The Greek Parliament, on December 22, 2015, voted unanimously on a motion calling on Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to recognize the "State of Palestine."
Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, who was on an official visit to Athens, took the opportunity to say that the PA would no longer accept being called by any other name, and that passports with "State of Palestine" would be issued with this name.
The Deputy Foreign Minister of Israel, Tzipi Hotevely, responded by saying that Mahmoud Abbas was following a "flawed path that will lead him nowhere." Israel's former Ambassador to Canada, Alan Baker, in a report for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, noted that this was a "clear and flagrant violation of the Oslo agreements."
Abbas may well have chosen a "flawed path," but he seems to be going forward with it, doubtless hoping to increase the number of countries that recognize the non-existent "State of Palestine."
Abbas also continues to violate the once much-trumpeted Oslo Accords -- but they were violated from the start. They effectively did not even exist. They were based on an illusion, and based on lies.
The illusion was that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) could become a respectable, law-abiding government, renounce violence, and abide by an agreement.
The lies were that the PLO, representing the "Palestinian people," was ready to exchange "territories for peace" and actually desired to create a state living in peace side by side with Israel.
The illusion was quickly shattered. In 1993, as soon as the Oslo Accord was signed, PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, while visiting Johannesburg, compared it to the truce of Hudaibiya, a temporary agreement Muhammad signed with the Qurayesh tribe in 628 AD. In the truce, Muhammad had promised not to attack the tribe for ten years; but two years after that, when he had assembled more troops, he broke the truce, attacked with full force, and massacred the Qurayesh.
When Arafat became Chairman of the Palestinian Authority a few days later, he wasted no time in showing that the PA was still the PLO and that he had renounced exactly nothing.
Murderous attacks have hit Israel ever since then. They only declined when Israel built a defensive security barrier.
In the decade after Oslo, 1,400 Israelis were killed in terrorist attacks; thousands more were injured but survived, still mutilated.
In 2000 the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades came into being -- the "military" wing of the "moderate" Palestinian Authority ruling party, Fatah. As the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades organized suicide attacks and planted bombs, other Islamist terrorist groups also gained in importance, especially Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Palestinian Authority leaders negotiated with Israel, but the PA would never recognize Israel as a state for the Jewish people.
The PA also never stopped demanding innocent-sounding, "poison pill" concessions that would have meant the destruction of Israel. These included the "right of return," possibly for almost as many Palestinians as Israel's population. This demand has been a constant that would demographically overwhelm the Jews with Palestinians -- as if France were required admit 60 million Muslims.
Sadly, the Palestinians have only increased their violence. There have been more than 11,000 rocket attacks on a country not even as big as Vancouver Island. But most political leaders and journalists in the West stubbornly refuse to see it this way.
Successive Israeli governments have been prompted to behave as if they could not see that an unending series of onslaughts was happening to them. The Israelis have been told behave as if they had before them people with whom they could actually agree. It would be as if France were ordered to reach an agreement with al-Qaeda.
The late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's remark, that Israel has to "negotiate as if there were no terrorism," was repeated to them endlessly, as if terrorist murders were not daily taking place all around them.
Some Israeli governments offered to cede almost everything to the Palestinians. Ehud Olmert in 2008 went so far as to propose a total withdrawal from Judea and Samaria (the entire West Bank), and to abandon Israel's control over the Old City of Jerusalem; many Israeli political and military leaders told him such a withdrawal was a suicidal proposition. The Palestinians turned it down without so much as a counter-offer.
Over time, lies gain ground. Palestinians terrorist acts are often no longer described as terrorist acts but as "acts of resistance" against the "occupation."
The Palestinian Authority is now trying to be recognized as "State of Palestine" in the hope that words will make it so, despite its own signed commitments to negotiations, meaning that it too might have to offer something -- maybe an end to incitement (already agreed to under Oslo. but never implemented); the end of the conflict, perhaps recognition of Israel.
The Palestinian Authority is now an "observer state" at the United Nations. Abbas, now in the eleventh year of his four-year term, is received everywhere as a legitimate President. He does not say -- and no one else does either -- that he would not be alive today if Israel were not protecting him. Hamas has long been trying to kill him and supplant his government with its own.
Palestinian leaders rewrite history, and many Europeans even buy it. Many now believe that the Palestinian people existed since "ancient times," and are one of the most "oppressed" peoples on earth.
Palestinian leaders often state -- without even being contradicted even by the Church! -- that Jesus was a Palestinian. They deny he was born a Jew in a Jewish family. They asked -- and got ! -- UNESCO (in which "Palestine" has been a full member since 2011) to rename ancient Jewish sites as Islamic. According to a resolution passed on October 21, 2015 by UNESCO's General Conference, Rachel's Tomb is now "Bilal bin Rabah Mosque" and the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron is the "Ibrahimi Mosque."
In most Western media, Judea and Samaria are presented as "occupied Palestinian territories" and Israel is described as the "occupying power."
The presence of Jews in the West Bank -- home to the Jews for nearly 4,000 years -- is depicted as an "illegal intrusion." Yet people who presumably pass out at even the thought of ethnic cleansing anywhere, seem to have no problem with all Jews being expelled from Judea and Samaria -- and a future "State of Palestine."
These lies have placed Israel in a dangerous position.
Israel has a powerful army and a prosperous and dynamic economy. But Israel, a very small country, is possibly the most-threatened nation in the world. And because terrorist acts against Israelis are almost never described as terrorist acts, Israel is the only country that is found guilty of defending itself against terrorism. Israel is also the only country living next to a terrorist entity, and asked not to treat it as a terrorist entity.
