The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), noting the Saudi Arabian and Arab League rejection of the Obama Administrations call for it to make peace gestures towards Israel until Israel fulfills every Arab demand, has observed that this merely confirms the insincerity of Arab regimes professed interest in peace and the fraudulence of their 2002 so-called Peace Initiative. This week, Saudi Arabia said in response to U.S. calls for peace gestures toward Israel that the Jewish states settlement expansion is jeopardizing efforts to revive peace talks.
Saudi Foreign Ministry spokesman Osama Nugali said, It is Israel that has to move seriously toward the peace process The Arab peace initiative is very clear That Israel should withdraw from the Arab lands and put an end to its occupation and resolve the major issues of the conflict [citing the future of Palestinian refugees, water-sharing issues, and Jerusalems future status] in order to achieve a permanent, just and lasting peace which is based on the establishment of an independent contiguous and viable Palestinian state In the Arab peace process normalization comes after achieving these goals, not before it. So we should not put the cart before the horse.
The Saudi rejection followed an appeal to Arab leaders from Obama Administration Middle East envoy George Mitchell to take meaningful steps toward Israel to help to start negotiations, which Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas has refused until Israel agrees to not allow a single additional Jew to move into Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem.
In a similar vein to the Saudis, Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa similarly rejected Mitchells call for peace gestures from the Arab parties. Mitchell said, Were not asking anyone to achieve full normalization at this time, we recognize that will come further down the road in this process (Saudi says no deal until Israel quits Arab land, Saudi Gazette, July 30, 2009).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, The Saudis and the Arab League have demonstrated conclusively that they are not prepared to take any steps whatsoever, large or small, towards making peace with Israel and that the so-called Arab Peace Initiative, as we have said previously, is a sham.
The Saudis and the Arab League have made it abundantly clear that the Arab parties will do nothing until they first receive from Israel everything. Now we see, as demonstrated by their repudiation of Mitchells suggestion that they make merely initial, minor peace gestures towards Israel that, even were Israel to do precisely as the Obama Administration demands and institute a total freeze on Jewish construction in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem, the Arab parties would still do nothing.
Israel has already made major concessions, giving away half of Judea and Samaria; all of Gaza; handed over assets, funds and even arms to the Palestinian Authority; released thousands of jailed terrorists only to find itself still not accepted as Jewish state and still the target for terrorism and the incitement to hatred and murder that feeds it.
The Arab Initiative demands that Israel completely withdraw (contrary to UN Security Council Resolution 242) to the pre-1967 armistice lines, that it uproot hundreds of thousands of Jews from Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem, that a sovereign Palestinian state be established and that Israel absorb the Palestinian refugees of the 1948 war and their millions of descendants. Only when Israel has undertaken these suicidal moves will Arab parties then act, in vague and unspecified ways, to normalize their relations with Israel. In other words, Israel would have to virtually destroy itself before the Arab world would consent to even deal with it. No nation would accede to such a plan and Israelis can have no confidence in Arab seriousness and sincerity in their professions of peace. Such professions of peace, of course, are always in English, delivered before western audiences and are diametrically opposite to what they tell their own people in Arabic on a daily basis.
Given these realities, why is President Obama demanding a freeze on Jewish construction that, by the admission of Arab leaders themselves will not produce the peace gestures and concessions that are supposed to follow from this Israeli concession? Clearly, any concessions Israel might make will be but the latest in a long record on one-sided Israeli concessions that produced nothing but more Israelis casualties. This Saudi/Arab League refusal makes it clear that President Obama must drop his demand for a freeze on Jewish construction. This demand only appeases the Arabs, yet gains nothing while encouraging even more Arab intransigence.