by Barry Rubin
This will never lead anywhere, but that's the point isn't it?
Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has a new peace plan: he's just going to create a state without reaching a peace agreement with
Coverage of this just sort of took his word for it:
"We must confront the whole world with the reality that Palestinians are united and steadfast in their determination to remain on their homeland, end the occupation and achieve their freedom and independence," he said.
"The world should also know that we are not prepared to continue living under a brutal occupation and siege that flouts not only the law, but also the principles of natural justice and human decency."
If you actually examine what he says, however, all sorts of interesting things emerge:
Fayyad has been finance minister for about seven years and prime minister for two years. But the PA has been in business for 15 years. That's a long time. And what was the business of the PA?
The first task was to negotiate a peace agreement with
The second task was to—well, let's use Fayyad's own words here—"establish a de facto state apparatus." So what's it been doing all these years if the process of building that foundation hasn't even begun?
It's been very busy: mobilizing warfare against
But establishing a de facto state apparatus? No. And that can't be blamed on
The next point, which is generally understood, is that the Palestinians are anything but united. Not only is there the battle of Hamas versus Fatah (with
Next, if Palestinians are so steadfast in getting a state, why don't they negotiate for one? If they are suffering under so much brutality doesn't this give them an additional incentive to make a deal?
But the suffering is just used as a public relations' gimmick. Weird as it might sound in the West, this is how Palestinian politics work. If you simultaneously suffer and bleed--through violence and intransigence you yourself induce—and reject a compromise peace, this will hopefully bring international intervention to hand you everything you want with no cost on your part.
If you truly understand the above paragraph you know everything you need to know about the Israel-Palestinian conflict and the failure to achieve peace.
Finally, whatever sins can be put on
Yes, there are settlements and roadblocks and an Israeli Jewish presence in
And everyone likes to forget that the Israeli presence has been accepted by the PA itself in a number of agreements beginning with the Israel-PLO Oslo accord of 1993. Almost everything
This may sound counterintuitive but it is quite true and it is a point that needs emphasizing. By its own free agreement the PLO and PA accepted the existence of settlements in the
What's the catch? The agreements say this will continue until a peace agreement is made which results in a two-state solution. So who's responsible for the continuation of the "occupation"? Not
But the PA is not going to get what it wants: dismantlement of settlements, an independent state, and financial reparations unless it recognizes Israel, agrees to resettle Palestinian refugees within its own country, ends the conflict and all further claims on Israel, and provides security guarantees.
That is what the Palestinian and "pro-Palestinian" campaign is about. To get a state without binding conditions that would truly end the conflict forever, leaving the PLO and PA free to continue the battle to destroy
These are the issues which as many people throughout the world must be made to understand.
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