Reality has returned to the traditional Arab-Israeli divide, at least for the time being, and none other than a veteran Arab journalist and retired professor of journalism wrote on Wednesday that given the hapless Arab strategy, “Palestinians will end up with no state.”
This is no surprise to no one except the U.S. State Dept. Thomas Friedman, the European Union and perhaps President Barack Obama, although it is more probable he couldn’t care less just as long as he can stick the Arab-Israel dossier into his “forget” folder.
With Martin Indyk acting on an emergency rescue mission, armed with everything except a Magen David Adom ambulance, the prediction by Abdallah Schleifer may be a bit too soon.
The fact that Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni and her Palestinian Authority counterpart Saeb Erekat rushed to meet last night proves they want to save U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s chance for a Nobel Peace Prize, which he would really would deserve if he would worry about the disappearing South American Rain Forest instead of stirring up trouble in Cairo, Moscow, the Ukraine, Jerusalem, Benghazi, Ankara, and Tehran.
The Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency reported that Livni and Erekat went at each other’s throats last night in the presence of Indyk, who was unable to tame the peace partners “fierce political battle.”
Specifically, according to Ma’an, “Erekat reportedly told the Israeli side that ‘we are here to negotiate in the name of the UN-recognized State of Palestine, not in the name of a Palestinian Authority whose inputs and outputs are controlled by Israel.’
“Israeli negotiators responded by threatening to put “endless” sanctions on the Palestinians, the sources said….
“Erekat responded to Israeli threats of sanctions by saying the PLO would go after Israeli officials as ‘war criminals’ in international institutions.”
And now for the full and unabridged version from Livni’s spokeswoman in answer to a question put forward by The Jewish Press, to wit: “Can you confirm or deny…that Minister Livni threatened Erekat with sanctions?
First of all, it shows Livni is not stupid. As much as the Palestinian Authority tries to convince the media establishment that it’s all Israel’s fault that the myth of peace talks has been unmasked, it is not so convincing to anyone outside of the Arab world, so wht argue that 2+2=4 when others know the answer is 5?
The Jewish Press reported here last night that Livni entered the meeting with Erekat to help Abbas climb down from his lofty perch and would exit the meeting with praise for her peace partner. That did not happen, but it’s not over until it’s over.
We also reported that everything is on hold until the Arab League meets next week. It will realize that the time is not yet ripe to ditch the United States and will come up with some mental gymnastics to prolong the agony of the peace talks, or it will go for broke.
Enter Schleifer, the Arab journalist who wrote in Al Arabiya Thursday that with the apparent collapse of the talks, “There is increasing talk about the impossibility of a two-state solution and increasing talk on the Palestinian and pro-Palestinian side of a one-state solution.”
Schleifer is not to be dismissed as another hack writer. He served for nine years as NBC News Cairo bureau chief, was a special correspondent for the New York Times based in Amman, served as Al Arabiya’s Washington D.C. bureau chief and is associated with the Middle East Institute in Washington D.C. as an Adjunct Scholar.
He is a card-carrying champion Palestinian Authority and opponent of the “Occupation,” but at least one of his views of history is on the money
“Back in the 1930s and 40s noble -minded Jews who connected at some level with Zionism were calling for a bi-national rather than exclusively Jewish state, but neither the Zionist leadership nor the Palestinian leadership wanted it which in both cases, figures,” he wrote.
“The whole thrust of the Zionist movement for most Zionists, would be a Jewish state theoretically ready to absorb as many Jews from Europe, America, and the Arab world as would be willing and able to immigrate. And since the overwhelming population in Mandate Palestine was Arab, why would the Arab leadership in Palestine consider a bi-national state as just another way of denying the Palestinians the right to self-determination?”
That is one of the first opportunities that the Arab world missed, upholding a tradition that goes back to Biblical kingdoms, which refused to let Moses lead the people of Israel through their areas on the way to the Promised Land.
Then and now, the anti-Zionists say “no” and the Jews, like Livni, say “no comment. We’ll find a way. We are not known as a Start-Up nation for nothing.”
As for the new “one-state” solution promoted if not threatened by Palestinian Authority activists as well as Jewish anti-Zionists, Schleifer commented, “The one state solution still is a noble idea but noble ideas don’t cut much ice without significant power behind it…Unfortunately, neither a powerful mass movement nor the commitment of strong willed leaders exists as yet for the one state.”
With typical Arab blindness, he wrote, “A right-wing Israeli version of one state [is] based on ethnic cleansing and annexation.” Abbas repeatedly says no Jews would be allowed in a future Palestinian Authority state, but that’s not ethnic cleansing. That is “national identity.”
The kind professor and journalist offer two options. One is a utopian presence of two states “providing both sides with an opportunity to engage people to people without threats to their respective and very different concerns, apprehensions and fears.”
He correctly dismissed that as being viable, putting all the onus, of course, on Israel that constantly creates a hopeless situation by insisting that Jews can live in Judea and Samaria, reserved for Arabs.
And it is that hopelessness that provides the second option. Schleifer wrote, “it is almost inevitable there will be Palestinian jihadi attack killing a large number of Israeli civilians — like a bomb going off at the western Wailing Wall when the plaza is filled to capacity during key Israeli holidays.
“This would provoke a terrible ethnic cleansing of the Arabs of former Jordanian Jerusalem and the West Bank. The ultra-right wing government could then annex all of the West Bank and not worry at all about the ‘demographic threat.’”
Got it? Blame Israel for hopelessness – has anyone recently read the Biblical account of Hagar who sat around waiting for God to save herself and her child Ismael instead of looking for a water bottle?
Blame Israel for hopelessness, blame Israel for the Arab’s blowing up Jews and blame Israel for exploiting the massacre to defend itself by taking charge.
Fine, blame the Jews, what do we care?
Blame the Jews for what Schleifer himself says will happen:
“Short of more sophisticated Palestinian diplomacy backed by a growing BDS movement, the settlements will continue to grow and more and more Palestinian land will be confiscated and more and more Palestinians will be harassed, if not injured or even murdered by the settlers. And the Palestinians will end up with no state.”
So for once Livni is right.
About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.
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