It all comes down to this.
After centuries of conflict and failed resolutions, the Palestinian people are now seeking ratification as a state at the United Nations. With the General Assembly in session, President Barack Obama once again voiced his opposition to this approach in front of the world’s most prominent leaders and promised to veto any resolution that created a state of Palestine without direct negotiations with Israel.
Vetoing any proposal for a state of Palestine would surely isolate the U.S. and Israel even further. However, this is not much of a concern considering that the U.S. has long been Israel’s sole, loyal ally. The U.S. should not feel threatened by international opposition, especially considering it is largely based on falsehoods and dangerous ideologies.
A Palestinian bid for statehood that forgoes negotiations with Israel is mainly justified by the claim that Israel has never been serious about supporting a Palestinian state. As PolicyMic columnist Denise DeGarmo writes, “For over 20 years, the Palestinians have participated in negotiations ... that promised a two-state solution. Rather than ending occupation, the Israelis have ignored their agreements with the Palestinians and continue to annex land ... This leads many to believe that Israel will never support a two-state solution.”
The reality, however, is that the Palestinians have been offered statehood on three different occasions in the past century. In all three instances, Israel supported the plan while the Palestinians viciously opposed it and instead resorted to terrorism.
The first chance for a sovereign Arab state was in 1937, when the British set up the Peel Commission to investigate possible changes to the British Mandate. It was recommended that an independent Jewish state, in areas where Jews were a majority, would be created alongside an Arab state, in areas where Arabs were a majority. The Arab state would have been significantly larger than the Jewish state, and both people would have been given the fundamental right of self-determination. However, the Arabs rejected the plan, and continued their fight to, as the grand mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, said, “drive the Jews into the sea.”
The second — and most widely recognized — chance came in 1947, when the UN decided to split the region of Palestine much like the Peel Commission set out to do. Again, the Arabs rejected the plan, and they instead chose to attack Israel the day after they declared independence.
The third chance came in 2000, at the Middle East Peace Summit moderated by President Bill Clinton. In internationally shocking fashion, Israel offered nearly everything the Arabs wanted, an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza, compensation and right of return for refugees, and control over much of Jerusalem. Almost inexplicably, the Palestinians rejected the proposal.
It is the Palestinians, not the Israelis, who have never supported a two-state solution. If it were not for their complete refusal to negotiate with the Israelis, there would now stand a sovereign state of Palestine significantly larger than what is being fought for today. The current bid at the UN is just one more example of the complete dismissal of any approach that involves the Palestinians' actually negotiating with Israel.
The Palestinians have proved they are impossible to negotiate with. Furthermore, it should be deemed criminal for the international community to support this kind of behavior.
Photo Credit: M.Hassona