by Yoel Bin-Nun
Translated from Hebrew by Sally Zahav
Abu-Mazen went to war in order to circumvent the Israeli voter’s decision, and force the elected leader to capitulate to him. Anyone who supports his demands is acting in contravention to democracy
Operation Protective Edge, which began with the abduction and murder of the three youths, has never ended. The shooting and stabbing war in the roads continues all the time, as well as the occasional missiles from Gaza, even though the Shabak (General Security Service) and the IDF eliminated 55 gangs of gunmen during one year, until the Nablus cell, operating under the radar, murdered Rav Eitam and Na’ama Henkin. Prevention of a planned terror attack is a victory in battle, and not just an interception.
The main change that has occurred now is Abu-Mazen’s decision to conduct the war against Israel himself, and not leave it in the hands of the Islamic movements. He announced that he would set off a “bomb” at the UN, and he did, indeed – he instructed his people to continue the security cooperation in order to put Israel off guard and to please the Americans, but he removed his checkpoints set up to stop attacks and sent a green light to the Palestinians to go to war. He also continues to wage the terror war and describe it as a “defensive war” in his speeches.
What does he want? No Arab leader in the world has ever entered into diplomatic discussions with Israel without getting Israeli and international commitment ahead of time, about what he would receive at the end of the negotiations. Negotiations have always been conducted only on the details. The only Israeli leader who has refused to play according to these rules for years is Netanyahu, who has demanded “negotiations without preconditions” again and again, like the governments of Israel did from the Six Day War until the Yom Kippur War. Head of the opposition Isaac (Bugi) Herzog stated this explicitly in his recent statement when he said that Netanyahu reminds him of Golda Meir before that war.
Heads of government and heads of the opposition in Israel have continued and still continue to play the game according to Arab logic, presenting Abu-Mazen ahead of time what he can get and what he can expect from them. Most have done this and still do this without the authority to do so, either when a government was at the end of its term or in the case when they had not been elected because the public had rejected them democratically; therefore they do this without any Knesset or governmental (cabinet) decision. They continued to meet with Abu-Mazen for the entire time in order to strengthen an anti-democratic commitment ostensibly in the name of the State of Israel, but without the authority to do so.
Who puts a stop to this? Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He has also told his emissaries what he was prepared to agree to, but there is a big difference between the willingness on his part, with sanction and authority, and the promises that Abu-Mazen continues to get from Herzog and Tzipi Livni – without sanction and without authority.
Since they did not manage to overthrow Netanyahu in the elections, in the Knesset or in the eyes of the public, and he succeeded to survive, Abu-Mazen decided to set off a “bomb” and start a conflagration, which he hopes will result in Israeli-American commitments consistent with his minimum lines, that he will bring with him to the negotiating table.
Thus, for example, Netanyahu froze, in practice, most of the building both in the settlements and in Jerusalem after he tried to resist the Americans for several years, but he refuses to take an official decision to freeze the building – and this makes him “guilty” of the conflagration from the point of view of American Secretary of State John Kerry, architect of the Iran agreement. Moreover, Netanyahu insists on Israeli forces in the Jordan Valley in order to stop and prevent what happened in Gaza – the supply of weapons and parts for missiles into Samaria. Abu-Mazen is only willing to have international forces, knowing that such forces will stop nothing, as happened in Lebanon. The American government agrees with Abu-Mazen and so do Herzog and Livni. At issue are missiles that would be launched toward Ben Gurion International Airport and Tel Aviv every time Israel insists on what she believes is necessary. Despite this, many Israelis in Tel Aviv still abhor Netanyahu, the last barrier against missiles from the Samarian mountains.
Likewise, Netanyahu is not willing to commit himself to a specific percentage of withdrawal in Judea and Samaria – greater than 90 percent – which his rivals did agree to, and he rejects their exaggerated concessions in Jerusalem, including in the area called the “holy basin”. This is what Abu-Mazen is waging the war over.
Since a Palestinian threat is again being created in our everyday lives, international emissaries are already being mobilized to “rescue” the negotiations – meaning, to force the capitulation of Benjamin Netanyahu, the democratically elected Prime Minister of Israel. Those who preach to us day and night about taking democratic resolutions on the uprooting of communities, continue to act in a clearly anti-democratic manner. Instead of declaring to Abu-Mazen and the international community that they need to align themselves with the minimal requirements of the elected prime minister of Israel, without whom there can be no lasting agreement, they nevertheless nurture the hope of changing the structure of Israel’s government so that Netanyahu will be forced to accept Abu-Mazen’s dictates as a starting point for negotiations.
This is not a war with the Islamic movements, which would require a separate analysis, but it is a war with the Palestinian leadership. A majority of the Israeli public understands this attempt, but is not aware of the details because no one explains what is really happening behind the scenes. If the war and the process that goes along with it continue, it may very well be that the day is not far off when the Israeli public will have to make a clear democratic statement as part of the resolution of the war.
This war that is being waged is an integral part of a world war between cultures. This is the world war that broke out with the collapse of the Twin Towers in New York. The war is being waged in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Iran, in Syria, in Libya, in Egypt and Sinai, in Gaza, in Lebanon and in the Ukraine, and at any moment another front may be ignited in North Korea and other locations.
Anyone who does not understand that under these conditions there is no chance for a stable agreement in our land, and that Abu-Mazen rules in Ramallah only in order to wrest control of Samaria and the Jordan Valley from Israel’s hands, and that afterward Hamas would overthrow the PA exactly as it did in Gaza – whoever does not understand these things is not suitable to lead any Israeli political party.
Source: Makor Rishon Newspaper, 16.10.2015, Issue 949, pg. 3
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.