Onlookers take photographs as the Palestinian flag is being raised by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (not pictured) in a ceremony outside the United Nations during the 70th session of the U. N. General Assembly in New York, September 30, 2015. Even though Palestine is not a member of the United.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
I was listening to my favorite podcast, and the conversation of the day was focused on the emptiness that comes with fulfillment. One of the hosts had finally received his “blue check-mark” on Twitter, confirming that he was a verified user, it being somewhat of a status symbol in the media echo-chamber. His hunt for the blue check had been a theme for several years, and listeners like myself had taken great pleasure in hearing him lament the fact that despite his followers and bona-fides, he had gone without. But now that he had it, now that the fight was over, he half-jokingly complained that he felt as if he’d lost his way.
Even if this conversation was held somewhat in jest, it made me think of a similar loop of discontent, much closer to my own life, and what would happen if we unilaterally cut the circuit and stepped out of the ring.
The Camp David accord in 1978, the 1991 Madrid conference, The Oslo agreement, the bridging proposal of Taba, The UN-Quartet roadmap and the Geneva accord in 2003, Annapolis under Bush and Washington in 2010 under Obama – In the 48 years since the Middle East war of June 1967, there have been many peace plans and even more negotiations. Some have been successful, including those between Egypt and Israel and Israel and Jordan, but a final settlement has yet to be signed in the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians.
We have been locked in this dance for almost 50 years, going back and forth to one-seated negotiation-tables, and all we have gotten in return is international condemnation and bi-annual wars. As we all know that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, I believe it is time to consider trying another route.
Imagine if Israel was to unilaterally announce a Palestinian state using the pre-1967 borders as a baseline but keeping Jerusalem as the undivided Israeli capital and making land-swaps to accommodate the largest Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, then withdrawing troops and settlers from and walling off this area. Israel could at that point withdraw its objection to UN membership for Palestine which would put the burden of ending terrorism squarely on the Palestinians, also creating a link between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, referred to by Bill Clinton as the “permanent safe passage” in the 2000 Clinton Parameters.
Such a bold move would remove the raison d’etre of the Palestinian movement; it would make the absurd idea of perpetual inherited refugee status moot and put the responsibility of the Palestinian people on its elected leadership, where it belongs.
The idea of making a swift unilateral move may seem absurd on the face of it, but we need to consider the fact that the Palestinian side has already proposed this by declaring statehood and forcing Israel’s hand, aided and abetted by the international community. As of now, we are locked into managing the conflict in perpetuity, something that drains not only massive resources from our state, resources that are needed elsewhere, but also spills precious Jewish blood on our land.
Many of us, myself included, believe that the cause of Palestinian statehood is built not to be realized, and this is proven by the numerous offers given by Israel but summarily rejected by a leadership that feeds of blood and hate. Every penny of the massive amounts it is given in foreign aid, the Palestinian Authority spends on warfare rather than nation building, and in lieu of borders it is able to get away with such a brazen contradiction. Were they a state they would not only have the responsibility of ruling over and providing for its own people, it would also have to live up to the benchmarks of other democratic states, and suffer the same scrutiny when it comes to human rights and public practices.
So I suggest we give them what they ask for. A state, with all the responsibilities that come with it, thus taking away any excuse the international community may have to criticize our attempts to defend our people and our land. The PA is riding high on the fact that is it now an undefined entity, and everything it does tell us that it plans to stay that way. Let us play their hand for them and give them what they ask for, only to find that when given what they want, there is little else there but emptiness and discontent.The author is a political consultant and writer who contributes to such publications as Israel Hayom, Commentary Magazine, Mosaic and Ricochet. Follow her on Twitter @ truthandfiction.