Strategic dangers of creating a Fatah-dominated Palestinian state
· Embracing plans for creating a Palestinian state would require Israel handing over to Palestinian control not only eastern Jerusalem, with its holiest Jewish sites, but also all of Judea and Samaria, where over 500,000 Israeli Jews live, including the strategically vital Jordan Valley and the Golan Heights.
· Once established, a Palestinian state would, at the very least, result in cross-border raids becoming routine along what would become Israels longest border. To do this runs contrary to all logic and prudence: We should be dismantling terrorist states, not establishing them.
· Most likely, such a state would prepare for long-term warfare with Israel, nurture terrorist movements behind a wall of sovereign immunity and create the sort of destabilization that would lead to full-scale war, to the detriment of Israelis and Palestinians alike.
· Quite apart from the probable character of such a state, it is also undesirable for geographical, economic and political reasons as well. A Palestinian state founded in Judea Samaria and Gaza would enjoy few natural resources and most likely have a weak economy. It could prove destabilizing to neighboring Jordan and would certainly endanger Israel, as any such state would mean the withdrawal of Israel military forces from strategic positions in the high ground of Judea Samaria, in turn providing a more vulnerable Israel as a tempting target.
· U.S. Lt.-Gen. Thomas Kelly, director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the 1991 Gulf War, stated I look out onto the West Bank and say to myself, If Im the chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, I cannot defend this land without that terrain. They [Arab forces] only have to go to the high ground running north and south in the middle of the country in order to dominate the country. So I dont know about politics, but if you want me to defend this country, and you want me to defend Jerusalem, Ive got to hold that high ground.
· Shortly after the 1967 war, then-U.S. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara asked the Joint Chiefs of Staff to analyze which of the administered territories Israel needed to keep for its security. Regarding Judea-Samaria, the Joint Chiefs concluded: Control of the prominent high ground running north-south through the middle of West Jordan [the West Bank] and then southeast to a junction with the Dead Sea would provide Israel with a militarily defensible border.
· The one reason Judea and Samaria are relatively peaceful is because, unlike Gaza, from which Israel withdrew in 2005, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are on the ground and able to intervene to prevent terrorist acts and break up terror cells when and where necessary. That would no longer be the case the moment a Palestinian state is established.
· Just as Ashkelon and Sderot are already under constant bombardment from Palestinian shells and missiles fired from Gaza, Jerusalem , Ben Gurion Airport and most of Israel ‘s major population centers would be in range of Palestinian terrorists in Judea and Samaria.
· A Palestinian state would cost Israel strategic depth and high ground while shrinking it to indefensible borders, including a 9-mile width. Creating it would mean further, massive, irreversible concessions to an unreconstructed PA that has never fulfilled its obligations under the Oslo agreements and the 2003 Roadmap peace plan.
· In such circumstances, creating a Palestinian state would simply mean creating a terror state. Such a state would enjoy sovereign powers, would be free to enter into alliances against Israel with hostile states and groups and import weaponry without control or supervision of any kind. Cross-border raids would become routine along what would become Israels longest border. A Palestinian state would also control a third of Israels vital water supply. To do this runs contrary to all logic and prudence.
· Hamas, the terrorist organization that calls in its Charter for the destruction of Israel (Article 15) and the murder of Jews (Article 7), already controls Gaza and may, once a Palestinian state is established, come to control Judea and Samaria as well with the aid of its Iranian allies. Israel would then face a sovereign Hamas/Fatah/Iran state on its doorstep.
· A Palestinian state thus established would not only be warlike and dangerous, but would also be an international beggar state. Already, the PA has been the recipient of international largesse, receiving the worlds highest per capita levels of aid, without having in turn produced serious economic growth, development, prosperity, transparency or anything else one would expect from such a sustained infusion of funds.
Demilitarized Palestinian state An impossibility
· The idea of Palestinian demilitarization is illusory. First, there is no precedent for a sovereign state that was demilitarized in the long-term.
