Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Palestinian Reject Reflex

Rejected: Acceptance of Israel as the National Homeland of the Jewish People in exchange for settlement freeze.

Senior Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat on Monday stated that the Palestinian Authority unreservedly rejected Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's offer of a renewed building freeze in the West Bank in exchange for PA recognition of Israel as the Jewish national home.

"We forcefully reject all these Israeli games," said Erekat. "The racist demands of Netanyahu cannot be tied to the request to cease building in the settlements for the purpose of establishing a state." (JPost)
Rejected: Phase 1 of Peace Road-Map:

End of Violence - Rejected. ("Palestinian leadership issues unequivocal statement reiterating Israel’s right to exist in peace and security and calling for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire to end armed activity and all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere.")
To date, Fatah and Palestinian Policemen have continued to be involved in terror attacks against Israelies. See here, here, here, here, yawn.

End of Incitement - Rejected. ("All official Palestinian institutions end incitement against Israel.")

You can check out the Palestinian Ministry of Incitement and Hatred, and here's a quick example of ongoing incitement from PA TV.



Visit MEMRI and Palwatch and see Palestinian Authority incitement broadcasts on a daily basis.

Of course, while the PA continues to reject, they still get everything they ask for. They will still get another settlement freeze from Israel, and the PA will have to do nothing to get it.

For a sobering analysis of why there won't be peace with Palestinians for decades, read today's interview with Minister of strategic affairs, Moshe Yaalon in the JPost.
Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe Ya'alon on Tuesday voiced pessimism regarding peace talks with the Palestinians. "There is no chance in the coming years for a peace agreement with the Palestinians," he told Army Radio.

Ya'alon said, "In the eyes of the Palestinians, the occupation started in '48 and not in '67. It is not only Hamas that thinks this way, but also [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas]. They need to be released from this delusion, from not recognizing Israel as the home of the Jewish people, and from from their readiness to agree that an agreement will be the end of all mutual claims, he said in the interview.

He concluded, "They have no interest in having Israel as a neighboring state."


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21 comments:

Jenny said...

I really love the fact that while calling a Jewish state racist (as if there aren't a number of democratic states defined by ethnicity along with a minority population, not to mention endorsement of a Jewish state by the UN in 1947 - though Europe seems to overlook this as well), he has no shame stating that they are only interested in establishing a state that will be free of Jews!

And the world buys this crap.

Vox Populi said...

This strikes me as a non sequitur. It's a negotiation process. Just because one side rejects an offer, does not mean that side doesn't wish to make a deal.

I think we'd have to agree that if Netanyahu had gotten the PA to agree with this, it would have been quite the coup. Leaving aside the fact that Netanyahu is only promising to propose an extended freeze of unspecified duration ins exchange for a concrete declaration from the PA, the fact remains that for the PA calling Israel a Jewish state is a big deal, and one they don't plan on ever agreeing to, much less as a precondition for talks. Or, as a precondition to their own precondition fort talks. What if the PA countered with a demand for the whole of Jerusalem? I don't think Netanyahu would say yes, but I'm pretty sure that wouldn't mean he was opposed to a deal.

Anonymous said...

Vox,
What is the point of making "peace" with a group that doesn't recognize your existence?

This would be like if Al Qaeda said they wanted peace with America, as long as America changes its name to Qaedastan and adopts Sharia law, and burns the constitution.

WTF is the point?

It very much means that they do not want to negotiate peace.

Vox Populi said...

>What is the point of making "peace" with a group that doesn't recognize your existence?

What is the point of peace with Egypt or Jordan? Neither of these countries recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Still, I wouldn't say that making peace with them was pointless. Come to think of it, the United States did not recognize Israel as the Jewish state, just as the State of Israel. What's the point of American recognition of Israel?

You're conflating the recognition of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a nation with how it likes to define itself. It makes perfect sense to insist on other countries recognizing your sovereignty and territorial integrity; much less so for them to officially recognize your governing ideology as legitimate.

>This would be like if Al Qaeda said they wanted peace with America, as long as America changes its name to Qaedastan and adopts Sharia law, and burns the constitution.

