Why Israel Cannot Accept Palestinian Conditions

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Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, widely thought to be the most moderate of Palestinian diplomats, has agreed to resume peace talks with Israel by January 26, 2012 — but only on the condition that Israel cease constructing settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem while also offering a commitment that it will agree to return the borders of sovereignty to the pre-1967 lines that existed prior to the Six Day War. If Israel does not agree to these prerequisites by that deadline, Abbas said, Palestinians “will take new measures,” and that those measures “might be hard.”

Recognizing Abbas’s stance to be little more than an unreasonable demand and a thinly veiled threat, Israel has resolved that the negotiations must be entered “without prior conditions.” This will undoubtedly appear as bullheadedness on Israel’s part by many in the international community who, according to the Associated Press, have “largely backed the Palestinian positions on settlements and borders.” However, it should be clear to any sensible person that Israel’s refusal to meet the demands of these so-called “moderate” Palestinians is a matter of self-preservation, not obstinacy.

First of all, there is a certain unspoken absurdity in the international community’s expectation that Israel entertain the concession of Gaza, which a return to the pre-1967 lines would require. Hamas, which won control of Gaza in a 2006 election, has in its foundational charter a primary directive of “crushing and defeating” Israel at all costs, and it has a damning record of utilizing terrorism, propaganda, and armed uprisings to achieve that goal.

Yet in spite of this, Abbas has chosen to link Hamas indivisibly to the Palestinian bid for statehood.  In an effort to offer the group a semblance of diplomatic legitimacy, he has openly declared that both Hamas and Fatah have agreed to employ “popular” and “peaceful ways, rather than military resistance,” and that a return to 1967 borders would be their “permanent solution.” This kind of reasonable rhetoric may sound promising, but the words ring decidedly false when one considers that after Abbas made this statement, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh proclaimed that any attempt to reconcile Palestinian borders to the 1967 lines would merely be the “first stage” to more closely encroach Israeli borders and launch “intifada after intifada” until they “liberate all of Palestine — all of Palestine, Allah willing.” Abbas’s hollow statements were further nullified when Fatah leader Abbas Zaki showed agreement, stating that Fatah shares Hamas’s ambition, though he recognizes that “you can’t say it to the world.  You can say it to yourself.”

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  • Canadian Patriot

    the man who wrote this doesnt understand the middle east and is a hypocrite. Hamas, ideologically is the same as the kadima party in israel. likud is far worst. not to mention how its not only the likud who control israel but also its in a coaltion with yisrael beitenu, a facist party that calls for the deportation of israeli arabs and to drop a nuke on gaza, a move that would slaughter a million people

    israel's 67 borders arent indefensible either. when israel control israel proper in june of 67 and war broke out (more like israel started it) it was able to defeat all of her hostile neighbors. when israel controlled the territories in 73 the arabs wouldve reached jerusalem in the next day if it wasnt for american help. dont forget how israel failed to defend its territory in south lebanon twice to a group that is no stronger than mexican drug cartels.

    the arabs dont want a holocaust especially when jordan and egypt are at peace with israel and lebanon and syria are too unstable and unwillling to attack it. there is no chance of an other holocaust because hamas's (the most anti-israeli arab force ) original stated goal (which is now outdated and inaccurate) is to have one democratic state where everyone lives peacefully.

    the writer of the article is basing his theory (palestinians arent ready for peace) on assumptions and racism. let me give you a theory based on facts. the palestinians cant negotiate for a land that is constantly being stolen by settlements. israel doesnt want peace and in the knesset there is a map showing israel in control of "greater israel." from cairo to baghdad.

    mr sullivan, if you are too ignorant to understand what hamas means when it says "first stage" then dont talk about it. Hamas's final stage is seeing israel and the westbank unite under one state called palestine where everyone lives in peace and harmony no matter of race or religion.

    also, why would abbas recognize a "jewish state?" what would that mean for 20% of the people there who are arabs? christians in palestine are about 5% and yet abbas and even hamas wouldnt ever call palestine a muslim state. btw, if Iran recognized the USA or Canada as a christian state i am sure that we would be VERY offended, i am sure that i would!

    • Ron Carnine

      I don't know where you get your facts or your "theorizes" but you are dead wrong. It isn't Israel the has stopped the peace process. The "Palestinians" are demanding everything they were offered once before…and they refused it. Israel didn't start the 1967 war the Arab nations did and got their butts kicked. According to the rules of war, the country defending itself from aggression keeps all the territory that they win. The Arabs are whining about the pre-1967 borders when they started the war and lost. Israel has every right to the territory she claims but gave Gaza back. Gaza then became the source of aggression again, using the territory to fire missiles into Israel. Not just one or two missiles but thousands of missiles that were fired into Israel by the "peace loving Palestinians." Israel would be insane to agree to the current demands. The Jews have a just and valid claim to "Palestine" and has lived in the area for thousands of years, way before the Palestinians claimed the land. While we're discussing it, there is no "Palestinian" people, just Islamic Arabs intent on conquering Israel one bite at a time. The United Nations doesn't know their history nor do they take into account all of the historical evidence that Israel was in this land years before the Arabs thought about conquering it.. Calling Israel a Jewish state is historically correct and you are wrong to claim otherwise. Jerusalem was Jewish, not Arab or Muslim. Israel would be wrong to surrender it. Going back further, all of Jerusalem is Jewish which the Arabs lost in their war of aggression. The Arabs lost the 1967 war of aggression, the captured lands belong to Israel and rightfully so.

