There has been a fair amount of optimism now that Prime Minister Netanyahu sits at the head of probably the largest coalition majority of Israeli history and that now is the time to push for Israeli-Palestinian peace. The conclusion is right about this being the time to push for Israeli-Palestinian peace but the chosen target to be pushed is in error. The path available to push for an Israeli-Palestinian peace is possible if the world will recognize the opportunity to finally apply pressure on Mahmoud Abbas to take what it takes to facilitate a peace with Israel. The super-majority coalition behind Prime Minister Netanyahu would make reaching an agreement somewhat less improbable, but the main blockage to making progress is not Netanyahu but rather is Mahmoud Abbas, the Fatah leadership, the Palestinian Authority leadership, the Hamas leadership, the terror masters, and the results of the power turnover from the dictators to the Muslim Brotherhood dictatorial governance. Yet, there is an opportunity for progress if the powers that be realize this brief opening and can focus on somebody other than the Israelis as being the main inhibitor of moving forward.
Currently we are witnessing two faces being presented by Mahmoud Abbas, neither of which should be considered conducive to peace. The first is his globe hopping and petitioning of world bodies such as the United Nations Security Council, General Assembly, UNESCO, and yet to be announced organizations with the IMF and the EU being high on the suspect list in order to gain recognition of Palestine as a recognized full-fledged member State included among the nations of the world. At the same time, President Abbas and other leaders of the Palestinian Authority have had their hands out beseeching the regular financial supporters to cough up a few billion more dollars or else they are threatening the dissolution of the Palestinian Authority and the return of the intifada on Israel and the world as unavoidable if they are not empowered to prevent such. It is this presumed dire requirement for emergency funding which could be utilized to push for a peace arrangement. Unfortunately, it is all too likely that the world will continue with its blinkered vision which only allows for Israel to be the reason for the lack of peace. The leaders and opinion shapers in governments, NGOs, and the media will reiterate the myth of the peaceful Palestinians who are being denied their rightful inheritance of the land of Palestine by the colonizing Jews and Zionists of Israel who are in occupation of the West Bank and Gaza against all international laws and human morality that are to blame for all the problems throughout the Middle East and potentially the entire universe.
For once, let us make a little trip through another avenue available and look at the Arab-Israeli problem which is usually misnamed as the Israeli-Palestinian problem. The initial item that we encounter is that this conflict began well before the founding of Israel and well before there were any so-called occupied territories. Another adjustment to what is wrongfully referred to as common knowledge is that Israel pulled out every single Jewish resident and every IDF soldier from all of the Gaza Strip in 2005 and that area has not been occupied in any way, shape or form by Israel since. Also, do not even begin with the canard that the blockade which has been recognized as legal be the United Nations is a form of occupation. The blockade was not implemented immediately after Israel turned Gaza over to the Palestinian Authority. The naval blockade of Gaza was initiated after Hamas took over control in Gaza in a bloody insurrection removing Abbas and the Palestinian Authority from that area. Then, when Hamas began raining rockets down on Israeli towns and kibbutzim in southern Israel, then Israel initiated the naval blockade in order to minimize the avenues for massive arms shipments to the Hamas terror government in the Gaza Strip. So, that removes Israel from anything Gaza related as that has been completely returned to Palestinian rule and is currently occupied by Hamas.
As for Judea and Samaria, currently well over eighty percent of Arab Palestinians live in an area that places them under complete Palestinian Authority rule. These are the Palestinians living in Area A where it is actually against the law for Israelis or Jews to even visit. Should an Israeli be required to enter Area A for any reason such as to hold negotiations they are required to receive special permission from the Palestinian Authority. Most of the remaining Palestinian Arab population resides in Area B which is under Palestinian Authority civil rule with security provided jointly by the Palestinian authority and the IDF. This arrangement has actually worked fairly well with only occasional disruption or failures from this security arrangement. Lastly, Area C contains almost all of the Jewish towns and communities and also includes the Jordan Valley Military Zones in which Israel maintains defensive security positions such as eastward and northward facing radars on the top of the rise at the western end of the Jordanian Valley in order to track any aerial movements that might threaten to enter into Israeli air space. The Jordan Valley is important for the tactical additional area it places between the heavily populated lowlands of the coastal plains within the Green Line as well as the major urban areas such as Tel Aviv, Haifa, and others. At first glance it would seem that a Palestinian State has already been established in Area A with some overlap between the Palestinians and Israelis in Area B while Israel has a critical tactical military need in retaining their installations in the Jordan Valley and the higher ground at its western edge. The rest of Area C contains the vast majority of the Israeli communities and IDF installations. Taking a purely tactical and logical look at the situation one might conclude that a Palestinian state could be formed with the lands from Area A and Area B and shared access in parts of the Jordan Valley while Israel retains Area C and the IDF bases in and adjacent to the Jordan Valley. About all this solution requires are the two sides to sign papers stating such.
This is both where the problem is and the solution lies. To get to the root of the problem, one needs look no further than the monetary crisis which the Palestinian authority has recently declared. This is the second such emergency financial situation within one year’s time. And it is the money that is at the root of why there is no peace treaty. The Palestinian Authority has over a third and possibly over half of their population on the government payroll. They have no real economic sources able to finance such a pervasive government and it is doubtful any country could survive should they attempt the same ratio of government to private employment. This is the root of the lack of funds to keep the doors open, this over-bloated payroll which is simply a financial support system being implemented instead of developing an economy. The Palestinian Security Forces and Police Forces makeup the largest part of their government and also include most of the members from the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades as well as related groups. If ever Mahmoud Abbas showed a moment of insanity and accepted a State and the conflict with Israel ended, the money would dry up causing a near immediate crisis with thousands of Palestinians under threat of starvation. This is the main driving force behind the continuous circumvention by preconditions or any means necessary to prevent any meaningful, if any, negotiations between the Palestinian and Israel. Mahmoud Abbas and the entire Palestinian leadership are thoroughly aware of the predicament they face. If ever there was the end of the conflict and a Palestinian state became a reality, it would collapse under the sheer weight of its government almost immediately. This allows an opening for peace.
Should the world simply impress upon President Abbas that without peace there will be no more money given by Europe, the United States, and the United Nations, then we would likely see some actions towards meeting by Mr. Abbas with whomever was Prime Minister of Israel and real negotiations would take place. Applying such leverage would allow for talks which would end with an agreement instead of an indignant Palestinian negotiating team storming brusquely out of the negotiations as they near an agreement and they had run out of demands with which to stall. Up to now that has been the modus operandi for the Palestinian negotiating teams which was taught them by none other than Yasser Arafat. But for any negotiations to take place and any real agreement to be forthcoming, the world will need to cut off the spigot and end the near infinite flow of money into the Palestinian Authority. There is no way in which the Palestinian leadership can be bribed into making peace for it is the flow of money which allows them to avoid peace and even makes peace untenable. A reverse bribe where the money stops and is only given as a reward that peace will become possible. The current scheme where Mahmoud Abbas whines and pouts about some dire financial catastrophe coming near, should treasures not flow immediately, then Mahmoud Abbas will be unable to prevent the outbreak of violence which surely will follow upon the collapse of the Palestinian Authority. Just this once, call his bluff and simply show President Abbas the money and then keep it and demand he negotiate and then upon a peace agreement, a signed peace agreement, then the money will once again flow to assist the Palestinians to live in peace with Israelis. Many would likely claim that this is insane and could never work. Our claim is to agree it is an insane idea because we will never see it tried and thus it cannot work.
Beyond the Cusp