What is the ‘obstacle for Peace’?

The Quartet (an intentional body constructed from the United Nations, European Union, United States and Russia) will attempt to jump start peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians later this week. This of course comes in the midst of the Palestinian unilateral move in the UN, which is expected to either not pass or be vetoed early November. Everyone is pessimistic about the option that the peace process and direct talks would be started and some even claim it would take nothing short of a miracle to make that happen. Honestly? They’re probably right. There’s hardly any chance the parties will engage in bilateral talks and the Quartet is simply trying to see if indirect talks – a really bad idea – could take place.

The main reason for that is probably that the parties are so far away in how they perceive a peace process, including on the integral key issue: the goal. Israel has always wanted the goal to be one thing – the end of conflict and the end of mutual demands that as a result will give birth to a Palestinian state living side by side with Israel. The Palestinians however wanted the goal to be a Palestinian state. There is a huge difference between the two.

Now the parties are even further away – Israel wants what it always wanted: a peace process with no predetermined results, with no prior conditions. The Palestinians want a lot more: They have a list of demands they require (which just grew this week – I’ll explain later on) for them to even think about negotiations and a peace process (a bilateral process as opposed to the unilateral one they’ve worked so hard, much harder, to advance). When Israel dared put one condition in response to their condition, the Palestinian refused it and demanded that only their demands will be met. The Israeli condition, by the way, was a Palestinian recognition that Israel is not just any state, but the birthright state of the Jewish people. That is due to the fact that to this day, the Palestinian distort facts, truths and history and refuse to acknowledge the connection between the Jewish people and the land of Israel. This goes to show how unwilling they are to end the conflict and the mutual demands, but instead only seek a Palestinian state alone.

Israel at this point, especially after the outraging move in UN, is done with favors and gestures. It is done negotiating how to start negotiations. It has given the Palestinian a huge unprecedented gesture in the form of 10 months moratorium on all Jewish buildings in the West Bank, which the Palestinian rejected. They refused to enter negotiations until they were pressured to do so by the international community and then demanded, still does, the renewal of the moratorium, the same one they’ve thought so little about when it was first offered and given. Now, they are putting up another demand, claiming that the former Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, promised he would release more Palestinian prisoners after a swap deal for Gilad Shalit would be made. They demand that in addition to 1,027 prisoners released, Israel will release more. The former PM of Israel released hundreds of prisoners on several occasions as good-faiths gestures with the Palestinians. None of this helped bring forth a peace agreement. And there is certainly no good-faith between either parties at the moment.

In a trip to Colombia last month, Palestinian Authority President claimed he was close to signing a deal with former Israeli Prime Minister Olmert, and that he believes that is why his term was cut short. FALSE!!! History distortions and lies are not new to the tactic of Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas (as can be vividly seen in his article at The New York Times on May 17th, or his speech before the UN General Assembly last September). Maybe it’s because he cannot grasp the notion of democracy, but Ehud Olmert was removed from office due to many corruption charges against him, for some of which, severe in nature, he is standing trial today. Moreover, in his claims he forgets to mention that Olmert made proposals to end the conflict, which were even greater than those of Bill Clinton (which former PA President Arafat rejected) – proposals that led nowhere near a peace agreement. He also forgets to mention how he walked away from the table when Olmert himself launched an offensive against the 8 years of rocket barraged fired at Israeli citizens from the Gaza Strip, but Abbas’ rivals – Hamas.

Yesterday it was reported that in close talks, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Abbas is ‘the obstacle for peace’ and that his threats of leaving office would be ‘a blessing not a curse, anyone would be better than him and that it would be best if he was removed from office’. In response, Saeb Arikat, the Palestinian Minister in charged of the peace process, said these were words of incitement, that Israel is ‘the obstacle of peace’ itself and that ‘if anything should happen to Abbas, it’s the Israelis fault’.

