Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sincerely, Of Course

The more 'advanced' situations appear to become, the more they appear to resemble what preceded them. Yasser Arafat won the Nobel Peace Prize along with Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Perez, yet when he had the opportunity to make a final peace plan with Israel a reality at the urging of President Bill Clinton, he confided that he would be signing his own death warrant if he had the audacity to sacrifice the ongoing PLFP state of war for one of peace with Israel.

Currently, the PLFP, which is the militant tail that wags the Fatah dog that administers the Palestinian Authority has a similar mind-set, that it will not set aside its constant of a state of war against the Israeli "occupiers" of Palestinian land. It is not merely the West Bank settlements that they speak of, when they refer to land belonging to the Palestinians; but rather the entire geography once known as Palestine, inclusive of that portion upon which sits Israel itself.

This, of course, is the very live agenda that is maintained internally, not the one that is placed in the public sphere for international digestion. The peace talks that have gone nowhere, that continue to fizzle, while being portrayed as legitimate and sincere, are not quite meant to be the end of hostilities between Israel and the PA. The demands by the PA of a freeze on settlements has an authentic ring to Western ears, but it is a ploy, and a successful one.

Should the desire for peace be pre-eminent in the minds and plans of the Palestinians they would negotiate and bargain and come to the table with the purpose of achieving peace, but the simple fact is, the kind of peace they envision is one which negates the existence of a Jewish state, one in which a Palestinian Arab state encompasses what is to their way of thinking, a foreign Zionist entity within an Arab Muslim geography.

The West, through the sympathies extended toward the Palestinians as a stateless people in perpetual refugee status, has given great impetus to the legitimacy of the PA entitlements as they see them. The entitlement to insist that it is only just that up to 7 million Palestinian 'refugees' be allowed to return to the place of their ancestors, thus displacing the Jewish state for an Arab one. The entitlement that Jerusalem be divided to make way for a Palestinian capital. The entitlement that the Palestinians select their state borders preferentially.

The European Union, the United Nations membership at large, sympathetic to the demands of the Palestinians and deaf to the security and existential requirements of Israel, pushes the State of Israel to relent, to accept, to sacrifice, for it is not they who will stand on the cusp of extinction, but the Jewish State. The 'disillusioned' Palestinians are seen to be disadvantaged by the need to participate in honest negotiations where they should be expected to make sacrifices of their own.

"The peace process is in a deep coma", mourned Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath, but with some degree of satisfaction, withal. "I don't think anyone wants to continue this negotiation. There is no more credibility to this negotiation process. This is an exercise in futility - ridiculous." Yes, and why is that so? Because Mahmoud Abbas and his cronies insist that West Bank settlement construction cease and desist; beyond which no further discussions can take place.

The ten-month freeze was put in place for that purpose, but it was only in the tenth month before the freeze was finally lifted that the PA came to direct talks. Fitfully, half-heartedly, awaiting the lifting of the freeze, so they could re-commence boycotting any further direct talks, and finally declare that indirect talks too were futile. Mahmoud Abbas speaks on the one hand of deploring violence, yet he encourages it by declaring the violence to be the sincere efforts of 'martyrs'.

He knows very well that the PLFP is guiding what the PA does, and that a third intifada is in the offing. He is very well aware that in commiserating with the militants in Hamas and the PLFP offshoots he is encouraging further assaults against Israel. He is fully knowledgeable about the fact that during the Mount Carmel firestorm there were multiple incidences of Palestinian Arab arson, some 25 in number.

He is also aware that the Islamic religious authority in Jerusalem engaged in illegal excavations at the Temple Mount, destroying Jewish archaeological sites dating to the Second Temple, and where a new mosque was erected and is now in use. This kind of sabotage and vicious disrespect for other religions and others' sacred histories is typical of Arabs and Muslims who have made it a commonplace to build mosques over other religions' houses of worship.

The Israeli-Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh warned a Jerusalem audience that they must never forget that the Israeli-Arab conflict speaks to "Israel's very existence in this part of the world", not the least bit about the provocation they claim the settlements in the West Bank represent. Toameh describes Mahmoud Abbas as "corrupt, discredited, weak", and without much actual power, warning that Hamas is prepared to take possession of the West Bank, should Israel withdraw to the 1967 borders as demanded.

Arab foreign ministers have made it clear to the United States administration that they feel the now-aborted direct talks will achieve nothing useful. That they are hoping the U.S. will make firm recommendations to Israel and the Palestinian Authority on borders that will encompass the new Arab state, should it come to pass. Not a unilateral declaration of statehood, as is being bandied about, then withdrawn, then returned to the fore. One which Cuba, Argentina, Venezuela and Bolivia have thus far committed to recognizing.

The Palestinians are past masters at posing as helpless aggrieved victims of an unjust, powerful state that seeks to dominate them and ensure that they never reach autonomous sovereignty. They revel in their victimhood, as the longest-reigning, United Nations-supported refugee group in the world. This has been more a matter of choice than one of unfortunate circumstances, because they excel in refusing anything resembling a fair settlement.

Compromise and authentic search for a peace settlement has never been seriously considered by the PLO, Fatah or the Palestinian Authority; all one and the same, and all so accustomed to considering themselves hapless victims, and portraying themselves as such to the wider world, that they are functionally incapable of acting in their own best, long-term interests.

Instead, they remain committed to destroying Israel, and once that has been accomplished, they will proudly lift themselves out of the sludge of helplessness in which they have mired themselves for so long, to curtsy to the world, in appreciation for its sympathetic and extremely useful support.

Labels: , , ,

Follow @rheytah Tweet