Those who are following the comments by PM Netanyahu about the need for the Palestinians to acknowledge Israel as the Jewish state… and their rejection by the Palestinians might wonder … what does it really mean? do the Palestinians really have to recognise Israel in that way?
A clue is provided by Conor Cruise O’Brien in his excellent book “The Siege”
P547 .. following on from Kissingers efforts in brokering peace moves between Israel and Egypt after the Yom Kippur war.
.. “The central idea is that a comprehensive settlement, embracing both the PLO and Israel, both must and can be obtained. This idea has been encouraged, since the summer of 1974, obliquely but persistently, by the more pragmatic elements in the PLO itself, headed by Yasser Arafat. Arafat’s thinking on this point was stimulated by Henry Kissinger’s successes in the early disengagement phases of his post Yom Kippur diplomacy. If Israel was being forced to surrender occupied territory first to Egypt, and then to Syria, could not Israel also be forced to surrender territory to the PLO on which a Palestinian state could be established?
The PLOs Palestinians national council, meeting in Cairo in June 1974, “called for the establishment of the people’s national independent and fighting authority on any part of Palestinian land to be liberated” This was seen as a victory for the PLO moderates. As one observer noted in the aftermath of that meeting, the decision seemed to clear the way for the leadership to explore the possibility of the more restricted goal with the powers concerned.
To many moderates and benevolent minds in the West, the idea of such a compromise, bringing peace to the region, became, and has remained, profoundly attractive.
Yet there were certain difficult questions, and these have not gone away, or been satisfactorily answered.
First of all, would the Palestinian state be based on compromise with Israel, or would it be a springboard for the overthrow of Israel? “Compromise” said the Arab advocates of the Palestinian State in their dialogue with the West, generally conducted in private; “springboard” said the same people in inter-Arab discussions.
Western well-wishers to the PLO moderates think that the private assurances, and public hints, made in the Western context should be taken seriously, and that the public declarations in the inter-Arab context may be safely ignored. Skeptics – including myself – think that the statements made to Arabs are more likely to reflect the realities of the region, and also that these statements – solidly based as they are on the movement’s fundamental charter, the Palestinian National Covenant – would be difficult and dangerous to go back on . In any case it seems clear that PLO moderation and the Jewish state are incompatable. An Arab scholar (Muhammed Muhsli) who had made a study of ‘moderates” and “rejectionists” in the PLO – and appears to support the moderate tendency, has the following to say “The relationship between …. armed struggle and liberation is organic. . the step that follows liberation is the dismantling of the ‘racist’ political and economic structure of Israel as a state and the establishment of a democratic non-sectarian secular Palestine in which Jews, Muslims and Christians would live together as Palestinian citizens with equal rights and duties.
If that is so, it seems to follow that the Palestinian state which those moderates seek on establish “on any part of Palestinian land to be liberated” would be dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish state. At the very least, it is not hard to understand why Israelis believe that this would be the case.
This is a fundamental question. Do you believe that the Palestinians are truly interested in compromise with Israel, or do you feel that will they use any territory gained as a springboard for attack against Israel?
I think the evidence is strong for the latter. By addressing the issue of Israel as the Jewish state without Arab “right of return” Netanyahu is challenging the Palestinians as to what side they come down on.
So when the Palestinians include all of Israel is their touted map of Palestine, when they openly call on Haifa to be liberated, and when they reject the idea of Israel as the rightful Jewish state, they are making their end desires very plain for the non wilfully blind to see.
So what about other springboard proponents?
.. no, I want security yeah.