The Palestinians' decision to place the issue of the establishment of a Palestinian state before the United Nations for a vote next month repudiates of the principles of the 1993 Oslo peace framework, through which the Palestinian Authority was formed out of the PLO. The Oslo framework dictated that the final status of Judea, Samaria, Gaza and Jerusalem would be determined through direct negotiations between the PLO and Israel.
While brazen, the Palestinians' UN gambit is not the first time that Israel has been confronted with unequivocal proof that the Palestinians have been operating in bad faith. From the outset, PLO leaders from Yassir Arafat down have made statements and taken actions that have demonstrated that from the PLO's perspective, the entire "two-state paradigm," of peacemaking upon which the Oslo process is predicated was nothing more than a ploy.
For instance, after coming under heavy pressure from then opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu, in early 1996, then prime minister Shimon Peres was forced to ask Arafat to convene the PLO's governing council in order to cancel the PLO Charter. The Charter repeated calls for Israel's destruction.
Recognizing that Peres's government was on the line, then US president Bill Clinton flew to Gaza to "oversee" the Palestinian National Council's conference and its cancellation of the charter.
Despite Clinton's presence, the charter was never abrogated or even amended. Yet the empty pageantry was enough to convince the leftist Israeli media that Israel had a credible partner for peace in Arafat and so the show went on.
Arafat ended all pretence of good faith in the summer of 2000 when he rejected then prime minister Ehud Barak's offer of Palestinian statehood and instigated the Palestinian terror war. Ever since Arafat chose terror war over peace, his followers' willingness to admit they reject Israel's right to exists has grown.
For instance, on July 13, Fatah's foreign relations boss Nabil Shaath gave an interview to a Lebanese television station in which he stated point blank that the PLO will never accept Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state. As he put it, only the Palestinians have a right to a nation state. The Jews of Israel must be subsumed into a "state of all its citizens" that would be dominated by Israeli Arabs and millions of foreign Arabs that would immigrate into the formerly Jewish state.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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