No. I don't want to get into a war of analogies, but no. To put it mildly, declining to declare as true and legitimate the governing ideology of another country is not the same thing as demanding that another country adopt a different legal system, change its name and burn its founding documents.

robert said...

http://www.trumanlibrary.org/exhibit_documents/index.php?tldate=1948-05-14&groupid=3429&pagenumber=1&collectionid=ROIexhibit


I believe that Truman did recognize the state of israel as the jewish state. The reason that "jewish state" is crossed out is (perhaps) the "jewish state" now had a name- the State of Israel. The cross-out was not to temper his recognition of the state as a non jewish state. IOW, in this letter, the state of israel is synonymous with jewish state.

The Palestinians are still insisting on the right of return of the "millions" of refugees, thereby desroying the (jewish) state of Israel by demographic means. For them , this is non negotiable. Egypt and Jordan made peace with Israel despite Israel not (yet) agreeing to the right of return, b/c they knew that ultimately Israel would not have peace until they have an agreement with the palestinians, and the palestinians would not agree to peace with Israel w/o the right of return.

Now, when discussing a possible peace with the palestinians we have a moment of truth: If the palestinians are willing to recognize Israel, but not as a jewish state, then they can (and will) continue to insist on the right of return, b/c afterall the right of return does not negate a non-jewish state of israel.

To Israel, however, this recognition of israel as a state, but not a jewish state as it now exists, is equivilant to total non-recognition of israel. That is why Netanyahu is insisting on this recognition of israel as a jewish state. W/o this recognition, the only thing we are discussing is the dismantling of the state of israel, which netanyahu obviously has no interest in discussing.

Vox Populi said...

>The cross-out was not to temper his recognition of the state as a non jewish state. IOW, in this letter, the state of israel is synonymous with jewish state.

This is certainly a possible interpretation. But equally plausible is that Truman did not recognize Israel as a "Jewish state" because those are not the words he used, because he certainly could have if he wanted to. One could read this letter as basically saying "there's a government proclaiming itself as a Jewish state in Palestine, and the government wants to be recognized. The US is therefore recognizing the government of the new State of Israel (not a jewish state)." Definitely nowhere in the declaration is Truman recognizing Israel as the Jewish state.

I think the more likely interpretation could be that the UN Partition plan had partitioned the Mandate into two territories, one Jewish, and one Arab. The letter is just reporting, and recognizing that the Jewish one had followed up on that. It does not amount to decreeing that Israel is a Jewish state.

(As an interesting aside, this seems more like a recognition of government than a recognition of statehood.)

In any case, even if you could fine me a clear declaration from any country recognizing Israel as a "Jewish and democratic state" it wouldn't negate the fact that Israel has never insisted upon it until this year, and only to one country in particular. And Israel exists nonetheless.

>If the palestinians are willing to recognize Israel, but not as a jewish state, then they can (and will) continue to insist on the right of return, b/c afterall the right of return does not negate a non-jewish state of israel.

I think you've got your causation mixed up. We all know the Palestinians want a right of return. Its going to come up in negotiations (if they continue). To the Palestinians, recognizing Israel as Jewish doesn't ipso facto destroy their ability to claim a right of return, but it does hinder it in a major way. That is one big reason why they do not wish to do it. (There are others, though.) But just because they refuse to do it, does not mean that the right of return is the sine qua non of any peace deal to them. It just simply makes no sense for them to sign away what they believe is a huge existential concession before any negotiations have even begun. And in exchange for what? For Netanyahu promising to propose an additional partial extension for an as-yet undefined period? Would the Israelis do something that stupid? If Abbas countered and said he would "propose to his cabinet to recognize Israel as a Jewish state" in exchange for a complete and immediate withdrawal from East Jerusalem, would Netanyahu say yes? Probably not. Both sides are aware that they'll have to negotiate and compromise, but they're not going to give away real meaningful concessions for nothing, much less the promise to consider nothing.

>To Israel, however, this recognition of israel as a state, but not a jewish state as it now exists, is equivilant to total non-recognition of israel.

I don't think this is true, and I find it curious that no other Israeli Prime Minister has thought so yet.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Vox: Loyalist Israeli MK calls for PA President to fire Yasser Abd Rabbo for agreeing to recognize Israel "anyway it wants" in exchange for 67 borders.

