Peace Within a Year?
By Jerrold L. Sobel
There was an interesting article in The Jerusalem Post last week entitled, “Blair says peace within a year is a real possibility.” The former Prime Minister of England and presently the Quartet envoy was recently quoted saying. What’s his reason for such optimism? “People want peace” and “President Obama has made the issue an absolute priority.” Ok, that seems well thought out. My only questions are which people is he speaking about and with those nutty Ayatollahs going nuclear, why are, what I call the “piece talks” the most pressing matter on our illustrious leader’s mind?
Mahmoud Abbas, the peacemaker of Achilles Lauro fame told the Press on Sunday that he’s out of the negotiations until all “settlement” construction is stopped but would not end discussions with the Americans. Discussions with the Americans? Other than additional surrender terms to pressure Israel with, what else could they be discussing? That dear folks is the crux of the matter.
These talks are nothing more than an apologetic President hell bent upon extending the hand of peace to the Islamic world at any cost including the security of Israel. A hand as we’ve seen time and again being thrust back into his face. Fearful of confronting the tantamount issue of the day, Iran, he masks his lack of leadership by making the Israeli/Palestinian conflict his main priority. According to published reports, Obama is groveling and literally offering the kitchen sink in military and political goodies to Netanyahu for a 60 day continuance of the building moratorium. At the same time, according to Benny Avni, in an article entitled, “Peace Malpractice” written in the New York Post, the President is purportedly offering Abbas “U.S. acceptance that the border of the future Palestinian state should be based largely on the 1949 armistice line,” not upon the post 1967 demarcation where settlements currently exist. Why is he doing this? What’s it to him? How is forcing the only democracy in the Middle East to withdraw to untenable borders in the best interest of United States?
In a nutshell, he’s doing this because Obama, if nothing else, is the ultimate politician. If not for these bogus “peace talks,” what else does he have to show for two years of foreign policy? If these talks break down and he fails getting a 60 day extension just before the election, there are certain to be many disillusioned Jewish voters. What’s it to him? That’s the problem, it’s nothing to him. He just wants a settlement plain and simple, the excrescence of which he’ll leave to future Israeli generations after he’s long gone from office. Why is any of this in the U.S interest? That’s a question Americans should be asking him in November and two years hence. Another might be, since pre-negotiations to the negotiations are in order, why hasn’t he insisted the PA unambiguously recognize Israel as a Jewish stare and put an end to all cultural incitement before anything else.... Whatever you do, don’t bet the kids’ college fund on him adhering to this one.
In the real world, senior Palestinian negotiator, Nabil Shaath has stated unequivocally, “The PA will never accept Israel as a Jewish state.” He didn’t seem like he was kidding around but if he was, the Arab League sure wasn’t when they too voted last week unanimously never to accept Israel as a Jewish state. And here’s another shocker. In an interview given on Israeli T.V. several days ago, Israel’s good buddy, Hosni Mubarak showed his impartiality by stating: “I say to Israeli citizens, including Jews, Muslims, and others, that there is no such thing as a state in which all the citizens are Jews.” But as aptly reported in the Jewish Press weekly, he doesn’t have a problem with amongst others, Saudi Arabia, Libya, and Yemen designating themselves as Muslim nations. What should be clear from all this is Israel is not being asked to negotiate with the PA over a two sided local conflict but instead with the entire Arab world as a whole. Not much has changed in 62 years except the Arabs are more recalcitrant than ever and partially due to a sympathetic American Administration, are attempting to achieve diplomatically what they could not militarily during this period of time. Made to believe American, European, and domestic left wing pressure would suffice Israeli concessions, the PA, propped up by the Obama Administration assumes the dominant role in this farce. When you think of it, what chutzpah. Before even sitting down to negotiate for land which they have no historical claim to; was undeniably part of the Jewish homeland; paid for in Jewish blood over 4 wars; the Palestinian/American delegations want Israel to extend a moratorium on building in its own capital. A moratorium, which never should have been the precursor of talks to begin with.
When the Palestinians come back to the table and surely they will once convinced the Americans have wrung every possible pre-condition from the Israelis. You can expect them to talk about Jerusalem, the right of return, final borders, water rights, and “settlements” but purging centuries of cultural anti-Semitism most assuredly won’t be on the agenda.
In a scholarly, comprehensive essay entitled, “Palestinian Textbooks: From Arafat to Abbas and Hamas” Dr. Arnon Groiss thoroughly examines how the PA; the new “good guys,” foster incitement against Israel in textbooks throughout their educational system. Comparing 42 books written recently for grades 11 and 12, one major theme emerges: The delegitimization of Israel as a Jewish state and the denial of any rights the Jews might have in Palestine. To perpetuate this effort Abbas and his PA have gone to unprecedented historical revisionism of Palestinian texts. Claiming to be descended from the original Canaanites they disavow any Jewish connection to the holy land; cutting out huge swatches of history such as when the Israelites first came to the land of Canaan up to and including the time of the United Monarchy. The revisionism doesn’t stop here. Nowhere from grades 1-12 can a map be found with reference to Israel on it, the entire area is shown as a Palestinian state. The study further breaks down the PA’s portrayal of Israel and Jews in Palestinian textbooks into three categories:
- A denial of Palestinian students an objective opinion on the conflict.
- A refusal to recognize Israel and Jews as ordinary people with aspirations, problems, and hopes like everyone else.
- The demonization of Jews in the vilest terms.
Tinged by these flames of indoctrinate anti-Semitic invective, Palestinian society overwhelmingly supports the more radical forces of resistance too what they consider the more conciliatory PA. Think about that for a bit.
Peace within a year? When did drugs become legal in England? Given the present circumstances, it’s unlikely there will be peace for many years. The endemic Palestinian hatred is much too great. Fostered by a leadership that has denigrated and sort the delegitimization of Israel and Jews as a whole, the Palestinians, buoyed by this Administration, the Arab world, and Iran simply refuse to live side by side a Jewish entity.
Mr. Sobel is Vice President of the Sarasota ZOA chapter and President of the Collier County ZOA in Florida. Over the past 40 years his articles, advocating for Israel and Zionism have been published around the world.