This was echoed by Palestinian legislator and terrorist Leila Khaled (who once led a bungled attempt on Rabin’s life): “You know, it’s a process, but it’s not a peace process. It’s a political process where the balance of forces is for Israelis and not for us and they have all the cards to play with and the Palestinians have nothing to depend on, especially (when) the PLO is not united…. We are from the other side, against the whole process.”
Rabin’s quote perfectly encapsulated the Israeli position—we want real peace, not endless blathering, photo ops, and empty promises. And Khaled represented the Palestinian leadership’s preference for a process whose underlying goal was explicitly not peace.
Of course, the Palestinians got their way. Rabin couldn’t convince the rest of the world that the peace process had ended (not that he put in enough effort on that front). That makes the Palestinian threat to call for a vote at September’s UN General Assembly on Palestinian statehood so ironic. The vote is the Palestinian expression that they now believe the entire peace process has concluded—and any European country that votes for Palestinian statehood is expressing that same sentiment.
Every Western leader who has called for Israel to return to the negotiating table has done so using the same formulation: Negotiations are the only way toward a comprehensive and lasting resolution to the conflict,” in the words of the joint statement from the G-8 countries.
You either believe that or you don’t. A vote for Palestinian statehood at the UN is a public pronouncement that you don’t. In which case, I would expect that every country that votes for statehood understands they have forfeited their credibility on pressuring Israel to negotiate. The hectoring ends at Turtle Bay.
Those who support this ridiculous stunt at the UN are also acknowledging another aspect of the peace process: negotiations have always been a scam to pilfer what rightfully belongs to the Israelis. For example, through biblical history, modern history, 20th century history, and Israeli history, there is an unmatched Jewish national attachment and possession of Hebron. The Arabs of pre-state Israel massacred the town’s Jewish residents in 1929, and the world has been rewarding them for it ever since. Shechem is already under Arab control. The Palestinians have been negotiating with the purpose of establishing in the international community’s opinion some right to Jerusalem. They have succeeded in this with the Europeans, and Obama’s suggestion that the two sides start with the 1967 lines is the closest the Palestinians will likely ever get with the United States.
Therefore, the negotiating process has yielded all it can for the Palestinians, and the rest they will attempt to take—as they have indicated consistently throughout the years—by force. This is what is behind the UN statehood gambit. If this is the end of the peace process—again—it may be for real this time.