· Second, there is no precedent for the PA observing an agreement it has signed.
· Third, legally, Palestinian demilitarization would be unenforceable, even if part of a binding international agreement.
· Throughout the Oslo years, the PA signed several agreements in which it committed itself and recommitted itself to fighting terrorism and ending the incitement to hatred and murder that pervaded Palestinian society, yet never did so. Third, the PA never paid any price internationally for its non-compliance with signed agreements. To the contrary, Israel continued and continues until the present day, to be pressured to make further, unreciprocated concessions to the PA. Meanwhile the PA receives ever higher levels of U.S. and other foreign aid. Clearly, the international constellation of forces is such that the Palestinians are never likely to feel compelled to keep an agreement, nor are they likely to be penalized when they do not.
· In such circumstances, creating a Palestinian state would simply mean creating a terror state. Such a state would enjoy sovereign powers, would be free to enter into hostile alliances against Israel and import weaponry without control or supervision of any kind.
· A Palestinian state, should one emerge, is likely to be but another Arab dictatorship and an enhanced base for radical Muslim terrorism. This reflects the political character of the current Palestinian Authority as built up by Yasser Arafat and maintained by his successor, Mahmoud Abbas.
· Most likely, such a state would prepare for long-term warfare with Israel, nurture terrorist movements behind a wall of sovereign immunity and create the sort of destabilization that would lead to full-scale war.
Mahmoud Abbas Fatah is not a genuine negotiating partner which would deliver peace
· Fatah, co-founded by arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat and current PA president Mahmoud Abbas, is a terrorist movement whose unchanged Constitution calls for the demolition of Israel; the use of terrorism as an indispensable part in the strategy to obtain that goal; condemns Zionism as racist; calls on countries to prevent Jews from moving to Israel; and opposes any political solution whatsoever.
· Fatahs armed wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, is on the U.S. list of terrorist organization. Fatah has been responsible for as many murders of Israelis as Hamas, both terror groups having murdered over 500 Israelis each since the start of the Palestinian terror war in September 2000 in scores of suicide bombings, hundreds of roadside bombs and thousands of shootings.
· PA president, Mahmoud Abbas has said, It is not required of Hamas, or of Fatah, or of the Popular Front to recognize Israel (Al-Arabiya [Dubai] and PA TV, October 3, 2006, Fatah still refuses to recognize Israel, Palestinian Media Watch, March 17, 2009); I say this clearly: I do not accept the Jewish State, call it what you will. (Abbas: I do not accept the Jewish State, Palestinian Media Watch, April 28, 2009). He has also said that: We have a legitimate right to direct our guns against Israeli occupation Our rifles, all our rifles are aimed at The Occupation (Khaled Abu Toameh, Abbas: Aim guns against occupation, Jerusalem Post, January 11, 2007; Independent Media & Review Analysis, January 12, 2007) and also to Arab leaders, If you want war, and if all of you will fight Israel, we are in favor (Mahmoud Abbas: If all of you [Arab States] will fight Israel, we are in favor, Palestinian Media Watch, July 7, 2010).
· Senior PA officials have made it clear that they intend to have a Jew-free Palestinian state. Mahmoud Abbas has stated, We have frankly said, and always will say: If there is an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, we wont agree to the presence of one Israeli in it when a Palestinian state is established, it would have no Israeli presence in it (Khaled Abu Toameh, Abbas vows: No room for Israelis in Palestinian state, Jerusalem Post, December 25, 2010); Saeb Erekat, senior Fatah/PA official, former PA foreign minister: nobody should agree to Israeli settlers remaining in the Palestinian [state] (MEMRI: Saeb Ereqat: Over the Years, Israel Has Gradually Withdrawn from Its Positions; Therefore, We Have No Reason to Hurry, Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), July 13, 2009); Ahmed Qurei, former PA prime minister and former PA senior negotiator: There can be no peace with the presence of these settlement blocs in the West Bank the settlers are dangerous and its impossible to live with them Peace can be achieved only if Israel withdraws to the last centimeter of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 (Khaled Abu Toameh, Qurei: No room for Jews in West Bank, Jerusalem Post, December 13, 2008). Most recently, the PLO ambassador to the U.S., Maen Areikat, said in response to a question about the rights of minorities in a future Palestinian state, that it should be free of Jews: I think it would be in the best interest of the two people to be separated. (Oren Dorell, PLO ambassador says Palestinian state should be free of Jews, USA Today, September 14, 2011).
