Sometimes something is glaringly obvious, but people have invested so much in the opposite view that they are rendered totally blind to it.
The plan is based on the assumption that the root of the conflict is territorial. And even now that the territorial concessions from Oslo have proved the opposite – that concessions only bring more violence and that Israeli withdrawals strengthen the extremists – the belief in continued concessions has not changed and is a major component of our diplomatic thinking.
[Peres and Olmert] should know very well that the main reason for the Arabs’ war against the Jews is ideological and not territorial, and that even a concession of 100 percent will not satisfy the Arabs.
This is why the 2000 withdrawal from Lebanon strengthened Hezbollah and not the moderates, and why Hamas, not Fatah, won control in free elections after 25 Israeli settlements were uprooted from the Gaza Strip.
If the conflict were territorial, a Palestinian state would have arisen in 1947 when the Jews greeted the partition plan with singing and dancing; certainly the Palestinians would have been prepared to accept the 1948 armistice lines as permanent borders. Ultimately they would have accepted…the far-reaching concessions that prime minister Ehud Barak made to Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat in 2000.
But at the crucial moment, Arafat proved that even 96 percent of the territory, including the Temple Mount, was not his real goal. And now, with Hamas having won in free elections, will it accept less than Fatah would have?
If the definition of insanity is ‘doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results’, then Shimon Peres — and many others — need to make urgent appointments with their psychiatrists.