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Quotes About "Palestine"

Remember: Israel is bad! Its existence keeps reminding Muslims what a bunch of losers they are. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"There will be no peace until they will love their children more than they hate us."

-Golda Meir-
'If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more ‎violence. If the Jews put ‎down their weapons ‎today, there would be no ‎more Israel'‎

~Benjamin Netanyahu~
"Peace for us means the destruction of Israel. We are preparing for an all out war, a war which will last for generations.

~Yasser Arafat~
"The Palestinian people have no national identity. I, Yasser Arafat, man of destiny, will give them that identity through conflict with Israel."

~ Yasser Arafat ~
"The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel. For our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of Palestinian people, since Arab national interest demand that we posit the existence of a distinct 'Palestinian people' to oppose Zionism".

~ Zahir Muhse'in ~

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What About Recognition in Israel?

Without Palestinian recognition of Jewish state, what’s the point of negotiations?

by Benny Levy

The commotion around the extended settlement freeze diverts attention away from the additional price Israel is apparently required to pay for the benefit package promised to Netanyahu: Renouncing the demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish state before entering talks. The prime minister, who presented this demand a few weeks ago, has gone silent as of late; yet without such initial recognition, it’s unclear what will be discussed in the talks.

Starting with discussion on borders and security arrangements, as the Palestinians and Americans demand, is akin to conducting negotiations where the sides are discussing the price, number of installments, their date etc., without first agreeing whether they are selling or leasing the asset. If it’s a sale, the seller will no longer have any rights for the asset. In a lease, the lessee is expected to, and entitled to, demand the asset again in the future.

This is the point of introductory clauses in contracts. There, the sides present their joint interests, which come before the negotiations. For example, as side A is interested in offering an apartment for rent, and side B is interested in renting an apartment, the sides agree to…(and here come the contract clauses to be decided on during negotiations.)

The introduction to the “dream agreement” with the Palestinians should say that as the sides are interested in ending the conflict, and as they view the State of Israel as the Jewish people’s state, and the future state to be established as the Palestinian people’s state, they agree to the following (borders, security, Jerusalem, refugees, etc.) Yet the Palestinians say they will refuse to such introduction. Abbas and Erekat truly disparage such possibility, and Yasser Abed Rabbo, who seemingly presented a different position, has no authority anyway.

More demands in future
Does this mean there is no room for negotiations? Not necessarily. However, in the absence of such recognition, there is no guarantee that in the future the Palestinians won’t demand more rights in Israel. The conflict may be reignited, and this should be taken into account when crafting the details of the agreement.

Palestinian recognition of Israel as the Jewish state, had it been offered openly to the world – to Israel, the Arab world, nations of the world, and international institutions – would have allowed Israel to show flexibility on the question of borders and assume risks on the security front. Alternately, should the Palestinians not recognize Israel as the Jewish state, this will necessitate wholly different agreements. Making the Palestinians’ intention clean is therefore a required element, rather than a precondition, for holding the negotiations.

Two main questions are being raised. First, why does Israel need its identity to be defined by an external element? The answer to this effort to play dumb is that this isn’t about Israel’s identity decided by the Palestinians, but rather, a clarification that when embarking on talks they agree that “two states for two peoples” means Israel to the Jews and Palestine to the Palestinians. This is a highly important element in drafting the clauses of the agreement. It also affects the refugee issues and presents the hope that should an agreement be reached, it would put an end to the conflict.

And the second question – why wasn’t such recognition demanded in the past from Egypt and Jordan – is also an effort to play dumb. The Jordanians and Egyptians did not demand Israel’s territories and did not educate their sons on the ethos of “the key to our old house in Jaffa.” The absence of an explicit recognition by Jordan and Egypt of Israel as the Jewish State did not constitute an implied rejection, as exists in the Palestinian positions. Moreover, Egypt and Jordan did not engage in negotiations that were all about vagueness, doublespeak, and untruth.

Embarking on negotiations before first agreeing what the sides’ intentions are will amount to a repeat of the Oslo agreement, whose result was – in the words of Yitzhak Rabin, may he rest in peace – “more holes than cheese.”

Benny Levy is the founder of the Shiva non-profit organization dedicated to imparting the Zionist idea

Ynet News

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