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.
07 August '11
1) What are the chances that the PA achieves a triumph at the UN?
It depends on what you mean by the word “triumph.” Will a Palestinian state that doesn’t even control the Gaza Strip (half the territory it claims), has not kept its diplomatic commitments, and doesn’t seek a peace agreement with Israel get recognition for unilateral independence? No. Because if the proposal passes the General Assembly it will still be vetoed by the United States in the Security Council.
A triumph may include public relations’ successes plus the recognition by several more countries—though many countries have recognized such a state since it was declared in 1988. Yet in material terms it will change nothing. By the same token, it would mean that the entire year 2011 has passed without negotiations, delaying the creation of a real Palestinian state.
2) If the Palestinian state is recognized in the UN, what are the consequences for Israel?
It won’t be so recognized. But Israel has made it clear that it would stop transfer payments and other benefits to the West Bank because those were part of the 1993 peace agreement and the Palestinian leadership was now throwing that away.
3) What will happen if the Palestinian initiative fails? Is there fear a reaction violent, a new Intifada?
Palestinian leaders have called for major demonstrations on September 20. And although these are supposedly not violent if Israel’s borders are assaulted the attackers will be repelled. Palestinian leaders have also hinted at a return to violence Many don’t want it but the gunmen may not give them a choice.
4) What role Obama has played in this process? He looks less pro-Israel than other U.S. presidents?
While unintentionally, Obama has systematically sabotaged the process. There have been a long list of errors that explain the fact that while he has been avidly seeking direct talks for two and a half years there haven’t been any. By moving somewhat away from Israel, Obama has led, without fully comprehending it, the Palestinian leadership to harden its line, refuse negotiations, and go for a unilateral independence victory.
Thus, instead of negotiating to get a state in exchange for compromise, the Palestinian leadership is pursuing a policy that will make newspaper stories and end by leaving them with no material progress. The creation of such a state is once again postponed due to Palestinian action. There could have been such a state in 1948, 1968, 1978, and 2000—to cite the most prominent dates—and now 2011 will see the same lost opportunities for them.
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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!"