This could have been referring to Lieberman’s analogy between Abbas and other Arab leaders falling from grace these days like Gaddafi, Mubarak and more. This goes to show that the Palestinians initially think about violence. I have used the phrase ‘removal from office’ when talking about former Israeli Prime Minister Olmert. It was done in a democratic way with no being psychically attacked or harmed. But again, the Palestinian Authority, is interested in the pretense of democracy, not a real one. Which is why Arikat, the same one who insisted that ‘Time is not ripe for negotiations’ and that the last round of negotiations was ‘not time for negotiations but for Israel to make concessions’, thinks about a violent removal from office. Sadly, it goes to show that any future Palestinian state would be another oppressing Arab regime, and that is when it is formed by the most moderate faction (Hamas today enforces a strict extreme-Islamic law in Gaza that largely oppresses its’ people).

And now we’re at maybe one of the most important issue – another testimony that the unity between moderate Fatah and extreme Hamas is farcical – Even the Quartet is not trying to sponsor or jump start any kind of talks between Israel and Hamas, the de-facto sole ruler of the Gaza Strip. Hamas is still dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the forming of Palestine over all its’ territory – it is only willing to talk indirectly with Israel about a cease-fire or swap deals. They refuse to acknowledge Israel, abandon terror and talk peace, let alone the end of conflict, with Israel. For them, war, bloodshed and the death of all Israeli Jews is the answer. Any peace that could possibility be achieved between Israel and the Palestinians, is only valid for about half of future Palestine – the Palestinian Authority has no way of enforcing a peace agreement on the strip or on Hamas, who continues to stay devoted to jihad against Israel. In fact, it has no way of guaranteeing the end of rockets fired upon Israeli citizens. It has no way of enforcing the end of terror against Israel from the strip. That seems like a pretty big obstacle for peace, myself.

Of course this doesn’t end there – the Palestinians show no real sign of willing to make concessions. Especially when it comes to their fictitious Right of Return – just the events happened in the past six months, just to hear what Abbas is writing or saying over the stage at the UN, it is clear they are holding on to this ridiculous claim that no one has ever been granted in any other conflict. The demand for tens of thousands, and much more, of Palestinian Refugees, over 60 years after they themselves rejected an offer to form a Palestinian state (then called an Arab state at all UN resolutions), to return and live in Israel (while all the way demanding that no Israeli will be left on their territory) is a huge obstacle for peace. True, in past negotiations, they’ve shown readiness to be flexible about this issue (though not give up this ridiculous claim altogether), but the same can said for Arafat who later on went to reject the entire peace offer (and months later began a round of violence that is the worst and most horrible this conflict has ever, and hopefully will ever, see).

When it comes right down to it, the Palestinians are an obstacle for peace themselves. Their claims, their tactics and their continued rejection of peace (all the while refusing to take some of the blame for what this conflict is), their continued education to honoring terror and refusal to call it inhumane, their piling demands for conditions – They are doing everything in there power to avoid a peace process, to avoid negotiations, to avoid making concessions, to avoid ending this conflict. It’s why their so busy perpetuating it to the next generation.

THE REAL OBSTACLE:

But honestly that is because of the true and real obstacle – The continued “favorite child” attitude the Palestinians receive worldwide. No wonder they’re avoiding peace and negotiations – in the past two years, without having a peace process they have gotten plenty from the world. At a time where a moratorium was in effect and they refused to enter direct talks with Israel, their envoy received major upgrading status in Norway, Ireland, United States and much more. Now they are enjoying a vast suppose from the automatic majority of the General Assembly in the UN and will receive, even without the consent of the Security Council, an upgrade of status and the ability to seat on many of the UN’s panels, working for their cause and against Israel. Not for peace, but for an ongoing conflict. They have been awarded a seat in the UN as an observer in 1975, they have passed resolutions in their favor for decades – they have so much power and have gained so much without giving anything real in return, what the hell should they make concessions? Why the hell should they end this conflict, give in on any demand? At a time when Syrian president is slaughtering his people, the UN’s Human Rights Council is busy talking about then, directing disproportional resources simply to their cause. Why? Because they’re on the agenda. They’re always on the agenda. Even now, as they walk away from negotiations, when they are refusing the meet or talk without a list of conditions first approved and executed, they still enjoy world embrace and support. The blind hatred for Israel (or the US) is only fuel that drives them further away from the table. The day they will stop receiving so many gifts just for being them and begin to give something in return, show they are willing to end this conflict, only only put up demands – that’s when optimism can arise, that’s when the obstacle has been lifted, that’s when peace is perhaps for the first time truly possible.

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