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There is one inexplicable fact that the “kumbaya” forces in governments around the world for that mater, will never get, the reason there is no mid-east peace is that the Palestinians do not want it:

Hamas’ Politburo Chief, Khaled Mashaal, slammed the door on all Gaza ceasefire proposals Saturday, saying his organization would treat any international peacekeeping force in Gaza as an occupying entity. Speaking after Hamas representatives met with international officials in Cairo to discuss ceasefire proposals, Mashaal added that Hamas would not accept the inspection of the numerous smuggling tunnels in Gaza by international observers. “The objective of the war in Gaza is to subdue the Palestinian people and to dictate its political concessions. Source

Negotiations with Hamas and Fatah are POINTLESS. 

Tony Blair, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton, among others, have called for Binyamin Netanyahu to “embrace the two” state solution. Here’s the dirty little fact that they will never admit to. Neither Hamas or Fatah embrace the two state solution.  There is no leading Palestinian organization that recognizes in principal a Jewish State and an Arab State living next to each other. Netanyahu  believes in that concept, Lieberman believes in it also, but the supposedly moderate leader of the PA, President Abbas does not.

FREEDOM FIRST

By Gerald Steinberg
For four thousand years, the Passover celebration of freedom has been a central theme,
both for the Jewish people, who retell the story of slavery in Egypt and the Exodus every
year, and for other oppressed people who have found hope in these events. In America,
the oppressed Blacks identified themselves with the enslaved Hebrews, and leaders like
Martin Luther King referred to their struggle in biblical terms. Similarly, the victims of
South African apartheid often adopted the symbols of the Exodus, and Nelson Mandela
became their Moses. 

But in the hate-filled ideological climate in which the Jewish state is portrayed as the
world’s worst human rights offender, Israel is often cast in the role of the Egyptian
taskmasters, and the Palestinians have become the enslaved people.

This version of history is both patronizing and wrongheaded. Unlike the Jewish emphasis
on freedom, which is reflected in the Zionist movement, most Palestinian officials and
leaders give priority to preventing Jewish sovereignty and rolling back the recognition of
Israel as the Jewish homeland.

Israel is not the reason for the lack of a Palestinian state – this is the responsibility of the
Palestinians, and an accurate reflection of their agenda. For over six decades, Arab
leaders rejected every opportunity to create an independent state that would have also
left Israel intact. In November 1947 – twenty years before “the occupation” following
the 1967 war – Arab officials spurned the United Nations partition plan, which
embodied the “two state solution”. In sharp contrast, the Zionist leadership grasped this
opportunity, despite the minimal territory allocated to the nascent Jewish state.

After the terror campaign and Arab invasion in 1948 failed to dislodge the Jews or to
destroy Israel, the Arab leaders continued to refuse compromise that would have meant
accepting Israel’s existence and legitimacy. For them, freedom was and remains a
secondary goal, at best.

More recently, PLO leader Yassir Arafat’s behavior during the Oslo process in the 1990s
showed that nothing had changed in the intervening decades. Optimistic Israel officials
expected the Palestinians to follow the Zionist approach of the 1940s, and to use this
process, beginning with the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, to develop the
institutions that would lead to statehood. Arafat could easily have negotiated the terms
of a two-state solution during this period, had he been interested in this outcome.

However, the Palestinian leadership continues to demonstrate that it was not interested
in political independence, if this meant accepting Israel as a Jewish state. Arafat walked
away from every attempt to negotiate a compromise, including the Camp David summit
in 2000, and in the talks that followed. Instead, he and the PLO prepared for another
round of warfare aimed, again, at destroying Israel, this time using suicide bombers as
the main weapon.

After Arafat’s death, Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 provided yet another
opportunity for the Palestinians to declare independence, but the results were the same
as before. Rather than seeking to develop the institutions of a sovereign state, the
Palestinians used the freedom of action in Gaza to smuggle massive amounts of
weapons from Iran, and to extend the rocket attacks against Israel. Shortly afterwards,
Hamas took control from Fatah in a violent coup, and increased the range of the attacks.
As a branch of the Moslem Brotherhood, Hamas openly declares that its primary
objective is destroying Israel. An independent Palestinian state is secondary, at best, in
this religious war.

In referring to Gaza, the critics and apologists, who blame all the failures on Israel, argue
that this “partial withdrawal” left Israel in control of the West Bank, making Palestinian
independence impossible. But this is simply an excuse – if the Palestinians had chosen
sovereignty as the primary goal, they would have grasped the opportunity, just as Ben
Gurion and the Jewish leadership did in May 1948, with the departure of the British
colonial regime. If independence was at the top of the list, a success in Gaza would have
been followed by gradual extension, but the main objective continued to be war against
Israel. Similarly, Palestinian literature, movies, and songs highlight negative messages
and the actions of martyrs in the struggle against the Jews and the Jewish state. For
Palestinians, the concept of freedom is subsumed in the desire to defeat and destroy
Israel.

In contrast, for the Jewish people in exile for two thousand years, the goal of freedom
was rekindled every year during the Passover seder, which ended with a positive
message — the hope for “next year in Jerusalem”. For those who are serious about
promoting peace based on the “two state solution”, placing the blame on Israel is
counterproductive. Until the Palestinians adopt the positive rhetoric of freedom based
on construction, to replace the negative language of destruction, there will be no
change.

Prof. Gerald M. Steinberg chairs the Political Science department at Bar-Ilan University,
and is Executive Director of NGO Monitor

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