The NY Times recently reported that the Vatican has concluded a treaty recognizing Palestinian statehood. During Israel’s recent election, however, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented that if re-elected, he would oppose the creation of a Palestinian state. He has good reason to oppose it.
Security Council Resolution 242 (November 22, 1967) speaks of withdrawal by Israel from lands occupied in the Six-Day War provided that Israel’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force are recognized.
The response of the Palestinians and the Arab world was simple and unequivocal – The Khartoum Declaration – “No recognition, no negotiation, no peace” – and despite generous offers by Israeli Prime Ministers Barak and Olmert, it is clear that no Palestinian leader then or now is prepared to accept Israel’s right to exist in any borders whatsoever despite all the rhetoric to the contrary.
This became clear on May 10th, 1994, in the wake of Arafat’s signing the Oslo Accords, when he travelled to Johannesburg, South Africa and compared his signing of the Accords with Mohammed’s deceptive signing of a 10-year peace treaty at Hudaybiyyah with the Quraish tribe of Mecca. Two years later, Mohammed broke the Treaty, attacked the Quraish, slaughtered them and conquered Mecca. In other words, the 10-year Treaty was a deception designed to allow Mohammed time to build his forces until they were powerful enough to conquer the Quraish. Arafat stated unequivocally that he viewed the Oslo Accords in the same light as Hudaybiyyah.
In the same month, Israel and the PLO signed the Cairo Agreement under which Israel withdrew from Jericho and more than half of Gaza , all of which was turned over to Palestinian control. The Agreement was based on the formula of “land for peace” whereby Israel relinquished strategic territory and the Palestinians promised to prevent violence and combat terrorist attacks against Israel.
The Cairo Agreement had the exact reverse effect. It unleashed a wave of unprecedented Palestinian terrorism, which included suicide bombings that shook Israel to its core. “Land for peace” quickly devolved into “land for terrorism.” Subsequent deals, such as the Oslo II Accord of September 1995, the January 1997 Hevron protocol, and the October 1998 Wye River Agreement were all based upon the same principle. In each case, Israel handed territory over to the Palestinians in exchange for promises of peace, and, in each instance, without fail, Israel’s gestures were reciprocated with terrorist attacks against its citizens and its country.
And for those who maintain that a more “moderate” Palestinian leadership is now in power, perhaps they should consider the comments of Ahmed Bahar, deputy speaker of the PA parliament, who, on May 14th, confirmed that the Palestinian parliament continues to reject any Jewish right to the land of “Palestine” (meaning the State of Israel) which it defined as “an Islamic endowment to which Jews have no right to even a single inch.” It also confirmed that the Palestinians will never agree to the settlement of the so-called “Palestinian refugees” outside the territory of “Palestine” (meaning the State of Israel), nor will they ever agree to recognize Israel.
The Palestinians have broken every promise they made in the Oslo Accords and continue to seek recognition from world bodies such as the UN and the ICC so as to avoid any negotiations (as required by the Accords) or compromise that would require their recognition of the State of Israel.
Critics of Netanyahu’s position fail to note that, in furtherance of this goal, Palestinian suicide bombers were sent into Israel during the Second Intifada solely for the purpose of killing Jews in marketplaces, restaurants and discoteques because they believed that by doing so, they would secure their “martyrdom”.
The irony is that there never was a “peace process” except in the minds of the Western media and most Western leaders who have bought into all these lies and deceptions. The intention, rather, was to use international diplomatic pressure to force Israel into making strategic concessions that would ultimately lead to its destruction ….. as Arafat openly admitted in Johannesburg over twenty years ago.
Critics should note as well that the Palestinian educational system includes Palestinian poetry, schoolbooks, crossword puzzles and children’s music videos that teach Palestinian children that “Jews are the descendants of pigs and monkeys” and must be killed, and Palestinian leaders have openly declared that any future Palestinian state would be “Jew-free”. They are also using US and European foreign aid dollars to pay Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons as well as the families of Palestinian suicide bombers, and they continue to name marketplaces, town squares, tournaments, and cinemas after these suicide bombers whom they hail as “heroes” and “martyrs”. Nor is mention ever made of Hamas’s founding Charter that openly calls for the murder of Jews wherever they are, and for the destruction of their State.
The sad truth is that the Palestinians want a state not beside Israel, but in place of it. If critics would take the time to read what the Palestinians are saying to each other in Arabic (as translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute and Palestine Media Watch) as opposed to what they are saying to Western leaders and the Western media in English, they would understand the Islamic concept of taqqiyah (deception) and discover the real truth behind the Arab-Israeli conflict – not Israel’s refusal to accept a State of Palestine, but the Arab refusal to accept the existence of Israel as a Jewish state on what they consider to be Islamic lands.
Netanyahu’s new government needs to reject any such pressure to recognize a Palestinian state under current circumstances as should all Western leaders. To give up further lands in exchange for a deceitful peace is something that Israel tried in the 1990s with tragic results. It should not be repeated again.
The writer is a foreign policy analyst for the Ariel Center for Policy Research (Israel). He is a former member of the Canadian Justice Department, a past Director of the Canadian Jewish Congress (Western Office), a member of Hadassah’s National Academic Advisory Board and a Contributing Editor for Family Security Matters and Intellectual Conservative. He served as a Consultant to the Secretary General of the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem during the first Palestinian intifada. His book “The Quartermasters of Terror: Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Jihad” and articles are archived at http://www.acpr.org.il andwww.marksilverbeg.com.