The PLO, on the other hand was formed in 1964 before there was an "Occupation" and before a single "settlement" (as they are called today).
I was reading an article in the Jerusalem Post, where the author claims that in Article 24 of the PLO Charter, the PLO explicitly renounced any claim to the West Bank, Gaza (or eastern shore of the Kinneret). I remembered no such article in their charter.
And I looked it up and still couldn't find it any such Article in the PLO charter. In fact it says:
Article 24: The Palestinian people believe in the principles of justice, freedom, sovereignty, self-determination, human dignity, and in the right of all peoples to exercise them.So how could it be the author made such a mistake and the Jerusalem Post didn't pick up on it (no cynical remarks here please).
So I did a little more research and found out that the PLO has 2 charters. They also have their original charter which was the basis of the formation of their organization in 1964 - before Israel liberated our lands from Jordan and Egypt.
In Article 24 of the original PLO charter it states:
Article 24. This Organization does not exercise any regional sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on the Gaza Strip or the Himmah Area.This charter was only changed in 1968, when Jordan and Egypt lost control over Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
So in fact, before 1967, the Arabs never wanted an "independent Palestinian State" in the "territories".
In fact, "Palestinians" quite happily accepted being under Jordanian and Egyptian sovereignty - and that included East Jerusalem!
Now obviously you can say that positions change over time, but consider how radical this change is.
In 1964, the PLO made no demands for sovereignty, much less a capital in Jerusalem or even "East" Jerusalem.
In 1964, the PLO renounced any claim to any of the "Occupied Territories".
The author says that until Jimmy Carter gave them the idea, they never even considered a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza.
It was only in 1988 that the PLO first called for a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem.
Now fast forward to 2009.
Now they are also claiming the "Occupied Territories" and Jerusalem (and flooding the rest of Israel with refugees to change the demographic balance in their favor) for their state - sovereignty over which didn't even interest them 45 years ago.
That is a radical switch - or is it?
If you look in terms of the geographic areas, the Palestinians seem to have lost their minds. They are making claims to lands whose claims over which they completely threw away 45 years ago. Land that they didn't claim was theirs 45 years ago.
But if you look at it in terms of goals, then the picture is different.
They want whatever land the Jews are on. The Jews are now on these particular lands - including East Jerusalem - that 45 years ago didn't interest them, so now they want it.
And following that logic, if Israel withdraws from all of Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem, (which is pretty much what Ehud Olmert offered them) they won't be satisfied, because those territories don't interest them.
They want what the Jews have.
And that's why Abu Mazen turned down Olmert's offer, and that's why they will never sign a document that the conflict with Israel is over - even if they get everything they are demand.
In terms of goals, their position hasn't changed at all - because it has nothing to do with specific geographies.
And that is why no peace plan will work - because they are all addressing the wrong issue.
Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד