“A Day Late, and a Dollar Short” from Oleh MusingsOctober 12th, 2007 by Steve
Our insightful friend from Israel, Michael, has this to say about the upcoming Middle East “Peace” Conference.
Flipping through the online Jerusalem Post this morning, I found an interesting follow-up article about the upcoming “peace conference.” Apparently, the PA will now graciously accept the offers made to them 7 years ago, at Camp David and Taba. Here are some excerpts:
The Palestinian Authority would accept concessions made by Israel in the Taba discussions that took place six years ago, a senior Palestinian official told Israel Radio early Friday morning.
At Taba both sides presented, for the first time, their own maps of the West Bank as a basis of discussion. Reportedly, the points of contention that ultimately proved insurmountable were the refugees and the final status of Jerusalem’s holy sites.
All of this strikes me as particularly absurd. The current terrorist campaign being waged against Israel got its official kickoff back in the fall of 2000, when Yasser Arafat rejected those offers. The PA “leadership” chose to launch a terrorist war, instead of trying to build a state. The main results of that war are thousands dead, thousands injured, and thousands more incarcerated. The large majority of these casualties are palestinians. In addition, while Israel’s economy has continued to grow, the PA has turned into an economic basket case, full of corruption, and almost completely dependent on UN handouts for daily survival.
The PA “leaders” gambled an offer of statehood against their ability to wage a terroist war, and they lost. When in history have the losers in a war ever been the ones to gain? When has the winner ever been the one to offer concessions? This peace conference needs to start from a clean slate, and the Israeli diplomats need to state, unequivocally and unapologetically, that they are in a position of strength compared to the PA, and that the talks will proceed accordingly. Otherwise, we’re just looking to have a repeat of 2000 and 2001 “negotiations.”
But what were the stumbling blocks then, and now? The article states:
Regarding Jerusalem, both sides reportedly agreed that the Arab neighborhoods would form a Palestinian capital.
Further, the official said that Israel must allow Palestinian refugees to “return to the Palestinian state” and claimed that if Israel were to allow a symbolic number of Palestinian refugees to return to Israel, the PA would be willing to compromise on other issues.
Oddly enough, I actually think that the proposal on Jerusalem is reasonable. Those eastern neighborhoods don’t include the Old City, and if the palestinians want to put a capital there, close to some historic mosques, why should we care? Those neighborhoods are also 20th Century creations, and are not part of “historic Jerusalem.”
The refugee issue is another matter. Once a “State of Palestine” is formed, if they want to allow the palestinian refugees in, that’s their business, not Israel’s. But why should Israel let in any of the “refugees?” Especially when it’s realized that the PA’s official policy is to create a Judenrein state. Perhaps that “symbolic number” of palestinian refugees could be permitted, if, for example, the residents of Gush Katif can have their towns back….
So there’s a little food for thought. Shabbat shalom, u’l'hitraot!