The loyalist MK does not want Israel to be able to define itself as a Jewish State...

``כ זחאלקה קרא לאבו מאזן לפטר את יאסר עבד רבו בעקבות דבריו על הכרה בישראל בכל צורה שהיא תמורת גבולות 67` (ג`קי חורי)

הארץ.

אסר עבד רבו: נכיר במדינת ישראל בכל צורה שהיא תמורת גבולות 67'

על רקע דרישת ישראל וההמתנה לתשובה פלסטינית, אמר מזכ"ל הוועד הפועל של אש"ף כי תמורת מפת הגבולות הרצויה, תכיר הרשות בישראל "בכל צורה שתבקש"

http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasite/spages/1193344.html

robert said...

Vox said:

"...I find it curious that no other Israeli Prime Minister has thought so yet." (regarding insisting on recognizing Israel as a jewish state)

Do you also find it curious that no other negotiating partner has ever insisted on a construction freeze as a precondition to negotiations?

"...It just simply makes no sense for them (the Palestinians) to sign away what they believe is a huge existential concession before any negotiations have even begun."

Existential for whom? Certainly, recognizing israel as the state it is (for jews) will not affect the existence of the palestinian state. And for that matter, giving up the right of return would not affect the existentiality of the palestinian state. But insisting on this right of return DOES affect the existentiality of the jewish state. IMO, it is not asking too much for israel to demand that their negotiating partner recognize the country they are negotiating with. Israel has recognized the PA, and will in the future recognize the state of palestine upon the successful completion of the peace talks.

Bottom line, both sides have lines that they cannot cross. Israel will never divide jerusalem, and will never go back to the '67 lines. The PA will never recognize Israel as a jewish state, and will never give up its dream of ultimately having what is now the state of israel in its entirety as part of the future state of palestine. So the micro issues of construction freeze and the demand of israel for the PA to recognize it now as a jewish state are really beside the point.

Vox Populi said...

>Do you also find it curious that no other negotiating partner has ever insisted on a construction freeze as a precondition to negotiations?

Yes. But somewhat besides the point. I'm not arguing that the Palestinians should insist on anything, I'm just pointing out that if one thinks of the Palestinians as rational beings who want what they say they want, it is obvious that they would reject Netanyahu's proposal, irrespective of whether they truly want a two state solution. Therefore, the rejection of one is not indicative of an effective rejection of the other. Ergo, non sequitur.

>Certainly, recognizing israel as the state it is (for jews) will not affect the existence of the palestinian state. And for that matter, giving up the right of return would not affect the existentiality of the palestinian state.

Not the existentiality of the Palestinian state, correct. But it's definitely an existential question as to the Palestinian Nationalist movement. In much the same way that Israel's giving up its own right of return is not an existential threat to the state (after all, the population has reached critical mass and can sustain itself without unlimited immigration) but would nonetheless pose serious existential questions to Zionist ideology. Many would argue that an Israel without a law of return defeats the purpose of having an Israel. Similarly, a large component of Palestinian nationalism has been the goal of giving all Palestinians who found themselves outside of Israel after 1948 (who were previously inside Israel) the right to return to their land. Some may say it's the sine qua non. I think that the center of gravity of the PA is that it's not anymore really the sine qua non of the movement, but they are still loathe to give it away for nothing.

>But insisting on this right of return DOES affect the existentiality of the jewish state.

First, I would just point out that refusing to recognize Israel as a Jewish state is not the same as insisting on a Palestinian Right of Return. The Palestinians certainly have other reasons for not wishing to do it, outside the Right of return. I could certainly envision many scenarios where the Palestinians agree to forgo the law of return, but still do not recognize Israel as Jewish state.

(As an aside, I'm not 100% certain that a Palestinian right of return, even if granted, does destroy Israel. There are a limited number of Palestinians in the territories. As of now, there are currently more Jews than Arabs between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. I think it unlikely that all of them will elect to live in Israel. We have no idea what kind of numbers we're dealing with here. As it currently stands, Israel is directly implicated in the governing of all those Palestinians anyway, and the status quo won't be going on forever. So, if we're talking the least worse option, and my only two options are no deal or giving them a right of return, a right of return could very well be the least worse option. But, I digress.)

