The efforts I detailed in the article, It’s Legacy Time Again, are entering the desperate period where the founding of the Palestinian State takes on the equivalence of the Holy Grail. As President Bush sees the end of his term coming to a close, the efforts to force a solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict is taking on the same urgency as it had towards the end of the Clinton Presidency. As with the Clinton Administration, the Bush Administration has taken on the same frantic grabbing at straws appearance. Usually these straws are paid for by Israeli concessions, often with no reciprocating concessions from the Palestinian side. The recent release of approximately 250 terrorists from Israeli prisons was an excellent example of this frantic and damaging thrust to further the cause of propping up Mahmoud Abbas and his ineffectual Fatah Government. There have also been large amounts of monies and weapons released to strengthen Fatah and Abbas. None of these not-so-noble efforts will contribute anything to the mutant attempts at peace.
We were recently shown the total lack of desire for honest negotiations by Fatah and Abbas when around $64 million were transferred to Hamas in the Gaza Strip to pay the salaries of the Hamas Security Forces, often seen as paid terrorists, for an entire year. This came within 48 hours of Abbas promising Prime Minister Olmert that Fatah would work with the Israeli and international efforts to isolate Hamas after the take-over in Gaza that ended the so-called Unity Palestinian Government. Additionally, it has become known that Fatah has been secretly negotiating with Hamas attempting to reestablish a unity government. Simply put, we are witness to the never changing two-faced policies of the Palestinians in general and Fatah in particular. This was the standard MO under Yasser Arafat under whom Abbas studied these methods for decades. I’ve always thought this two-faced diplomacy was the reason why most ranking Palestinian leaders all seem to have two names. For Abbas these names are Mahmoud Abbas, his western face, and Abu Mazen, his terrorist title. The one constant has been the policy of saying one thing in English for the Western media and saying often the opposite in Arabic for their true believers and followers. Despite forty years of witnessing this duplicity we still seem to be taken in by this simple ploy.
In the last couple of weeks we have been witness to attempts to resuscitate the Road Map to Peace initiative. The Road Map differs from the previous initiatives in that it has two independent tracks, one for the Israelis and one for the Palestinians. The presumed advantage of this arrangement is that the steps demanded of either side are independent of reciprocations made by the other side. This has now led to demands that Israel move to the final stage negotiations for the establishing of the Palestinian State despite the total lack of meeting even a single requirement by the Palestinians. So we have now come to the point where Israel is being held to committing to every demand placed on them by the Road Map for Peace while the Palestinians have been given a free pass. Somehow this seems just a tad unfair in my eyes, but what do I know? After all, the people making the demands and decisions are well-educated and trained diplomats and I’m just another Joe masquerading as the entity known as Beyond the Cusp.
Of course, just like every previous attempt to reconcile the Israeli Palestinian conflict, or should I say conundrum, will fail. The reason is simple, the leaders of the Palestinians do not want peace, they want an end to Israel, which leaves any form of peace out of the picture. The Palestinians sole desire is the eradication of the State of Israel and the genocide of the Israeli Jews. We have seen a perfect example in both Southern Lebanon with Hezballah and the Gaza Strip with initially the unified Palestinian Authority and subsequently Hamas after their take-over. Recent reports on the situation in the Gaza Strip by UNRWA and other humanitarian NGO’s tell of a totally non-functional governance. They have reported that despite the fact that Israel has allowed passage of humanitarian aid into Gaza from a number of their entry points, the citizens in Gaza face economic hardship, lack of proper medical facilities, hunger, rising unemployment, and other difficulties from near total collapse of their economy and governmental structures since the Hamas take-over. Needless to report, the only solution recommended is for massive international aid and concessions from the Israelis. Of course there have been no similar demands for assistance or concessions from the Egyptians who also have forces and a border with the Gaza Strip.
One must question the wisdom for additional pressure on Israel while threats are being made to eradicate Israel by Iran and some troubling developments in the Golan Heights with Syria reinforcing their positions on the border and movement of their missiles into closer proximity maximizing their threat upon Israeli cities and citizenry. I do not know why, but I keep hoping for changes in our policies that often seem to turn into assists for the Palestinians despite their refusal to assist in the peace-making processes. My observations over the years have shown a very troubling trend. Whenever the Israelis meet demands to make concessions, the next step is usually to demand even further concessions from Israel. On the other hand, when the Palestinians give only pretense and speak words of intent to meet any of the demands required by the peace process, there is an overwhelming rush to praise the Palestinians without any pressure that they actually commit any actions. This game demands real deeds and concessions from the Israelis while the Palestinians are allowed a pass as long as their rhetoric is found to be pleasing. Continuing in this manner will never lead to peace, it will only lead to more terror and violence, as the Palestinians know that their actions will be excused and the blame shifted onto Israel. I do not expect to be pleasantly surprised by a change of approach; I expect a continuation of the frantic flurry of activity producing nothing of merit. Eventually we will either awaken to the ploys of not only the Palestinians, but most of the Islamic nations, or we will face the threat of being under siege both throughout the world and on our home-front. Now we have a need for true realists, not the Baker Hamilton types of realists. We will see.
Beyond the Cusp