Jews? Oy!

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Friday that under no circumstances would the PA sign an agreement with Israel which required the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state or a land swap.

What’s the excuse Abbas gave?

“The PA recognized Israel’s existence in 1993, and now Israel needs to recognize the Palestinian state in line with the 1967 borders,” Abbas said during a meeting…

He explains that he is referring to 1967 borders. Of course, there are no 1967 borders, he is referring to the 1949 armistice lines which the Arabs refused to accept as borders, apparently in the hope they would conquer more of Israel in the future. In 1967, however, after attacking Israel, Jordan lost the war and its hold over east Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria which they had named “West Bank.” Israel then annexed the eastern part of Jerusalem but not the West Bank.

About 80% of Israelis who live in towns in the West Bank/Judea and Samaria, live very close to the Green Line, which is the demarcation point of the 1949 armistice lines and what Abbas calls “1967 borders.” In the deals offered by Israel to the Palestinians over the past decade, they have offered 100% of Gaza and 95%-97% of Judea and Samaria. The idea is that these heavily populated Israeli neighborhoods and towns would be annexed to Israel. In exchange, Israel has offered the Palestinians land inside Israel which is contiguous with land they would control in their new Palestine.

The other element of “1967 borders” is, of course, eastern Jerusalem, which includes the holiest site for Jews, the Western Wall. Prior to 1967, under Jordanian control, no Jews were permitted to enter this area at all, Jews were not permitted to have citizenship or even live in these areas. Before 1948 when Jordan conquered this area, Jews were only permitted to be at the Western Wall based on restrictions established by Muslim authorities (and enforced by the British) which restricted the number of visitors drastically and did not permit things such as the blowing of the shofar – ram’s horn – which is a custom going back to the days of the Temple. Today, under Israeli rule, there are no such restrictions while Muslims and Christians also pray openly and freely in their respective holy places.

What Abbas is saying, in effect, is that this part of Jerusalem, including the Jewish Quarter which was razed by the Jordanians and rebuilt by the Israelis, must go to the Palestinians.

Now just to add one last bit of clarification. None of the area east of the “1967 borders” or west of the “1967 borders” was ever under Palestinian control; not under their sovereign control and not even under their figurative control. First the Ottomans controlled all of the province called Palestine as part of their empire, and then the British controlled it as part of their agreement to bring about the establishment of a “home for the Jewish people” as required by the League of Nations, predecessor to the UN, in 1922.

Of course, the Israelis have no intention of giving up the Western Wall or the Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem. In offers of peace made by Barak and Olmert, the former offered shared sovereignty over eastern Jerusalem and the latter offered the same but recommended an international protectorate to be “sovereign” in the Holy Basin where the key holy sites for Judaism, Christianity and Islam reside.

Abbas and his predecessor, Arafat, rejected those offers. There does not need to be any more evidence as to what their goals are and how ridiculous the “peace process” has become. If the Palestinians “recognize Israel” but not as the state of the Jewish nation, and refuse to give up their dream of gaining control of Judaism’s holiest site, then there isn’t much left to discuss.

These rejections by the Palestinians are not made in a vacuum. To understand their reasoning, one need only listen to some Fatah Central Committee (essentially the executive decision-making body of the parent movement of the Palestinian Authority) members:

Jamal Muhaisen, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, said that it was “impossible” for the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

“No Palestinian could ever accept such a demand, no matter where he is and what job he holds,” he said. “This recognition would scrap the right of return for the Palestinian refugees and endanger the status of the Palestinians living in the territories that were occupied in 1948.”

Or listen to Hassan Khraisheh, deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council,

“By saying he will recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Abed Rabbo has crossed all red lines,” Khraisheh said. “These remarks harm the right of return and our people in the territories occupied in 1948.”

These statements clarify why Palestinians won’t declare Israel a Jewish state. They still intend to bring to Israel all the descendants of those refugees who left in 1948, and together with the Israeli Arabs – to whom they refer as “Palestinians” and “our people” – create an “Israel” that is essentially another Arab, Muslim country. That country, would, of course, be joined to the new Palestine in Judea and Samaria. Needless to say, at that point, they would hope to join the two Palestines to the biggest section of original Palestine, Jordan, which has a majority of Palestinian inhabitants.

That’s a wonderful dream that has nothing to do with reality or peace.

The Palestinians are now making a move to take this to the UN Security Council to have the Council declare a Palestinian state on “1967 borders.” They appear to have tacit consent from the French and the Spanish, and possibly even from Obama. The UNSC’s resolutions are considered to be enforceable laws and therefore bear great import here. The Council would have to get around a previous resolution, 242, which would seem problematic, but anything is possible with the Obama administration, including abstention from a vote, which would enable the other members of the Council to do the Palestinians’ dirty work for them.

Israel has now began to negotiate with Hamas over Gilad Shalit. Presumably, this is a signal to the PA and Fatah that if they continue to play hardball in this way, then Israel will stop protecting them from Hamas as it has been doing for years and might even enable Hamas to win control of the Palestinian population in the West Bank/Judea and Samaria by giving them a “victory” over Israel in the release of 1000 prisoners for this one soldier.