Second, there's obviously a lot of talking past each other on this issue. I get the sense you're implicitly conflating recognizing Israel as a Jewish state with the separate issue of recognizing Israel's sovereignty and territorial integrity. If you can get the Palestinians to do the latter, you're golden, insofar as a country's official recognition eases your mind. It's not like if they don't recognize Israel as a Jewish state they'll be sitting their twirling their mustaches hatching clever schemes to trick the Jews into quitting Palestine, whereas if they do, they'll turn to more constructive pursuits.

Vox Populi said...

>IMO, it is not asking too much for israel to demand that their negotiating partner recognize the country they are negotiating with. Israel has recognized the PA, and will in the future recognize the state of palestine upon the successful completion of the peace talks.

The thing is that Israel's demand is an entirely novel demand, though, and definitely atypical in the annals of diplomacy. The PA has already recognized Israel's right to exist. They call it Israel (not the Zionist entity) and have vowed to negotiate with the Israeli Government to implement a two state solution living side by side. SImilarly, Israel has already recognized the PA, and is also officially committed to the creation of a State of Palestine.

The recognition that Israel is demanding is pretty strange. Who ever heard of one country forcing another country to recognize its character as being a specific character? The Soviet Union did not insist that other countries officially recognize it as a democracy (though it pretended it was) and neither does the United States. They define themselves. So, let Israel define itself.

Additionally, I don't think Israel is going to go as far as they want the Palestinians to go. They recognize the Palestinians right to sovereignty and will respect the territorial integrity of a future state, sure, but they're not going to call it the Homeland of the Arab (or Palestinian) People. Netanyahu's not going to call East Jerusalem or Hebron rightful cities of Palestine. It would suggest that Jews had no business there, except as visitors, which would be unacceptable.

Similarly, Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state would mean that their efforts to deny the Jews control of the area were not just fruitless and wrong-headed, but empirically wrong. The Palestinian towns were not Palestinian towns, but Jewish towns. Their entire national myth is a lie. Not to mention that it would officially provide Palestinian confirmation that the Arab citizens in Israel should be second-class forever. Whatever you think of Palestinian claims to this effect, one has to admit that this a concession that they cannot make easily.

>Bottom line, both sides have lines that they cannot cross. Israel will never divide jerusalem, and will never go back to the '67 lines.

I'm pretty certain that they will eventually do both. If not Netanyahu, then somebody else. Livni will, in a heartbeat.

>The PA will never recognize Israel as a jewish state, and will never give up its dream of ultimately having what is now the state of israel in its entirety as part of the future state of palestine.

Regarding, the first, I agree it's unlikely. Regarding the second, they already have. Now, it could be they're all lying, but I prefer not to rely on conspiracies to explain rational behavior.

>So the micro issues of construction freeze and the demand of israel for the PA to recognize it now as a jewish state are really beside the point.

In the same sense that any important issue, when examined in isolation and in the abstract, is a micro-issue. It's a big issue to somebody, obviously.

Vox Populi said...

>Loyalist Israeli MK calls for PA President to fire Yasser Abd Rabbo for agreeing to recognize Israel "anyway it wants" in exchange for 67 borders.

Jameel, LOL, my hypothetical came true! And only a few hours later. I'm pretty sure Netanyahu will reject this. Goes to show you, though, that rejection of one does not equal rejection of the other.

>The loyalist MK does not want Israel to be able to define itself as a Jewish State...

Yep, we knew that.

Jenny said...

Ha! Good prediction that Bibi will reject it.

Look who rejected it first!

Anonymous said...

"Jameel, LOL, my hypothetical came true! And only a few hours later. I'm pretty sure Netanyahu will reject this. Goes to show you, though, that rejection of one does not equal rejection of the other."

What was your prediction and how did it come true?

Bibi didn't reject anything... a supporter of the PA did.

Vox Populi said...

>What was your prediction and how did it come true?

Not a prediction a hypothetical. I hypothesized what would happen if the PA responded that they would recognize Israel as a Jewish state in exchange for a complete and immediate withdrawal from East Jerusalem. Now, this guy from the PA made the same proposal, but threw in the rest of the 67 lines. I predicted that Netanyahu will say no. Which he will.

robert said...

