IT SEEMS THAT THE U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, is not only an adherent Two-State Solution advocate, but also a pretentious prophet. Mr. Kerry is prophesying that there is only one or two years to establish the independent state of Palestine alongside Israel, relying upon the leadership of the Palestinian Authority chairman, Mahmoud Abbas, and his resigning Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad. According to the Associated Press, in his speech before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Kerry underlined the difficulty he will face in trying to chart a path toward Mideast peace, urging patience on the details of any two-state plan while stressing that Israel and the Palestinians might only have two years left for a deal.
The idea of putting a pressure on Israel’s newly elected leadership, headed by Prime Minister Netanyahu, would probably yield an American peace plan. To be more accurate: another one. Kerry, like many Liberals and Leftists in Israel and in the United States, is unready to admit that the Mideast conflict has its own pace. Mr. Netanyahu won’t offer more than the generous offers made by his predecessors, former Prime Ministers Barak, Sharon and Olmert. All of them got terror in response to courageous and controversial peace offers. It was Sharon who evacuated the Gush Katif settlement from the Gaza strip, what consequently brought about the rise of Islamo-fascist tyranny elected by the Gazans. Kerry, unwilling to learn from past experience, thinks that Israel is the obstacle in the way of genuine peace. His position is biased in favor of the Palestinian hue-and-cry, presuming that in case Israel would accept the idea of Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its Capital, evacuating the settlers and swapping territories, there will be a true possibility of making peace and ending the ongoing conflict. However, all of his presumptions are unfounded.
First, while Mr. Netanyahu declared more than once that he is ready to enter negotiations with no preconditions – speaking for Two-State solution in Hebrew as well as in English – there was no Palestinian leader who challenged this formal Israeli policy by committing to this formula.
Second, The Palestinians have their own preconditions, e.g. freezing the construction works in the settlements, including Jerusalem, and demanding Israel to be committed to withdraw to the pre-Six Day War borders of June 1967. Thus, the Palestinian misleadership makes the mere idea of negotiations redundant, for they desire to start from the very end of the talks instead of acknowledging the principle of Israel’s right to exist.
Third, although Mr. Netanyahu accepted the idea of Palestinian State, thereby renouncing the Zionist Revisionist concept of Israeli control in all of Judea and Samaria’s territory, Mr. Abbas did not consent to the idea of Jewish State, emphasizing over and over again, mostly in Arabic, his insistence on the Right of Return of the displaced Palestinians and their off-springs – a pseudo-right that will destroy Israel’s Jewishness expressed in its historic mission of being national home to world Jewry. Furthermore, he did not endorse the idea that the Two-State Solution will end the conflict once and for all. Neither Mr. Abbas nor Mr. Fayyad is ready to go beyond the traditional PLO program of temporary agreements, pauses in the struggle for the liberation of Palestine, eventually leading to the final solution of destroying the Jewish State with the smoke screen of “one democratic and secular state”.
Let us add to these three points the fact that the current Palestinian leaders – most of them in their sixth or seventh decade of their lives – knows that once general elections will be held among the Palestinian voters, it is probable that Hamas will take the lead and seize the political power. Their words and promises worth absolutely nothing. The only cause for the fact that they still hold the power is the heavy financing given to the Palestinian Authority by the U.S., the EU, some Gulf States and even Israel who delivers the taxes it collects from the Palestinian taxpayers directly to the PA, not to mention the fact that Israel’s electricity structures have been serving the PA for years (without paying the enormous Palestinian debt to the Israeli Electricity Company).
No peace agreement can be achieved with leaders merely representing relatively small political faction, hoping that their leadership would generate in one or two years solid political and ideological alternative to the Islamists. It is sad to realize that the contemporary Palestinian misleaders spent all of their careers in demonizing Israel instead of forging new generation with the capacities to build a democratic, independent and liberal Palestine alongside the Jewish State.
Kerry’s timetable for the conflict’s resolution does not line with the lessons drawn from past experiences. As current head of the Jewish Agency, former MK and prisoner of Zion, Mr. Natan Sharansky, argued in his bestseller The Case for Democracy (2004), true peace can be obtained only through treaties signed with liberal democracies. What the Palestinians need is to build their own liberal, democratic state by embodying values of freedom and tolerance in the minds of their youth. Peace is within reach if and only if the Palestinian society will be able to smash Islamic fundamentalism, favoring compromise versus ongoing struggle to outset Israelis from their land and meeting what Israel regards as its fundamental conditions for long lasting peace, i.e. its national defense interests. This process is, of course, two-sided, and many Israelis – even among the Right – agree that Israel cannot and should not rule the Palestinians. However, what Abbas and Co. want from Israel is a safe recipe for national suicide, or, at best, leaving Israel’s fate to what the Palestinians consider to be their national interest.
In 2005, it ended up in Hamas seizing power of Gaza strip, firing hundreds of missile toward Israeli southern towns and cities. There is no reason in adopting formula that failed only eight years ago or in trying to revive the Camp David negotiations held in 2000, whose outcome was a bloody Intifada where buses and restaurants blew up in Israel due to suicide bombings encouraged by the swindler Arafat. Kerry, whose friendship to Israel should not be doubted, must realize that forced negotiations leading to nowhere would regenerate terror and bloodshed, not peace and stability. His eagerness to resolve the conflict is likely to mark new phase of hostility rather than deepen the tranquility toiled in so many efforts during the last four years. Instead of prophesy, he should attempt to bring Israel and the Palestinians together in order to set some goals for the future whose in essence will allow the inhabitants of the country to prosper and develop mutual confidence toward more daring peace plans, thereby laying the foundations for the Palestinian democracy to evolve in atmosphere of tolerance and recognition of its people for their right of self-determination.