Let me get back to Abbas. He continues,
In the course of our long national struggle, our people have always strived [sic] to ensure harmony and conformity between the goals and means of their struggle and international law and spirit of the era in accordance with prevailing realities and changes. And, our people always have strived not to lose their humanity, their highest, deeply-held moral values and their innovative abilities for survival, steadfastness, creativity and hope, despite the horrors that befell them and continue befall them today as a consequence of Al-Nakba and its horrors.
Could anything be more fantastic? Since 1948, the Palestinian cause has been pursued primarily by terrorism against civilian targets, including numerous attacks aimed at children. Palestinians popularized airline hijacking and suicide bombing; even their partisans admit that their struggle has been characterized by violence. Both the PLO and Hamas have developed educational systems that glorify martyrdom, and continually broadcast racist antisemitic propaganda against Israel and Jews. “Deeply-held moral values” indeed!
He finds it necessary to refer to Israel — three times — as a racist, colonialist apartheid state. This is untrue — viz. the 20% of Israel’s population that consists of Palestinian Arabs with full rights — and is in contrast with Abbas’ expressed desire to establish a state that will not contain Jews. But it is de rigeur in order to appeal to the international Left, which might otherwise notice that Palestinian society is deeply racist, misogynistic and homophobic.
He asserts that he wants reinvigorate the ‘peace process’, but he makes a maximalist demand that can’t possibly be acceptable to Israel:
We will accept no less than the independence of the State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, on all the Palestinian territory occupied in 1967, to live in peace and security alongside the State of Israel, and a solution for the refugee issue on the basis of resolution 194 (III), as per the operative part of the Arab Peace Initiative.
Neither UN resolution 242 or the Oslo accords envisions a Palestinian state on all territory occupied in 1967 — indeed, 242 calls for secure borders, which are definitely not pre-1967 lines. The Oslo accords require that borders be negotiated between the parties, and the expectation was that Israel would keep settlements close to the 1967 line. Finally, the Arab interpretation of 194 is that all refugees and their descendents will have a right to ‘return to their homes’ in Israel. Rather than reinvigorate it, this demand repudiates all of the ideas of the ‘peace process’, from 242 to the present.
A commenter on yesterday’s post said that nevertheless, Abbas “did speak openly about recognizing Israel, about two states, not about rejecting Partition.” I disagree. There is nothing about recognition of Israel as the state of the Jewish people, or as the formulation has been made, “two states for two peoples.” As a matter of fact Abbas has categorically denied this, and there is nothing in this speech that suggests that he has changed his position. The only ‘recognition’ suggested here is that he is admitting that a state called Israel will exist — for now – alongside Palestine.
Add to all of this the fact that the Palestinian Authority’s public statements have recently become more, not less, extreme.
I don’t see any reason to change my opinion that the likelihood of a negotiated end to the conflict is close to zero.
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