Israeli and Palestinian Flags-Peace, שלום, سلام

Abbas is Being Dragged to the Peace Table—Will it Work?

Penny S. Tee Article

I was excited at the thought of a Peace plan being announced. (You might notice that I capitalize Peace—to me it’s so important that we should). So far the best that can be said about the result of its existence is that at least it got Abbas to come to a table that he is proposing and Peace will be discussed. At least that is what he said.

Abbas continued his rejection of the Peace plan at the United Nations. He said the proposal violates many United Nation’s resolutions, invalidates Palestinian rights “to self-determination, freedom and independence in our own state,” and should not be considered a basis for negotiations.1

At the same time he was waxing poetic about the proposed Palestinian state depicted by the Peace plan looking like swiss cheese, he was calling it an attempt to keep the Palestinians from having an independent state.2 You can’t say it’s preventing the Palestinians from having an independent state as you wave around the map of the proposed Palestinian state. Which is it? Although it did look strange for a state—very disjointed.

It made Abbas mad enough to call for an international conference to pursue the two-state solution demanded in numerous U.N. resolutions.3 Well it’s about time and maybe even that was the point. Abbas rejected Peace overtures from Israel in 2008, 2012 and now—this is nothing new. But even his Arab brethren are getting tired of his intransigence.4

As expected, reactions in the United States and the world have been mixed. Everything in the Middle East has layers of complexity that boggle the mind.

Annexation of the West Bank settlements is sure to be a wild rollercoaster ride and talk of the timing of the move has already caused an uproar. Let’s hope cooler heads prevail and take a more slow and deliberate approach. And of course if a Palestinian state is declared, how will they get the Palestinians to stop the violence against Israel?

Then there’s the capital city of Jerusalem, the crown jewel. It’s sacred to both sides and both want it. They can share it and the Palestinians would have East Jerusalem, but that isn’t acceptable to the Palestinians. Israel and most Jews will never be able to forget that when Jordan oversaw the Western Wall (the Jews’ most sacred place), the Palestinians used it for sewage. It’s a safe bet that location will never be negotiable.

Take a minute and think what it would be like if Israel could live in Peace? If children could go to a soccer game without the fear of sirens blaring during the game where they would have to run off to a bomb shelter. If fourteen-year-olds didn’t still wet their beds out of constantly living in fear. If instead of sending their kids off to the military when they graduate high school, Israeli parents could send them safely off to college—to learn to create a life, instead of defending theirs. It’s times like this that I truly feel so blessed to have been born in the United States. Oy.

Surely Palestinian parents want relief from this endless hamster wheel of death and despair. What if Palestinian kids went to schools not named to honor terrorists or if they weren’t taught in their textbooks that Jews are animals? If they weren’t told that the greatest honor they could do is to blow themselves up in a terror attack and the more Jews they killed the higher the salary paid to their remaining poor family ad infinitum? If their people weren’t told that killing Jews with stabbings, shootings, car rammings and exploding incendiary devices were pretty good to use, too?

And let’s not forget about the constant harassment oftentimes of daily Palestinian launched missiles. These terrorist actions are war crimes when committed against civilians.

This is their governments at work, whether the Palestinian Authority or Hamas, the official terrorist organization running the Gaza strip.

It’s so sad. A Peace plan rejected before even reading it. Why? Their continued commitment is to wipe Israel off the map—it’s in their constitution. The fabric of their community is raised to hate Israelis and Jews. And these are folks that are called moderates.

Danny Danon, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations says, “Abbas is committing the Palestinian people to living in the past. His repeated rejections throughout his decade and a half in office have held his people back from a prosperous future.”5

One has to imagine that if the money given to the Palestinian Authority for the Palestinian people to improve their lives had been spent on them instead of tunnels to launch terrorist attacks, their situation would be so much better today. Meanwhile, Israel is blamed for the difficult lives of the Palestinians instead of their own leadership.

This is not to say that there aren’t difficulties created by for instance security restrictions, but if there wasn’t a need to protect Israelis from terrorist attacks, there wouldn’t be a need for such intense security levels.

