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Friday, July 29, 2011

How a 'moderate Palestinian' sees peace

And you thought the term 'moderate Palestinian' was an oxymoron, didn't you? Well, here's an interview with the archetypal 'moderate Palestinian,' Nabil Shaath, courtesy of Barry Rubin, and let's see how he views peace with Israel.
Nabil Shaath: The recognition of a [Palestinian] state…will make many things possible in the future. Eventually, we will be able to sign bilateral agreements with states, and this will enable us to exert pressure on Israel. At the end of the day, we want to exert pressure on Israel, in order to force it to recognize us and to leave our country. This is our long-term goal.”

In other words, the goal is not to come to a deal with Israel but to gain recognition from other countries which will pressure Israel and force it to give the PA what it wants. (Incidentally, this is pretty much Yasir Arafat’s strategy from 30 years ago, though he was using a higher level of violence in that process.)

But what does the phrase “leave our country” mean as a “long-term goal?” Does “leave our country” mean just the West Bank and east Jerusalem (pre-1967 borders without mutually agreed swaps) or wiping Israel off the map and replacing it with an Arab Muslim state? It’s ambiguous, isn’t it? So perhaps Shaath is a moderate (as advertised in the Western media? In this case, though, Shaath gives us an answer.

“[The recent French proposal, quite frienly to the Palestinians generally] reshaped the issue of the “Jewish state” into a formula that is also unacceptable to us-–two states for two peoples. They can describe Israel itself as a state for two peoples, but we will be a state for one people. The story of `two states for two peoples’ means that there will be a Jewish people over there and a Palestinian people here. We will never accept this….We will not sacrifice the 1.5 million Palestinians with Israeli citizenship who live within the 1948 borders, and we will never agree to a clause preventing the Palestinian refugees from returning to their country.”

In other words, Shaath, one of the most important and relatively moderate Palestinian Authority leaders, is against a two-state solution. First, there will be a Palestinian state “for one people,” that is an Arab, Muslim state. But there can be no recognition of Israel as a Jewish state because that implies a permanent peace. Shaath and the Palestinian leadership almost unanimously seek a second stage in which the “Palestinians with Israeli citizenship” plus the “returning…to their country” of Palestinian refugees will turn Israel into an Arab Muslim Palestinian part of Palestine.

This is merely a restatement of the “two-stage” solution of the PLO adopted forty years ago. No real progress in 40 years, despite all the disasters and potential lessons seen by the Palestinians! I have been very skeptical about the peace process, especially for the last 15 years, but I don’t think I’ve ever read anything that has so brought home to me why this is such a mirage because Shaath is so open about it and if anyone could be expected to support a real two-state solution it would be him.

Will anyone read and understand what Shaath is saying who believes that peace is at hand and that the Palestinian leadership is eager for a two-state solution?
I guess the term 'moderate Palestinian' is an oxymoron after all. What a surprise....

Read the whole thing.

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At 1:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The PLO/PA/"moderates" want two states for one people (Arab) in two stages. After that, who knows, the vaunted "holy eternal" Palestine primordial might ease back into the fever swamps of Arab tribal and sectarian combination, secession, warfare, recombination.

The Jews will be sunk. And the West will continue trying to make $ and win influence placing side bets.

In the meantime, Israel might assess the long-term survival potential of the Ashkenazi left-wing elite secular Euroland stretching from Eilat to Tel Aviv's beaches to Haifa and back again.

Israel could try to be at least one state for one Jewish people.

And tell Shaath, Erekhat, Abbas, Obama, Clinton, and the EU, thanks but no thanks, Israel sure as hell isn't the destination of "Palestinian" refugees, and since the Palestinians themselves don't seem to be interested in having anything but a Judenrein reichlet on the way to a river to the sea Judenrein reichlet, the whole stinking Oslo process ain't "resting"--it's dead.

At 1:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barry Rubin is an alarmist, and naturally reads what his narrow far right mind imagines.

Shaath will not be finalising the borders or deciding on refugess, Rubin knows that very well.

If compensation is offered to the Palestinian refugess in the diaspora, it's more than likely they will likely stay where they are. Others will want to return. The Saudi Peace plan offered a deal which included compensation to the diasporan Palestinians to settle in the new state of Palestine.

As Abbas said, Israel can call itself the Jewish state or whatever it wants. The key issue, is not what a country calls itself, but the rights of minoriites.

The people who object to the "Jewish State" label, do so because they think a democratic state (as Israel says it is) should have equal rights for all.

It's one thing to call a theocracy by its religous name, but that doesn't work with a democracy unless there is a guarantee that it will be a democracy.

At 9:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The PA is constitutionally Islamic, no? Insulting Islam results in imprisonment:


All PA officials so love minorities that they have declared no Israeli Jews can remain in the first stage of Greater Palestine, that portion of Palestine created to the east of the 1949 demarcation lines.

The ground state PA position, not only from Shaath, but from Erkhat, and Abbas (if not always explicitly before Western audiences), and the PA media is that the refugees must return to the rump Israel state after re-partition.


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