In his address over a month ago to the UN General Assembly, President Barack Obama said that “Israel’s security as a Jewish and democratic state depends upon the realization of a Palestinian state.” He even inferred it had equivalent priority, while saying that “the United States will never compromise our commitment to Israel’s security.”
Yet, only some weeks earlier, the administration, contrary to public assurances that it supported Israeli-Palestinian peace talks without preconditions, pressured Israel to free jailed Palestinian terrorists to bring the Palestinian Authority to the negotiating table. This pressure is symptomatic of a larger, fundamentally flawed approach that has failed the cause of peace.
The administration rightly expressed concern that among the terrorists released by Israel was Al Haj Othman Amar Mustafa, who in 1989 murdered an American and former marine, Steven Frederick Rosenfeld. However, this begs the question why the administration has pressured Israel to free any terrorists at all.
If it is unwise and unjust to free someone who murdered an American citizen, it is equally unwise and unjust to free someone who murdered non-American citizens.
Indeed, why do we accept PA demands to free people who have committed the war crime of targeting civilians? And why are we pressuring Israel at all? We have frequently pressured Israel to concede, including things it never agreed to in signed agreements, while ignoring the Palestinians’ refusal to fulfill the vital concessions and reforms – arresting terrorists, outlawing terrorist groups, confiscating illegal weaponry, ending incitement to hatred and violence against Jews and Israel – they solemnly undertook in the 1993 Oslo and other signed agreements.
It is not Israel that has declared war on its Arab neighbors since its inception in 1948. It it is the neighboring Arab states which invaded Israel the day it declared independence.
It is not Israel that refused peace talks following the first Arab-Israeli war, it was its Arab neighbors.
It is not Israel that refuses concessions. Under the 1979 Israeli/Egyptian peace treaty, it uprooted 4,000 Israelis and returned all of Sinai to Egypt, including the airfields it had built and the oil fields it had developed.
We can’t recall any other country that ever gave back territory won in self-defense, especially containing a reliable source of oil.
Indeed, since the commencement of the Oslo peace process in 1993, Israel has made far-reaching, sometimes irreversible, concessions. In contrast, the Fatah party of Mahmoud Abbas, which controls the PA, has never even rescinded the 10 articles of its Constitution which call for Israel’s destruction and terrorism against Israel.
This has been the pattern since Oslo: Israel undertakes to withdraw from territory or hand over assets and authority – and does so; the PA undertakes to accept Israel, dismantle terrorist groups and prepare its public for peace – and does not do so.
Under successive agreements – the May 1994 Gaza-Jericho agreement; the September 1995 Oslo II agreement; the January 1997 Hebron agreement; the October 1998 Wye River Memorandum and the September 1999 Sharm el-Sheikh agreement – Israel withdraw from …read more