Sunday, August 2, 2009

Palestinian peace-making, through the eyes of a Diaspora Jew

Haaretz, Adam Abrams (17/7/2009) Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and various Western leaders have taken of late to touting the "illegal Jewish settlements" in the West Bank as a major obstacle to peace. After visiting the settlements and coming to know them intimately first hand, I can agree that in many ways they do indeed complicate matters. Nevertheless, forcing the settlers to leave the West Bank will not create peace, nor will it create a viable Palestinian state. Why? Because there is no viable peace partner to be found within the Palestinian leadership. I also believe that if Israel were to withdraw from the West Bank right now, Hamas would take control the following morning. Let's say the Jewish settlers were all moved out of the West Bank and a Palestinian state was created there. Who would rule this newly declared Palestinian state? Mahmoud Abbas? Hamas? The Islamic Jihad? If Abbas were put in control of the new Palestinian state, how would he implement a peace agreement with Israel? One thing that is certain: He would find no willing peace partners in the Hamas controlled Gaza Strip. Over the last fifteen years, the Palestinian Authority has received approximately $6.5 billion in aid from the European Union and United States yet, what do they have to show for it? ...The majority of Israelis do not want to occupy the West Bank, and they accept the two-state solution. The majority of Israelis want to disengage from the Palestinians and because of this, a Palestinian state could greatly benefit Israel. However, the formation of a Palestinian state is still many generations away from becoming a reality. Click here for full story