Home  |   Jihad Watch  |   Horowitz  |   Archive  |   Columnists  |     DHFC  |  Store  |   Contact  |   Links  |   Search Wednesday, July 18, 2018
FrontPageMag Article
Write Comment View Comments Printable Article Email Article
Font:
Olmert’s Dreams, Palestinian Realities By: P. David Hornik
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, August 18, 2008


Although overshadowed by the events in Georgia, Israel has again offered to the Palestinians to commit suicide—and the Palestinians have turned it down in contempt.

 

According to reports that his office has not denied, last week Prime Minister Ehud Olmert handed President Mahmoud Abbas a proposal for a “shelf agreement,” a kind of way station toward a final settlement. Israel would withdraw from 93 percent of the West Bank and compensate the Palestinians for the rest with a piece of the Negev Desert in pre-1967 Israel.

 

The Palestinians would also get a 40-km land link enabling free passage between the West Bank and Gaza. Abbas’s Palestinian Authority would first have to regain control of Gaza from Hamas. The resultant Palestinian state would be demilitarized. Although some settlement blocs would remain under Israeli rule, tens of thousands of settlers living outside of Israel’s 7% of the West Bank would have to leave—which for many of them would mean being forcibly removed by the Israeli army. The issue of Jerusalem would be put off till a further stage of negotiation, and the Palestinians’ “right of return” would be limited totally or almost totally to the Palestinian state.

 

The fact that this is not new and is largely similar to earlier offers in 2000 by then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak and then-President Bill Clinton to then-President Yasser Arafat does not make it any less loony. Here one can see “Threats to Israeli Population Centers from West Bank Terrain.” Although the Palestinians would need Katyusha rockets (range 13.6 miles) to reach Tel Aviv, Netanya, and Nazareth, they would be able to reach Ben-Gurion Airport and Jerusalem with Qassams (range 4.3 miles).

 

True, Olmert’s offer mentions “demilitarization.” The fact that, after sixty years of statehood in the heart of the Middle East, Israeli leaders still contemplate an Arab-Muslim state accepting the humiliation of a demilitarization mandated by the Jewish state is testament to reality-denial. No less off-the-wall is the idea of the forced expulsion of tens of thousands of Israelis from the West Bank in compliance with the Arab tenet that the Palestinian state would have to be Judenrein.

 

And how did the Palestinians respond? Abbas’s spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said: “The Israeli proposal is unacceptable, it is a waste of time. The Palestinian people will agree to a state with territorial contiguity only in a way that includes Jerusalem as its capital.”

 

Lead Palestinian negotiator and TV talking-head Saeb Erekat called the offer “lies and half-truths” and said: “In the end, we are not in an auction, a market, or a bazaar…. We will not barter Jerusalem for the refugees, or the refugees for the security issue, or the security for the borders issue. All these are our rights. It is for their sake that we entered the peace process on the basis of international law, of Israel’s withdrawal to the 1967 borders, of establishing a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and solving the final issues, including that of the refugees…. These are the bases on which we entered into the peace process.”

 

In other words, it’s what some of us have been saying for years. When the Palestinians talk about the right of return, they really mean it, and what they mean is “returning” the “refugees” to pre-1967 Israel. When they talk about Israel’s illegitimacy as a Jewish state, they really mean it, and what they mean is Israel’s demographic, if not military, destruction. When they talk about Jerusalem, they really mean it, and what they mean is a retaking of Jerusalem by world Islam while expelling Israel from the Jewish holy places.

 

Nevertheless, despite clear evidence that when they talk about “peace” the two sides mean different things, the current Israeli and American governments continue to regard conducting a “peace process” with the fundamentally anti-Israeli, anti-Western Palestinians (some of whose national heroes include Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin-Laden, and Adolf Hitler) as an ironclad necessity.

 

Meanwhile, also last week, “Palestinian national poet” Mahmoud Darwish was buried in Ramallah after dying in Houston on August 9. In the Palestinian Authority’s first “state” funeral since Arafat’s in November 2004, Abbas proclaimed before the thousands of mourners that: “The story of our people is your story, Mahmoud, and by our meeting it was made more complete and more beautiful. You remain with us, Mahmoud, because you represent everything that unites us.”

 

Darwish was born in the Galilee in 1941 and grew up as an Israeli citizen in Haifa. In the early 1970s he left Israel, attended the University of Moscow for a year, and joined the PLO. Already in 1974 he wrote Arafat’s famous pistol-toting speech to the United Nations, and in 1988 he wrote the Palestinian Declaration of Independence.

 

As for Darwish’s poetry, Israeli researcher Jonathan Spyer notes that: “There is no better or more articulate representation of the prism through which Fatah-type Palestinian nationalism views itself, its enemies and the nature of the struggle between them.”

 

In a 1988 poem Darwish addressed these lines to Israelis: “You who pass through the sea of transient words/ Take your names and leave. Steal what you want/ of the blue of the sea and the sands of memory.... From you another tank and from us a stone/ From you another gas bomb and from us the rain…. Take your portion from our blood and just leave...because we have in this land what you do not have—a motherland.”    

 

Here, Spyer notes, “Darwish expressed a fundamental tenet of Palestinian nationalism—namely, the absence of any moral content whatsoever to Israel’s claim to existence…. Palestinian nationalism contains…many political perspectives. But all tendencies are united in the fundamental article of faith that Jewish claims to connection with the land are fictitious, fraudulent and lacking in moral or factual basis.”

 

Given the reality of the situation, what would a rational approach to the Palestinians consist of? The United States and the international community would stop providing them with military equipment and training, large sums of aid, and constant diplomatic engagement, realizing that they are not interested in peaceful or democratic statehood and there is no compelling moral or pragmatic reason to keep trying to create a twenty-third Muslim-Arab state.

 

Israel—regarding the West Bank, Gaza being a different sort of problem—would keep muddling through with a situation where it maintains constant security surveillance while tolerating some degree of Palestinian self-rule as at present. Israel would have to ask itself if it can keep tolerating a situation where the Palestinian Authority is—right under Israel’s nose—raising generations of Palestinians in violent anti-Semitism, or instead would have to impose tighter control. This would entail grappling with the issues of reality as opposed to the ongoing blind cultivation of a society marked only by the intensity of its hatred.

P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Beersheva. He blogs at http://pdavidhornik.typepad.com/. He can be reached at pdavidh2001@yahoo.com.


We have implemented a new commenting system. To use it you must login/register with disqus. Registering is simple and can be done while posting this comment itself. Please contact gzenone [at] horowitzfreedomcenter.org if you have any difficulties.
blog comments powered by Disqus




Home | Blog | Horowitz | Archives | Columnists | Search | Store | Links | CSPC | Contact | Advertise with Us | Privacy Policy

Copyright©2007 FrontPageMagazine.com