Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Neglecting the Heart of the Problem

The following was sent as a letter to the editor of The New Britain Herald:

It's disappointing that the Associated Press article "Abbas Asks US to Step Into Settlement Dispute," published September 8 on the eve of the Jewish New Year, helps spread misleading Arab propaganda while totally omitting any reference to the statements of the supposedly "moderate" Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas which demonstrate the heart of the problem: the continued refusal of the Palestinian Arabs to end their drive to destroy Israel and instead negotiate, in good faith, the peace that is in the best interest of all the people involved.

In the Palestinian Authority's own Al-Ayyam newspaper, Abbas is quoted as saying "If they [the Israelis] demand concessions on the rights of the refugees or the 1967 borders, I will quit. I can’t allow myself to make even one concession."

This, of course, is in keeping with traditional Arab intransigence; in the seventeen years since the start of the failed Oslo Process, the Palestinian Arabs have failed to make a single meaningful concession, even as Israel has made countless tangible and painful concessions.

Obviously, a meaningful peace requires good faith negotiations by both sides - not just by Israel - with meaningful compromises made by both sides - not just by Israel.

Until the Palestinian Arabs, under Abbas or under a future leader who is actually interested in peace, is prepared to seriously negotiate in good faith and stops threatening to walk away at the flimsiest of pretexts, there is no serious chance of peace.

If Abbas would stop demanding that the heart of Eretz Yisrael be made judenrein, free of Jews, it might signal there is finally some hope.

Israel can't institute peace by itself. It needs a partner.

No comments: