Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Palestinian State, Arafat's Dream But Then What?

by Dan Aridor
September 7, 2011 at 4:30 am


Having a state is not the end game of Palestinian leadership; it is just a major stepping stone. Former Palestinian Chairman Yassir Arafat and his successor, President Mahmoud Abbas, could already have had a Palestinian state a decade ago, thanks to generous offers of Prime Ministers Ehud Barak in 2000, and Ehud Olmert in 2008, to establish one and end the conflict Arafat's goal, however, was to have a state while continuing the conflict with Israel on four major issues: the refugees, the borders, Jerusalem and demilitarization.

The so called "right of return" for the refugees would mean the end of Israel as a Jewish state, demographically flooded, as it would then be, by non-Jews.

The return to 1949 armistice lines would mean a return to indefensible borders, once again only serving as an invitations for surprise attacks, as happened until Israel finally repelled attacks by Jordan Syria and Egypt during the Six Day War in 1967, and took over control of Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem .

Jerusalem has been the central city for the Jewish people both spiritually and physically for 3,000 years, despite attempts throughout history to dislodge and disperse them. To the Jews, Jerusalem has not only been their historical sovereign capital city since 1000 B.C.; it has also since then, been their holy city, , as the Vatican is to the Roman Catholics, and as Mecca and Medina are to the Muslims. .

Palestinian objections to demilitarize their future state would mean that a surprise attack against Israel could always be an option, a situation unacceptable to the Israelis, as it would be to anyone else..

After achieving statehood, , aided by international pressure and de-legitimization campaigns from Europe and the Arab states, the Palestinian leadership, will most likely escalate the friction with Israel over these broad issues, as well as start to blame Israel for the lack of a final status agreement. The daily friction, as seen in daily terror and rocket attacks, will only lead to escalating military clashes.

This is not an extreme scenario; it is already happening., For over a decade, Israeli's southern towns have been – and still are -- under assault from thousands of rockets. A recent and painful reminder, which left eight Israelis dead, occurred only the other week ,when, after crossing the Sinai Desert from Egypt, Hamas terrorists attacked Israel, targeting civilians. When the Israelis responded by targeting the masterminds of the terror attack, the answer was a barrage of more than 100 rockets fired on Israeli cities and towns.

The Hamas was sending a clear message to Israel: Any retaliation against Hamas would be met by a bombardment against Israeli civilians.

Israel, not wanting to escalate matters further and risk a costly and prolonged military action, instead chose a cease-fire.

Understanding Israel's dilemma, various Hamas factions -- with or without Hamas's approval – nevertheless continued sporadic firing into Israeli civilian centers. As a result, missiles from Gaza still continue to be exploded in the towns of southern Israel.

One can only imagine what will happen when a Palestinian state, backed by Iran, will launch attacks directly or indirectly on, for example, Sderot and other urban centers inside Israel. The Palestinians leadership will claim that they are unable to stop all factions, or else that their attacks were in retaliation for some Israeli injustice. The Israel Defense Force will be limited --again – by international pressure from protecting Israeli citizens.

In the so-called peace process, there is constant pressure on Israel to give up historical lands, thereby releasing control of its security to terrorist organizations. These lands ,called "The Auschwitz Borders" by the late, left-wing foreign minister, Abba Eban, will be a launching platform for further attacks on Israel.

This situation is the fulfillment of Arafat's dream: the Phased Plan he laid out 1974: to destroy Israel step by step, taking whatever land the Palestinians could get, and using that as the platform from which to get the next-- with no end to the conflict, until all the land "from the [Jordan[ river to the [Mediterranean] Sea," as the Palestinian Authority Minister for Jerusalem Affairs, Faisal Husseini, put it, would be under Palestinian control.

Now,, however, the stakes are higher: There might be the expectation in Israel, that Gaza's allies from Lebanon Judea and Samaria --not to mention Iran & Syria -- should also be taken into consideration.

A Palestinian state is not a remedy for peace; it is a base for war. No one should feign surprise when it happens.
Dan Aridor, a graduate of Columbia Business School, is a businessman based in Israel.