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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Are the 'Palestinians' ready for peace?

The 'Palestinians' want to unilaterally declare a 'state' in September. But are they ready for one? Not according to Khaled Abu Toameh.
Had the South American governments checked, they would have discovered that the Palestinians already have two "states" – one in the West Bank and the second in the Gaza Strip. This has been the reality on the ground ever since Hamas managed to throw the Palestinian Authority out of the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007.

The Palestinian Authority is asking the world to recognize a state on the pre-1967 lines when it has no control over the Gaza Strip. Abbas cannot even visit his private residence in Gaza City because it has been occupied by Hamas.

Moreover, Abbas does not have a real mandate to negotiate or strike any deal with any party on behalf of a majority of Palestinians, particularly since his term in office expired in January 2009.

Abbas is seeking the world's recognition of a state when he knows that he also cannot even hold elections without Hamas's approval.

His recent announcement that he would hold presidential and legislative elections is not being taken seriously because of opposition from Hamas and other Palestinian groups.

Now Abbas is saying that he is ready to take the risk and travel to the Gaza Strip to try to convince Hamas to change its position and agree at least to the formation of a new Palestinian "unity" government. But this new initiative is also not being taken seriously, not even buy his own Fatah faction: they believe Abbas is saying this only for local consumption, not only to show that he cares about unity, but also because they know that the gap between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority is too wide and too difficult for this dispute to be solved at the moment.

Before seeking international recognition of an independent Palestinian state, the Palestinian Authority needs to get its act together and end the ongoing power struggle between the two Palestinian entities.

For now, it seems that everyone is against everyone in the Palestinian Authority: Abbas against Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who is against Fatah, which is against Fayyad; the PLO is against Fatah, some of whose members are also against Abbas.

And then there is Fatah against Hamas, which is against all the others.

With such a mess, it is hard to say that the Palestinians are prepared for statehood.
Amb. Alan Baker, former Legal Adviser to Israel's Foreign Ministry and former Ambassador of Israel to Canada, who participated in the negotiation and drafting of the various agreements comprising the Oslo Accords, is even less impressed with the readiness of the 'Palestinians' for a 'state.'
* Genuine peace between peoples requires far more than signed agreements. It requires bona fide mutual trust, respect, and a psyche of peace to prevail throughout all levels of society, and must emanate from the leadership.

* Tragically, the extreme anti-Israel and anti-Semitic indoctrination that is so pervasive in all levels of Palestinian society has inevitably led to violence and terror, and serves to undermine any hope for peaceful relations between the two peoples.

* Officially-sanctioned and encouraged incitement against Israel and against Jews has become a central theme in all spheres of Palestinian society, whether religious, cultural or in the education field. This inevitably results in violence and terror against Israel and its citizens.

* The Palestinians are committed in the agreements with Israel to act to prevent incitement. Nevertheless, the Palestinian leadership continues to glorify terrorists as role models for Palestinian youth and encourage hostility and hatred toward Israel.

* The Palestinian leadership cannot come with clean hands to the international community to ostensibly call for peace while at the same time undermining any hope for peace through incitement to terror.
Baker's arguments seem elementary to me. Can anyone argue otherwise? I don't believe you can unless your real intent is for there to eventually be one - 'Palestinian' - state.

What could go wrong?

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At 11:26 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

As you've written in the past, the real elephant in the room is the fact a Palestinian state will not be viable without cooperation with Israel. It has to trade with the outside world to survive. And no Palestinian leader has laid out those basic facts of life to their own people.

Good luck with a state being established by September.


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