There is something refreshing about the new movement, Women Wage Peace. They managed to get thousands of women to participate in a long march and demonstration – Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Muslims. And in general, we should welcome any movement working to advance reconciliation and understanding, just like we should condemn any movement working to increase the hostility towards Israel and Palestinian rejectionism, by turning Israel into a criminal.
Nonetheless, I have something to say to them. The new movement is repeating the worn-out claim that “there is a partner.” This claim actually promotes the Right’s ideology, because if there is a partner, negotiations should be held in order to reach an agreement. But we have been through all this. The Palestinians have already rejected former US President Bill Clinton’s proposal and former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s proposal. Whoever thinks that they will suddenly accept an agreement on the same basis is being led by illusions.
Only recently, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas clarified at the United Nations that “the problem is with the Balfour Declaration,” adding that “there are six million Palestinian refugees waiting to receive what they are entitled to and to be allowed to return to their homes.” In 2008, in response to Olmert’s proposal, he told US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that there were four million refugees.
There is no historical precedent for a leader who wants his people to move to a different state. And that’s sad, because he really is the most moderate Palestinian Arab leader, considering the fact that his predecessors are people like the mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini and Yasser Arafat.
The argument that “there is a partner,” therefore, prevents the required move: A separation in accordance with the Israeli interest, in a format which has been recommended in recent years by many defense establishment graduates (like, for example, “the commanders’ program”), in a way which will both prevent the mistakes of the disengagement and stop the deterioration to a model of one large state which will not be Jewish.
We should get this through our heads: The radical right and the radical left have a partner, because the Palestinians are opposed to an agreement based on two state for two people. That’s the coalition of one big state. The Zionist left, the center and the moderate right have no partner.
There is no need to wait for the Palestinian messiah, who will never arrive. There is a need to advance an agreement. In the meantime, declarations that “there is a partner” only perpetuate the stalemate and serve the vision of the Right, mainly the radical right.