The Peace Process: View from the West Bank
Abbas's media, spokesmen and mosque imams have radicalized Palestinians to the point where many of them are no longer prepared to hear about peace. The conflict in the Middle East is not over a settlement or a checkpoint. Rather this is a conflict over the very existence of Israel.
The day the video was released containing US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's remarks that the "Palestinians are not interested whatsoever in peace," the PLO announced that it was studying the possibility of canceling the Oslo Accords.
The PLO announcement about rescinding the Oslo Accords — in addition to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's continued refusal to resume peace talks with Israel -- came after two days of discussions headed by Abbas, and show Romney's assessment to be correct.
For the past three years, Abbas has used the issue of settlements, initiated by the current US Obama administration, as an excuse to stay away from the negotiating table with Israel. Until then, the settlements did not seem to bother Abbas or his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, who conducted peace talks with successive Israeli governments while construction in the settlements continued.
Abbas decided to suspend the peace talks with the Israeli government because he prefers to impose a solution on Israel rather than achieving one through negotiations.
Romney is also correct in assuming that Palestinians remain "committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel."
The last time Palestinians held a free and fair election, in January 2006, a majority of Palestinians voted for Hamas, the radical Islamic movement committed to the destruction of Israel.
True, many Palestinians voted for Hamas because they wanted to punish Abbas's corruption-riddled Fatah faction, but at the end of the day, the Palestinians knew that they were casting their ballots for a terror movement that does not hesitate to dispatch suicide bombers and rockets to kill innocent civilians. Many Palestinians are convinced that Hamas would score another victory if another free and fair election were held in the West Bank and Gaza Strip these days.
The Palestinian Authority's declared policy in recent years has been to promote boycotts of Israel and criminalize all forms of normalization with Israelis. Abbas and his government have also devoted tremendous efforts to depict Israel as an apartheid state that must be ostracized by the rest of the world.
Abbas's media, spokesmen and mosque imams have radicalized Palestinians to a point where many of them are no longer prepared to hear about peace with Israel.
Abbas believes that with the help of the UN and other countries, he will be able to extract more concessions from Israel than if he returned to the negotiating table. Hence his decision to resume his effort to unilaterally seek UN recognition of a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines.
At almost at the same time the Romney video was released, Abbas announced that he was "determined" to file another request for membership in the UN during the General Assembly session in New York later this month.
Romney's prediction that a Palestinian state would pose a threat to Israel, and his fear of Iran's increased involvement, in the Middle East are not unjustified. Once Hamas extends its control from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank, Iran, Sudan and many Islamic terror groups will start flooding the area with weapons in preparation for jihad [holy war] against the "Zionist entity."
Were it not for Iran, Hizbollah would be powerless to direct tens of thousands of rockets toward Israel. Without Iran's support, Hamas would never have been able to remain in power in the Gaza Strip and acquire thousands of missiles and rockets. In the future, the Iranians will not miss an opportunity to set foot in the West Bank.
Anti-Israel sentiments in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and the rest of the Arab and Islamic countries are so high that Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood President, Mohamed Morsi, has not had the courage to utter the word Israel even once since he came to power.
Finally, how can anyone disagree with the position Romney also espoused toward the "two-state solution"? Hasn't the two-state solution already been realized? Didn't the Palestinians end up with, not one, but two states of their own -- one in the Gaza Strip and another in the West Bank?
Was it Israel's fault that Hamas forced the PLO out of the Gaza Strip in 2007? Was it Israel's fault that a majority of Palestinians voted in favor of Hamas and its terrorist agenda a year earlier?
The actions and words of Abbas and his aides over the past three years prove beyond any doubt that they have chosen to abandon the path of peace in favor of a huge diplomatic effort to delegitimize Israel in the eyes of the international community.
Romney should be commended for understanding that the conflict in the Middle East is not over a settlement or a checkpoint. Rather, this is a conflict over the very existence of Israel. In the Arab and Islamic world, there is still a majority of people who have not come to terms with Israel's right to exist. Unlike Barack Obama, Romney appears to have understood where the real problem lies.
Reader comments on this item
|Arab-Israel conflict and the Palestinian agenda of intolerance [179 words]||Batya Casper, Israelathebook.com||Sep 20, 2012 10:58|
|relief [46 words]||Joanne Brodie||Sep 20, 2012 08:00|
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by Ben Cohen
Now, with the Islamic State's self-proclaimed caliphate having captured key oil wells in the Middle East this year, foreign oil has become an even more lethal financial weapon-of-choice for those seeking to destroy democracy and further escalate the War on Terror.
That President Barack Obama failed even to mention oil as a critical factor in the war against IS during his speech to the nation on September 10, is an omission both revealing and dangerous in terms of how his administration wants to depict the stakes involved in this latest confrontation with the jihadis.
by Lawrence A. Franklin
One Pakistani recruiter of child suicide bombers describes these children as "tools provided by God."
Another Muslim cleric in a madrassa [Islamic boys' school] describes child suicide bombers as "a gift from Allah that we have an unlimited number willing to be sacrificed to teach Americans a lesson."
Using children as suicide bombers will stop when... they stop "condoning the killing of innocents."
by Denis MacEoin
"No religion condones the killing of innocents." — U.S. President Barack Obama, September 10, 2014.
"Islam is a religion of peace." — U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, September 13, 2014.
"There is a place for violence in Islam. There is a place for jihad in Islam." — U.K. Imam Anjem Choudary, CBN News, April 5, 2010.
Regrettably it is impossible to re-interpret the Qur'an in a "moderate" manner. The most famous modern interpretation by Sayyid Qutb (d. 1966), the Muslim Brotherhood ideologue, leads the reader again and again into political territory, where jihad is at the root of action.
If they deviated from the true faith -- as we are seeing in the Islamic State today -- "backsliders," like pagans, were to be fought until they either accepted Islam or were killed.
In India alone, between 60 and 80 million Hindus may have been put to death by Muslim armies between the years 1000-1525.
by Yaakov Lappin
Hamas's long-term ambitions are indistinguishable from those of Islamic State and al-Qaeda.
Hamas will now focus on its next goal -- trying to strengthen its presence in the West Bank and eventually toppling the Palestinian Authority from power there, just as it did in Gaza. If Israel were to withdraw from the West Bank, Hamas would certainly find such a goal easier to accomplish.
Nothing keeps the flames of jihad alight, and Hamas's popularity secure, like frequent wars.
by Alan M. Dershowitz