On July 29, 2013, US Secretary of State John Kerry announced that a new round of peace talks would begin between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA). To help him, Kerry appointed an American diplomat, Ambassador Martin Indyk.
At his appointment, Indyk spoke of his hopes for the talks. He spoke of US President Obama’s vision of “two states living side-by-side in peace and security”.
That’s the American goals for these talks. It’s a noble vision. It’s a noble goal. But it’s not achievable.
Today (February 21, 2014), PLO/Fatah Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi showed why that’s the case. During a meeting in Ramallah with the Jewish-American organization J Street, Ashrawi spoke of the talks—and her remarks were revealing.
She did not speak of two states. She didn’t talk about living side-by-side with Israel. She did not speak of security.
Instead, she demonized Israel (“PLO's Ashrawi: Israel is Sabotaging Peace Efforts”, Arutz Sheva). She accused Israel of sabotaging peace. She accused Israel of stealing ‘Palestinian’ land. She accused Israel of stealing ‘Palestinian’ resources.
These are not the words of a peace partner. They are not words of compromise. They are words that demonize an enemy.
Kerry and his team have been toiling for almost seven months. They work to reach a settlement. They travel between Jerusalem and Ramallah. They try to meet the needs of both the Israelis and the PA.
But Ashrawi’s remarks suggest that Kerry has made little progress. She appears interested only in attacking Israel.
J Street leaders went to talk ‘peace’ with Ashrawi. She didn’t do that. She did not talk about negotiations or points of agreement. She accused and demanded.
The PA is not a bona fide peace partner. They have nothing ‘peaceful’ to say. Ashrawi proved that.
Kerry has been toiling in vain. Ashrawi’s accusations are not helpful. Her accusations obstruct progress. How can anyone (including the Leftist J Street) ‘talk peace’ with the PLO when the only thing they bring to the table are accusations?
One definition of ‘sabotage’ is ‘to deliberately obstruct, especially for political advantage’. This is what the PA is doing. They obstruct in order to achieve political advantage.
The PA does not want peace with Israel. It wants to replace Israel. That’s why the Fatah (PLO) logo shows a map of Palestine in place of Israel. Its goal is not ‘two states’. Its goal is ‘one state’--a Muslim ‘Palestine’.
Read the PLO Charter. Read the Hamas Charter.
Peace could thwart the no-Israel goal described in those Charters. Peace could hurt.
Right now, the world supports the ‘Palestinian cause’. But the world wants peace. It believes that, once ‘Palestine’ is born, the Arab-Israel war would end. This is what Abbas promised in his September 2011 United Nations speech. It is what the world believes.
But the PA doesn’t want to end that war with an Israel beside it. It wants Israel gone. If it continues its war after peace, the world may no longer be supportive. The world might say, ‘we gave you what you wanted. From this point, you’re on your own.’
The PA cannot fight Israel alone. That would be suicide.
If the PA goal is to destroy Israel, it needs international help. Peace today doesn’t make a lot of sense. It would leave Israel intact. What makes sense is to use these talks to provoke world-wide censure of Israel.
When J Street went to talk about peace with Ashrawi, she didn’t talk about coexistence or two states. She attacked her enemy and demanded that 100 per cent of ‘Palestinian’ demands be met.
Her goal is not peace. Her goal is to use accusation and uncompromising demands to obstruct that peace.
The PA is not looking for statehood from these talks. They are looking for political advantage in their larger war against the Jewish state. They want the talks to fail because they believe that the result of that failure will be a South Africa-style isolation, sanctions and boycott against Israel.
That’s the advantage they want—to increase international pressure against Israel, to strangle Israel the way South Africa has been strangled. Kerry has already said that if these talks fail, only Israel will suffer. PA President Mahmoud Abbas has already said that the drive for statehood is not about self-determination; It’s about expanding the war against Israel to the political and legal arenas.
The PA sees the failure of ‘peace’ as the lever with which to isolate Israel ‘on steroids’. That isolation will energize its war against the Jewish state.
Ashrawi insists upon accusing Israel. Accusations against your ‘peace partner’ do not lead to peace. Accusations obstruct peace. That obstruction meets the definition of ‘sabotage’.
That means just one thing. ‘Palestinians’ sabotage the talks, not Israel.