Vox said:

"Regarding the second,(meaning the palestinian dream to have a state including all of israel) they already have (given up this dream). Now, it could be they're all lying, but I prefer not to rely on conspiracies to explain rational behavior."


Vox,

On what basis do you say the Palestinians have given up on the dream of having the state of Palestine include all of Israel?

and, every government of israel has been consistent in stating that jerusalem will never be divided, and that Israel would never go back to the '67 lines. On what basis do you say otherwise?

Anonymous said...

"made the same proposal, but threw in the rest of the 67 lines. I predicted that Netanyahu will say no. Which he will."

But the PA leadership already said no before Bibi had a chance to!

So apparently, on this proposal both sides agree.

Vox Populi said...

>On what basis do you say the Palestinians have given up on the dream of having the state of Palestine include all of Israel?

Depends what you mean. You were talking about the PA. The PA has already committed to the two-state solution. Abbas and the senior PA leadership have stated publicly numerous times their goal as being the 2 states. Now, could it be that in their heart of hearts, they still long for the day that the Palestinian flag flies over Haifa, or they wish fervently that the Jews never came to the Levant? Sure. Is that a dream that will die quickly? No. But they recognize it as a dream. Just like Revisionist Zionists long ago came to terms with the fact that the Jewish state, absent messianic intervention, will not occupy the Transjordan and the Sinai. Is it still a dream, though? Of course. Will they ever say that Jews have no business in the Sinai? Not on your life.

>and, every government of israel has been consistent in stating that jerusalem will never be divided, and that Israel would never go back to the '67 lines. On what basis do you say otherwise?

This reminds me of the last election. (Or the one before that?) Where Bibi had an ad showing whoever was leading Kadima next to the slogan "Forward to the 67 lines!" Many people actually thought it was an ad for Kadima. Indeed, I think it's widely recognized in Israel that this is Kadima's real policy, just like Barack Obama is widely believed to be in favor of gay marriage, despite his numerous statements to the contrary.

In any case, when I mean 67 lines, of course, I don't mean literally. I mean in the sense of all of Gaza, most of the West Bank (including a significant chunk of East Jerusalem), subject to land swaps in the Negev.

Regarding East Jerusalem, Ehud Olmert was quite willing to give up parts of EJ, and even Ehud Barak was willing to do some creative sovereignty juggling.

Vox Populi said...

>But the PA leadership already said no before Bibi had a chance to!

To Rabbo's proposal? Sure. It's not a real offer. I don't even know who Rabbo is. If I were a Palestinian I would take Rabbo's deal, but I can see why many in the PA would not. It just goes to show how much they care about this issue.

Anonymous said...

"To Rabbo's proposal? Sure. It's not a real offer. I don't even know who Rabbo is"

--
Yasser Abed Rabbo, a member of the official Palestinian negotiating team and former Minister of Culture and Information,
--
[he is a] Member of the Palestine Liberation Organization's Executive Committee.
--


---
MK Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List-Ta'al) said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told him neither he nor the PLO would recognize Israel as a Jewish state
-----



---"We officially demand that the US administration and the Israeli government provide a map of the borders of the State of Israel which they want us to recognize," Yasser Abed Rabbo, a member of the Palestinian negotiation team, said Wednesday.


"We want to know whether this (Israeli) state includes our lands and houses in the West Bank and east Jerusalem," Abed Rabbo said.

"If this map is based on the 1967 borders and provides for the end of the Israeli occupation over all Palestinian lands... then we recognize Israel by whatever name it applies to itself in accordance with international law," Abed Rabbo explained.
---

To which Abbas responded through the mouth of MK Tibi... "Like hell we will..."

Anonymous said...

btw... notice his last comment

"then we recognize Israel by whatever name it applies to itself in accordance with international law,"

So your argument regarding not calling Israel a Jewish and democratic state is false.

Vox Populi said...

>So your argument regarding not calling Israel a Jewish and democratic state is false.

I'm sorry, but I don't know what you're talking about or what point you're trying to make.

And if the previous comment was yours and directed at me, I don't get it either.

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