Friday, September 04, 2009

Beware Palestinian plot

Fatah uses negotiations as means for establishing bi-national state

Gadi Taub

The “two-state vision” is no longer only endorsed by the Left or Center, but rather, it is backed by the Zionist consensus – ranging from Meretz to Likud. Yet nonetheless, we will not be able to get there as long as on both sides of the consensus people endorse negotiations with the Palestinians as an exclusive path. Israel needs policy aimed at partition even without Palestinian agreement. We used to have a party like that for a while – Kadima – but it is doubtful whether we still have it, because Kadima too has been maligned by the negotiations syndrome.

It turns out that we need a reminder that negotiations drag us towards a bi-national state, step by step. It’s a good thing that the recent Fatah congress provided us with such reminder.

The leftist establishment reflexively announced that “we have a partner” in the wake of the convention. Yet there is no connection between this declaration and the text of the decisions taken in the congress. The talk about the armed struggle, Arafat’s poisoning, and all the other arrogant statements is one thing. Yet the most important thing is that the political plan approved by the convention blocks any possibility of a deal, even if Yossi Beilin becomes our prime minister.

The decisions reject the very existence of the Jewish State and resolutely insist on the right of return. For the sake of those unable to connect the two issues, the congress made it clear: We must see complete resistance, that cannot be renounced, to the recognition of Israel as a “Jewish State,” in order to safeguard the rights of the refugees and of our people on the other side of the Green Line (that is, the Arabs living in Israel.)

For the benefit of anyone who tried to convince us that UN Resolution 194 can be interpreted as a solution to the refugee problem without resettling them in Israel, the Fatah congress made clear: Refugee camps must not be dismantled under any circumstances, until the refugees return to their homes and towns, that is, in Israel.

Cat is out of bag

The Fatah apparently also doesn’t think there is a partner: They know Israel will not agree to accept such suicidal plan. Hence, the congress made clear to movement activists that in the absence of an agreement they will “make do” with something else: Aspiring for one democratic state between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea, with an Arab majority.

So now the cat is out of the bag in respect to the perpetual negotiations. Empty talks are not a means for partitioning the land, but rather, a means for preventing it. The Israeli Center woke up as result of this insight in 2003 and elected Kadima in 2006. Should Kadima dismiss this insight, it will disappear as quickly as it appeared.

What is the alternative to negotiations that a party committed to partitioning the land needs to offer? Not an end to the talks. A serious partition party needs to announce that it will accept the Obama plan, but demand that should the Palestinians thwart the agreement, international guarantees will be given for a unilateral withdrawal.

A serious partition party will decisively and resolutely speak out against the settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria, which advances the Fatah’s plan for a united Palestine. Such party will promote a compensation-evacuation law now, not later. Such party will present a plan for shifting all infrastructures in Judea and Samaria from civilian hands and private companies to the IDF and Defense Ministry.

Finally, such party would aspire for unilateral partition even if the international community does not assume responsibility for security. The IDF can stay in the area even in the wake of the West Bank’s evacuation, until Fatah “moderates” decide they are interested in genuine peace. Even after the IDF pulls out we’ll be able to defend ourselves against missiles, if necessary – Operation Cast Lead and the Second Lebanon War proved that an aggressive response puts an end to the rockets.

Should our elected officials and senior Kadima members read Fatah’s decisions, rather than what Israeli newspapers say, perhaps they’ll finally get it too.

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