Fatah head Mahmoud Abbas, current chairman of the Palestinian Authority, claims that Israel is trying to assassinate him. Abbas told an Egyptian news agency this week that Israel had murdered his predecessor,Yasser Arafat – despite Arafat’s commitment to peace – and that he is afraid of suffering the same fate.
The man is beyond belief, and the US keeps paying him!
The implication is that he is for peace and a two-state solution, and Israel, which does not want peace, might kill him for his courageous stance, like his mentor Arafat.
In the real world the PA is doing its best to avoid negotiations with Israel, because it knows that its bottom lines — strict 1949 borders, return of ‘refugees’ to Israel, no recognition of Israel as the state of the Jewish people, etc. — are unacceptable to either Israel or the US.
This is because they do not represent a compromise; they represent the whole ball game. Even Barack Obama has ruled out a right of return, has called for recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, and has favored land swaps.
So Abbas insists that the fact that Israel will not extend its building freeze to East Jerusalem means that it is impossible to talk. Of course, extending the ill-considered freeze would prejudge the status of East Jerusalem, something which is theoretically part of the theoretical negotiations. It’s bad enough that a cloud has been cast over all the rest of Judea and Samaria.
In any event, Israel is not building new settlements and there’s no connection between construction anywhere and the possibility of holding negotiations.
Israel understands quite well that neither Abbas or anyone else associated with the PA wants a ‘peace’ agreement that would be anything other than a complete capitulation to all of their demands. Even if someone did, he would receive no backing and probably be in physical danger from more extremist elements.
So killing Abbas would get Israel exactly nothing, just as killing Arafat in 2004 would not have. Israel could have and should have killed Arafat in 1982, but that’s another story.
The legend about Israel having poisoned Arafat — most authorities think it more likely that he died from complications of AIDS or was poisoned by Palestinian rivals — has joined Arab mythology along with the one about the Mossad’s responsibility for 9/11. It’s a good story, though, and Abbas used his interview to get in another lick at Israel.
The so-called ‘peace process’ which the US is bound and determined to ‘restart’ yet again is a diversion from more serious issues — Iran — as well as an excuse for the US and Europe to slice bits off of Israel in pursuit of their real policy goal. That is to shrink Israel as close to the 1949 lines as possible in order to appease Saudi Arabia, which has been pressuring the US to oppose a Jewish state in Palestine at least since Ibn Saud met with Roosevelt in February of 1945.
Apparently the plan goes just this far, with a sort of hazy idea that security problems will be ironed out after the main goal has been attained. This is the same kind of reasoning, by the way, that brought us the disaster in Iraq.
How to make the tiny Palestinian state viable, how to defuse the terrorists in Judea and Samaria when the IDF pulls out, what to do about Hamas, what about the crime and corruption-ridden Palestinian society and politics, what about the influence of Iran by way of its proxies Hamas and Hizbullah, etc. — all of these issues are ‘handled’ by wishful thinking, just like the problems of post-Saddam Iraq.
In truth, the US and Europe care as little for Israel and the Palestinians as they did for the Iraqis. Peace can come only when the outside forces — in this case the West, Iran and Saudi Arabia leave the area alone. Without the ‘encouragement’ that today leads Palestinian Arabs to believe that they will succeed in getting the Jews out of the region, perhaps a realistic leadership could arise that will accept the idea of a state alongside Israel. But I’m not holding my breath.