Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"Declaration of War"

"It's time for President Abbas to stand before his people and say, 'I will accept a Jewish state'. Those six words will change history." Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Enunciating that phrase would make history too, for the sentiment on Mahmoud Abbas's tombstone after his untimely death would read: "He sold out". After all, his predecessor was given guarantees that the PLO would be given their demands within reason, with Israel prepared to make conciliatory sacrifices toward a peace agreement. And that craftily corrupt PLO leader Arafat, knew that signing the agreement would be tantamount to signing his death warrant.

No agreement, but the First Intifada ensued. And the rest is history there, too. Same game, same result. Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority had ample time to come to the negotiating table when West Bank construction was suspended, but chose to dally until the last month of the suspension. Then moved away again from peace talks when the IDF entered Gaza to halt the bombardments over the border into Israel.

Timing is everything. Abbas and the PA need no longer make any pretense that peace is on to achieve their Palestinian State. Refusal to resume talks until and unless settlement construction is halted knowingly guaranteed to result in no obligation to join any talks. And preconditions such as right of return, division of Jerusalem and defined borders, some of which had been previously promised by Israel, yet rejected by the PA, are resolutely in place again.

The rock is the demands of the preconditions to even begin to talk, the hard place is the resolve to go directly and unilaterally to the United Nations for the ultimate declaration of a sovereign Palestinian State. The groundwork has been well laid through the careful pursuit of votes in the UN; Latin American states, Norway and many within the European Union are prepared to vote in favour.

Much is made of the Hamas charter, determined to push Israel out of the Middle East and reclaim all the land for one Palestinian state. Fatah is described as the 'moderate' faction representing Palestinian interests. But the Fatah charter, as made clear with the annual general meetings that reinvest in the concept, is very similar to the one articulated by Hamas. The difference is that Hamas is up-front, Fatah deceptive.
"You have to understand this: In Judea and Samaria, the Jewish people are not foreign occupiers. We're not the British in India. We're not the Belgians in the Congo. This is the land of our forefathers."
That claim, and $50 will get you a ticket for the operetta titled "No peace with Palestinians while Hamas in". Which will still not answer the burning question: how do you make peace with an entity dedicated to your destruction?

And the insistence that West Bank construction will commence as a reflection of normal growth and expansion patterns, and that it is only reasonable for reasonable people to shift into bargaining mode with the intention of agreeably addressing the potential of 'swaps' that the PA will buy into is a delusion. The PA buys into one scenario only, clearly stated to their core audience, but shielded from international view.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's well-received address to a joint meeting of the American Congress where his words were roundly applauded and he was feted as a statesman and an intellectual warrior, was greeted as a "declaration of war against the Palestinians", by the PA. Clearly, what Israel is resolved to maintain for itself, is not what the PA envisions.

Israel looks toward the potential, while understanding the realities on the ground, of living side-by-side with a Palestinian state which will harbour ambitions to destroy it, to satisfy the demands of the international community, while the Palestinian Authority comprised of Fatah and Hamas looks with glee to the potential of completely eviscerating Israel, while the international community looks on.

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