Many Europeans are falling for Joseph Goebbels's supposed formula, that If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." Israel is now -- solely from propaganda and the falsification of history -- possibly the most unjustly demonized nation in history.
It is a country subjected to incessant diplomatic offensives by its enemies, end even by people -- such as J Street and the New Israel Fund -- that call themselves "friends." Israel is the only country that is always supposed to make "more concessions" to enemies who do not even hide their destructive intentions.
The Oslo Accords have been described as an act of peace. They were actually -- for the Palestinians -- an act of war.
They were a huge victory for the PLO, which was able to advance from there to other victories. The Palestinians set out, in their never-rescinded plan, to take over Israel by "stages" in their "Ten Point Plan."
The current Israeli government, like those that preceded it, adopts a defensive attitude, and seems to manage the status quo.
Malicious attacks continue from self-righteous Jew-haters, who pretend it is only Israel they dislike. The BDS movement keeps trying to find traction; fortunately, Israel has expanded its commerce to the Far East, where it is booming. The European Union recently decided to ask member countries to put discriminatory labels on products made by Jewish businesses located beyond the "borders of 1967", which were only armistice lines (at the Arabs' request) -- and never borders to begin with. Smear campaigns against Israel grow and disseminate their venom.
In Israel, Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked proposed a law requiring non-governmental organizations (NGOs) operating in Israel to declare all funding from foreign governments. "The blatant intervention of foreign countries in the State of Israel's internal matters through funding is an unprecedented phenomenon that violates all the rules and norms of relations between democratic countries," she stated.
The proposal is a step in the right direction: in the United States, organizations financed from abroad are subject to severe constraints.
More needs to be done. Inside Israel, various NGOs, under the pretext of "free speech," circulate seditious, anti-Israeli propaganda. They are internal enemies. They forge false evidence and send it to countries who want to drag Israel -- but no other country -- to the International Criminal Court. Such NGOs should be should be treated as the internal enemies that they are.
During the last years of his life, because he encouraged suicide attacks and incited children to seek death as martyrs, the Israeli government confined Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat to his Muqata presidential compound in Ramallah.
Because Mahmoud Abbas, the current Palestinian leader accused Israeli Jews of "desecrating" Al Aqsa Mosque with their "filthy feet," and added that "blood spilled in defense of the holy site is pure,", he bears direct responsibility for the current wave of murders of Israeli Jews. The Israeli government could confine him to his Muqata as they did with Arafat, and truthfully explain that a man who is guilty of incitement to murder innocent civilians going about their daily lives must not be allowed to roam freely.
Yasser Arafat (L) and Mahmoud Abbas, pictured in a Fatah propaganda poster. The Arabic text reads "Bearer of the trust" on top, and on the bottom: "I call on you to hold onto national unity. It is more precious than all of us."
The Israeli government could also honestly say that no negotiations are possible with an organization that supports terrorism, and teaches children to hate Jews.
The Israeli government could go even further, and explain to the world that the Palestinian Authority itself is still a terrorist organization, and cut off all political, economic and financial relationships with it.
The Western world should be asking Israel to stop supporting an organization, the Palestinian Authority, that daily backs terrorism; and Israel should be asking the Western world to stop supporting an organization, the Palestinian Authority, that supports terrorism and is on its way to creating yet another terrorist state -- especially at a time when the international terrorist threat is so intense and pervasive.
Of course, many European leaders would probably answer that they see only one terrorist state: Israel. Surreally, an EU court in December 2014 even removed Hamas from the EU list of banned terrorist organizations.
For now, while chaos is gaining momentum in the Middle East, the "Palestinian question" is far from a central concern for Muslim countries in the region. The main aim of Saudi Arabia is to survive the attempts to destabilize it coming from Iran. Some Saudi leaders might now even regard Israel as an ally.
In Egypt, the priority of its President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, is to contend with the deadly conflict in the Sinai.
At the same time, Iran is busy spreading terrorism and racing toward nuclear weapons capability, as well as the intercontinental ballistic missiles to deliver them. Iran is also breaking records executing its own citizens; holding political prisoners on trumped-up charges; saving what remains of the Assad regime in Syria and, with Russia, bolstering the power of the Hezbollah terrorist group in Lebanon.
In the midst of all this, John Kerry recently said something right: "Circumstances" lead "to seriously consider the possibility of the collapse of the Palestinian Authority."
The wave of murders triggered by Abbas at the beginning of September has had catastrophic effects on the finances of the Palestinian Authority. After Mahmoud Abbas has left the scene, an attempted takeover by Hamas or ISIS is virtually inevitable.
Kerry correctly added that "several Israeli ministers have made clear their opposition to a Palestinian state." It would be more accurate to say that several Israeli ministers seem to think that creating a state destined to become a terrorist state would be an extremely bad idea.
A few days ago, Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told high-level government officials that Israel has to "prevent the collapse of the Palestinian Authority, but be prepared in case the collapse occurs."
Opinion polls show that more than 75% of the Israeli Arabs define themselves as Israeli, and that more than 60% of them unreservedly define Israel as a Jewish country. The polls also show that 18% of Israeli Arabs support violence against the Jews.
For two decades, Israeli Arabs and Arabs living in Judea and Samaria have been poisoned by propaganda from the Palestinian Authority -- from textbooks; from official statements such as naming stadiums, streets and public squares after terrorists, and from the PA government-controlled media. The Palestinian people deserve a better leadership than this. Their current destructive leadership, and the even more destructive leadership that could well follow it, should not be encouraged -- by treacherous Europeans or anyone else.
Guy Millière, a professor at the University of Paris, has published 27 books.