Acting Leader of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas (front left) and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) in Ramallah, June, 2013
Photo Credit: Issam Rimawi / Flash90
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.”
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.