· A future Palestinian state would be illiberal and repressive of minorities. When the Weekly Standards John McCormack asked Maen Areikat if a future Palestinian state would tolerate minorities, Areikat replied of course. McCormack immediately asked him about homosexuals in a Palestinians state, Ah, this is an issue that is beyond my authority (James Morrison, Embassy Row: Taking Liberties, Washington Times, September 13, 2011).
· Creating a Palestinian state means further, massive, irreversible concessions to an unreconstructed Palestinian Authority (PA) that has never fulfilled its obligations under the Oslo agreements to arrest terrorists, dismantle and outlaw terrorist groups, confiscate their weaponry and end the incitement to hatred and murder in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps that feeds terror.
· Israeli concessions to the Fatah-controlled PA over the years yielding half of Judea and Samaria, all of Gaza, and handing over assets, funds and even arms to the PA and freeing hundreds of jailed Palestinian terrorists as good will gestures have not impelled Fatah to alter or modify its program, to rescind its Constitution, to cease committing and promoting terrorism against Israel or to moderate its demands.
· Any Palestinian state that is created would necessarily include Gaza, which the PA, and the world, regards as part of the territory for a Palestinian state. In short, unless Hamas is granted sovereignty in Gaza, no Palestinian state under Abbas and Fatah which includes Gaza can even be set up. However, establishing a Palestinian state that includes Gaza must therefore include Hamas as a major element in the Palestinian leadership, one that might in time also take over Judea and Samaria as well, making the plan dangerous and potentially disastrous for Israel.
· PA media, mosques, school curricula and official speeches produce vast amounts of incitement to hatred and murder, glorification of terrorists and terrorism and rejection of Israels right to exist as a Jewish state. PA salaried clerics have incited mass-murder by declaring that Jews are a virus resembling AIDS and labeling Jews as the enemies of Allah and of His Messenger Enemies of humanity in general The Prophet says: You shall fight the Jews and kill them
· Why is Abbas PA seeking statehood via the UN? Because they seek statehood without the need to negotiate with Israel or accept it as a Jewish state, without the need to end alliances with Hamas and other terrorist groups and to avoid the need for any concessions or to fulfill their obligations under the signed Oslo agreements to end terrorism and the incitement to hatred and murder that feeds it. By these means, they hope to obtain a sovereign state without ending conflict and claims upon Israel so the war on Israels existence may be continued.
Palestinian society approves of terrorism and does not accept Israel
The record also shows that all aspects of PA life the schools, youth movements, sports teams, newspapers, TV, even the names of streets are made vehicles for honoring and praising terrorists and their vile deeds. This in turn breeds more terrorists and bloodshed. The detrimental effects of such indoctrination over 16 years are evident from successive Palestinian polls. Two features are notable: rejection of Israels permanence and legitimacy as a Jewish state; and support for terrorist assaults upon Israel:
· July 2011: A Palestinian Center for Public Opinion (PCP) poll, found that an overwhelming 73% of Palestinians agree with the hadith [Islamic tradition ascribed to Muhammad), quoted by the terrorist group Hamas in its Charter, about the need to murder Jews. An even larger number of Palestinians 80% agree with the statement in the Hamas Charter calling for creation of Arab and Islamic battalions to fight the Jews. Only 34% of Palestinians accepts the idea of a peaceful Palestinian state living alongside Israel as the solution to the Arab/Israeli war, as against 61% who rejected the idea. 66% said that the Palestinians real goal should be to start with setting up a Palestinian state alongside Israel but then move towards creating a single Palestinian-controlled state. 72% of Palestinians support denying Jewish history and connection to the land of Israel. An overwhelming 92% of Palestinians insist on Jerusalem being the Palestinian capital, as against a mere 1% who believe it should be the Israeli capital. Only 3% of Palestinians believe that Jerusalem should be the capital of both Israel and a Palestinian state, and 4% believe it should be a neutral international city. 62% of Palestinians support a policy of kidnapping Israeli soldiers and holding them hostage and 53% favor teaching songs about hating Jews in Palestinian schools. 22% of Palestinians supported firing rockets at Israeli cities and citizens (Gil Hoffman, 6 in 10 Palestinians reject 2-state solution, survey finds, Jerusalem Post, July 15, 2011).
