I think it’s time that the Palestinians received a “spanking” and a “time out” for their behavior.
What else can we, as a rational world (sure!) do?
On the one hand, we have this small entity, divided into two, separate, vastly different camps (Gaza and the West Bank, Hamas and Fatah), with different stated objectives, yet claiming they are ready for a state.
Perhaps the West Bank is more or less ready for statehood, although how they’ll support themselves, I have no idea since they depend entirely on the largesse of the rest of the world, so far. Gaza, though? And, if a state is declared which includes Gaza and the West Bank, who will govern ALL of it? They can’t even agree to hold elections, much less govern together.
But, that is not the real issue for today.
We see the Palestinians continually refusing to negotiate until Israel stops all construction in the “settlements” (thank you Mr. Obama, for that) and more recently, until Israel agrees to the 1967 “borders” (the 1949 armistice lines) as borders of a Palestinian state.
Of course, as most who read my articles know, those armistice lines were NEVER intended to be borders. The UN made that very clear in 1967. Yet, the Palestinians steadfastly refuse to even negotiate until Israel and the US (and the rest of the world, most of whom have enthusiastically embraced it) cave in and agree to borders without negotiations.
As I’ve said before, what Netanyahu yesterday at the UN called “negotiating about negotiations” is in reality, a form of negotiations. As such, it requires a response.
The statement by the Quartet yesterday after Abbas’ and Netanyahu’s speeches at the UN provides some context for a response. Essentially, they said “No. Grow up and come back to the negotiating table without preconditions.”. That is the correct response.
Unfortunately, the Palestinians have developed an inflated self-image over the years. Perhaps it’s due to the way the world supports them financially, or the “darling” status conferred upon them by the entire Arab world publicly (in private, it’s quite another story – most of the Arab world can’t stand them), or perhaps they simply see an opportunity to get rid of Israel once and for all.
Because, make no mistake, that is their ultimate goal.
When Abbas says that Israel has been occupying “their” land for 63 years, he is not talking about the West Bank and Gaza, which only fell into Israeli hands in 1967. That’s only 44 years, not 63. And, Gaza has not been “occupied” by Israel since 2005. Abbas is clearly saying that ALL the land of Israel belongs to the Palestinians.
It is telling that he does NOT claim the land that comprises the state of Jordan. That would put him in a very precarious position, since Jordan would tell him to drop dead. And then, they’d probably help that happen. However, based on decisions made by the League of Nations in the early part of the Twentieth Century, Jordan occupies the lion’s share of what was designated at “Palestine” (and of which most was designated for a “Jewish Homeland”).
Unfortunately for Abbas, all his whining and complaining that the US and Israel (and the Quartet) are not giving him what he demands in his temper tantrums will not change the facts on the ground.
In the final analysis, regardless of the political games Abbas plays at the UN, declarations of a state on the “1967 “Borders””, lawsuits at the ICJ or ICC, or anything else, Israel will do what Israel feels it has to do.
Perhaps Mr. Abbas needs to go sit in the corner for awhile and contemplate what he and the Palestinians will end up with if he continues on the path to abrogate all agreements currently in place with Israel as a result of the Oslo accords. His actions yesterday clearly negate those accords, leaving the door open for Israel to determine whether or not it wants to annex parts of the West Bank, end commercial and tax agreements with the Palestinians, or simply declare a set of borders and let the Palestinians have their state, on Israel’s terms, and let the PA twist in the wind economically.
In the final analysis, the Palestinians have to learn that there is a cost for their lack of cooperation. All the money and assistance they receive SHOULD have some “strings” attached to it.
Sit down at the table, negotiate in good faith, with no preconditions, or lose the financial support that is the basis for the PA to function.
If they cannot function without massive assistance, perhaps they’re not really ready for a state……
Time for the spanking….