Following the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel offered to return land acquired during the conflict to her defeated Arab enemies in exchange for peace. On September 1, 1967 the Arab League, convening in Khartoum, Sudan drafted its predictable response to the Israeli overture in the form of the now infamous “Three No’s” proclamation: “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it…”
Nothing has changed since then. Arabs still maintain their rejectionist attitudes toward reconciliation with Israel as evidenced by Mahmoud Abbas’ own version of the Arab League’s Khartoum declaration. A recent report indicated that Abbas rejected Israel’s three core demands that represent red lines for the Jewish state. Abbas refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, refused to abandon the so-called Palestinian “right of return” and refused to commit to an end of conflict or claims. Refusal to meet any one of the three conditions severely undermines prospects for peace. Refusal to accept all three however, all but torpedoes the process.
President Obama has all but chosen to ignore Palestinian rejectionism in favor of heaping criticism on the only democracy in the Mideast, Israel. Obama suffers from an acute case of tunnel vision when it comes to Israel focusing on ancillary matters, like the so-called settlements, instead of focusing attention on the real stumbling blocks to peace, namely, the consistent refusal of the Palestinian Arab leadership to accept any Jewish presence in the Land of Israel. This rejectionism has manifested itself in the anti-Jewish Arab pogroms of 1921-22, 1929 and 1936 as well as the Arab rejection of the United Nations Partition Plan of 1947, the Arab aggression that precipitated the Six-Day War and the wave of terror unleashed by Yasser Arafat following his sabotage of the Camp David summit in 2000.
The Palestinians have only themselves to blame for their stagnation and sorry state of affairs. Their corrupt and venal leaders care more about accumulating wealth and power than about advancing civil rights for their people. Indeed, the unelected, autocratic “President” Abbas is now in the midst of his 9th year in office when his term should have terminated after four. Freedom of the press and dissent are virtually nonexistent and incitement to violence and anti-Semitism continue unabated.
This is the force of “moderation” that the Obama administration expects Israel to contend with. Israel of course must also contend with Hamas, which unlike Abbas and his Palestinian Authority offers frighteningly honest opinions about how it intends to deal with Jews should it ever get the opportunity. For the Palestinians, whether Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah or Ismail Haniyeh’s Hamas, nothing has changed since the days of the infamous Palestinian leader and Nazi collaborator, Haj Amin al-Husseini. The goal of eradicating Israel and replacing it with yet another dysfunctional Arab state remains the same.
The Obama administration, fixated with Israel’s development of Judea & Samaria and besotted by the idea of making Israel minuscule and indefensible, has chosen to ignore subtle and not so subtle proclamations by senior Palestinian ministers and law makers concerning their pernicious objectives. This flawed and one-sided policy in turn serves only to embolden and harden Palestinian intransigence making compromise and peaceful resolution impossible.
Israel has sacrificed much over the years for the cause of peace and has received nothing but worthless guarantees and groundless criticism in return. Israel, under Prime Minister Netanyahu has wisely adopted the policy of reciprocity. The days of unilateral Israeli territorial concessions are over. No longer will Israel hand over chunks of its ancestral land for vague assurances and worthless promises. It is time for the Obama administration to recognize the Palestinian Authority for what it truly is; an entity that does not seek peaceful relations with its neighbor but rather one that seeks the eradication of an existing democracy in favor of yet another dysfunctional Islamist theocracy.