When the 17 basic demands of the Palestinians became known, even impassioned peace camp followers were alarmed by them. If I were a Palestinian, I would respond with the following monologue:
"What surprises you? Our demand that the state of Palestine will control the border crossings rather than Israel? That Palestine will be free to sign international agreements, including military ones? That it will be the only one to control the airspace over it and the water reservoirs under it and will be the exclusive sovereign in the territorial waters off Gaza and in the Dead Sea? Is there a country in the world which these are not the basic components of its sovereignty?
"We know that you predict that through the border crossings we will pour in hundreds of thousands who will change the demographic balance in our favor, bring in terrorists, Revolutionary guards and such others; that we will sign a military pact with Iran and maybe with Syria or with Russia, and you won't be able to lift a finger against their soldiers if we invite them to defend us against you; that the control of the Palestinian air force, together with friendly air forces, will make it difficult to use Ben-Gurion Airport; that from the entire Dead Sea all you'll have left will be the evaporation ponds in its southwestern corner, and we will pump the groundwater as we please, even if you'll miss it in Tel Aviv.
"Whether we do that and whether we don't – it's our decision, because that's the essence of sovereignty. And if you're having trouble living with it, that's your problem. You should have thought of that before the Bar-Ilan speech and before launching the Livni-Erekat negotiations, whose starting point is the move from Oslo to sovereignty.
"Additional demands we have are also self-evident from your agreement in principle: For example, for sovereignty over all the holy places. What were you thinking, that you would 'give' us Shuafat and take the Temple Mount for yourselves? And we will of course demand Israeli legislation cancelling the annexation of Jerusalem. And as for the settlers in Jerusalem and the West Bank, their number is already reaching 700,000. Do you think we can really run an independent state with them within us? The moment you said 'Palestinian state' you said 'Jews out,' and that is another thing you should have thought about earlier."
Netanyahu's fatal mistakeThat's it for the Palestinian claim describing the inevitable repercussions of the fatal mistake Netanyahu made by permitting a Palestinian state in Zion. And we have yet to mention their battle to flood Israel with "refugees," which even if they give up on now, they will renew through the national tools we will give them.
Ramallah is demanding from us everything it is missing for sovereignty. What it has – a parliament, a government, a flag and an anthem, diplomatic offices, a status at the UN, an economy and armed forces – is an autonomy, and the elements we have left for ourselves are the ones which distinguish between a state and an autonomy. Yet without these restrictions Israel will not be able to survive, and so Netanyahu is trying to sell an autonomy packed as a state.
This attempt is doomed to fail. Among the Arabs, because they are insisting – and rightfully so – on opening the package and checking its content. Among the Jews, because they know that even if the Arabs agree to accept an autonomic essence in a formal status of a state, they will use the sovereignty's powers and authorities to fill this gap. The entire world will understandingly accept a unilateral Palestinian cancelation of the characteristics of sovereignty Israel has kept for itself, because sovereignty cannot be divided.
Netanyahu is playing with fire. On the date set by the Americans, April 2014, this fire will erupt. An Israel wishing to live will knock over the negotiations table before this time arrives, so that we are not bounded by them. Good reasons to stop the talks are being produced by the Palestinians all the time, but we practice restraint "in order to save the negotiations," and that's a scandal in itself.