    • Ghostwriter

      You must be kidding about Hamas! Like Hezbollah,they'll NEVER recognize Israel's right to exist. The thing Hamas wants is dead Israelis.

    • stern

      As a Canadian, the only good thing I can say about your post is that it is so illiterate, misinformed and misguided that it's obvious you are not a product of the Canadian education system. Heck, even a fourth grader knows more than you do. You are clearly not a born Canadian.

      To tackle just one of your claims: Hamas sees everyone living "in peace and harmony" in one state? Yeah, right. Peace and harmony where Muslims rule by Sharia law and Jews, Christians and Ba'hai pay the jizya and know their place as dimmhis. Thanks, but no thanks.

      • Raymond in DC

        Most Canadians indeed have better sense than "Canadian" Patriot. Then again, since my time in Canada long ago (B.A. McGill U), Canada has taken in a lot of Arab and Muslim immigrants. And we know how most of them feel about Israel and how effective they are at spreading their venom. (There were no "Israel Apartheid Weeks" in Canada in my time.)

    • ziontruth

      "…and racism."

      The Race Card. You lose.

    • formationrx

      Your right.

  • Calvin Parker

    Well put Ron. How "Canadian Patriot (CP)" can call Mr. Sullivan a hypocrite and racist is beyond me. CP uses these emotionally powerful words to try to lend credit to a response that lacks facts, common sense and intellectual cohesion. Mr. Sullivan used multiple examples to prove his point. In fact, Mr Sullivan never writes the word "Arab" and yet CP lumps all Arabs into the same group as the "Palestinians" to which the article refers…..there is your racism.

    To tear apart CP's response we can start with the first paragraph. Hamas is a terrorist group plain and simple, whereas the political parties mentioned by CP are just that, political parties, with varying political views. Those parties do not condone daily rocket attacks into civilian areas whereas Hamas doesnt seem to mind such things. The funny thing is that all of the Israeli parties he mentioned (I could find no claims of nuking Gaza) are for a two state solution, which in and of its self is a GIANT concession and solid proof that Israelis desire peace….Cont.

  • Calvin Parker

    "Palestinians" (a word made up by Arafat) have a homeland. It is Jordan. If the "Palestinians" want to have a homeland they should be taking the issue up with Jordan. Too many statments have been made and caught on tape and camera about the "Palestinians" and its supporters wanting to kill all of the Jews to even try to respond to CP's holocaust claim. In fact, CP himself basically admits that the reason the Arabs dont want the holocaust is that the countries involved are either politically unwilling or unable. That wouldn't make me sleep very well at night if I was an Israeli…cont

  • Calvin Parker

    I'm sure that Mr Sullivan "is basing his theory (palestinians arent ready for peace)" on the very facts he mentions in his article. That and the fact that rockets are still steadily falling on Israel almost daily. What country in the world would possibly tolerate non-stop rocket fire, especially when holding a very strong military advantage…….the answer is one..Israel. If Hamas wants its claims for peace to be taken seriously, it should hunt down and publically hang those that are responsible for violence against Israel, not name public places after them, or worse, appoint them to cabinet positions…cont

  • Calvin Paker

    Hamas and the "Palestinians" want as, CP states, all of the land (one state). Israel is, and should be, its own sovereign nation and only concede any of THEIR lands if they choose to do so and only if their safety is 100% assured. Yet as the article states, Abbas demands these lands as a precondition not to peace, but peace talks. This, in and of itself, proves they are not serious about peace, but instead present what amounts to a thinly veiled ploy to gain the misguided, historically scewed sympathies of those like Canadian Patriot.

    Sorry it would not let me post as much at one time as CP

  • Friend to Israel

    The land belongs to the Jews, period. God gave them the land from the Nile to the Euphrates. God has made a permanent covenant with His people the Jews and He told them not to give it up to any nation or false god. This is a no-win situation for the Arabs.

    • ziontruth

      HaShem bless you, friend.

    • Raymond in DC

      If you review closely the Torah's text, there are discrepancies in the extent of the Promised Land. But the most limited roughly approximates that specified in the League of Nations Mandate of 1922 – up to the Jordan River and including the Golan Heights.