Photo: Tzvika Tishler
Gadi Taub
Photo: Tzvika Tishler

Negotiations to nowhere

History shows that Palestinians will never agree to two-state solution

Again we see the return, in vain, to negotiations with the Palestinians. Olmert is not the only one engaging in talks and promising us that very soon we shall secure a deal (which he has no mandate to commit to at this time anyway) – our three major parties are back to the old tune: They will courageously pursue an agreement that would guarantee peace and security.


The parties can be distinguished by the price they are wiling to pay, yet it doesn’t really matter. We are arguing amongst ourselves over the price of merchandize that the Palestinians are unwilling to buy.


It appeared that we woke up from our stupor and realized this in the wake of the 2000 Camp David negotiations. It appeared that we realized that our terms of reference were fundamentally flawed, both on the Right and on the Left. At that point, we stopped talking about “concessions” that need to be made “in exchange for peace.”


Slowly we started realizing that it works the other way around: It is not us who want the whole country and them who want partition. The opposite is true: We need partition, while the Palestinians wish to avert it. They aspire for an Arab majority across the country, and partition would take that away from them.


There is nothing new about this in fact. Back in the United Nations discussions regarding the 1947 Partition Plan, the Arab side demanded one state. The committee that prepared the proposal on behalf of the UN General Assembly – UNSCOP – was well familiar with the motives for this demand: The Arabs constituted two-thirds of the country’s population, and they sought to establish an Arab state quickly, before the onset of massive Jewish immigration, while they were still the majority.


The Arabs fully realized that partition would annul their demographic advantage and turn the Jewish State into a stable entity. We too realized this. Therefore, we accepted partition and they did not.


We forgot what we learned 

Now, we are back at square one. The Palestinian policy is always directed at non-partition. The endless negotiations always come to a halt at the same point: The right of return. Every time we get close to a deal, it turns out the Palestinians are unwilling to renounce this demand. This was the case in Camp David in 2000 and the same is true for the Arab League document known as the “Saudi Initiative.”


This means that regardless of whether we accept the demand or not, there will be no partition agreement. If we do not accept it, they will not sign a partition agreement. Yet if we do accept it, there will be a deal, but no partition: The right of return means two Palestinian states, rather than two states for two nations. Meanwhile, they also managed to block the path to partition without agreement, by using Qassam rockets.


Ever since the Second Lebanon War it appears that we forgot what we learned: Negotiations lead to nowhere. They will simply continue endlessly, because time works in their favor. We shall continue to snooze while arguing over the details, until we slowly sink into the bi-national swamp to the point of being unable to separate from them. Ultimately, we shall have one state here, with a Jewish minority.


We would do well to wake up and look this reality in the eye. They did not allow us, and they will not allow us, to divide this country. We shall have to do it ourselves. Indeed, at this time there is no way to withdraw unilaterally. However, we can do plenty in order to avoid sinking into the bi-national swamp. We can finish the security fence’s construction already, we can start bringing the settlers back, and we can keep the army on the other side of the fence until we find a way to prevent terrorism and rockets.


Zionism is a serious matter. This movement was able to take tough decisions in the past. True leadership would not have allowed a handful of settlers and some tin rockets to crash the Zionist ship into a bi-national shoal.


פרסום ראשון: 11.26.08, 20:24
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