Monday, January 09, 2017

The Fabled, Fated Two-State Israel-Palestine Plan

"The Arab world is not in a compromising mood. It's likely, Mr. [David] Horowitz, that your plan is rational and logical, but the fate of nations is not decided by rational logic."
"Nations never concede; they fight. You won't get anything by peaceful means or compromise."
Arab League Secretary Azzam Pasha to Jewish representative David Horowitz, 1947

"If he [President Bill Clinton] wants me to sign this deal [Israeli Prime Minister's Ehud Barak's 2000 peace offer], it means he wants to issue an open invitation to my funeral, because I will die at the hand of my own people."
Yasser Arafat, Camp David Summit, 2000
Ehud Barak, left, with Bill Clinton and Yasser Arafat (photo credit: Sharon Farmer)
Ehud Barak, left, with Bill Clinton and Yasser Arafat (photo credit: Sharon Farmer)

Ehud Barak made an offer no one in his right mind in Israel might have expected in its magnanimity in the pursuit of peace, and no one in his right mind representing the Palestinians could possibly pass up, if in representing the interests of the Palestinians and their future within a sovereign state of their own he truly sought peace and a two-state solution to go with it. What Yasser Arafat did, was on return to Ramallah was to launch the first deadly intifada and three thousand people died.

Barak's offer was the surrender of Gaza and 94 to 96 percent of the West Bank, offering to carve out one to three percent of Israel for the Palestinian state, and to allow the Palestinian Arabs control over much of east Jerusalem, including holy sites such as the sacred Judaic Temple Mount. To sweeten the offer the Palestinian state would be given compensation for its refugees to the tune of $30-billion in U.S. dollars.

Short of offering to dissolve the State of Israel and disperse its Jewish citizens in a new exile from the Middle East, this offer should rationally have solved the issue of conflict and demand, but obviously it did not. Since, after all, a lifetime earlier Azzam Pasha had explained that "The Arab world is not in a compromising mood" and "the fate of nations is not decided by rational logic". The simple fact being that no offer other than self-annihilation, and expunging ancient Israel from history, freeing the sacred haunts of times past, would suffice in total abnegation of Jewish aspirations to life and liberty.

The Palestinian message though clear was simply not believed explicitly. Rational minds are like that; they have trouble believing that incoherent malevolence for the sheer sake of denying opportunity to those they consider enemies made so by the very fact of Muslim/Arab cohesion in denying this singular Judaic impudence of entitlement to land consecrated to Islam was destined to be rejected time and again, as long as time stretched into the horizon of forever.

The Jewish presence in the Middle East has existed in the reversal of forever-time, and Israel expects it to continue under the aegis of its state. Before Zionism gathered the strength and confidence it later assumed, the British protectorate of Palestine made an offer to both Jews and Arabs for a split state, which the Arabs rejected, despite its generosity to the Arabs and its mean-mindedness to the Jews through the Palestine Royal Commission Report.

The grand mufti of the time demanded all of Palestine be under Arab control, that Jews be exiled because "this country [cannot] assimilate the Jews now in the country". That generous accommodation to the British offer resulted in massive Palestinian Arab riots. Arabs saw the land, all the land, as theirs and theirs alone. And nothing of any substance has changed since then. When in 1947 the United Nations proposed another partition Jews once again agreed, and Arabs dissented.

And upon declaring Jewish independence and a Jewish State, neighbouring Arab states invaded to destroy the 'foreign newcomer' in their midst. The series of similar attacks culminated in the 1967 Six-Day War when once again an offer to surrender most of the territory won in that war in exchange for lasting peace was rejected; those few Fatah members who gave thought to a two-state solution were assassinated.

In 1951, Jordan's King Abdullah was also assassinated in response to preparations to sign a peace agreement with Israel. Followed 30 years later by Anwar Sadat's 1981 assassination for his eventual peace agreement with Israel in exchange for reclaiming the Sinai Peninsula. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert undertook new peace negotiations with the Palestinians and once again Israel offered Palestinians most of what they demanded. And the Palestinian negotiators walked away never to return.

The Palestinian culture is one inculcated with hatred of Israel, as a foreign usurper of Palestinian territory. School curricula emphasize this, Palestinian media repeat it, and children are taught to regard Jews as violent threats to their existence, threats which they must pledge to counter through personal sacrifice as martyrs being groomed to 'resist'.

Belief in the reliability and efficacy of a two-state solution where Israel would be left in peace and Palestinians would accept its presence, is a figment of the imagination of those who domicile elsewhere than the Middle East.

Bill Clinton looks on as Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat shake hands during the signing of the Oslo Accords, September 13, 1993. On the far right, current Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas (photo credit: courtesy GPO)
Bill Clinton looks on as Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat shake hands during the signing of the Oslo Accords, September 13, 1993. On the far right, current Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas (photo credit: courtesy GPO)

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