Seemingly, this is so logical and so symmetric. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may even make use of the very same idea himself, just like many other Palestinian ideas, when he delivers his speech in Washington in two years on the occasion of signing the final-status agreement with the Palestinians: “You gave up Haifa, and we gave up Nablus.”
However, there is a hidden factual flaw in Abu Zeida’s words: The Palestinians never gave up Haifa. In fact, they lost it.
In 1948, our neighbors rejected the United Nations’ proposal on partitioning the land and instead planned to take Haifa by force. At the last moment, something went wrong with their plans, and they ended up without Haifa.
Moreover, there is yet another factual flaw in Abu Zeida’s words: The State of Israel has already given up Nablus. On December 12, 1995, we lowered our flag in the town and went on to hand it over to Nobel Peace Prize laureate Yasser Arafat.
Deal will prompt more rockets
At the time, he promised us peace and quiet in exchange for Nablus. America also made the same pledge. On paper at least, everything was working out very well. The basic assumption those days was that the Palestinians are shelving their dream to return to the 1948 borders, while we are gradually giving up the land of our forefathers at the back of the Mount Hebron area.
By now, it is already clear that the Palestinians lied. The Haifa challenge continued to preoccupy them. They blew up buses on Haifa’s Carmel Mount and restaurants downtown.
Even our decision to renounce the Gaza Strip did not prompt them to give up anything, as can be attested to by residents of Sderot, Ashkelon, Netivot, and other southern Israel communities.
There is no reason to assume that in the wake of our next concessions, which are right around the corner, the Palestinians will respond any differently. The celebrations over the signing of the final status agreement in Washington will end up prompting the anti-rocket siren to go off around here yet again.