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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Frum on Erekat's HARDtalk appearance

In an earlier post, I wrote about Saeb Erekat's appearance on the BBC's HARDtalk on Tuesday. Unlike me, David Frum saw the entire show, and he filed this report.
Interviewer Zeinab Badawi walked Erekat through the so-called Palestine Papers, the leaked negotiating documents held by the Palestinian side.

From the point of view of anything Palestinians can ever expect to achieve, the documents were aggressive. They included demands for the Israeli surrender of land equivalent to all the 1967 territories – surrender of historic Jerusalem – and admission of some thousands of Palestinians into Israel proper.

From the point of the aspirations of Islamic groups, however, the documents revealed an intolerable recognition of realities, including the non-militarization of any future Palestinian state.

Badawi pressed and pressed Erekat on the question: how could he have yielded on this point or that? The right of Palestinians both to a state and also to entry into Israel? How could he have been so polite and unconfrontational with the Israelis, even acknowledging the reality of Zionism?

And here’s the poignant part. The rules of the Palestinian game forbid the truthful answer: “Are you kidding me? What kind of fantasy world are you living in? We’ve been attacking the Jews since 1920 and we have lost every time! You want us to try again? What you are presenting as an intolerable humiliation in fact represents a high-end opening bid. If we want a state, we’re going to have to prepare ourselves to accept much less even than we demand in the Palestine papers. If that’s unacceptable, there will be no state at all, only a continuance of the status quo punctuated by further rounds of futile violence. Which is probably exactly what will eventuate, since even to mention so obvious a set of truths as these would render me at best a pariah and most likely a corpse.”
And until telling the truth doesn't render a 'Palestinian leader' a likely corpse, or until a 'Palestinian leader' is willing to take the risk of becoming a corpse (as Anwar Sadat did), there isn't going to be peace between Israel and the 'Palestinians.'

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

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