Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s resolve seems to have cracked already, with his stated willingness to concede land to the Palestinians in order to bring Abbas to the negotiating table. Arutz Sheva reported on August 8, 2010 that “Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu actually offered to cede control of certain land to the Palestinian Authority at the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee last week in exchange for their agreeing to direct talks with Israel. He said that he would be willing to transfer to Area B status – i.e., under Israeli military control and PA administrative control – a strip of land north of Ramallah, in the Binyamin region, so that the new PA city of Rawabi could have easy access to Ramallah.” PA chairman Mahmud Abbas has said that even that is not enough. Abbas says he will refuse to sit down and talk with Israel until the latter agrees to stop all construction in Judea and Samaria, and in eastern Jerusalem.
In a August 9 Jerusalem Post article, Benny Begin, Israel’s Minister without portfolio and a member of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s forum of seven senior ministers, stated that “The Palestinians are after a ‘two-stage solution’ and not a two-state solution. There is no other rational explanation for the total, vehement rejection of the far-reaching proposals by two previous Israeli governments.” Begin, the son of former Prime Minister Menachem Begin emphasized:
the Palestine Liberation Organization seeks the liberation of Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, which is why its true aim is not a two-state solution but a two-stage solution. In stage one it tries to push Israel to the 1949 armistice lines. In stage two, it will push for the insertion of hundreds of thousands of refugees into the State of Israel, to liberate Palestine.
By designating Abbas as a “moderate,” Israel has basically undermined its own position. Israel’s unilateral concessions have only served to whet the Palestinian appetite for more cost-free Israeli concessions. Secular Israeli political leaders have adopted the reasoning of their secular Western friends in the U.S. and Europe, who fail to see that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not about land or borders but about Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state; which Abbas and the PA are unwilling to recognize. The so-called “secular” Fatah leadership, that runs the Palestinian Authority, regards all of Israel as part of Arab-Muslim Palestine – land that falls within the domain of Islam. Consequently, a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians cannot be realized until Islam undergoes reform, and true secularism takes hold in Arab societies and among the Palestinians.
Western democracies helped Hitler devour democratic Czechoslovakia and they will do the same with democratic Israel in the name of “peace” (aided, in large, measure by Arab petro-dollars). To survive, Israel must get tough not only with its Palestinian enemies but even tougher with its friends. It must convey a strong message that Israel is no longer open for concessions and that if the U.S. and the West seek peace in the region, they must pressure the Arab states and the Palestinians to transform their authoritarian regimes into democracies that tolerate religious diversity and ensure human rights. Without accepting Israel as a legitimate Jewish state, we are left with the Arafat legacy of destroying Israel in stages.
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