Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Ehud Olmert’s Peace Delusion

December 12, 2012 8:24 pm 0 comments

Ehud Olmert (left) with PA President Mahmoud Abbas (right) and former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (center). Photo: wiki commons.

In early November, before Hamas’ recent terror campaign and the UN vote on “Palestine,” former president Ehud Olmert delivered a speech at Columbia University in New York. He argued that the failure to achieve peace with the Palestinians was the biggest threat to Israel’s security. (The Iranian threat, he said, would be taken care of by the international community).

According to Olmert, a peace agreement is in reach, and the only thing standing in the way is Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Why? Because Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is the perfect partner for peace. In fact, Olmert said that if he would have served longer as prime minister, he and Abbas would have reached a deal by now. However, unfortunately for Israel, Mr. Olmert’s peace partner is an imaginary one.

To begin with, Abbas does not speak for the Palestinian people. After returning home from the United Nations, Abbas promised to create a unity government with Hamas. Why was this his top priority after achieving such a “victory” in New York? Because Abbas knows that Hamas is more popular among Palestinians and that his government won’t be legitimate without them.

Olmert’s logic then becomes a conundrum: If Abbas can’t achieve a unity government, he can’t speak on behalf of the Palestinian people. But if he does achieve a unity government, he is no partner for peace. After all, how can Abbas support peace when Hamas recently recommitted itself to Israel’s destruction?

Olmert had no answer for this in New York and presumably doesn’t have one – unless he wants Israel to negotiate with Hamas. Needless to say, negotiating with a government committed to Israel’s annihilation is sheer insanity.

Even if Hamas were to remove the reference to Israel’s destruction in its charter, it wouldn’t change a thing. It would just be a cunning ploy to encourage the international community to embrace it as a legitimate organization.

Regardless, Hamas is still unwilling to make this symbolic move, despite the enormous benefits it would reap from doing so. That is how deep its hatred runs for Israel. As former prime minister Golda Meir famously said, “peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.”Sadly when it comes to Hamas, that day isn’t even in the foreseeable future. And yet this is the group that Abbas wants to join with.

Even putting the Hamas issue aside, it’s still far from clear that Abbas actually wants peace. As Olmert himself pointed out, no prime minister in Israel’s history ever offered more than Olmert offered to Abbas in 2008.Olmert’s historic proposal included a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem and the return of pre-1967 lands to a new Palestinian state. Still, Abbas walked away – just as his predecessor Yasser Arafat walked away from then-prime minister Ehud Barak’s offer in 2000, and just as every Palestinian leader has walked away from Israeli offers, no matter how generous they were.

For Palestinian leaders, nothing is ever enough. Israel gives and gives, yet the Palestinians only ask for more. Autonomy in the West Bank? More. Complete control of the Gaza Strip? More. A Palestinian state, side by side with Israel, with Jerusalem as its capital? More.

Israel has given and given. And what has it received in return aside from calls for “more?” Terror attacks and missiles targeting Israeli civilians, nonstop efforts to delegitimize Israel and cast it as a racist and terrorist state, and endless pledges for Israel’s total destruction.

It seems that the Palestinian strategy for peace is this: Force the Israelis to give up land for “peace,” then use terror attacks and international pressure to force them to give up more. Repeat until Israel is no longer recognizable or defendable. This being the case, how can Israel be expected to trust in Abbas that he doesn’t share Hamas’ view on Israel’s right to exist?

Peace must be based on more than promises. It must be based on actions. Although Abbas has helped create a functional government in the West Bank, this is no proof of a desire for peace. It is only proof of a desire for a Palestinian state.

Olmert and his ilk may have good intentions but sadly, this is their downfall. Their desire for peace has blinded them to the realities of the situation. The reason that there is no peace has been oft-repeated: There simply is no partner for it. There will never be peace until all Palestinians recognize Israel’s right to exist publicly, and perhaps even more important, privately.

This article was originally published by the Jerusalem Post.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Theater US & Canada Seth Rogen Unveils New Christmas Movie — ‘Will Open on Thanksgiving, Made by Jews’ (VIDEO)

    Seth Rogen Unveils New Christmas Movie — ‘Will Open on Thanksgiving, Made by Jews’ (VIDEO)

    Famed actor Seth Rogen on Tuesday unveiled with typical comic fanfare the trailer for his new Christmas film. The movie “was made by Jews… and opens on Thanksgiving,” Rogen pointed out on Twitter. The Night Before tells the tale of three “ride or die homies” celebrating one last debauchery-filled Christmas Eve reunion before they become too busy to keep up their annual tradition. In an effort to make the night as memorable as possible, they set out to find the “Nutcracka Ball – the […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish History Art Can Inspire Faith; It Can Also Empower Destructive Ideologies

