Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Reality of a Palestinian State

Joseph Puder | 8/29/2008

Dean Acheson, the American statesman and President Truman’s Secretary of State, was quoted as saying: “No people in history have ever survived who thought they could protect their freedom by making themselves inoffensive to their enemies.” Since the Oslo Accords of 1993, Israeli leaders have sought to appease the Arab-Palestinians with various concessions. The current Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has gone a step further and is determined to create a Palestinian State. In order to be “inoffensive,” Olmert released an additional 200 Palestinian terrorists this week from Israeli prisons, some with Israeli blood on their hand. The recipient of these good will gestures, Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority President and Fatah leader, is committed to Israel’s disappearance as a Jewish State.

President George W. Bush, like his predecessor Bill Clinton, has become a victim of the “legacy seeking mania” – trying to be a peacemaker in the intractable Middle East conflict. Except that in America’s case, being “inoffensive” to the Palestinians who seek to expel America’s interests from the region places Israel’s freedom on the line.

Since Oslo neither the Israeli governments nor the U.S. administrations have understood the simple truth that the Palestinian struggle against Israel is not about land, it is an armed struggle that aims to replace Israel with an Arab Islamic terrorist state that would undermine American and European interests in the region.

The 1937 Peel Commission
offered the Palestinian leadership a significant portion of Palestine for a state, and they rejected it. Through the years, other offers have been made, and the Palestinian leadership has opted for war and violence instead. Under the Peel Commission, the Arab-Palestinian share of Western Palestine would have been larger than the landmass proposed in 1947 by the U.N. Partition Plan, and the Partition Plan would have given the Palestinians more land than they would have had under the Armistice Lines of 1949, following Israel’s War of Independence. Subsequent agreements including the Oslo Accords, Camp David II Summit (with Arafat, Barak and Clinton) and current negotiations between Olmert/Livni and Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) and Abu Ala, have involved gradually shrinking landmasses.

The reasonable assumption is therefore simple: if the Palestinians refused settlement when they could have had 82% of the land under the Peel Commission, why would they now settle for a tiny portion of land that is seemingly ungovernable and without any natural resources? The answer is, of course, that they did not settle for the favorable Peel Commission recommendations of 1937 because they rejected the idea of a sovereign Jewish homeland, however small and untenable, and continue to refuse to accept the idea of a permanent sovereign Jewish State today.

At the June 1974 Palestinian National Council (PNC) in Cairo, the PNC inaugurated the “Phased Plan,” a strategy that called for the liberation of all of Palestine (in effect the land of Israel) through both armed struggle and diplomatic double-talk. A Palestinian state would therefore be a base of operation to dismantle the Jewish State. Such a state would be a haven for assorted jihadist terror groups, including al-Qaeda and would work closely with Hezbollah operatives. In Hamas-governed Gaza, this is not merely a possible scenario, but a living reality.

Any future Palestinian state would be unstable and violent at best. The Fatah controlled gangs would clash with Hamas armed gangs not over ideology as much as over turf and profits. Again, this is not a guesstimate but a present reality. Egypt, Jordan, Saudi and Arabia would each seek to control such a state, while Shiite Iran would try to create a second Hezbollah in Gaza if not in the West Bank – all of which would eventually lead to regional wars, increased terrorism and possibly nuclear war. Iran, moreover, would use jihadist elements in Gaza and the West Bank to destabilize the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and replace it with a jihadist regime.

Under the 1933 Montevideo Treaty, a state must satisfy four specific requirements: It must have a permanent population, a defined territory, a government, and the capacity to enter into peaceful relations with other states. The Palestinian Authority under Abbas does not satisfy any one of these requisites. While it has “permanent residents,” it has also a large portion of unsettled refugees. And it certainly does not have “a defined territory” as evidenced by its official maps. Its display of all of Western Palestine is indicative of its intentions to undermine the Jewish State. As to a “government,” Abbas is running a gang rather than an acceptable government; it lacks legitimacy, as large portions of the Palestinians do not accept him as the leader. The fourth criterion is absolutely clear- it lacks the capacity to live in peace with its neighbor - Israel.

As we approach our elections in the U.S., it is imperative that we hear the presidential candidates reject the current futile negotiations for the establishment of a Palestinian state. The only reasonable solution to the Palestinian’s plight is to have Jordan negotiate with Israel over borders, and absorb the Palestinian territories and people in a Jordanian-Palestinian confederation. American interests and Israel’s freedom are at stake, and to paraphrase Dean Acheson’s words: being “inoffensive” towards a Palestinian terrorist state would destroy the oldest, most vibrant democracy in the Middle East.

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