I greatly admire Netanyahu, and I’m afraid I would have to say that I despise Goldstone. But Goldstone was actually correct when he said,
What peace process are they talking about? There isn’t one.
Of course, I’ve taken this out of context. Goldstone goes on to blame Israel for this, and to call for an investigation of all the lies, calumnies and blood libels in his tendentious report.
But unfortunately the only ‘peace process’ out there is in the minds of the Obama Administration and some others who appear to think that they can ‘visualize world peace’ into existence by really, really wanting it.
Presently there are no negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Netanyahu says that he is prepared to start talking without preconditions, but that any agreement will need to include
- A demilitarized Palestinian state, and
- Recognition of Israel as the state of the Jewish people.
These are not outrageous demands on the face of it. Surely recent history amply justifies demilitarization, and what is Israel if not the state of the Jewish people?
The Palestinian Authority (PA) under the ‘moderate’ Mahmoud Abbas, accepts neither of these principles, and refuses to even begin negotiations unless all Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem stops. Indeed, the representative of ‘Palestine’ to the UN walked out during Netanyahu’s speech. If you would like to understand why, pay attention to what was said at the Sixth Fatah Congress this August.
So yes, Goldstone is correct, there’s no peace process. Look at the PA’s objections:
The demand for a settlement freeze is explained by saying that Israel is creating ‘facts on the ground’ which will prejudice the outcome of border negotiations. But no additional area will be added to existing settlements. And if Israeli building is said to prejudice the outcome, why is the same not true of Palestinian building? It makes absolutely no sense as a precondition for negotiations unless it is seen as a symbolic statement that all of Judea and Samaria and — especially — East Jerusalem is ‘Palestinian’. Talk about prejudging!
The Palestinians have trouble with a demilitarized state, too. Well, of course they do, since they want to keep the option of armed ‘resistance’ open. Here’s Mahmoud Abbas, speaking at the Fatah congress linked above:
When we stress that we espouse the option of peace and negotiations based on the U.N. resolutions, we retain our fundamental right to legitimate resistance guaranteed by international law. This right is also linked to our perception and to the national consensus, which is what must determine the appropriate forms of the struggle and the proper timing for [each]…
Finally, and most important, is their rejection of Israel as the state of the Jewish people. Israel doesn’t have the slightest difficulty saying that the Palestinian state will belong to the ‘Palestinian people’, so why is this considered non-negotiable by even the most ‘moderate’ Palestinian officials, like PM Salaam Fayyad?
There are two reasons. One is the Palestinian wish to settle millions of hostile descendants of Arab refugees inside Israel in order to destroy its Jewish character (and provoke a civil war in which Jews will be killed or driven out), and this is contradicted by the idea of a Jewish state. The other is that the Palestinians believe that even if there is a ‘peace’ agreement, the land on which the state of Israel exists belongs to them!
Here’s a comment made by Omar al-Ghul, an adviser to Salaam Fayyad, which makes this crystal clear:
“No Palestinian leader can ever accept this demand [for recognition as a Jewish state] even if the whole world recognizes Israel as a Jewish state,” he stressed. “The state of Israel belongs to all its citizens, the Palestinians [sic] owners of the land and the Jews living there.”
The Palestinians are telling us that what they mean by ‘peace’ and a ‘two-state solution’ is this: a state of ‘Palestine’ in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, in which Jews are forbidden to live, and a state of ‘Israel’, where — at least temporarily — Jews are permitted. This is why Abbas has said several times that “Netanyahu doesn’t accept the two-state solution.” Bibi’s two states are not the same as those of Abbas!
Aside from official statements, wouldn’t one expect that a regime that wanted to make peace would try to prepare its population by the use of its media and educational system? During the Oslo period, for example, Israel’s government went to great lengths to explain to its people its commitment to finally end the conflict with the Palestinians. But the Palestinian Authority has done nothing of the kind, instead maintaining a high-level of vicious anti-Israel and antisemitic propaganda, designed to whip up violent hatred and opposition to compromise — and to raise a generation ready to lay down their lives in order to replace Israel with an Arab state.
Palestinian goals have not changed a bit since the PLO was founded in 1964. And it never ceases to amaze me that those who insist that Israel is an ‘apartheid state’ because of security measures like the fence, fail to notice the racist, apartheid character of the PA’s demands!
Note that I haven’t even mentioned Hamas — whose control over the Gaza Strip and uncompromising antisemitic, genocidal position makes a meaningful ‘peace process’ impossible.
So Goldstone’s point is well taken. What is surprising is that despite all of the evidence — the Fatah convention, the official statements of Mahmoud Abbas, Salaam Fayyad and others, the continued vicious incitement of hatred from the official PA media, educational and religious systems — the US continues to try to pretend that there is a peace process!