Why is Israel offering concessions in return for what was agreed to in past deals?
by Moshe Dann
Wait a minute. Wasn't Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state part of the Oslo Accords?
"The Government of the State of Israel and the PLO team… representing the Palestinian people, agree that it is time to put an end to decades of confrontation and conflict, recognize their mutual legitimate and political rights, and strive to live in peaceful coexistence and mutual dignity and security and achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement and historic reconciliation through the agreed political process."
If this isn't what Prime Minister Netanyahu is asking for now, what does this document mean?
And why is PM Netanyahu willing to make more concessions in return for something which was already agreed upon?
True, none of the major issues were dealt with, including "refugees," "settlements," "Jerusalem," etc. According to those behind the negotiations, that would have meant no agreement!
Thank you Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres for an agreement in which one side got most of what they wanted, and the other side got nothing. Thank you Alan Baker, for your legal "expertise," and Yossi Beilin for the PR cloud cover. Nice show.
Excuse me for asking, but, if the Oslo Accords, and Wye, and Hebron Agreements did not mean an end to incitement and terrorism, what do they mean? And, if these agreements do not mean what they say, why did Israel give up territory, help create a Palestinian army, and transfer billions of dollars to the PA?
If all of these agreements and Israeli concessions did not bring Israel closer to "peace," an "end to the conflict," and greater security and world acceptance, why were they made, and why is PM Netanyahu now back at square one?
De-legitimization must stop
If the PA has not lived up to its agreements, why doesn't President Peres object that he was misled? Why isn't he demanding that the Palestinians live up to their side of the bargain? Or, is he part of the campaign of disinformation?
The fact that PM Netanyahu needs to call for recognition, and is rejected by the PA, means that the agreements were a fake, and the Israeli people have been brainwashed.
That the Israeli government offers further concessions in return for what was agreed to during the past 17 years, is a disgrace.
It is a disgrace because it means that the "peace process" was a lie, and those who perpetrated it - deliberately, or, naively - have some explaining to do to the Israeli people. They include not only current and past government officials, but academics who supported this fraud, and especially the media which managed the brainwashing.
Those who oppose "the occupation" owe the Israeli people an explanation for why Palestinians reject any form of recognition of Israel's legitimacy – and why they remain silent in the face of that insult. Why do they call for boycotts of Israel, and refuse to demand PA compliance?
There is no need for further Israeli concessions. The Israeli government can announce that until and unless the PA accepts Israel's legitimacy, there is no basis for ongoing economic assistance, and no further cooperation on infrastructure.
For example, it is totally absurd that the Israeli government assists the PA in building the new city of Rawabi, near Ramallah, without such basic agreements. That this project, and others that are being planned, are supported by the Peres Center for Peace, without PA acceptance of Israel is mind-boggling.
PM Netanyahu's policy of unilaterally "freezing" Jewish construction led to this impasse. It's time to freeze the system that rewards PA non-compliance and contributes to undermining Israel, at home and the international community. PA de-legitimization of Israel must stop now.
An obstacle for Palestinians and those who support their demands, the question of recognition shows that the primary dispute – obviously – is not over territory, but over Israel's existence.
PM Netanyahu's demand that Palestinian leaders recognize Israel as a Jewish state is not a semantic tease; Israel's Jewish character is its raison d'etre, the "Jewish national home," and the essence of its sovereignty.
More Quotes About "Palestine"
"There is no such country as Palestine. 'Palestine' is a term the Zionists invented. There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria. 'Palestine' is alien to us. It is the Zionists who introduced it".
- Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, Syrian Arab leader to British Peel Commission, 1937 -
"There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not".
- Professor Philip Hitti, Arab historian, 1946 -
"It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but Southern Syria".
- Representant of Saudi Arabia at the United Nations, 1956 -
Concerning the Holy Land, the chairman of the Syrian Delegation at the Paris Peace Conference in February 1919 stated:
"The only Arab domination since the Conquest in 635 c.e. hardly lasted, as such, 22 years".
"There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent (valley of Jezreel, Galilea); not for thirty miles in either direction... One may ride ten miles hereabouts and not see ten human beings. For the sort of solitude to make one dreary, come to Galilee... Nazareth is forlorn... Jericho lies a mouldering ruin... Bethlehem and Bethany, in their poverty and humiliation... untenanted by any living creature... A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds... a silent, mournful expanse... a desolation... We never saw a human being on the whole route... Hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil had almost deserted the country... Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes... desolate and unlovely...".
- Mark Twain, "The Innocents Abroad", 1867 -
"In 1590 a 'simple English visitor' to Jerusalem wrote: 'Nothing there is to bescene but a little of the old walls, which is yet remayning and all the rest is grasse, mosse and weedes much like to a piece of rank or moist grounde'.".
- Gunner Edward Webbe, Palestine Exploration Fund,
Quarterly Statement, p. 86; de Haas, History, p. 338 -
"The land in Palestine is lacking in people to till its fertile soil".
- British archaeologist Thomas Shaw, mid-1700s -
"Palestine is a ruined and desolate land".
- Count Constantine François Volney, XVIII century French author and historian -
"The Arabs themselves cannot be considered but temporary residents. They pitched their tents in its grazing fields or built their places of refuge in its ruined cities. They created nothing in it. Since they were strangers to the land, they never became its masters. The desert wind that brought them hither could one day carry them away without their leaving behind them any sign of their passage through it".
- Comments by Christians concerning the Arabs in Palestine in the 1800s -
"Then we entered the hill district, and our path lay through the clattering bed of an ancient stream, whose brawling waters have rolled away into the past, along with the fierce and turbulent race who once inhabited these savage hills. There may have been cultivation here two thousand years ago. The mountains, or huge stony mounds environing this rough path, have level ridges all the way up to their summits; on these parallel ledges there is still some verdure and soil: when water flowed here, and the country was thronged with that extraordinary population, which, according to the Sacred Histories, was crowded into the region, these mountain steps may have been gardens and vineyards, such as we see now thriving along the hills of the Rhine. Now the district is quite deserted, and you ride among what seem to be so many petrified waterfalls. We saw no animals moving among the stony brakes; scarcely even a dozen little birds in the whole course of the ride".
- William Thackeray in "From Jaffa To Jerusalem", 1844 -
"The country is in a considerable degree empty of inhabitants and therefore its greatest need is of a body of population".
- James Finn, British Consul in 1857 -
"The area was underpopulated and remained economically stagnant until the arrival of the first Zionist pioneers in the 1880's, who came to rebuild the Jewish land. The country had remained "The Holy Land" in the religious and historic consciousness of mankind, which associated it with the Bible and the history of the Jewish people. Jewish development of the country also attracted large numbers of other immigrants - both Jewish and Arab. The road leading from Gaza to the north was only a summer track suitable for transport by camels and carts... Houses were all of mud. No windows were anywhere to be seen... The plows used were of wood... The yields were very poor... The sanitary conditions in the village [Yabna] were horrible... Schools did not exist... The rate of infant mortality was very high... The western part, toward the sea, was almost a desert... The villages in this area were few and thinly populated. Many ruins of villages were scattered over the area, as owing to the prevalence of malaria, many villages were deserted by their inhabitants".
- The report of the British Royal Commission, 1913 -