16 September '10
Giora Eiland isn’t impressed with the happy talk coming from the Obama team. George Mitchell may coo all he wants about getting down to “substantive issues,” but the Palestinians show no sign they are willing to accept the most basic element of a peace deal: recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. Eiland explains why this is an essential component of any accord:
The Palestinians make a distinction between recognizing the fact that the State of Israel exists and the recognition that it has the right to exist. The camp that supports Mahmoud Abbas has no qualms with the first definition: “Israel exists, and it’s apparently worthwhile to recognize it diplomatically; this is the way to guarantee for the Palestinians what only Israel can give. This agreement is fit for the present, but as to the future – who knows.” …
The entire concept of “Hudna” (long-term ceasefire) is based on an approach that espouses compromise in an effort to elicit what can be achieved now, without abandoning the intention to fight and get much more in the future. The way to curb future demands, especially in respect to the refugee issue, is to create a Palestinian obligation to accept Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.
The Obami, like the rest of the cottage industry of peace processors, operate on a myth: that both sides want peace and the issue is where to draw lines and how to halt and then uproot those darn settlements.
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