Earlier today, it was reported that American Secretary of State John Kerry would try to restart the Israeli-Palestinian peace process based on the Arab Peace Initiative. For those unaware, the Arab Peace Initiative is based on a complete Israeli withdrawal from to the 1949 armistice lines and the right of return for Palestinian refugees. Although appalling, this is not very surprising.
Bill Clinton after having formed a strong and productive relationship with Israel after 8 years in office of being dedicated to the peace process thought he could pressure Israel to make concessions and accept the Clinton Parameters so long as if the Palestinians would make similar concessions as well. Despite Israel acquiescing to his demands, the Palestinians rejected them and as a result, the Clinton Parameters were torn up and became part of history.
The Obama administration without a meaningful relationship with Israel and dedication to the peace process declared that Israel should not just agree to the concessions of the Clinton Parameter’s, but should make significantly further concessions and pursue negotiations based on “67 borders”. This represents the trend and mentality of the peace process; Israel has to keep offering more and more until the Palestinians find it acceptable.
During Ehud Barak’s time as Prime Minister, Israel made unprecedented concessions for peace and offered the Palestinians almost everything they had asked for. Not only did the Palestinians reject the offer, but also they responded with one of the deadliest rampages of terror the world has ever seen. At the time, the entire international community led by Bill Clinton lauded Israel for its efforts and blamed the Palestinians for negotiating in bad faith and not being committed to the peace process.
The natural response to this should have been increased pressure on the Palestinians to make greater concessions and incentives for Israel to get back to the table after dealing with the 2nd Intifada. The opposite took place; Israel received pressure to offer even more while the Palestinians received incentives just to be there. In response, Israel gave in and offered more to the Palestinians and once again, the Palestinians rejected their offer.
The trend is obvious. Israel will continue to offer more and more while the Palestinians continue to reject. After each Israel offer is rejected, they will be applauded until the international community forgets and demands Israel make even further concessions. Nobody can blame the Palestinians, their strategy works.
To demonstrate this trend, I have posted the maps of some of the more prominent Israel-Palestinian peace proposals.
Allon Plan – 1967
Abu Mazen-Beilin Proposal – 1995
Clinton Parameters – 2000
Camp David – 2000
Taba Summit – 2001
Ehud Olmert’s offer – 2008
Arab Peace Initiative – 2002