Palestinian authority leadership such as President Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat among others claims they have been forced due to Israeli intransigence by rejecting reasonable prerequisites in order to facilitate negotiations to form two states in the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. There are those who attempt to place the blame on the Palestinian Authority claiming they have placed impossible preconditions in place in order to avoid having to negotiate in good faith. The Palestinian Authority claims that they have not set preconditions for negotiation but are simply requesting Israel respect the Palestinian rights by performing a few simple acts to fulfill their obligation to prove their honest intent to reach an equitable peace. The Palestinians hold that it is Israel making unfair demands as a condition for negotiations by demanding that Israel be recognized as a Jewish State rather than entering negotiations to settle such differences. So, what is the truth and who is correct?
It is a fact that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has made the demand that the Palestinian Authority recognize that Israel is the Jewish State. The obvious reason for this demand is so the Israelis can refuse to allow the Palestinians their Right of Return to their properties within Green Line Israel that they had possessed before the 1948 declaration of the State of Israel. It was after this declaration that they had lost their lands and homes. The Palestinian Authority does not recognize there being a difference between those who were forced from their lands and those who fled the violence by the Jewish soldiers of the newly formed Israel which caused them to flee and leave their lands. The Palestinians do not recognize the Israeli claims that they fled at the behest of the Mufti of Jerusalem who, according to the Israelis, assured them they could return within a short period and take possession of not only their old homes, but everything that had belonged to the Jews. The Palestinians refuse such claims and propose it was the Jews who made war with its neighbors as soon as they declared their state in order to gain the lands they claim for the formation of their dream of a Greater Israel. The entire Arab nations refute the Jewish claim that they were attacked by their neighbors who only fought against the Jewish expansionary forces who had attacked the Arab people to steal their lands and would have succeeded if not for the brave resistance by the Arab armies resisting their attacks. Now they again refuse to recognize the Palestinians proper claims to their ancient lands.
The Israeli have refused to agree that any future border between Palestine and Israel be defined by the 1967 borders which existed before Israel engaged Jordanian forces in their war to expand and take Jerusalem and the West Bank thus denying the Palestinians their lands. Israel has refused to even consider allowing the Palestinian and Arab refugees from resettling on their properties which were stolen from them by Israeli armed aggressions either in 1948 or in 1967 when Israel fought wars against her Arab neighbors. Because of the Israeli intransigence, there are approximately five million Palestinian and Arab refugees who are being denied their rightful full Israeli citizenship and being prevented from returning to their homes, farms and pasture lands. Israel has even made claim to the Palestinian capital city of al-Quds by renaming it and claiming it was their capital city some two or three thousand years ago. The Jews have no ancient claim to these lands which have been Arab and Muslim lands since our ancestor Abraham first brought Islam to this area. Israel has refused to reapply the rightful building ban on their illegal settlements which break numerous international laws. There are even some Israelis who are calling for Israel to simply annex all of the Palestinian lands as a punishment if we rightfully use options available to gain recognition of our rights to form the state of Palestine, a real ancient state that has a documentable history from antiquity. Israel also has refused to release those Palestinians they have held in prison for purely political reasons, some from even before the Oslo agreements. It makes no difference what we claim as our dutiful rights recognized by numerous countries and the General Assembly of the United Nations as the Israelis simply refuse to recognize anything other than their own views of history and how the world should be. And they even have the backing of many countries which the Jews have an overbearing influence and have persuaded these countries to adopt the Israeli view as their own despite all evidence for the Palestinian cause. Israel has built an Apartheid Wall which they intend to use to claim lands that rightfully belong to the Palestinian people. All of these denials and the Israeli government had the nerve to claim that it is the Palestinians who refuse to negotiate? The Palestinians are ready to negotiate as soon as Israel meets their obligations as we have presented them, and not one moment sooner. So, the ball is in Israel’s court and we await their compliance so we may continue with honest negotiations.
If the above makes sense and you believe it to be an accurate assessment of the Israel-Palestinian standoff, then you have swallowed an inordinate amount of propaganda without taking the time to validate what you have been told and find the truth. The truth is that Israel has made numerous offers of peace which have included over ninety percent of the lands beyond the Green Line and sharing parts of Jerusalem with the Palestinians so they may have their government within the city limits of Jerusalem and they have been rejected without even the offer of a counter proposal by the Palestinian leadership. These offers have been made to Yasser Arafat and to Mahmoud Abbas since the passing of Arafat. If the Arabs had wished to have a homeland for the Palestinians they could have had half of the land with some of the choice lands going to the Arab state back in 1948 but instead they declined the United Nations offer which the Jews had accepted and instead six Arab armies attacked the nascent state of Israel before it was even a full day old. The truth be told, Jordan occupied the West Bank from 1948 until after the June War in 1967 and never was a single utterance made for the making of a state for the Palestinians when making such would not have required anything from Israel. The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was formed in 1964 with Yasser Arafat as its leader and Mahmoud Abbas as its second in command with a Charter which called for the eradication of Israel. When the PLO was formed, Jordan had possession of the West Bank and West Jerusalem and there was no Israeli occupation, so what was the reason for forming the PLO other than the destruction of Israel. The PLO, despite promises made at the signing of Oslo Accords, has never altered or amended their Charter and it continues to call for the eradication of all of Israel and the subjugation or murder of the Israeli Jews. The Palestinians are claiming that Israel refuses to meet their few requirements before holding final status negotiations. The few requirements, some of which are listed above, cover almost every single final status points which are to be negotiated. Should Israel meet these requirements, then the only thing left for negotiation would be when and where to sign the paperwork. The Palestinian Authority leadership knows full well what they are demanding and that these demands preclude the need or possibility for negotiations. The reason they make the demands is to avoid having to negotiate. The reason the Palestinians are able to get away with such blatant deceit is due to the European desire to undo what they along with the League of Nations and finally also with the United Nations and the World did by establishing Israel as a Jewish State. They believed they would be rid of their “Jewish problems” and that would be that. They never figured that Israel would not only survive but actually thrive. It was expected that Israel would collapse and that would be the end of it. Well, surprise. Israel has been founded, Israel is thriving despite all efforts to the contrary, and Israel is not going to go away if they have anything to say about that. And fortunately, they have a large say so about that.
Beyond the Cusp