    Art Can Inspire Faith; It Can Also Empower Destructive Ideologies

    A June 2015 art exhibit, “The Transformative Power of Art,” at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, harnessed the universal language of art to convey an important message: “Our fragile Mother Earth faces the devastating consequences of climate change, a defining challenge of our time.” The exhibit also included sixteen portraits of people from all over the world who have “contributed to the common good of humanity in one way or another and have transformed the way we […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Sports Israeli Muslim Cage Fighter Says He’s Proud to Fight Under Jewish State’s Flag

    Israeli Muslim Cage Fighter Says He’s Proud to Fight Under Jewish State’s Flag

    A 32-year-old Circassian Israeli Muslim Mixed Martial Arts fighter from Abu Ghosh says he takes pride in fighting under the Israeli flag, Israel’s Walla reported on Sunday. Like most Circassian Israelis, Jackie “the Punishment” Gosh was born Sunni Muslim. He became observant about eight years ago, and is now scrupulous in following his religion’s tenets, praying five times a day and fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. Gosh is also very proud of his Israeli nationality, and sees no contradiction between […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Music New Mark Skinner Documentary Explores Jewish, Arab Rap Scene in Israel (VIDEO)

    New Mark Skinner Documentary Explores Jewish, Arab Rap Scene in Israel (VIDEO)

    A new documentary explores the lives and work of Jewish and Arab rappers in Israel and how the ongoing conflict in the region has impacted their lyrics, the U.K.’s Jewish Chronicle reported on Thursday. Hip Hop in the Holy Land is a six-part series co-directed by Mike Skinner, the British frontman of hip-hop group The Streets, and produced by Noisey, a music channel published by Vice news. The first episode, published last week, shows Skinner meeting with Tamer Nafar, the founder of one of […]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada 49ers Running Back Jarryd Hayne Apologizes for ‘Hurtful’ Jesus Tweets

    49ers Running Back Jarryd Hayne Apologizes for ‘Hurtful’ Jesus Tweets

    New 49ers running back and Australian rugby star Jarryd Hayne apologized on Wednesday for a tweet in which he raised the age-old myth that Jews were historically responsible for Jesus Christ’s death. Reaching out to his Jewish fans, and the chairman of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission, Hayne tweeted: “To the Jewish community @DvirAbramovich #WeAreAllOne.” Underneath, he keenly included a screenshot of a text message to elaborate on his apology: “I sincerely apologize for my tweets on July 1. I […]

    Read more →
  • Theater Israeli Actress Gal Gadot Recalls Being ‘Extremely Surprised’ at Winning Miss Israel Contest

    Israeli Actress Gal Gadot Recalls Being ‘Extremely Surprised’ at Winning Miss Israel Contest

    Israeli actress Gal Gadot reminisced about her childhood in Israel during an interview published in this month’s edition of Vanity Fair. “I don’t remember this, but my mom told me that when I was three they threw a party on the rooftop of the house. They put me to bed, and I heard people coming into the house and no one came to me. I went to the rooftop and took a hose and I started to spray water on everyone, just […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Wounded Israeli Soldiers Unite With American Veterans to Help Their ‘Brothers for Life’ Heal (INTERVIEW)

    Wounded Israeli Soldiers Unite With American Veterans to Help Their ‘Brothers for Life’ Heal (INTERVIEW)

    An Israeli organization is helping wounded U.S. veterans move past their physical and psychological challenges by connecting them with injured Israeli soldiers who understand what they’ve been through. “What we discovered very early is that there’s no ‘professional, psychiatrist, social worker’ or anything like that [or] pills that can come even close to helping a soldier who fought in combat, who was wounded, who lost his friends. No one can help him like another person who’s been through exactly what he has,” Rabbi Chaim Levine, […]

    Read more →
  • Relationships World Researchers Say Women Less Likely Than Men to Kill Hitler, if They Could Travel Back in Time

    Researchers Say Women Less Likely Than Men to Kill Hitler, if They Could Travel Back in Time

    Women are less likely than men to want to kill Nazi leader Adolph Hitler if given the ability to travel back in time, a recently published research paper revealed. The paper analyzed 40 studies involving 6,100 respondents in a time-travel thought experiment, the New York Post reported on Friday. While 60 percent of men said they would theoretically be willing to kill Hitler, only 55 percent of women said they would be comfortable doing the same. The paper was published in the Personality and […]

    Read more →