By Yoav Sorek, The Israel Initiative
Last weekend was marked by Abbas’s threat to leave the Palestinian Authority leadership, which may bring anarchy to the PA – and by the rumors about a deal between Obama’s administration and Abbas regarding the founding of a Palestinian state – a real nightmare to every one who seeks peace and stability in the middle east.
It is a good opportunity to explain that the problem with a Palestinian “partner for peace” does not depend on a person. There is no difference if negotiations are between Netanyahu and Arafat or Olmert and Abbas. The fact that these two leaders were very interested in reaching an agreement, but did not succeed, is not a coincidence.
The Palestinian national movement was created as a part of a battle against Israel, and this battle is the only justification for its existence. Therefore, the Palestinian Authority can never be a true partner for peace, but only for temporary arrangements that will give the Palestinians a better position to continue to undermine “the Zionist entity.” Peace can and should be reached with so-called Palestinians, a.k.a. Arabs in the Land of Israel, but peace will never be achieved through the Palestinian national movement as represented by the PA. Time, effort and lives are sacrificed while futile attempts are made to base a peace process on the narrative of Palestinian nationalism.
The one person who should understand this better than anyone else is current Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who negotiated with Arafat in 2000 with Bill Clinton as mediator. Barak gave the most generous offer an Israeli Prime Minister could proffer, but Arafat refused him. Barak had, in effect, pushed Arafat into a corner by offering him to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the Palestinians’ terms – an offer that contradicted the ethos of the Palestinian Authority, which Arafat headed. Following Arafat’s refusal, the Camp David negotiations fell apart and the Second Intifada, with its thousands of victims, began shortly afterward.
In a recent interview with Arutz Sheva, I explained that “the key to true peace is stopping the peace process.” There is no greater obstacle to peace than the current process, which has only brought violence and destruction since its inception. Peace will not come from the so-called peace process, nor from the political inertia the right is currently offering. Peace can thrive in Israel, if we work on it – if we clarify what the true problems are and how we can solve them. This is what the Israeli Initiative is all about.
To read excerpts from the Arutz Sheva interview in English: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/134225