Palestinian obstructionism (ISRAEL HAYOM OP-ED) David M. Weinberg 04/17/12)
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The letter that Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is expected
to hand Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today is a prime
example of everything wrong with the current Palestinian leadership.
The letter (according to the drafts leaked to Haaretz and Times of
Israel) mixes fact with fiction, is maximalist and threatening, and
indicates no real desire to negotiate, only to place Israel in the
international dock of criminality.
The little bit of truth in the letter occurs when Fayyad reiterates
Palestinian commitment to "a policy of zero tolerance against
violence." That´s nice and indeed important, and Israel acknowledges
that for the most part Palestinian Authority forces in the West Bank
have refrained from terror and quietly helped in ferreting out Hamas
cells. But Fayyad says nothing about Hamas rocket fire on Israel or
kidnapping attempts and the like.
What the letter has in spades is a lot of bogus diplomatic history.
Fayyad lists every Israeli-Palestinian agreement since 1993 (Oslo I
and II, Wye, Hebron, Taba, Camp David, Annapolis, etc.) as if these
were Palestinian concessions to Israel, but fails to mention that the
Palestinians turned down offers from Israel in 2000, 2001, and 2008
that would have given them a state in virtually all of the West Bank,
Gaza and eastern Jerusalem.
As has been their wont for the past three years (ever since Obama
took office), the Palestinians in this letter yet again set
impossible and outrageous preconditions for entering real peace talks
with Israel. Basically, they want Israel to concede every point of
contention such as borders and settlements in advance of the talks.
Otherwise, no talks.
Furthermore, the letter expresses Palestinian maximalism. This
includes a state on all of the pre-1967 territories, with
only "possible minor and mutually agreed upon land swaps of equal
size and value." Note the new phraseology "possible" and "minor." And
of course, the "right" of return to Israel for refugees "as specified
in the Arab Peace Initiative," and so forth and so on. There is no
preparation of the Palestinian people for "painful compromises," as
every Israeli leader is expected to repeatedly warn the Israeli
The letter falsely claims that the Palestinians have honored all
their obligations, including the "reactivation of the trilateral anti-
incitement committee." This, from an "authority" that names streets
after arch-terrorists and broadcasts anti-Semitic and virulently anti-
Israel sermons on its official television station. (It is also
an "authority" which imprisons journalists and Facebook bloggers who
write favorably of Israel and unfavorably about Palestinian leaders).
Fayyad´s propaganda missive claims Palestinian ownership and
responsibility over the West Bank and Gaza "as a single territorial
unit," but amazingly fails to mention a slight problem named Hamas.
As if Hamas didn´t exist; as if Hamas control of Gaza wasn´t a
problem; as if Fayyad and Abbas had control over Hamas. What a joke!
The bottom line is that the current Palestinian leadership (never
mind the Hamas leadership) has no intention of truly entering
realistic peace talks that involve compromise with Israel, or ever
signing a piece of paper that recognizes the legitimacy of a Jewish
state and therefore end the conflict for all time.
Instead, Abbas and Fayyad know how to threaten: That unless Israel
bows to their demands, the Palesitnian Authroity "will seek the full
and complete implementation of international law" to criminalize and
penalize Israel´s presence "as an occupying power in all of the
occupied Palestinian territory." To seek to further isolate Israel
In truth, this is what the Palestinian national movement has always
been about: the delegitimization of the Jewish state. I would say
that the Fayyad letter constitutes another missed Palestinian
opportunity to gain their own state, but clearly and unfortunately,
that is not what today´s Palestinian leaders are after.
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