Tuesday, 1 August 2017

How many times has Israel offered peace

In God's right hand does not appear anywhere in the Koran.
In the left hand: would be good if it were taught in Gaza schools
instead of "we love death more than you love life"
The Palestinians have actually had numerous opportunities to create an independent state, but have repeatedly rejected the offers:
  • In 1937, the Peel Commission proposed the partition of Palestine and the creation of an Arab state.
  • In 1939, the British White Paper proposed the creation of a unitary Arab state.
  • In 1947, the UN would have created an even larger Arab state as part of its partition plan.
  • The 1979 Egypt-Israel peace negotiations offered the Palestinians autonomy, which would almost certainly have led to full independence.
  • The Oslo agreements of the 1990s laid out a path for Palestinian independence, but the process was derailed by terrorism.
  • In 2000, Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered to create a Palestinian state in all of Gaza and 97 percent of the West Bank.
  • In 2008, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered to withdraw from almost the entire West Bank and partition Jerusalem on a demographic basis.
  • In addition 1948 to 1967, Israel did not control the West Bank. The Palestinians could have demanded an independent state from the Jordanians. On the contrary whilst Jordan was in control Arafat said there was no longer a claim as it was no longer part of Palestine. Once it was back in Israeli hands it miraculously became disputed land again! This is one of many reasons Jews and Israelis are cynical.
The Palestinians have spurned each of these opportunities. A variety of reasons have been given for why the Palestinians have in Abba Eban’s words, “never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” Historian Benny Morris has suggested that the Palestinians have religious, historical, and practical reasons for opposing an agreement with Israel. He says that “Arafat and his generation cannot give up the vision of the greater land of Israel for the Arabs. [This is true because] this is a holy land, Dar al-Islam [the world of Islam]. It was once in the hands of the Muslims, and it is inconceivable [to them] that infidels like us [the Israelis] would receive it.”
The Palestinians also believe that time is on their side. “They feel that demographics will defeat the Jews in one hundred or two hundred years, just like the Crusaders.” The Palestinians, Morris says, also hope the Arabs will acquire nuclear weapons in the future that will allow them to defeat Israel.
In 2000, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered to withdraw from 97 percent of the West Bank and 100 percent of the Gaza Strip. In addition, he agreed to dismantle 63 isolated settlements. In exchange for the 3 percent annexation of the West Bank, Israel said it would give up territory in the Negev that would increase the size of the Gaza territory by roughly a third.
Barak also made previously unthinkable concessions on Jerusalem, agreeing that Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem would become the capital of the new state. The Palestinians would maintain control over their holy places and have “religious sovereignty” over the Temple Mount.
According to U.S. peace negotiator Dennis Ross, Israel offered to create a Palestinian state that was contiguous, and not a series of cantons. Even in the case of the Gaza Strip, which must be physically separate from the West Bank unless Israel were to be cut into non-contiguous pieces, a solution was devised whereby an overland highway would connect the two parts of the Palestinian state without any Israeli checkpoints or interference. The proposal also addressed the Palestinian refugee issue, guaranteeing them the right of return to the Palestinian state and reparations from a $30 billion fund that would be collected from international donors to compensate them.
“In his last conversation with President Clinton, Arafat told the President that he was “a great man.” Clinton responded, “The hell I am. I’m a colossal failure, and you made me one.”
Arafat was asked to agree to Israeli sovereignty over the parts of the Western Wall religiously significant to Jews (i.e., not the entire Temple Mount), and three early warning stations in the Jordan Valley, which Israel would withdraw from after six years. Most important, however, Arafat was expected to agree that the conflict with Israel was over at the end of the negotiations. This was the true deal breaker. Arafat was not willing to end the conflict. “For him to end the conflict is to end himself,” said Ross.
The prevailing view of the Camp David/White House negotiations—that Israel offered generous concessions, and that Yasser Arafat rejected them to pursue the war that began in September 2000—was acknowledged for more than a year. To counter the perception that Arafat was the obstacle to peace, the Palestinians and their supporters then began to suggest a variety of excuses for why Arafat failed to say “yes” to a proposal that would have established a Palestinian state. The truth is that if the Palestinians were dissatisfied with any part of the Israeli proposal, all they had to do was offer a counterproposal. They never did.
Anyone that is against Israel should satisfy themselves as why this may have been?
I believe, when it comes to the Palestinians, as David Crosby has it: "They Want It All"