As the Jerusalem Post has reported, Saeb Erekat addressed the issue of the possibility of negotiations with Israel but he was, shall we say, a bit upset:-“We are ready to discuss all final status issues once Israel proves its seriousness and commitment by freezing all its illegal settlement construction in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, especially in occupied east Jerusalem,” Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said after a Ramallah meeting with the Quartet.However, I always thought that the matter of ''settlement'', which, incidentatlly, as "close settlement on the land" - and that "land" surely included at least all of the territory between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River - was specifically included in Article 6 of the League of Nations decision to award Gt. Britain a Mandate for Palestine and within the Oslo Accords framework was a "final status issue". If final, it is not "intermediate" so why deal with it now?
Furthermore, Erekat said that Israel must also accept “clear terms of reference, specifically the 1967 border. We cannot understate the importance of this issue...These are not favors that Israel is doing for us. This is an integral component of the formula for a credible exchange that would ensure a speedy and successful conclusion to the occupation and conflict”
But he also said something additional:''There is no doubt about the fact that Israeli settlements and the two-state solution are mutually exclusiveAnd this is confirmed by the PA''s Wafa agency:
In a statement issued following the meeting held at the United Nations headquarters in Jerusalem...chief negotiator Saeb Erekat re-emphasized the importance of halting settlements... “We cannot understate the importance of this issue. There is no doubt about the fact that Israeli settlements and the two-state solution are mutually exclusive,” he added.
And to complete the PA''s "negotiating position", Erekat stressed:
“We are ready to discuss all final status issues once Israel proves its seriousness and commitment by freezing all its illegal settlement construction in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, especially in occupied East Jerusalem,"
There are many things, in my opinion, that could - and should - be mutually exclusive. Among them I would count
Terror and Peace.Incitement and Peace.Corrupt educational content and Peace.False commitment to negotiations and Peace.Strategic threats and Peace.
I could go on, and should, but I am sure you understand that I am pointing out a great failing of the PA. And more important, why should Jews residing in the territory of a proposed second Arab state in the former territory of the Mandate for Palestine exclude, mutually, a "two-state solution"? Obviously, Arabs can live in Israel but that does not mutually exclude anything and especially not their human rights, their civil liberties nor the opportunity to live in coexistence with Jews, correct?
If I understand Erekat, he is demanding that one geopolitical entity, i.e., that purported "Palestine" state, should be allowed to deny Jews the right to live in its area, the heart of the Jewish national home, incidentally, while the other entity, that is, Israel, must retain a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic composite, even while the Arabs residing therein are demanding ethnic autonomy.For, as we know:Israeli Arabs are demanding cultural, religious and educational autonomy, and the right to veto government decisions on national issues that affect them. The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee Tuesday released a document entitled "The Future Vision of the Palestinian Arabs in Israel." It stipulates that Israeli Arabs will demand that during the next two decades Israel become a binational state alongside an independent Palestinian state.
Is that mutually fair?
Would that not be what could be grasped as a form of an Islamic apatheid?
Or is that a rather solely a unique all-inclusive characteristic of the Arabs desiring to be "Palestinians"?Is that what Israel is being asked to accept, without negotiations?^