Powered by WebAds

Monday, August 10, 2009

The 'peace process' fundamental assumptions are invalid

This article is spot-on except for one small point: The fundamental assumptions behind the 'peace process' were never valid. Yasser Arafat never intended to compromise with Israel. He looked at the history of his organization from his first appearance at the UN in 1975 to the White House lawn in 1993 as proving that the PLO could get its way through the same combination of 'negotiations' and terror that it uses to this day. But other than that, this article is a fair statement of the situation.
The rejection of Olmert’s offer as well as previous offers by former Prime Minister Ehud Barak at Camp David (July 2000) and the Clinton parameters cast a heavy shadow of doubt over fundamental assumptions underlying the Oslo process. Two of these assumptions were:

a. The Palestinian Authority, represented by the PLO, was working to realize the Palestinians' right to self-determination by forming a Palestinian state on territory conquered by Israel in the Six Day War.

b. The Palestinian Authority was willing to reach an historic – and territorial – compromise with the State of Israel and the Zionist movement.

The rejection of the Barak and Olmert offers reflects what much of Israeli public opinion has long felt, namely, at critical moments the Palestinians find it difficult to make a decision in favor of a pragmatic compromise and almost perforce miss opportunities to realize their national aspirations. They thereby confirm the longstanding Israeli line, “The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” This assessment contrasts sharply with the model of the Zionist movement, which in its desire to obtain any territory whatsoever for the persecuted and existentially threatened Jewish people adopted a radically pragmatic attitude and was willing to accept almost any diplomatic plan, provided only that a sovereign Jewish state would be established in its framework.

The Palestinian leadership has demonstrated a radically different approach and seemingly operates on the principle of all or nothing. This questions the sincerity of the drive to establish an independent Palestinian state as a concrete political plan, as opposed to a vision for future generations. It is hard not to wonder whether the Palestinian leadership is intentionally blinding itself, thereby ignoring the fact that the dream of a Palestinian state is rapidly evaporating – although certain Palestinian leaders have admitted in recent months that the goal of establishing a Palestinian state is running aground on the shoals of reality.


It is thus possible that the Palestinian leadership believes it has no reason to accept a compromise, even an offer as magnanimous as Olmert's; after all, historic experience indicates continual erosion in Israeli positions with respect to “the territories.” In these circumstances, they might believe that future Israeli governments will have to make much more generous offers to the Palestinians. President Obama’s determined efforts to halt Jewish settlement in the West Bank, including Jerusalem while ignoring understandings on this issue with the preceding US administration, and the erosion in the Likud’s position on the issue of the establishment of a Palestinian state, as reflected in Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech at Bar Ilan University, are likely to reinforce these Palestinian assessments.

In any case, the rejection of the Olmert proposals questions the validity of the assumptions regarding the willingness of the Palestinian leadership to reach an historic territorial compromise with Israel – assumptions that formed the basis of the decision to embark on the Oslo process. The phrase “territorial compromise” is basically an abstract concept that is difficult to translate into concrete physical terms. What many Israelis regard as a compromise, even a far reaching one, is not necessarily regarded as such by the Palestinians. Moreover, for significant parts of the Israeli public, the Olmert plan presumably represents less of a compromise and more of a yielding to the dictates of the Palestinian Authority.
Read the whole thing.

Peace is not at hand. And now you know why.


At 11:08 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The Palestinians reject a state unless its a temporary expedient. If it means the end of the conflict and acceptance of Israel, they are willing to forgo statehood. Its not the two state solution they're interested in. They never were.


Post a Comment

<< Home