For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
In light of the difficulties encountered in the direct negotiations with Israel and the pessimism among the Palestinians regarding the chances of making headway in these talks, the subject of alternatives to the negotiations has gained prominence in the Palestinian public agenda. Fatah Central Committee member Muhammad Dahlan said that the Palestinian leadership has formed a committee to examine such alternatives, to be employed in case the U.S. fails in its efforts to halt construction in the settlements.
The alternatives being discussed are: on the diplomatic level, seeking a United Nations Security Council recognition of an in dependent Palestinian state, while circumventing the American power of veto; and taking steps against Israel, including a reassessment of the agreements already signed with it. On the level of action on the ground, an alternative frequently mentioned is intensifying the resistance, especially the unarmed popular resistance, as an exclusive policy or concurrently with the talks.
Following are excerpts from statements and articles on this issue:
Abbas: Our First Choice Is to Resume Direct Negotiations, but There Are Other Alternatives as Well
At the Sirt Summit in Libya, PA President Mahmoud Abbas mentioned the following alternatives to negotiations: seeking U.S. and Security Council recognition of an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, or asking to the U.N. General Assembly to place the Palestinian territories under international custody.
In an interview with the Kuwaiti daily Al-Anba, Abbas said: "We will start with a halt to [construction in] the settlements and a return to negotiations. That is the first option, and if we [i.e., the Palestinians and the Israelis] see eye to eye, we will start negotiating the issues of security and the borders. If this first option does not work, we will appeal to the U.S. and ask it to intervene and set out a framework [for an agreement]. We are prepared to propose a framework [of our own], which [the Americans] can either accept or amend. This will be presented to the two sides as the final settlement. If that does not succeed [either], there are other alternatives, such as [appealing to] the Security Council and the General Assembly... One option is for the Security Council to ask the countries of the world to recognize a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, [but] we will take this option only if we have no choice, when all other alternatives are gone. We do not want to appeal to the Security Council or the General Assembly, but if Israel insists on rejecting the negotiations and refusing to halt [construction in] the settlements, where [else] can we go? Who [else] can we appeal to? There has to be someone to whom we can turn – [namely] the Security Council and the international legitimacy [i.e., the U.N. resolutions]."
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"