Let's face the truth. The Palestinians don't want peace with Israel.
You would think that the Palestinians would rush to seize every opening in order to establish their much vaunted dream of a state of their own.
In the past Yasser Arafat bowed to international pressure and went to Camp David. Ehud Barak had to push him into the negotiating room in a much publicised picture that included a smiling President Clinton.
Clinton, and the American team, were amazed at the far reaching concessions that Barak was prepared to make in the name of Israel. The only problem was that Arafat could not bring himself to accept statehood for the Palestinians on these terms.
It was in Camp David negotiations that Clinton realised Arafat was stuck in the Arab rhetoric that says there is no Jewish history, no Jewish heritage, that Jews have no claim to the land they possess because it belongs, in its entirety, to Islam in the name of Palestine.
Against that type of mindset, no peace is possible between the two sides.
The diplomatic failure was immediately followed by what is known as the Second Intifada, initiated by Arafat. This violence was Arafat's way of announcing to the world that the Palestinian people will continue the struggle until all their 'occupied land' will be liberated.
Has anything changed since the passing of Arafat? Yes, the situation has gotten worse.
Now the Palestinian factions are at each others throats. American imposed elections displayed what the democratic process is like, Palestinian-style.
The Palestinians voted for a Hamas government knowing that they stood for the destruction of the Jewish state by force and the imposition of Islamic Shariah law.
Fatah, the corrupt party of Arafat, clung to power and, to appease the electorate, maintained 'the armed struggle against the Zionist enemy' in its infamous Charter.
The newly elected Palestinian Authority tried to establish law and order throughout the Palestinian territories released to them by Israel, including the whole of the Gaza Strip.
Israel was still traumatised by the sight of Israeli police and soldiers physically forcing Jews out of their homes. This unilateral move was the idea of Arik Sharon, the then Israeli Prime Minister.
As with Yizhak Rabin before him, Sharon surrendered his core beliefs regarding Israel's security for political expediency, by imposing a unilateral withdrawal of thousands of Israelis from Gaza settlements, as a one-sided peace gesture to show the Palestinians how serious Israel is for peace and for a two state solution.
Hamas stepped into this vacuum with a brutal political and military coup throughout the Gaza Strip. Many Palestinians were killed by fellow Palestinians. Hamas members threw Fatah members off rooftops to their deaths. Others were lined up and shot as Hamas imposed their control over the area.
Since then, Hamas has launched thousands of rockets into Israel from the very settlements that were vacated by Israel in the name of peace.
They seized Gilad Shalit by infiltrating into Israel and kidnapping him. Shalit has been isolated from the world for more than four years, against all human rights conventions.
They continue to call for the eradication of the Jewish state and have refused to compromise on any of their hard line beliefs even in the name of Palestinian harmony.
Despite a massive improvement in living conditions both in the West Bank and in Gaza, thanks to unprecedented aid and funding given without any pre-conditions by the international community, neither Hamas nor the Palestinian Authority under the reign of Mahmoud Abbas are willing to renounce their long held ambition to eliminate Israel.
This remains their deeply rooted political and religious ambition.
Israel, for them, is a temporary curse that will disappear.
While the international community continues to fund their middle class lifestyle, the Palestinian leadership, both in Ramallah and in Gaza, are in no hurry to consider a lasting peace agreement with Israel.
Abbas may be making the rounds while Haniya and Khalid Mashal play hardball, but even he is resisting direct talks with Israel.
Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has accepted a two state solution. He has agreed that the creation of a Palestinian state alongside the Jewish state of Israel with both entities living in peace and security is a desirable aim to solve the ongoing conflict.
The Palestinians, however, are not prepared to compromise. Abbas may be brought, kicking and screaming like Arafat, into direct talks with Israel in the coming days, but nobody has any realistic hopes that he will agree a final settlement.
He may try to extract further concessions from an amiable Israel, but he knows that he is unable, and unwilling, to sign any permanent peace contract.
Palestinian statehood, in Palestinian eyes, will only be fully and finally established on the ashes of the Jewish state.
Palestine, in Palestinian eyes, will replace Israel.
The Palestinian leadership does not want peace with Israel. They want peace without Israel.
No Palestinian leader can accept anything less.
Palestinian schoolchildren are taught that the Zionist state sits on holy Palestinian land and will be removed by armed struggle and martyrdom. Israel does not appear in their geography schoolbooks. Palestinian state television broadcasts anti-Semitic and anti-Israel programs that spout hatred and death. Main streets and sports facilities are named in honor of suicide bombers. Terrorists are glorified in poems, songs, and wall graffiti throughout the Palestinian territory. Palestinians are being prepared for future conflict to eliminate the Zionist enemy.
With breathless idiocy, the world continues to support both Palestinian factions with record amounts of aid and money, but without imposing any conditions for peace making.
By doing this, they perpetuate the status quo.
Such funding and support is irresponsible and feeds the Palestinian belief that the world stands with them in their struggle to replace Israel.
Let's face it. The Palestinians don't want peace, and the world is encouraging and supporting them.
Sunday, 15 August 2010
LET'S FACE IT. THE PALESTINIANS DON'T WANT PEACE.
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