The PLO accepted Israelis' right to live by mattsteinglass
February 14, 2010, 12:53 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

A misguided reader of Andrew Sullivan writes:

They [Muslim and “leftist” enemies of Israel] are willing to die and to cause millions of their people to die because they believe it is just to destroy Israel.  They don’t care about the Palestinians, who could have a state tomorrow if they were willing to accept Israel’s right to live.

This is just willful and dangerous ignorance. The PLO accepted Israel’s right to secure existence as part of the Oslo accords in 1993. Did they get a state the next day? No. The agreements called for 5 years of autonomy while the two sides worked out “final status” issues, followed by full independence. Israel proceeded to double the number of settlers on the West Bank in those 5 years, to 200,000, and Netanyahu’s government successfully frustrated the final status talks, which it had no interest in concluding.

The failure of the Arafat/Barak/Clinton talks in 2000 and the tragedy that the Taba agreements were a political dead letter because of Sharon’s impending election — this is a complicated story. But the Israeli insistence that Palestinians have never accepted their right to exist is a dangerous, possibly suicidal self-indulgence, a way of absolving themselves of responsibility for the violence directed at them. Palestinians accepted Israel’s right to exist in 1993. The Israelis have not accepted Palestine’s right to exist. And it was because Palestinians did not get their state that they then rescinded their acceptance of Israel.


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