Since the PA has now proven in its statements and claims that its goals are the same as those of Hamas, Israel may be reaching the point where it refuses to whitewash the PA’s and Fatah’s two-faced game where it continues to speak about peace in the most sophisticated diplomatic style but in reality seeks to undermine Israel’s legitimacy, drives the international boycott efforts against it and continues to speak of “peace” as an outcome where the self-determination of the Jewish people is nixed and another Arab, Muslim state is born. It may well be that at least with Hamas in control, the truth will be plain for all to see.

Here are previous essays about this topic:

The Palestinian plan to keep stalling is working to perfection

The Palestinians Think They are in the Endgame

The Palestinian Endgame Enters High Gear

More About the Palestinian Endgame

The Palestinians Believe They Have Israel in a Corner

Details of Barak’s Taba Plan

Ehud Olmert’s Insanely Generous Peace Offer/Palestinians Predict They Won’t Talk to Israelis with Obama in Office/a> with More Details by Olmert Himself.

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  • Well what a stupid Israeli policy it was to begin with-to have Israeli leaders praise and whitewash the PA over and over again on TV, while the PA (Fatah) leaders were inciting against Israel both to the international community and to the Palestinians. Was this another one of Peres’s brilliant ideas?

    • No Tori, Peres hasn’t been in power for a while. The last leader from the Left, in fact, was Barak who lost the election in 2001 to Sharon. Nope, this policy came into place predominantly after Hamas took over Gaza and the PA needed to be protected from them in Judea and Samaria/West Bank.

  • If I understand this article correctly, the only deal the Palestinians will accept is one that gives them everything they want in return for absolutely nothing.
    Interestingly, Obama sees nothing wrong with this. Let’s hope and pray that he never gets the chance to negotiate for America!!

  • I never heard Sharon badmouthing Abbas in public either. The whitewashing of the PA has been in place since Arafat died.

  • Heavens no, ANOTHER “arab muslim” state? But there are so many of those vermin already!

    If being Arab and Muslim was sufficient, the refugees would have been content to settle in whatever countries absorbed after the zionists ethnically cleansed them. They want there own state. And If I was them, I’d be playing for all the cards. They have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

    To my mind; time is on the side of the Palestinians and other wretched peoples. It’s even on the side of the Arabs living in Israel. Israel is a crusader state that will have outlived it’s usefulness or ability to enforce it’s ethnic character unless the herrenvolk get serious about exterminating the arabs and other undesirables that surround them on all sides and within.

  • Abbas is content to let the focus remain on Israel and settlements. He’ll either get renewed US pressure on Israel (post-Nov. 2, of course) or benefit when Israel gets blamed for the collapse of the present round of talks.

    Conversely, Abbas can’t be seen as more indulgent of Israel than President Obama.

    As long as he has a friend in the White House whose first impulse is to strong-arm Israel, Abbas has little incentive but to sit and wait, while moving leftward in the context of Palestinian politics. In a very broad sense, Abbas can view the first 22 months of the Obama years as having been favorable to short- and long-term Palestinian interests.

  • Um, DRR, we don’t know that the Palestinians would have been content to settle in other countries because the one country that has been generous about offering Palestinians citizenship and rights equal to them is Jordan. Most Palestinian Jordanians have not expressed a desire to return to Israel, unlike, say, the Lebanese Palestinians who have no civil rights there whatsoever or any possibility of gaining citizenship even though most of them were born in Lebanon.

    Now, seriously, if you are so enchanted with the standards of living, quality of life, life expectancy, per capita incomes, levels of education, treatment of women, treatment of ethnic minorities, treatment of religious minorities, political regimes and the quality of the press in Arab, Muslim states, by all means please move to one. My opinion is that Israel offers a vastly superior alternative to what those countries have to offer. Judging by both Hamas and Fatah’s manner of leading their people, I think it’s a safe bet to say that if Israel were to become the 23rd Arab-Muslim state, it would quickly regress into what those other countries continue to offer their citizens.

    As for having nothing to gain by establishing their own state, I guess you must be right since they don’t want to do it. Is it to their advantage to keep waiting? Possibly. Then again, if you visit Israel these days, it becomes pretty hard to imagine that they could erase or modify what has been created there over these past 60 years. They can dream, but dreams don’t always come true, especially because the other side, the Israelis, have a great deal of justice in their cause. This conflict is not clear cut by any means.

  • Actually, it probably is to Abbas’s advantage to declare a state, perhaps via the UN, with provisional borders and an interim head of state, Abbas himself, serving indefinitely pending final resolution of outstanding issues with Israel…. We’ll see what happens in the months after Fiorina beats Boxer.

  • Boxer will win.

    It is to Abbas’s advantage to declare a state if the UNSC gives him east Jerusalem and 1967/1949 borders. I just don’t see how they can without contravening 242.