Yesterday afternoon I attended a talk given by Rabbi David Saperstein of the Union for Reform Judaism’s Religious Action Center. He is, of course, a proponent of the ‘peace process’; indeed, he thinks that the only way that Israel can survive is by pursuing a two-state solution — a compromise that will satisfy Israel’s need for security and the Palestinians’ national aspirations.
I was allowed to ask one question, and I made the same argument that I did in “Mitchell fails to understand Palestinian goals” I asked him:
What if it turns out that Israeli security is incompatible with Palestinian aspirations?
As long as that is true, then there cannot be a stable two-state solution. The Palestinians will either not agree to, or not abide by, any agreement that allows Israel to continue to breathe. We saw how the former option played out in 2000, when Arafat rejected a two-state solution in favor of war.
In my question I brought up the Pew Global Attitudes Project survey of June 2007 as evidence that not only the Palestinian leadership felt this way, but also the grass roots. An overwhelming 77% said that Palestinian aspirations and Israel’s existence could not coexist.
“No,” he said, “that survey was misinterpreted. It asked a question about whether Palestinians thought Israel would give them their rights, not whether they could ever get them while Israel exists.” And went on to other things.
Well, decide for yourself. Here is the question from page 118 of the survey linked above:
Q.60 Which statement comes closest to your opinion? 1) A way can be found for the state of Israel to exist so that the rights and needs of the Palestinian people are taken care of OR, 2) the rights and needs of the Palestinian people cannot be taken care of as long as the state of Israel exists?
And here is the answer: 16% chose statement 1), 77% chose statement 2), and 7% did not know or chose not to answer.
The next question also tells us a lot about the Palestinian mindset:
Q.61 Who is mostly responsible for the fact that the Palestinians do not have a state of their own – Israelis or the Palestinians themselves?
47% felt that Israel was primarily responsible and only 10% blamed the Palestinians. The others divided up into 15% who blamed both sides, 13% the Arab nations, 10% the always-handy US (probably because we supported Israel), and a total of 6% who found other culprits or didn’t know. What’s remarkable — and an indication of what a friend who is an AA member calls ‘an alcoholic personality’ on their part — is that so few were prepared to take any responsibility, especially after 2000.
Now, for those who say “that was Arafat, this is today”, I submit the following:
[Last] week Palestinian Authority [PA] Chairman Mahmoud Abbas once again honored the memory of the terrorist Dalal Mughrabi – this time by sponsoring a ceremony celebrating the 50th anniversary of her birth. Mughrabi led the worst terror attack in Israel’s history in 1978, when she and other terrorists hijacked a bus and killed 37 civilians. Present at the ceremony were Palestinian dignitaries and a children’s marching band. Earlier this year, Abbas sponsored a computer center named after Mughrabi…
A movement characterized by terrorism which continues to glorify murderers as its greatest heroes — and they don’t see why their problems are to a great extent their own responsibility!