Sunday, February 02, 2020

There has been an interesting clash in the media between Jared Kushner and Saeb Erekat that, when analyzed, shows that Kushner is right.

Kushner went on Arab MBCTV to defend the plan. As usual, no one can argue with what he says so they are upset over his tone which they claim is condescending. This interview does not sound condescending to me:

During the interview Kushner also slammed Erekat for being part of the problem:

"He says a lot of things that have turned out not to be true," Kushner told Egyptian journalist Amr Adib on MBC Masr's Al Hikaya political program. "The guy has a perfect track record at failing at making peace deals."

Kushner riled up Erekat and anti-Israel activists last week when he said, accurately, that Palestinians like Erekat have screwed up every previous opportunity for peace:

Erakat tweeted after the MBC interview:
 It is because of people like you who want to dictate rather than negotiate and who they thought could impose an apartheid Netanyahu plan on the Palestinian people forever. Ending the occupation, two states on the 1967 borders, otherwise is failure.
Yet as I noted, the 2008 Olmert plan gave Abbas everything he demanded - and more. Erekat admitted this himself:

“I heard Olmert say that he offered 100% of the West Bank territory. This is true. I’ll testify to this. He [Olmert] presented a map [to Abbas], and said: ‘I want [Israel] to take 6.5% of the West Bank and I’ll give [the PA] 6.5% of the 1948 territory (i.e., land in Israel) in return.’ [Olmert] said to Abbas: ‘The area of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on the eve of June 4, 1967, was 6,235 sq. km. [I said to Abbas]: ‘There are 50 sq. km. of no man’s land in Jerusalem and Latrun.’ We’ll split them between us, so the territory will be 6,260 sq. km.” [I said to Abbas:] Olmert wants to give you 20 sq. km. more, so that you could say [to Palestinians]: ‘I got more than the 1967 territories.’ Regarding Jerusalem, [Olmert said]: ‘What’s Arab is Arab, and what’s Jewish is Jewish, and we’ll keep it an open city.’ Regarding the refugees, [Olmert] offered him [Abbas] 150,000 refugees … [Olmert] said: “The refugees’ right to return to the State of Palestine is your law. But regarding Israel, we will accept 150,000 refugees over 10 years. 15,000 [per year] over 10 years.”

So by denouncing all previous plans - which is in fact what many "pro-Palestinian" activists are doing in response to Kushner's CNN interview - Erekat is saying that his opposition isn't to Trump's plan but to every single previous plan as well for not going far enough.

The only possible interpretation is that Abbas' demands in 2008 were a lie, and he wanted to paint Olmert into a corner, not thinking he would (stupidly) agree to every demand for land and Israel taking responsibility for 1948 refugees and splitting Jerusalem. Abbas didn't want to end his claims on all of Israel down the line; he didn't want to stop at 150,000 Arabs "returning" - he didn't want to agree to anything that would leave Israel strong and viable.

Kushner is accurately pointing out that if Palestinians want a state, they can have one. In this plan, he notes, all the checkpoints will be gone - a Palestinian can travel through the entire state without seeing a single Israeli. Any Arab that wants to pray at Al Aqsa can do so. Details that were never dreamed of in previous plans are considered with the welfare of average Palestinians in the forefront of its philosophy.

Erekat's fuming response is, essentially, that nothing less than full Israeli surrender to the demands of those who claim they have nothing is acceptable - and that includes "return" to destroy the Jewish state. He is showing that his problem is not with Trump but with all previous plans, which fulfilled every ostensible Palestinian demand.

Erekat's words show that Palestinian leaders were never serious about peace or an independent state.And the Palestinian people are the ones who lose out because of the egos of Erekat and Abbas and all the rest.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.


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