It takes two to do the peace-Tango
Israeli-American Pundit and school days chum of The Mike Report, Abe Katsman has scribed a percipient take on the flailing, near death peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians [over at Breitbart News]. Katsman articulates the previously unuttered obvious; the Palestinans cannot make Peace. Katsman offers up several convincing reasons why this is so. First; the life of being the most loved victim group on the planet has its benefits.
Perks of the Palestinian Authority include fawning foreign leaders, international celebrity status,
globetrotting to collect more foreign aid than any people in history, and — best of all for politicians — zero expectation of successful governance: “The Occupation” serves as an all-purpose excuse for everything from failure to stop terror to perennial economic basket-case status.
Billions of dollars in international aid plus rampant graft and corruption have made the leadership wealthy, with Abbas alone having amassed a fortune estimated at $100 million. Much of that aid and that lavish attention would dry up if there were no more conflict with Israel, and the West Bank were just another poor Arab country.
Second; the desire to live.
Another disincentive to peace is the not insignificant risk of assassination of any Palestinian leaders who sign a final peace treaty with Israel.
Third and most insightful is Katsman’s take on the Palestinian culture of victimhood. The Palestinians have created a national religion with the central tenet being perpetual conflict with the Jewish State. To abrogate this principal would eliminate their reason d’ etre no less than an Islam without Allah or a Judaism without Torah.
Even for the larger Palestinian population, peace with Israel creates an existential problem: Palestinian identity has become defined solely in terms of conflict with Israel; how can the Palestinians give up the conflict without giving up the key to their identity?
How can the Palestinians give up the conflict without giving up the key to their identity?
The intertwined messages of Palestinian identity run deep. Palestinians see themselves as being in a zero-sum struggle with Zionism (a struggle that pre-dates the creation of the State of Israel). They see Israel as a temporary, illegitimate entity to be overthrown. And unlike other worldwide refugees, Palestinian refugee status is inheritable, an integral part of their identity passed down through generations.
The entire thrust of Palestinian public culture is of victimhood by and struggle against Israel. From textbooks to television, from schools to summer camps, messages of incitement against Israel are drummed into the populace. Terrorists against Israel are lionized; the most brutal and “successful” murderers of Israelis are honored in the naming of everything from parks and streets to soccer tournaments.
Which is why Abbas sabotaged the talks through his “Three no’s”. While seemingly peripheral to those unfamiliar with the conflict, Abbas rejected the very concessions Israel must have for any peace treaty to be concluded.
Abbas reportedly issued three “No’s” in his meeting last month with President Obama: no recognition of Israel as a Jewish state; no giving up on the “right of return” of millions of Palestinian descendants of 1948 refugees to Israel; and no final end to the conflict with Israel in any agreement.
Even though, from a practical standpoint, recognition of a Jewish state of Israel would cost the Palestinians nothing, it would undermine the basic tenets of Palestinianism.
Those three “No’s” were no surprise. A “Yes” on any of those issues would give Jewish Israel legitimacy and permanence, and thus would be wholly inconsistent with Palestinian identity. Even though, from a practical standpoint, recognition of a Jewish state of Israel would cost the Palestinians nothing, it would undermine the basic tenets of Palestinianism.
Katsman offers this sad conclusion.
The Palestinians have been offered a state three times since 2000 on virtually all of the disputed territories. They have rejected each offer. They cannot accept a “two states for two peoples” formula without compromising who they are.
They cannot accept a “two states for two peoples” formula without compromising who they are.
That is not to say they will not negotiate. A willingness to talk with Israel is the price to be paid for international aid, legitimacy and pressure against Israel. Besides, talking pays dividends. From the Oslo agreement to the current prisoner releases, the Palestinians have won huge concessions from Israel just by negotiating–without giving up any of their core principles. ‘
I urge you to read the entire piece HERE.
Abbas Says Jewish State Recognition Off the Table in Peace Talks