Following Israeli 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.
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 the year 2000. At such moments, future implications must be carefully considered.
Vote on Palestine UN, Nov 29, 2012
State of Palestine
The favorite argument of the 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 like 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 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 the 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 reason to refuse signing, Israelis are right!" the Zionists reading these lines will claim. Let me explain Arafat's historical view with an imaginary example. Let's say WWII turned out differently. Imagine that Nazi Germany had conquered the British Islands. The conquest would have ended in a bloody civil war; after a few years Hitler would have called Churchill and said: "Let's talk!" Imagine that Hitler had offered withdrawal of 99.5% of occupied Britain, with the exception of London City. Churchill wouldn't have had the mandate to renounce the kingdom's capital. Same goes for Arafat. He couldn’t sign the proposed agreement, because it offered more than the Israeli public was ready to concede. Had Arafat signed, Barak would probably have failed to have 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.
1975 - Americans Leave Saigon | Israel as South Vietnam, see:
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 of the next step 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 insults are worthless. However, Netanyahu's decision to block the transfer of tax revenues to the Palestinians is a different game. He has alrady done 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 into a well by a fool, cannot 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 from 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 fail, the conflicts rapidly deteriorate into wars. Trapped in his own arrogance of power, Netanyahu placed Israel on this path.