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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

PalArabs tell the world their strategy (Barry Rubin)

I was treated today to a very nice hour over coffee and iced tea with Barry Rubin, prolific author and analyst, in Tel Aviv. The least I can do to repay is to link to his latest article:
If you want to understand what's really going on in the alleged Israel-Palestinian peace process-beyond the babble that progress is being made, it's all Israel's fault, and everyone is working hard on it-here's what you need to know.

For the present, the Palestinian leadership isn't interested in pursuing negotiations with Israel because it has a different strategy: get everything it wants from others without making any concessions.

First, the Palestinian Authority (PA) came very close to obtaining a European Union (EU) resolution which made it sound like the Palestinian state with its capital in east Jerusalem is an accomplished fact. The rejection of the Swedish-sponsored proposal by more moderate European states staved this off, along with a U.S. reminder that this kind of issue was supposed to be resolved by a negotiated agreement between the PA and Israel.

Nevertheless, the PA no doubt drew hope-albeit erroneously so--from this experience that with a little more time the EU will back its position completely and give it a state on a silver platter.

The other front is the UN. On December 15, a meeting of the Fatah leadership will discuss and probably endorse a plan to seek UN recognition of their state, with no preconditions.

In the words of one Council member, Munib Masri:

"We will ask the UN Security Council to endorse a two-state solution with east Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state, to compensate Palestinian refugees and affirm their right to return to their homeland."

There is a very interesting phrase at the end of that statement. Masri was referring to the Palestinian demand that all refugees and their descendants can go live in Israel if they want, a formula for massive violence, chaos, and civil war in Israel. Of course, that's precisely what the PA wants--and will never get. The idea is that the "two-state solution" it is thinking about is merely a transitional step toward wiping Israel off the map, the real goal and the reason why there isn't any peace.

By defining Israel as the Palestinian homeland, or at least a part of it, Masri shows the two-state solution is not a serious Palestinian goal. If it were, a West Bank-Gaza Strip-east Jerusalem state would be defined as the homeland.
Read the whole thing, and check out the Gloria Center site which is chock-full of penetrating analysis that is simply not available anywhere else.