There was never any doubt that the international community would recognize a Palestinian terror government.
After all, the charter of the PLO – the controlling faction of the Palestinian Authority – explicitly calls for Israel’s destruction, as does the constitution of PA “President” Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party, which itself was founded as a “resistance” group. By corollary, Abbas refuses to recognize the Jewish state’s right to exist in any borders, presupposing that it has none.
But this never prevented the international community, including the United States, from embracing the Palestinian leadership as a “partner for peace” to the tune of billions of dollars annually, a fair portion of which already is allocated to paying the salaries of Hamas bureaucrats in Gaza, not to mention jailed Palestinian murderers.
The real question is why Jerusalem expected differently, leaving it unprepared for an eminently predictable scenario.
The Israeli government has been operating on a faulty premise since 1993, when it signed the Oslo Accords with arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat, effectively importing his terror infrastructure from faraway Tunis to the Jewish people’s biblical heartland, on the very outskirts of Israel’s major population centers.
The peace process was always a hoax, masking – poorly – the perpetual Palestinian refusal to accept the verdict of 1947/48; both of the United Nations and the ensuing war. While this Palestinian revanchism has become increasingly explicit with time, it should have been perceived as the writing on the wall for those who prefer to confront rather than escape reality.
The Palestinian national movement – beginning with Haj Amin al-Husseini, the former grand mufti of Jerusalem, Nazi collaborator and Palestinian “godfather” – was founded, and has since been predicated on the total rejection of Jewish sovereignty. It is the raison d’etre of Abbas, as it is for Hamas. This accounts for Abbas’ repeated assertions that there are no conceptual differences between his Fatah party and the designated terror group.
For over two decades, then, Israel has been pursuing a fiction – the phony two-state “solution” – which has become a concept “too big to fail.” The international community has invested too much time, effort and “prestige” into the peace process to ever discard it.
Meanwhile, the Israeli Left, whose policies have been thoroughly discredited at the ballot box repeatedly but which nevertheless maintains a stranglehold on various influential institutions, including the media, continues to provide cover for the professional peace processors’ fantasies, because in the absence of the process, the Left’s entire political platform would evaporate instantaneously.
But Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has, for his part, no excuse to continue the charade.
Israel’s prime minister failed his constituency miserably when he accepted the legitimacy of Palestinian statehood in 2009, after vowing not to in his election campaign. The move could perhaps have been justified as a way to curry favor with Washington in order to tackle a more pressing existential matter: Iran’s atomic program. But as it has become increasingly clear that Obama’s embrace of yet another terror regime will, nonetheless, eventually allow Tehran to go nuclear, Netanyahu’s continued support for the two-state lie (especially when considering his supposed ideological predilections) has become indefensible.
Netanyahu has been duped countless times by Obama, an unreliable ally who has courted some of Israel’s worst enemies (the latest reports suggest the White House conducted secret back-channel negotiations with Hamas for six months before signing off on its inclusion in the Palestinian government).
Nevertheless, Netanyahu repeatedly has folded in the face of pressure by making inexcusable “bold sacrifices” for a peace nobody on the other side wants. Even the recent release of dozens of murderers in exchange for nothing garnered Israel no “points” with anyone.
Netanyahu’s actions – like those of the Israeli Left – have set a horrible precedent. One cannot expect Washington to stop funding the Palestinians, when on the very same day that the terror government was sworn in Jerusalem transferred half a million shekels in collected tax revenue to it. Likewise, the despicable decision to allow outgoing President Shimon Peres to travel to the Vatican in order to “pray for peace” with the man that just chose terror over peace. Peres’s photo- op with Abbas in Rome is a fitting end to the career of the man most responsible for Israel’s biggest-ever strategic blunder.
The self-flagellation must end before it is too late.
The government must stop depending on, and conditioning its actions upon, those who cannot be relied upon. It is futile to continue pandering to international opinion which has been shown time and again to be firmly anti-Israel.
Rather, Netanyahu should begin implementing the policy for which he was elected.
Indeed, nothing would be better for Israel than terminating the phony peace process, at least until such time that a real Palestinian peace camp emerges.
The challenges, while formidable, would not be insurmountable.
Unshackled from the death grip of the peace process, Israel’s options would greatly expand. And while none are perfect, there are alternatives, many of which have been expounded in these very pages.
A few examples include the total annexation of the West Bank and the subsequent application of Israeli law therein; the unilateral delineation of borders, based on IDF security assessments, leaving the Palestinian Authority to do as it so desires in the remaining areas; cutting all ties to the Palestinian leadership, allowing it to collapse, and then providing Arab residents of the West Bank with generous relocation packages.
(This proposal, repeatedly espoused by columnist Martin Sherman, would, seemingly, necessitate the entrenchment of the “occupation” at least temporarily in order to fill the resulting security vacuum.) What is certain is that Israel can no longer afford to engage in a fraud which has no chance of succeeding and which has caused its standing to plummet to previously unknown depths.
The Jewish state has been stuck with a vicious sham for over two decades, the supposed pursuit of peace. The notion is entirely foreign in the Middle East where even Muslims (Sunni vs. Shi’ite) mercilessly kill each other by the tens of thousands in places like Syria and Iraq. It is anathema to the vast majority of Palestinians, in particular.
Over 100 years ago an impossible dream was conceived to create a state for the beleaguered Jews, where they could for the first time in 2,000 years be masters of their own destiny.
That dream has been destroyed by the peace process, with the very legitimacy of the Jewish state now contingent on the eventual formation of a Palestinian terror state.
Israel has allowed its sovereignty to be eroded bit by bit, and unless the Jewish state extricates itself from this insanity, the international community will go on perpetuating the two-state lie until Israel is weakened to such a point whereby the real “solution” of its enemies can be actualized.
Israel has been destroyed before; it might never have been reconstituted if Jewish farmers and Holocaust survivors had not vanquished seven invading Arab armies in 1948.
Our country was a hair’s breadth away from again being wiped off the map as recently as the Yom Kippur War.
The ongoing existence of a Jewish state is neither inevitable nor guaranteed.
Israel, rather, is the tangible embodiment of an ideal. A strong commitment to this ideal by its people, and its government, is essential to the country’s survival.
But Zionism, which is grounded in the belief in Jewish rights, as opposed to Palestinian rights, is being increasingly invalidated along with the desire of its adherents.
The phony peace process, which entails the constant abrogation of Jewish rights for the benefit of sworn enemies, is fully to blame.
Israel has two choices: Either abandon the peace process or continue the slow death of trying to appease the very people holding the knife to its throat.
The author is a correspondent for i24 News, an international news network which broadcasts from Jaffa.