· October 2010: A Palestinian Survey (PSR) Research Unit poll (no. 37) found that 49% of Palestinians support suicide bombing attacks upon Israelis, while a virtually equal number (49.2%) oppose such attacks. 14% of Palestinians strongly favored such acts of terrorism, while 6% of Palestinians strongly opposed them) (PSR Research Unit, Palestinian Public Opinion Poll No (37), October 24, 2010).
· October 2010: A Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research poll found that 51% of Palestinians supported the murderous August 31 terror attacks by Hamas which killed 4 Israeli civilians near the Bani Nayim junction, with only 44% of Palestinians opposed. There was higher support for the attack among respondents from Gaza (61%) than in Judea and Samaria (44%). An overwhelming majority of 76% of Palestinians opposed a PA crackdown on Hamas that followed the attack, whereas only 20% expressed support. Also, Palestinians oppose talks with Israel by a majority of 66% to 30% 68% oppose in Judea and Samaria and 62% in Gaza (Chana Yaar, Poll: Most PA Arabs Back Recent Murder of Israeli Civilians, Israel National News, October 5, 2010).
- July 2010: A Palestinian Center for Public Opinion (PCPO) found that Palestinians oppose by an overwhelming 82% to 14% the renunciation of the so-called right of return, the legally baseless demand that all Palestinian refugees of the 1948-49 war and their millions of descendants return to Israel. This opposition was expressed even if the price of maintaining the right of return was the non-conclusion of a peace agreement with Israel. The poll also found that, by a nearly identical margin of 82% to 13%, Palestinians oppose the Palestinian leadership waiving the right of return in exchange for financial compensation for refugees and their descendants. (PCPO Poll of Palestinians – 81.8 % won’t drop right of return even if means deal breaker and no state, Hamas more popular in West Bank than Gaza, Independent Media Review Analysis, July 12, 2010).
· April 2010: More than two-thirds of Palestinians 66.7% reject the creation of a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 armistice lines with some land exchange as a final settlement of the Palestinian problem, whereas only 28.3% would accept such a solution; more than three-quarters of Palestinians 77.4% reject Jerusalem serving as the capital of Israel and a future Palestinian state, whereas only 20.8% accept this proposal; 71.3% support a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state, while only 24.6% reject this approach; Palestinians support PA refusal to negotiate with Israel until it stops Jewish construction in West Bank and eastern Jerusalem by 78.6% to 19% and rejects further negotiations if Jewish construction continues by an overwhelming 83% to 14.3% (An-Najah National University Public Opinion Poll, 8-10 April 2010).
In short, both the Palestinian leadership, whether Fatah or Hamas, and the bulk of Palestinians in general support terrorist violence against Israel and do not accept its existence. It follows that Palestinians are not ready to sign and abide by any peace agreement with Israel, in which case setting up of a Palestinian state will bring, not an end to war, but an intensification of it.
The danger posed by establishing a Palestinian state under current conditions is clear and serious. As a recipe for peace, it would be disastrous and bring about the opposite of the desired results.
Any prospect of peace is entirely dependent upon transformation of Palestinian society and leadership over a sustained time period in which Palestinians would accept Israels legitimacy and permanence as a Jewish state before it could be hoped that they would co-exist peacefully alongside it.