Palestinian participation was sought by Kushner and he met with Abbas four times, but Kushner said, “I never felt like he (Abbas) was willing to get into details, either because he’s not a detail oriented person or because he didn’t know what he wanted to accomplish.”6 So it wasn’t surprising that Abbas rejected even the thought of the plan, just disappointing.

Once again the announcement of the plan was greeted by Abbas with continued incitement for violence, trying to get more Palestinian teenagers to donate their lives for the cause.

More than 100 Democrats rejected the plan, now accusing the President of interfering with a foreign election. Between Trump’s recent charges and impeachment and Netanyahu’s similar accusations, I can’t help but wonder if they commiserate with one another in private.

The U.S. politicians seem to be approaching another issue as a partisan race. And in this case if it continues, the Peace in the region will suffer and more lives can be lost. As if the situation isn’t complicated enough, more unnecessary fuel is added to the fire.

According to the Jerusalem Post, some Arab countries are welcoming the plan, which includes Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.7 Other Arab countries reacted negatively to parts of the plan and still others took the PA approach of total rejection.

It may surprise you that some loud Arab protests are from Israeli Arabs who self-identify as Palestinians who don’t want to become part of the proposed Palestinian state. 250,000 live in the Triangle area.8 Why wouldn’t Arabs who live in Israel and call themselves Palestinian, not want to live in what would be established as Palestine?

Khaled Abu Toameh reports from Israel, which is a democracy, that Arab Israelis have representatives in the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) and their citizens have elections and enjoy freedom of speech. He says, “The main reason Arabs in Israel are afraid of becoming Palestinian citizens is because they know that the Palestinian state will be anything but democratic. Many Arab citizens of Israel see how Palestinians living under the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip are subject to human rights violations daily.”9

The Peace Plan has gotten people’s attention and they’re talking about it. If only the talking would continue with the Israelis and Palestinians. Ultimately Peace is the only sane perspective, with both parties bellying up to the table. We can only hope.

Peace, שלום, سلام to all.

I invite you to Join Me on My Journey…
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Endnotes
1 Palestinian Chief Rejects US Plan, Seeks Global Conference, The Associated Press, Haaretz, Feb 11, 2020, https://www.haaretz.com/world-news/wires/1.8525150
2 Palestinian Chief Rejects US Plan, Seeks Global Conference, The Associated Press, Haaretz, Feb 11, 2020, https://www.haaretz.com/world-news/wires/1.8525150
3 Palestinian Chief Rejects US Plan, Seeks Global Conference, The Associated Press, Haaretz, Feb 11, 2020, https://www.haaretz.com/world-news/wires/1.8525150
4 Mahmoud Abbas makes noise at UN again rather than try to negotiate peace
By Danny Danon, New York Post, February 9, 2020, https://nypost.com/2020/02/09/mahmoud-abbas-makes-noise-at-un-again-rather-than-try-to-negotiate-peace/
5 Mahmoud Abbas makes noise at UN again rather than try to negotiate peace
By Danny Danon, New York Post, February 9, 2020, https://nypost.com/2020/02/09/mahmoud-abbas-makes-noise-at-un-again-rather-than-try-to-negotiate-peace/
6 Peace Plan Architect Kushner Blames Palestinians for Violence, Newsmax, February 06, 2020, https://www.newsmax.com/politics/Israel-Palestinians/2020/02/06/id/953051/
7 By Omri Nahmias, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar and UAE Welcome Trump Peace Plan, The Jerusalem Post, January 29, 2020, https://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Saudi-Arabia-Egypt-Qatar-UAE-welcome-Trump-peace-plan-615752
8 Analysis: The real reason Arabs in Israel do not want to live in ‘Palestine,’ World Israel News, By Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, February 4, 2020, https://worldisraelnews.com/analysis-the-real-reason-arabs-in-israel-do-not-want-to-live-in-palestine/
9 Analysis: The real reason Arabs in Israel do not want to live in ‘Palestine,’ World Israel News, By Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, February 4, 2020, https://worldisraelnews.com/analysis-the-real-reason-arabs-in-israel-do-not-want-to-live-in-palestine/

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