The time has come to ask all those of us who had supported the concept of a Palestinian Arab state to recognize the error in our ways.
The concept of ceding a sliver of the land to another people may have been a good one.
After all, why should neighbors not find a way to make peace with one another?
However, the Arabs reject the idea, and continue to demand that three million of their refugees return to where they came from in 1948 and that the return of the Jews to our land cease and desist.
Contrary to Israel’s and American expectations, at no time has the Palestinian Arab national movement ever proclaimed – “Give us Gaza and the West Bank and we will give you peace”
Those who have advocated sovereignty for Palestinian Arabs do not do so out of malice or hatred of the Jewish people.
People who advocate the idea of PLO statehood often do so out a commitment to justice and self-determination.
However, my own personal involvement of twelve years on the Israeli Left led me to meet with and dialog with many sympathizers to the PLO on the other side.
PLO activists would always ask me what they thought to be reasonable: We will give you peace if you relinquish up your obsession for Zionism.
>From Day One of the Oslo process, Arafat has been taking Truth Serum every day and proclaiming to his people that the purpose of the process to be the conquest of the entire land.
Three million residents of the UNRWA Arab refugee camps believe Arafat and they ready themselves to join forces with his trained and well motivated Palestine Liberation Army of 50,000 to liberate the rest of land of Israel.
An Arab guerilla army against the seemingly invincible Israel Defense Forces? Ask the FLN in Algeria and the NLF in Vietnam. They remain models for the PLO.
The leaders of Israel, anxious in their passion for peace after one hundred years of war, moved quickly to cede territory and to provide training, arms and cooperation with Arafat’s military forces, while Arafat was arming and training the Hamas.
Yet the tragic mistake was in the speed of the Oslo process.
The late Israeli Intelligence Chief, General Aharon Yariv, who conceptualized the very concept of “territory for peace”, told me as follows: “People misunderstood us. We never said territory before peace. We said territory for peace”.
Israel’s ideal peace treaty was forged with Jordan, over a period of twenty four years. Israel made a deal with the Hashemite kingdom in 1970 and consummated it as a formal peace treaty with King Hussein only in 1994.
The Jewish state first wanted tosee how Hussein would behave. And Israel tested him, during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the 1982 Lebanon invasion, the 1987-93 Intifada and the 1991 Gulf war. Only then did Israel sign a formal peace treaty with King Hussein.
That is not what happened with Arafat, the PLO and the new Palestine Authority. Tragically, Israel’s Palestinian Arab protagonists view the Oslo process as a stage of war with the state of Israel, and they see Israel ceding territory as a sign of weakness and surrender, not as a step towards peace.
When Arafat says Jihad, “holy war“, he means it.