Peace can't be bought on the layaway plan
"I hope Sharon doesn't evacuate a single outpost. I hope another quarter million Jews settle in the territories." Those aren't the words of a Yesha council member. It was Michael Tarazi, an adviser to the Palestinian negotiating team, who said them.
"I hope Sharon doesn't evacuate a single outpost. I hope another quarter million Jews settle in the territories." Those aren't the words of a Yesha council member. It was Michael Tarazi, an adviser to the Palestinian negotiating team, who said them. He doesn't believe it's possible to reach an agreement any longer on dividing the country along the 1967 lines. If it were up to him, the intifada would have long since been over - and possibly never taken place.
Tarazi proposes to let Israel sow as many settlements as it wants, and wait patiently until the Palestinians and Jews become one entity. He is convinced that in another 10 to 20 years, the world will impose a one person-one vote system on Israel. Then, what happened to the apartheid regime in South Africa will happen to Zionism; a Palestinian will be elected to head the new entity in the 1947 borders.
Tarazi's words should open the eyes of many Israelis given hope by the declarations of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon about the occupation (as important as they were), a Palestinian state and the dismantling of some settlements. Less than three years have passed since an Israeli prime minister offered the Palestinians "the most generous offer they were ever given." All that's left of those offers is Ehud Barak's story that the generous offer was meant only to expose Yasser Arafat's "true face" - and the terrorism and the despair.
It seems the Israelis refuse to miss an opportunity to say the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. In another two or three months, two to three years tops, when the Palestinians reject Sharon's "generous offer" for half the West Bank, the prime minister will say he's exposed Abu Mazen's true face. When the road map goes the way of the documents that preceded it and the terror attacks resume, Amos Gilad will say Abu Mazen was nothing more than a clean-shaven version of Arafat.
To avoid the next disappointment, it's recommended to clip and save the following lines, written by Col. (res.) Ephraim Lavie, a former researcher in Military Intelligence, who was adviser on Arab affairs to Barak's "peace administration." Lavie argues that Abu Mazen, like Arafat, and any other Palestinian worthy of the name "leader," is committed to the Palestinian National Council's decision from 1988, which adopted UN Security Council Resolution 242 and seeks a Palestinian state alongside Israel. "The Palestinian concept has been and remains that the negotiations are meant to fulfill its rights, which are derived from what they call `international legitimacy,' and not the result of the asymmetry opposite the Israelis."
Lavie emphasizes that as far as the Palestinians are concerned, "a good offer" can only be one that matches those rights. Therefore, a good offer can only be the rights derived from UN decisions, and readiness to adapt them in light of existing reality, such as border corrections for settlement blocs. And precisely for that reason, they rejected the very idea of a framework agreement because as far as they are concerned, the UN decisions already are a framework. That's also the reason why, during Camp David 2, when Israel offered 26 solutions to the Jerusalem and Temple Mount problem, the Palestinians did not raise any offers.
This confirms Tarazi's message; There is no bargain-basement peace deal. A territorial exchange is the only discount on the withdrawal to the 1967 lines, including East Jerusalem; as far as the Palestinians are concerned, they already gave up 78 percent of the original territory. There's also no "two for one" deal - territories and refugees - for the price of one agreement. The only deal is an agreed solution to the right of return problem that does not upset the demographic balance.
There are also no layaway terms - every day of occupation that goes by only increases the strength of its opponents. That's the way it is: You want, eat - and get two states for two peoples. You don't want, don't eat, and get a clearance sale of Zionism.
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