It was only a matter of days ago that Palestinian Media Watch published this photograph of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas holding up a plaque to show his future Palestinian State in the shape of all of Israel, Gaza and the West Bank.
PMWatch has documented several incidents of a similar nature, whereby members of the PA, or even presenters on PA-controlled media, disclose their vision of a world in which Israel simply does not exist: where the map of Israel is replaced in its entirety by a Palestine (see more here and here).
Just a few days after this picture appeared, PA television featured a program about the history of Jaffa with a caption “Jaffa’s holy sites are in the hands of the settlers” (see more).
So when did the city of Jaffa, now known as Tel Aviv – Jaffa and clearly within the Green Line, become a piece of land in the hands of “settlers”?
This is not about land that is in some sort of logistical grey area in the West Bank or East Jerusalem – it’s Jaffa!
These pronouncements are not coming from the death cultists in Hamas which rules Gaza with an iron fist and routinely threatens to destroy Israel and kill its Jews although some might be comforted by the words of one Israel basher in the media to the effect that even Hamas doesn’t take itself seriously (meaning the people who were supposedly “democratically elected” by the Palestinians are liars).
This corruption of the current facts of life within the region is not an uncommon occurrence. There’s lots of historical revisionism and blind indifference to the truth to be found on a daily basis in some of our media. However, these events must inevitably lead one to wonder about Israel‘s peace partner, the Palestine Authority.
In the face of the constant blame being place on solely on Israel from some quarters for the stalled peace talks, has anyone stopped to ask Mahmoud Abbas what he really believes in terms of this concept of “two states for two peoples”? Or anyone else in his cabinet for that matter?
Recently, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared, “If the Palestinian leadership will say unequivocally to its people that it recognises Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, I will be ready to convene my government and request a further suspension [to building in the settlements].” He continued, “Just as the Palestinians expect us to recognise their state, we expect reciprocal treatment… This is not a condition but a trust-building step.”
And Abbas’ response? “We will never sign an agreement recognising Israel as a Jewish State”.
What he did say was that “The PA recognised Israel’s existence in 1993.” Which is strange because I seem to recall Yasser Arafat’s letter of recognition to Yitzhak Rabin, signed just a few days before the official signing of the Oslo Accords, promising to change articles of the Palestinian Covenant which deny Israel’s right to exist, but that never happened (see more).
Abbas continued, “If we showed flexibility on these issues the peace agreement would have been signed a long time ago” (see more).
Straight from the horse’s mouth.
On the issue of recognising Israel as the Jewish State, other members of the PA agreed with Abbas with chief negotiator Saeb Erakat declaring, “This is completely rejected” and Abbas’ advisor Nabil Sha’ath stating, “we are not going to do it. Forget it” (see more).
Let us not forget how back in September Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad walked out on a meeting with Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon because he dared to suggest that the meeting summary referred to the notion of “two states for two peoples” and not just “two states” (see more).
The idea of “two states for two peoples” does not even refer to Israel as a Jewish State and yet the Palestinian leadership still seemed to have a problem. What does the term “two states” actually mean if it does not mean a state for the Jews and a state for the Palestinians?
It means exactly what Omar Barghouti, the founder of the infamous and racist BDS Movement, has been propagating in regard to Palestinian refugees: “If the refugees were to return [to Israel] you would not have a two state solution, you would have a Palestinian next to a Palestinian, rather than a Palestine next to Israel” (see more). For people like Barghouti, who “do not buy into the two state solution”, two states means two Palestinian states and zero states for the Jewish people.
And when we see photographs of Abbas brandishing models of a map that includes both Israeli and Palestinian in the same colour meaning, not two states but one Palestinian state, then it’s painfully clear that Abbas is not being truthful with his own people, nor with his peace partners.
There is only one way for both sides to move forward and that is by mutual recognition. It’s time for Abbas to recognise Israel for what it is and to recommence negotiations in an honest and open manner.