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Sunday, November 28, 2010

The 3 no's of Ramallah

In the immediate aftermath of the Six Day War, Israel hoped to trade much of its newly liberated territory for peace with the Arab world. Instead it was met with what is known as the 3 no's of Khartoum.
Finally, the leaders of thirteen Arab states gathered at a summit conference in Khartoum, Sudan from August 29 to September 1. There they pledged to continue their struggle against Israel. Influenced by Nasser, "their conditions were quite specific: no peace with Israel, no negotiations with Israel, no recognition of Israel, and 'maintenance of the rights of the Palestinian people in their nation.' The Khartoum Declaration was the first serious warning to the Israelis that their expectation of an imminent 'phone call' from the Arab world might be a pipe dream" (Sachar).
The three no's of Khartoum remained in effect until the Egyptians broke ranks more than twenty years later and signed a treaty with Israel. For that 'crime,' Egypt was expelled from the Arab League and its President, Anwar Sadat, was murdered. Israel has (foolishly) been trying to trade 'land for peace' ever since.

Over the weekend, the 'moderates' of Fatah met and formulated the three no's of Ramallah, thereby effectively putting the kibosh on any 'land for peace' deal in the foreseeable future. The three no's - summarized across the masthead of Sunday's paper edition of the JPost: No to Israel as a Jewish state, no to interim borders, and no to land swaps.
The Fatah Revolutionary Council concluded its fifth convention in Ramallah over the weekend by declaring its refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

The council also urged the Palestinian Authority leadership to work toward foiling a new Israeli law requiring a referendum before any withdrawal from Jerusalem and the Golan Heights that has not been passed by two thirds of the Knesset.

The Palestinians are opposed to any understandings between Israel and the US that could harm their interests, the council said.

“The council affirms its rejection of the so-called Jewish state or any other formula that could achieve this goal,” said a statement issued by the council.

“The council also renews its refusal for the establishment of any racist state based on religion in accordance with international law and human rights conventions.”

...

In its statement Saturday, the Fatah council said it was categorically opposed to proposals for a land swap between Israel and the Palestinians under the pretext that “illegal settler gangs can’t be put on an equal footing with the owners of the lands and rights.”

Israel has long assumed that any final status agreement would include land swaps.

The Fatah leaders said they supported PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s policies, especially with regard to the peace process with Israel.

“The council salutes President Mahmoud Abbas for adhering to the basic rights, first and foremost the right of return for Palestinian refugees,” the statement said. “Also, the council salutes President Abbas for standing up against pressure aimed at resuming the peace talks without achieving the demands of the Palestinians.”

The council dismissed plans to supply Israel with weapons in return for reviving the stalled peace talks. It added that the Palestinians would not accept any understandings between Israel and the US which could “harm Palestinian rights and prolong occupation.”

The reported US package of incentives to Israel does not serve the cause of peace, the Fatah council cautioned.

...

In its sessions, the council also reiterated its opposition to the idea of creating a Palestinian state with temporary borders. A PA official said there was no change its position on this issue.

“The PA leadership dismisses the idea of a state with temporary borders, the official said.

“We insist that the issue of borders and security be the first to be discussed when the negotiations resume.”
And the Israeli government response?
An Israeli government official on Saturday night called on the Palestinians to resume direct negotiations without any preconditions.

“Let us meet and talk,” he said.

The official said he was disappointed by the council’s statement with respect to a Jewish state.

“I would ask the Palestinians the following question: If the Jewish state is fundamentally illegitimate in your eyes, what sort of peace are you offering us? “It is clear that their refusal to recognize the Jewish state’s legitimacy is the true obstacle to peace and reconciliation,” the official added.
The blame for this state of affairs can be laid at the doorstep of the Obama White House. Before President Arrogant took office in January 2009, the 'Palestinians' were apparently on the verge of agreeing to an arrangement that included a land swap. Obama took office with a 'fierce moral urgency' to reach a solution, and promptly demanded an Israeli 'settlement freeze' that no Israeli government could give. Abu Mazen could not let Obama be more 'Palestinian' than he is, and so adopted Obama's position as his own. As Jennifer Rubin wrote on Friday,
Unlike the Bush team, which actually had the parties talking to each other, this crew can only bicker about what it is that they offered Israel in order to induce the PA to return to the table. If there has been a less competent Middle East negotiating team, I can’t recall it.
Indeed. It's time for Israel to shut down the 'negotiations' altogether until there's regime change - in Washington.

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3 Comments:

At 2:00 PM, Blogger Chrysler 300M said...

excellent news, only "peace" is dangerous

am yisrael chai

 
At 2:18 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

There is not going to be peace with the Palestinians in our lifetime. I'm almost certain the Israeli official is Barak. I don't think any one in the Israeli government apart from him, Netanyahu and Meridor believe peace is possible within the next year. If they still believe it after what came out of Ramallah, they're full of horse manure.

 
At 11:16 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl - I may have to take back what I said about Tzipi Livni. Here is what she was quoted as telling US officials:

Israeli media reports that WikiLeak documents reveal that Opposition leader Tzipi Livni (Kadima) told U.S. officials that the she has no faith in PA Chief Abu Mazen and that the PA is not capable of reaching a peace deal with Israel. The remarks are in contradiction of official Kadima policy.

That was supposedly in 2007 but I doubt her thinking is all that much different today. What's clear is that what Israelis think in private is often a lot different than what they say for public consumption. In that regards, I suspect there isn't a lot of daylight between her and Netanyahu and Meridor on the likelihood of a peace agreement with the PA in the foreseeable future.

 

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