Monday, March 24, 2014

The Dance of Rejection

David Hazony pens one of the most seminal pieces on the MidEast in recent memory

The Fundamental Reason for the Failure of Peace -David Hazony [pictured]

What is the argument really about?

[A]ccepting the Jewish state (rather than just a political entity called “Israel”) is understood by both sides to represent the ultimate, public and final abandonment of the long-standing explicit Palestinian goal of eradicating Israel.

To accept the Jewish state is to create the minimal conditions for an end to the conflict. It is to signal to the Palestinian factions, divisions, functionaries and public, as well as the whole global pro-Palestinian machine, that the era of “resistance” is reaching its end.

Both sides know it, and always have.

Indeed, since the very beginning of the Zionist enterprise, rejection of the “Jewish state” idea — whether Jewish in character, in purpose, religiously or demographically, or any other reasonable definition— has always been the real core of the problem.

It was the core of the problem when murderous Arab mobs began attacking unarmed Jewish civilians in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, culminating in the slaughter of the Jewish community in Hebron in 1929.

It was the core of the conflict when the Arab states rejected United Nations Resolution 181 in November 1947...

It was the core of the conflict when, in 1964 — three years before Israel occupied the West Bank — the Palestine Liberation Organization was founded, declaring the illegality of partition and of Israel itself, with the aim of “elimination of Zionism in Palestine” through “armed struggle.” Thus Yasser Arafat became the godfather of modern terrorism.

It was the core of the conflict when, in 1967, following the failed attempt to destroy Israel in the Six Day War, the Arab leaders issued the infamous “three No’s of Khartoum” — no peace, no recognition, no negotiations with Israel — and when, in 1974, Arafat announced in Cairo his “phased plan” to destroy Israel in stages.

It was the core of the problem when, after the 1993 Oslo Accords were supposed to bring a gradual path to peace, Arafat’s newly constituted Palestinian Authority continued to support and fund terrorist groups, preach hatred rather than peace in the classrooms, transform the refugee camps into armed compounds filled with improvised explosive devices and launch a horrific campaign of suicide bombings in the mid-1990s.

It was the core of the problem when, in the 2001 talks in Taba, Arafat rejected a peace plan from President Clinton that would have given the Palestinians a sovereign state on nearly all the land in the West Bank and Gaza, and instead launched the second intifada, causing thousands of pointless deaths on both sides.

It was the core of the problem when, in 2010, Benjamin Netanyahu called Mahmoud Abbas’s bluff and implemented the first-ever freeze in settlement construction for a period of 10 months. The result? Abbas waited until the freeze was almost expired before coming to the table — proving that the conflict was never really about settlements, after all.

And it is the core of the conflict today. 

Rejection of the Jewish state has always been the core of the conflict. It’s worth noting that those Arab leaders who made significant gestures toward ending rejection — like Egypt’s Anwar Sadat and Jordan’s King Hussein — were able to reach peace agreements with Israel in the blink of an eye. It was never Israel that stood in the way of peace.

Rejectionism is the problem, nothing else. Unless, of course, you believe that rejectionism is, in its essence, justified — that all the hatred, all the boycotts, all the violence against Israeli children and civilians, is all a “natural response” to the original sin of “occupation,” meaning of Israel itself. That 1948 justifies it all. If this is what you believe, then say so. But speak not of settlements, and do not pretend to have peaceful aims.

There is no middle ground; either you grant the Jews their place among the nations, or you don’t.

[R]ecognition is a two-way street, and Israel will forever insist on it, as well.
It’s because the only way to confirm that this thing is really over — and that the agreement won’t be another catastrophic failure, like Oslo — is for recognition to replace rejection, not to live alongside it in some ambiguous cloud of diplomatic nicety. Not to dilute it by saying, “Yes, but also right of return,” or, “Yes, but also right to resistance.” But clear, categorical, overriding.

Anything short of that is just more posturing, more blood and tears.

[The Forward]

Abbas Refused to Commit to "End the Conflict" with Israel    

At his meeting with President Obama in Washington last week, PA President Mahmoud Abbas rejected Secretary of State John Kerry's framework document for continued peace talks with Israel, and said "no" on core issues, Israel Channel 2 TV reported Friday, quoting American and Israeli sources.     
Specifically, Abbas rejected Prime Minister Netanyahu's demand that he recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

He also refused to abandon the Palestinian demand for a "right of return" for millions of Palestinians and their descendants, and refused to commit to an "end of conflict," under which a peace deal would represent the termination of any further Palestinian demands of Israel.
(Times of Israel)

Israelis Blast EU, UN for Condemning West Bank Construction
- Herb Keinon

Israeli diplomatic officials slammed the EU and UN for condemning plans for new settlement construction, but remaining silent in the face of maximalist Palestinian positions they say are jeopardizing the diplomatic process.

"Are they really putting their fingers on the real problem with these automatic responses," one official said. He questioned why the EU did not see fit to criticize Fatah for organizing a rally Thursday in Ramallah that "celebrated rejectionism, that celebrated 'not one inch,' a position that makes peace impossible."

"A few more housing units inside the settlement blocs will not change the final maps of peace, but it should be clear that the Palestinian refusal to show any flexibility in the talks is preventing things from moving forward." 
(Jerusalem Post)


LHwrites said...

This was a well constructed piece that very clearly outlined the real issues. The Fundamental Reason for the Failure of Peace -David Hazony was precise, concise and excellent!

Bruce said...

I wholeheartedly agree. Its conciseness was impressive.