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Ro´i Tov: Israel and Palestine Go to War


Following Israel Minister of Foreign Affairs' declaration "Palestinian Authority doesn't exist," the relationship between the State of Palestine and Israel is deteriorating rapidly. In addition to new weapons tests and the decision to build 3,000 houses in the West Bank, which were already reported in this website, Israel announced the freezing of Palestinian tax revenues, a clumsy attempt to strangle to death Israel's new neighbor state. Back in Palestine from his historical achievement at the UN Headquarters, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is preparing for the worst. At this moment, the chances of renewing the negotiations between the two states are slim.

Negotiations Death

Historical moments cannot be analyzed by the rules applied to regular ones. Mahmoud Abbas cannot consider the aftermath of Palestine having been recognized as a state by the UN as a moment in which he can continue things as usual. For a similar reason, Yasser Arafat couldn't sign the agreement proposed in Camp David in year 2000. At such moments, future implications must be carefully considered.

Vote on Palestine



Vote on Palestine
UN, Nov 29, 2012

State of Palestine



State of Palestine

The favorite argument of Hebrew media regarding the Israeli negotiations with Palestine is that the failure of the 2000 Camp David Summit between US President Bill Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat proves that a comprehensive peace agreement is not possible. Barak offered what to Westerners looked as a good deal. In several stages, Palestinians were to achieve sovereignty on over 92% of the West Bank and Gaza while Israel would have dismantled over 60 settlements. Israel was to keep Kiryat Arba (adjacent to the holy city of Hebron), a road connecting Jerusalem with the Dead Sea, and parts of Jerusalem's metropolitan area. Yet, all these were secondary to the central issue: the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Israeli negotiators proposed that the Palestinians would be granted administration, but not sovereignty, over the Muslim and Christian Quarters of the Old City, with the Jewish and Armenian Quarters remaining in Israeli hands. Mahmoud Abbas, at that time Arafat's chief negotiator answered, "All of East Jerusalem should be returned to Palestinian sovereignty. The Jewish Quarter and Western Wall should be placed under Israeli authority, not Israeli sovereignty. An open city and cooperation on municipal services." This issue could not be solved; the last serious negotiation between Israel and Palestine ended with no results.

"That's it, Arafat had no reasons to refuse signing, Israelis are right!" will claim Zionists reading these lines. Let me explain Arafat's historical view with an imaginary example. Let's say WWII turned out differently. Imagine Nazi Germany conquering the British Islands. The conquest would have ended in a bloody civil war; after a few years Hitler would have called Churchill and told him: "Let's talk!" Imagine that Hitler would have offered withdrawal of 99.5% of occupied Britain, with the exception of London City. Churchill wouldn't have had the mandate to renounce to the kingdom's capital. Same goes for Arafat. He couldn’t sign the proposed agreement, despite it offering more than the Israeli public was ready to concede. If Arafat would have signed, Barak would probably have failed having the agreement ratified by the Knesset. Abbas is in a worse situation since there is no chance that the extremist Netanyahu will offer what Barak did.

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"Politics is the Peaceful Solution of Conflicts"

The New York Times reported Saturday that the Palestinian Authority has begun changing its name to "Palestine" on official documents, contracts and websites. The picture to the right shows the practical side of this. Moreover, several of the 138 nations that voted in favor of Palestine will raise the level of diplomatic relations, giving Palestinian envoys the title of ambassador. This hints what is the next step of Abbas may take.

Netanyahu is playing with fire despite lacking the means to extinguish it. Not for the first time, he is proving to be a foolish leader. The decision to build 3,000 buildings matters little; this is a long-term decision which can be reversed later. The test of new weapons also means little; what matters here is their launching. Lieberman's insult are worthless. However, Netanyahu's decision to block the transfer of tax revenues to the Palestinians is a different game. He already did that in the past, most recently in events related to the purchase of submarines from Germany. Yet, this time it may end differently.



Adding "Palestine" to school sign

There is a Hebrew saying that can be translated as "The stone thrown inside a well by a fool, won't be retrieved by one hundred smart people." Netanyahu threw a stone at Abbas; instead, it fell into the deepest well in the Zionist dream. The situation is clear. Until now, the Palestinian Authority was a body of the State of Israel. All its taxes were collected automatically through the usual computerized system implemented in all the areas under Israeli Administration and then transferred to the Palestinian Authority by the State of Israel, subject to the approval of the Minister of Finances. Now, Palestine may declare its financial and fiscal independence. It will have no problem to find backing financial institutions among the countries that supported the UN resolution. Israel will not be able to fight this administratively.

Politics is the peaceful solution of conflicts; when politics fails, the conflicts rapidly deteriorate into wars. Trapped in his own arrogance of power, Netanyahu placed Israel on this path.


Source: Ro´i Tov

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