Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Noted Israeli historian Benny Morris writes of the end of the Israeli Labor Party in the wake of Ehud Barak's decision to leave the party along with four other former Labor Knesset members - The Fruit of Israel's Labor.

But there can be no serious argument about what transpired in July and December 2000, when Arafat sequentially rejected comprehensive Israeli and Israeli-American proposals for a two-state solution which would have given the Palestinians ("the Clinton Parameters") sovereignty and independence in 95% of the West Bank, all of the Gaza Strip, and half of Jerusalem (including half or three-quarters of the Old City). And there can be no serious argument either about Abbas's rejection of the similar, perhaps even slightly better deal, offered by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in 2008. (Indeed, these rejections of a two-state solution were already a tradition set in stone: The Palestinians' leaders had rejected two-state compromises in 1937 (the Peel proposals), 1947 (the UN General Assembly partition resolution) and (implicitly) in 1978 (when Arafat rejected the Sadat-Begin Camp David agreement, which provided for "autonomy" in the Palestinan territories).

In the first decade of the third millenium, the Palestinians—Arafat and Abbas (and, needless to say, the fundamentalist anti-Semitic Hamas)—had, again, rejected not so much a set of proposals as an idea, a principle, the two-state solution. They wanted all of Palestine, and not an inch for the Jews.

And it was this rejection that destroyed the Israel Labor Party ...
Morris concludes:
In the coming years, the Palestinians (and, no doubt, the Israelis too) will pay, and pay big, for the Palestinians' unwillingness to share Palestine.

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