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To reiterate: given these circumstances, what, if anything, is there to negotiate? How is there supposed to be a peace process if one side is unwilling to cooperate?
To the Palestinians, the notion of “concession” is as foreign as the term “two nations for two peoples.”
Yet, miraculously, the answer for Israel to this conundrum is simple: let the Palestinians go and seek their declaration of independence at the UN, just as they did in 1988. It makes absolutely no difference in the scheme of things, as the only people that can realistically create “Palestine” are the Palestinians themselves. And this is so far from being attainable, after nearly 50 years of “development,” it is tragic.
First of all, the Palestinians cannot even make peace with themselves, never mind with the Jewish state. Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar confirmed last week that efforts to establish a unity government with Fatah have reached a “standstill,” reportedly over disagreement concerning the nomination of the new government’s prime minister and PA President Abbas’ refusal to submit a list of proposed appointees to the cabinet for the parliament to approve.
Hamas politburo member Izzat al-Risheq went one step further:
The delay in the national reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas stems from our brothers in Fatah. We are waiting for them to come back to the negotiating table to put in place what was planned in this agreement and to make rapid progress on all issues[.]
A Party headed by Mahmoud Abbas that is not willing to negotiate? Shocking! And this is the Hamas terrorist organization talking.
In the words of the great Israeli statesman Moshe Arens: “The Palestinian leadership is a dysfunctional entity.”
Furthermore, the Palestinians are broker than broke. Despite recent glorious affirmations by the International Monetary Fund alleging that “the [PA] was fully capable of running the economy of an independent state,” this week, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad announced that the PA will pay only half salaries to its civil servants for June, due to financial difficulties. Since the beginning of this year, Fayyad confirmed, the PA’s deficit has reached $30 million each month, as foreign aid has dropped by nearly one-third. According to Fayyad, to date, the PA has received only $330 million out of the approximately one billion it was expecting from the international community this year — adding this does not bode well for the second half of the year for the Palestinians.
In other words, the world is on the verge of endorsing the creation of a deteriorating welfare state that lacks any semblance of a centralized governing authority (not to mention that the two highest ranking members of one Palestinian leadership faction—the Palestinian Authority’s President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad—are fully illegitimate, as their terms expired three years ago; and that the other faction happens to be a terrorist organization bent on Israel’s destruction).
Simply put, “Palestine” will be a disaster zone.
Accordingly, Israel should take this opportunity to completely separate itself from this prospective entity. Ironically, it is the Palestinians themselves who are providing Israel with the perfect opening to do so. Once the PA goes to the UN in September, and the world declares a Palestinian state, the “Palestinian question” becomes the world’s problem to solve—and not uniquely Israel’s. Moreover, in response to such unilateralism, Israel should move hastily, and without remorse, to satisfy its lone requirement—that of security—by reinforcing its military presence in those areas, primarily the Jordan Valley, that will be required to ensure Israel’s ability to defend itself against the blossoming failed state.
There can be no “Palestine”—nor can there ever be—without close bilateral coordination with Israel; that is, without Israel’s ongoing, direct help. And to garner such assistance, if the Palestinians are serious about creating a viable state, will eventually require them to accept the Jewish state, on its terms, as a fait accompli.
This is the message Israel must convey: Israel is strong; the Palestinians are weak.
And conceding to a weaker opponent is futile.
Charles Bybelezer is the publications chairman at the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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