Friday, March 25, 2011

Good night, and good luck

Now it's official: Palestinians don't want peace negotiations. Saeb Erekat, chief Palestinian negotiator announced that the PA does not believe in the direct talks with Israel, and is looking for international recognition of the state of Palestine in the 1967 borders.

Mr. Erekat refers to the Security Council resolution 242, adopted in November 1967. This resolution calls for the Israeli withdrawal from territories and for establishing the secure and recognized boundaries. By the way, there is no mentioning of the Palestinian state in this document. But this is not the point I would like to make.The point I would like to make goes to the heart of the 242 resolution: withdrawal from territories and the idea of secure borders.

Let's say, Israel will withdraw its army to the 1967 borders and evacuate all the Israelis from the West Bank. Do you really think Israel will have secure borders? Do you think Hamas will not take over power in the West Bank, like he did in Gaza in 2007, just two years after the complete Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip? Israeli withdrawals without a real willingness of our Arab neighbors to end the conflict never resulted in secure borders. Egypt and Jordan, who wanted to end the conflict with Israel, signed the agreement and fully implemented it. Hezbollah and Hamas never wanted an agreement with Israel.

Israel withdrew from Southern Lebanon in 2000 only to receive another war in 2006 in the North of the country. Israel left Gaza in 2005 only to get 12.000 rockets and mortars in the South of the country. If we withdraw from the West Bank, we will get another war in the heart of the country and its capital, Jerusalem. If we withdraw today, Hamas will inevitably take over the West bank. And it's not what we think - it's what the Palestinians think. As Mr. Erekat, as well as Mr. Abu Mazen, know very well, the Palestinians in the West Bank are afraid of Hamas takeover. That's why the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem prefer to stay under the Israeli jurisdiction even after the establishment of the state of Palestine.

Formal borders will not resolve the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians all the time that Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and others are asking to annihilate Israel. And all the time that Iran is supporting terrorism against Israel. And all the time that Palestinians teach their children to hate Jews.

So Mr. Erekat, if you look for another unsuccessful adventure, as the famous movie says: "Good night, and good luck". We will be waiting for you at the negotiation table in Jerusalem, or Ramallah. This is for you to decide.

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