Tuesday, June 26, 2007

'No' to false trappings of sovereignty

Daoud Kuttab is a regular contributor to The Jerusalem Post. He's considered a moderate. (See another blog entry on the absurdity of the way extremist Arabs are labeled as moderate.) I just can't avoid commenting on parts of his June 25 Jerusalem Post column 'No' to false trappings of sovereignty.

Kuttab: One of the paradoxes of the internal conflict in Palestine is that Palestinians are fighting each other without any regard to the fact that the Israeli occupation continues unabated.

Even if one ignores the reality that, for most practical purposes, the so-called occupation ended early during the Oslo fiasco, with the overwhelming majority of Palestinian Arabs in the disputed territories have been living under their own corrupt government for many years, it's utterly absurd to assert the Israeli occupation continues unabated.

Kuttab: Forty years after the 1967 Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank - including Jerusalem - Palestinians have failed to find the magic formula for their liberation.

They've attempted cross border violence (late 60s), Arab and international diplomacy (70s and 80s), the first intifada ('87), secret talks ('93 Oslo) suicide attacks (90s and second intifada), cross border rockets '06 and '07), regional Arab initiatives (2000, repeated 2007), international initiatives and peace envoys (since '67), but nothing has succeeded in cracking the Israel occupation.

The one thing they haven't tried is an honest effort at ending their love affair with terrorism, giving up their dream of destroying Israel and trying to reach a reasonable accommodation with a democratic country that has made it crystal clear it wants nothing to do with running the lives of Palestinian Arabs and just want to live in peace.

Kuttab: With Gazans unable to go to work in Israel and without any resources for economic viability, the Palestinians of Gaza remained totally dependent on Israel &helips;.

Does Kuttab really think Israel has an obligation to let a hostile population cross into Israel? One of the attributes of sovereignty is the right to determine who enters. Of course, Palestinian Arabs had no difficulty entering Israel until the first intifada, when they decided to reverse all the progress they had made since 1967.

Meanwhile, there's no reason for the Arabs in Gaza, or in Judea and Samaria, to be dependent on Israel. They have hundreds of thousands of brethren in the Middle East with tremendous economic resources who could easily help them.

Kuttab: THE FALSE trappings of a state provided to Palestinians as part of the Oslo peace process and the famous White House handshake in 1993 has hurt more than helped Palestinians.

This is correct, since instead of seizing the opportunity and building a viable society, the Palestinian Authority created a terrorist entity and brought up a generation taught to hate. The Palestinian Arab leadership reversed the adage Make Love, Not War with a vengeance.

Despite Kuttab's arguments otherwise, the Palestinian Arabs have enjoyed de facto sovereignty for years. The result has been the creation of two irredentist, terrorist Palestinian Arab entities, thousands of unnecessary deaths and the setting back for decades of any hopes for a true peace and for normal lives.

It's time for the Palestinian Arabs to say 'no' to the self-directed destruction of their society and 'yes' to finally reaching out to Israel in peace.

It takes two to make peace; Israel can't do it alone.

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