Friday, September 23, 2011

Abbas Calls For Statehood At UN; Netenyahu Calls For Restart of Peace Process

Palestinian leaders continue talking right past Israel and towards the international stage, where regimes are more open to the Palestinian worldview rather than the hard task of making peace with Israel - and accepting a 2-state solution.

That's exactly what happened today, when Mahmoud Abbas stepped to the dais at the UN General Assembly to push for Palestinian statehood and membership at the UN, and he was followed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu who called for a resumption of final status negotiations towards a 2-state solution.

Palestinians, with Hamas in particular, don't want a 2-state solution and their behavior from the past few weeks puts the diplomatic efforts in a different light.

The Palestinians do not have anyone willing to pull a Sadat and make the trip to Jerusalem to pursue peace - a real peace (even if it turns out to be cold). The rhetoric remains the same from Palestinian leaders, whether it was Arafat, or Abbas, or the Hamas/PIJ thugs.

Israel, for its part has gone from Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres to Kadima's Ariel Sharon - a former Likudnik who split to pursue a more moderate course, and ended up going for the Gaza disengagement to not only limit Israel's contact with Palestinians that caused friction in Gaza, but was meant to improve Israel's security situation.

Not only did the opposite occur, with the rocket war ensuing shortly after Israel put in place a more secure barrier between Gaza and Israel, but Sharon was felled by a stroke. That left the incompetent Ehud Olmert trying to carry on with similar policies and his weaknesses were exposed during the rocket war and the Hizbullah war.

The disengagement and the rocket war/Hizbullah war left Israelis realizing that they do not have partners in peace, despite Oslo obligations with the Palestinian Authority.

Netenyahu is from that mold - he doesn't see the Palestinians as a partner in peace and isn't afraid to say that to the consternation of diplomats who would willingly paper over that inescapable fact in pursuit of a deal.

Israel has repeatedly shown a willingness to cede land for the sake of peace, and while it's worked with Egypt (a cold peace at that following Israel's withdrawal from Sinai and the forcible relocation of hundreds of Israeli communities that were on the Peninsula - a landmass twice the size of Israel proper at that), the Gaza disengagement showed the limits of land for peace where one party doesn't want peace.

The Palestinians have to be held responsible for their situation, and Abbas going to the UN for statehood would be rewarding them for their intractable position regarding Israel and further undermines Israel's sovereignty and right to exist.

Palestinians complain about Israel's security measures that thwart their economic opportunities, but ignore that but for Palestinian terror attacks, Israel would have had no need to operate those security checkpoints, build security fences, or use military action against terrorists who operate from the midst of civilian populations in places like Gaza.

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