When foreign pressure mounts on
Such pressure, misguided and hostile as it is, has its origin in
YET BIG gambles often lead to further gambles and matters proceeded very differently. Although the late Yitzhak Rabin spoke of rolling back the Palestinian Authority if it violated the trust
The truth, of course, was diametrically opposite: The only possibility of peace lay with the Palestinians fulfilling their agreements, not ignoring their violations of them.
As a result, rather than ostracizing the PA in 2000 for its resort to a war after it rebuffed president Bill Clinton's peace proposals, much of the world merely concluded that Israel had not offered enough. Anti-Israel boycotts and divestment campaigns became commonplace, especially at universities raising tomorrow's leaders. Anti-Semitic activity in
Ariel Sharon was elected in 2001 after
Yet he too ended up recommencing talks with Mahmoud Abbas and agreeing to the 2003 road map, without the PA having done anything to justify those huge steps.
Previously, Palestinian compliance had been theoretically necessary, but practically ignored: Each new agreement simply reiterated Palestinians obligations that had been dishonored since the last signing ceremony.
Now, the road map discarded even the need for the appearance of compliance. It called for major Israeli concessions in advance of Palestinian compliance with past agreements.
PEACE NOW pioneer Amos Oz had once prophesied that
The result of ignoring Palestinian malfeasance has been that today, the unreconstructed PA continues to get handouts from the international community (more than $900 million this year from the US alone), while Israel comes under relentless pressure to make concessions in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
Palestinians regard this as happy division of labor: Recently, Abbas told The Washington Post that "I will wait for