…any talk of Israel-Palestinian negotiations, peace process activity, compromise diplomacy, and all that stuff is meaningless now and here’s why:
The U.N. General Assembly made the Palestinian Authority (P.A.)-ruled entity a non-member state. Many in the West rationalized providing supporting votes or abstentions by saying this would do no harm and make Palestinians feel good…
Those of us who opposed this change explained that it means destruction of the 1993 Oslo agreement and the “peace process,” as moribund as it was, by handing the Palestinian Authority (at least on paper) everything it wanted without a single compromise on its part, not even living up to previous commitments.
And since the P.A. has just thrown away all the previous agreements it made with Israel, why should Israel pin its fate on some new one? Just as the P.A. took all the benefits it could from the Oslo agreement and then tore it up the same thing would happen–with a far more dangerous situation resulting–with a peace treaty in which Israel pulled out of the rest of the West Bank and east Jerusalem. Why is it that this issue is never even mentioned in the Western mass media, or by “experts” and politicians as a central aspect of the problem?
Mahmoud Abbas has now ordered that official documents bear the name “State of Palestine” rather than “Palestinian National Authority,” marking the end of the Oslo framework. Rubin continues,
In other words, the U.N. General Assembly’s action was the single most effective sabotage to a two-state solution since the Palestine Arab leadership’s rejection of a two-state solution based on partition in 1947. Much of the media, “experts,” and Western politicians will no doubt blame Israel and especially the Netanyahu government for the absence of a diplomatic miracle. In fact, though, Israel’s stances have now been rendered irrelevant in this regard. [my emphasis]
In a speech on January 4, Abbas made clear that he sees the Palestinian goal not as the establishment of a peaceful state alongside Israel, but the replacement of Israel by an Arab state. Jonathan D. Halevi describes it,
In his speech Abbas avoids all mention of a historic compromise with Israel that would bring the conflict to an end. Nor does he mention the land-for-peace formula, the establishment of a Palestinian state beside Israel, recognition of Israel, or Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.
Instead, Abbas chose to reemphasize that the Fatah movement has not changed since the day of its establishment – marked by its first anti-Israel terror attack on January 1, 1965 – and that the Palestinian people remain on the path of struggle. The keywords in his speech were the “dreams” and “national goals” to be achieved; that is, “historical justice,” as the Palestinians view it. Translated into the language of action, that means, according to Abbas, “realizing the dream of return” of the Palestinian refugees and their millions of descendants.
Abbas reinforced his uncompromising message with a pledge to continue the path of struggle of previous Palestinian leaders, mentioning the Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, who forged a strategic alliance with Nazi Germany, and heads of Palestinian terror organizations who were directly responsible for the murder of thousands of Israeli civilians, including Halil al-Wazir Abu Jihad (Fatah), Sheikh Ahmed Yassin (Hamas), Abd al-Aziz al-Rantisi (Hamas), Fathi al-Shikaki (Islamic Jihad), George Habash (Popular Front), Abu Ali Mustafa (Popular Front), Abu al-Abbas (Arab Liberation Front), and Izzadin al-Qassam (leader of the jihad war against the Jewish Yishuv and the British in the 1930s).
Abbas refrained from setting red lines for the “Palestinian struggle,” condemning terror, or denouncing Palestinian terror organizations and leaders. All of these, in his view, are equal and suitable partners in the Palestinian struggle, and their ideological platform, even if it is terrorist and/or radical-Islamist, is a source of inspiration for the Palestinian people in their ongoing endeavor to achieve their national goals.
In short, no more “peace process.” But that doesn’t mean the end of diplomatic pressure on Israel. On the contrary, the thugs on the ground in Europe and the Obama Administration now simply want to impose the U.N.’s diktat on Israel.
In an ugly salvo in this direction, the administration spoke through the pen of the friendly Jeffrey Goldberg:
In the weeks after the U.N. vote, Obama said privately and repeatedly, “Israel doesn’t know what its own best interests are.” With each new settlement announcement, in Obama’s view, Netanyahu is moving his country down a path toward near-total isolation…
…what Obama wants is recognition by Netanyahu that Israel’s settlement policies are foreclosing on the possibility of a two-state solution, and he wants Netanyahu to acknowledge that a two-state solution represents the best chance of preserving the country as a Jewish-majority democracy.
I find it impossible to believe that Obama honestly thinks that construction anywhere east of the Green Line is what prevents an agreed-upon two-state solution. And it cannot have escaped his attention that the Palestinians are not on board for any kind of ‘solution’ that isn’t totally one-sided.
Nevertheless, he plows on, playing the good cop to the Europeans’ bad one, pretending that the pressure is for Israel’s own good. For some reason, no issue seems to be as important in U.S. and E.U. policy than shrinking Israel.
Israel can go along with the program and endanger its chances for survival, or it can run the risk of whatever sanctions the Europeans and the U.S. may dish out.
Neither option is terribly good, but in my opinion Israel should take the unilateral steps necessary to protect its security — and let the E.U. and Obama do their worst.