The November 29, 2012 UN vote to upgrade the Palestinian Authority (PA) to a “non-member observer state” – in violation of the 1993 Oslo Accords – was an expected derivative of Israel’s policy towards the PA since 1993 – critical concessions, retreats, indecisiveness, submission to pressure and appeasement.
What has Israel done since 1993?
Unprecedented Israeli concessions – such as the legitimization, importation and the arming of 60,000 Palestinian terrorists from Sudan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Tunisia and the evacuation of Gaza and 40% of Judea and Samaria – resulted in unprecedented Palestinian hate-education and incitement, terrorism and non-compliance.
The flabbier the Israeli policy and the frailer the Israeli response to Palestinian terrorism, the more flagrant is the Palestinian abrogation of agreements. For instance, 270 Israelis were murdered by Palestinian terrorists between 1978 and the 1993 signing of the Oslo Accords, compared with some 2,000 murdered since Oslo, mostly by PLO terrorists. In 2000, Prime Minister Barak offered to uproot all Jewish settlements; Mahmoud Abbas and Arafat responded with an unparalleled wave of suicide-bombings in the pre-1967 area of Israel. Prime Minister Sharon’s 2005 uprooting of 25 Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria and Gaza induced an unprecedented barrage of missiles on pre-1967 Israel. Israel’s inaction in the face of the 2009-2012 amassing of long-range missiles in Gaza triggered a daily barrage of missiles at pre-1967 Israel.
The post-Oslo conduct by Mahmoud Abbas and Arafat – role models of intra-Arab subversion and international terrorism, Holocaust deniers and allies of the Communist Bloc, Khomeini, Saddam Hussein Bin Laden, North Korea and Hugo Chavez – has reaffirmed that the PLO does not change its spots, only its tactics. Mahmoud Abbas is not troubled by the size – but by the existence – of the Jewish State in the Middle East.
The systematic Palestinian effort to leverage terrorism and diplomacy, in order to eliminate the Jewish State, behooves Israel to resurrect the steadfastness and defiance which characterized most Israeli Prime Ministers from Ben Gurion (1948) through Shamir (1992).
What should Israel do?
Accordingly, Israel should extend Jerusalem’s municipal lines, which is a prerequisite for the transformation of Jerusalem’s steady decline into long term growth, through a dramatic upgrade of Jerusalem’s infrastructures of transportation, industry and housing. Greater Jerusalem should stretch from Gush Etzion and Nokdim (south) to the Dead Sea (east), Mt. Ba’al Hazor (northeast) and Kiryat Sefer (northwest),
Israel should embrace the former Supreme Court Justice Edmond Levy Report. The July 2012 report reconfirmed that according to international law, Judea and Samaria are not “occupied territory,” since no foreign entity was sovereign in the area in 1967. The 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention is not applicable since it prohibits the coerced transfer of people to settlements, while Israeli settlers have settled of their own volition. Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria are legal. The Jewish State’s historical and legal rights in Judea and Samaria are based on the 1922 British Mandate. These rights were preserved by Article 80 of the U.N. Charter, which provides continuity of Jewish rights in the Jewish Homeland. And, the report calls on Israel to allow construction in the settlements, enabling Israelis to directly purchase land in Judea and Samaria.
The Israeli law should be applied – and transportation infrastructure should be upgraded in area C, which is controlled exclusively by Israel according to the Oslo Accords.
All VIP benefits, by Israel, to all Palestinian officials should be annulled, pending the elimination of hate-education and incitement from the PA education, divinity and media sectors.
Such steps would trigger international resentment and possibly sanctions. However, pre-1993 Israeli defiance, under harsher circumstances, was initially condemned, but then rewarded with an enhanced posture of deterrence and respect. It demonstrated that Israel would not sacrifice dire national interests on the altar of convenience and wishful-thinking. For example, Prime Minister Ben Gurion defied the 1948/1949 US pressure/embargo to refrain from a declaration of independence, to “end occupation of the Negev” and to avoid the incorporation of – and construction in – Jerusalem and declaring it the capital of Israel. Prime Minister Eshkol dared the 1967 US pressure against preempting Egypt and the reunification of – and construction in – Jerusalem. Prime Minister Golda Meir withstood the 1970 US pressure to repartition Jerusalem, authorizing the construction of four more neighborhoods, the home of some 150,000 Israelis. Prime Minister Begin defied the 1981 US threats and punishments, applying Israel’s laws to the Golan Heights. Prime Minister Shamir rebuffed US pressure to freeze settlements, but US-Israel strategic cooperation expanded unprecedentedly.
Will contemporary Israeli leaders follow in the footsteps of Ben Gurion – Shamir? Or, will they sustain the self-destructive Oslo state of mind, ignoring the Palestinian reality and that in the Middle East either you eat from – or become part of – the menu?
This article was originally published by Yoram Ettinger.