion of the “West Bank” to block traditional Arab invasion routes from the east and to protect both Jerusalem and the low-lying coastal plain, home to more than 70% of the nation’s population.
In his last speech in the Knesset before his assassination in 1995, Rabin declared, “The borders of the State of Israel, during the permanent solution, will be beyond the lines which existed before the Six-Day War. We will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines.”
And these are the main changes, not all of them, which we envision and want in the permanent solution:
- A) First and foremost, united Jerusalem, which will include both Ma’ale Adumim and Givat Ze’ev – as the capital of Israel, under Israeli sovereignty, while preserving the rights of the members of the other faiths, Christianity and Islam, to freedom of access and freedom of worship in their holy places, according to the customs of their faiths.
- B) The security border of the State of Israel will be located in the Jordan Valley, in the broadest meaning of that term.
- C) Changes which will include the addition of Gush Etzion, Efrat, Beitar and other communities, most of which are in the area east of what was the “Green Line,” prior to the Six-Day War.
- D) The establishment of blocs of settlements in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank]. Nothing has changed in the past 18 years that would diminish Israel’s need to retain the areas referred to by Rabin. The topography of the region has not changed, and the nations around Israel have not become more peaceful or more reconciled to Israel’s existence.
In fact, with the breakdown of the Arab Spring into violent civil wars on its borders (Syria, Lebanon, Egypt), and with a nuclear, terrorist-sponsoring Iran looming, the situation is even more precarious.
Israel cannot afford a major security threat aimed at the heart of the country from organizations whose charters call for its destruction. Netanyahu’s views on defensible borders for Israel essentially conform to the parameters laid out by Rabin.
Land For Peace ?
If you listen carefully to what they are saying to the media in Arabic, the Palestinian Arabs reveal what a farce the negotiations are.
A senior PA official, Abbas Zaki, Member of the Fatah Central Committee, explained on Syrian television how the current ongoing peace talks are a veneer for a phased plan to destroy Israel in stages.
Zaki said the PA would agree to a treaty with Israel if a Palestinian state is established on the 1967 lines, which would only be the beginning of a multi-stage plan to achieve their ultimate goal: a Palestinian State on the remains of the destruction of Israel.
It is also rarely mentioned that the Palestinian Arabs have rejected co-existent, mutually-recognized peace with a Jewish state living alongside it six times: 1937, 1948, 1956, 1967, 2000 (Camp David: 93% of “West Bank,” Gaza, Old City and shared Jerusalem as capital), and 2008 (same as 2000 but with 95-97%). They never miss an opportunity to reject obtaining their own sovereign state if it means that they must recognize Israel.
More notably, Erekat revealed the contents of a letter Abbas sent to President Obama on Dec. 8, 2013 : “Firstly, we will not be able to accept Israel as a Jewish state. Secondly, we will not be able to accept a Palestinian state with 1967 borders without Jerusalem. Thirdly, we will not be able to accept any Israeli on Palestinian land, sea, air and border crossings following the completion of the gradual withdrawal.”
A fourth precondition was the instatement of the “right of return” for potentially millions of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to Israel. In essence, this is a rewording of the famous Three Nos from the Arab League issued at Khartoum in 1967: “no peace, no recognition, no negotiation with Israel.”
Erekat’s preferred strategy for achieving Palestinian statehood is appealing to the EU to recognize a Palestinian state while appealing to international bodies to sign treaties and protocols that would enable the Palestinian Authority to file a suit against Israel at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. This is just further verification that the Palestinian Arabs cannot bring themselves to forge an agreement with the Jewish state, for putting an end to the conflict ends the raison d’etre of the Palestinian Authority and its culture of victimhood.
Incitement is Ignored
While Israeli society has steadily moved over the years towards accepting Palestinian Arab self-determination, this has not been shared on the Palestinian Arab side- especially in the past 20 years since the Oslo Accords. The incitement rampantly permeates through Palestinian culture, in its schools, textbooks, mosques, and media and has ensured that an entire generation of Palestinians has been brainwashed and fed a diet of hatred towards Jews and Israel.
The elephant in the room is the global jihad against a dhimmi people, the Jews. The demonization of Jews as subhuman, the delegitimization of a Jewish state regardless of its borders, the negation of Jewish history, and the glorification of terrorists who have murdered Jews is endemic.
The Israeli government’s recent release of its PA Incitement and Culture of Peace Index noted: Adolf Hitler is quoted on the websites of Palestinian Authority schools; a young girl appears on Palestinian television describing Jews as ‘barbaric monkeys, wretched pigs’ and the ‘murderers of Muhammad,’ the Islamic prophet; maps on the Facebook page of the Palestinian presidential guards do not show Israel; President Mahmoud Abbas himself embraced as ‘heroes’ released Palestinian prisoners who killed Israelis.
Right of Return/ Judenrein State
PA officials and leaders have repeatedly stated not only their opposition to a Jewish state living peacefully alongside a Palestinian state, but that one of their red lines is the “right of return” which will flood Israel with potentially millions of descendants of refugees who left Israel during the 1948 War, and the concomitant refusal to allow any Jews to live in the Palestinian State. Not only is this designed to destroy the Jewish nature of Israel proper, it is pure racist in ideology and effect. And it is not a secret.
Israel was forced by Kerry to release over 120 Arab convicted prisoners, many murderers with blood on their hands, as a “good will gesture,” just to entice the Palestinian Arabs to come to the negotiations. No concessions, of course, were asked of the Palestinian Arabs.
Yet, hypocritically, the Obama Administration made express reservations about the release of one man, Othman Amar Mustafa. Why? Because it turns out he had killed an American.
As reported by Nadav Shragai, statistics compiled by the Defense Ministry revealed that nearly half of the 13,000 terrorists whom Israel has released since 1985 within the framework of agreements, gestures, and diplomatic outlines resumed terrorist activities either as planners of attacks, executors of attacks, or accessories. Hundreds of Israelis have already been killed by freed terrorists and 3,000 have been maimed.
The 1,150 terrorists freed as part of the Jibril exchange in 1978 went on to serve as the backbone of the leadership during the First Intifada. At least half of the 7,000 terrorists freed following the signing of the Oslo Accords were reintegrated into terrorist organizations and took an active role in the Second Intifada.
So the bottom line seems to be that this is the price Israel is being forced to pay just to sit at the negotiating table with these alleged “peace partners.”
A Peace Deal must be made at all costs and is key to entire Middle East
As U.S. foreign policy under the Obama Administration is coming unglued around the world, it is evident that it is ever more desperate for a peace deal, and that it intends to lean on its ally Israel, to seal its legacy (and actually earn that Nobel Peace Prize).
Abbas is not the man of compromise the media portrays him to be, and his people have deliberately not been prepared for peace but instead have been brainwashed for hatred, violence, jihad and terrorism. He cannot deliver the goods, nor does he want to bring the “Israeli-Palestinian conflict” to an end.
The only end that is acceptable among the Palestinian Arabs is “peace of the entire Palestine”—which means destroying Israel– and nothing less. Israel has offered peace and a two state solution. Without even a modicum of reciprocity from the Palestinian Arabs to recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish People, Israel cannot be reasonably assured that its ultimate sacrifice will being genuine peace.
About the Author: Lee Bender is the co-author of “Pressing Israel: Media Bias Exposed From A-Z” (Pavilion Press), and co-president of the Zionist Organization of America-Greater Philadelphia District.