Why Palestinians Will Never Make Peace With Israel

Arafat had been telling his people that anyone who makes concessions to Israel is a traitor. Like Arafat, Abbas does not want to go down in history as the first Palestinian leader to make concessions, especially on sensitive

Abbas show with the late Arafat.

issues such as refugees and Jerusalem.

What are the chances that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas would ever sign a peace agreement with Israel?

The answer: ZERO!!

Abbas, who is in his late 70s, has been in power since 2005 even though his term in office formally ended in January 2009.

If Abbas did not sign a peace agreement with Israel when he was a legitimate president during his earlier four-year term in office, he is most unlikely to strike any deal with Israel now that he does not have a mandate from his people.

If he wished, Abbas could have reached a deal with the governments of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. But Abbas, like his predecessor Yasser Arafat, chose to turn down a generous offer that could have seen Israel relinquish control over most of the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Abbas is not interested in reaching any deal with Israel: he knows that such a move would require him to make concessions. Abbas knows that Israel will never give him 100% of his demands; that is enough for him to refuse to sign any historic agreement.

Like Arafat, Abbas does not want to go down into history as the first Palestinian leader to make concessions, especially on sensitive issues such as refugees and Jerusalem.

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In 2000, Arafat rejected Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s generous offer, which included more than 90% of the territories captured by Israel in the Six Day War.

Arafat turned down the offer because he was afraid of being condemned by Arabs and Muslims for having “sold out to the Jews.” Arafat was later quoted as explaining that if he made any concessions to Israel he would “end up drinking coffee with [slain Egyptian President] Anwar Sadat up there.”

So if Arafat, the popular symbol and leader of the Palestinians was unable to make any concessions to Israel, who is Abbas to accept anything less than 100%?

Abbas knows that in a final deal, Israel would not permit millions of Palestinians living in refugee camps to enter the country. He also knows that Israel is planning to retain control over some parts of the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Arafat walked away from the Camp David summit in 2000 because he had been telling his people that anyone who makes concessions to Israel is a traitor.

Similarly, Abbas has also tied his hands by constantly promising the Palestinians that he would never make concessions on the “right of return” and settlements.

Abbas has even gone a step further by mobilizing Palestinian public opinion against Israel to a point where his people are not even ready to see him meeting with Vice Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz.

Abbas’s Palestinian Authority has been denouncing Israel and many of its leaders, including Mofaz, as war criminals. This is why when, two weeks ago, Palestinians heard that Mofaz was planning to visit Ramallah to meet with Abbas, hundreds took to the streets to protest.

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Abbas quickly succumbed, and called off the meeting with Mofaz.

The next time Abbas plans to meet with any Israeli government official, Palestinians will once again take to the streets to protest.

The motives of the protesters are understandable. Why should they approve of such meetings while Abbas himself has been telling them for many years that Israeli leaders are war criminals and do not want peace?

If Abbas is not even able to hold a meeting with a senior representative of the Israeli government, who said that he could ever reach any peace agreement with Israel?

Abbas’s problem is more with his people than with Israel. Not only does Abbas not have a mandate to reach any deal with Israel, he has also lost much of his credibility among Palestinians for his failure to end his dispute with Hamas and to implement major reforms in his ruling Fatah faction

Today, Abbas is not in a position that allows him to sell to most Palestinians any agreement he reaches with Israel. Even if he were to bring home an agreement that includes 100% of his demands, most Palestinians would still receive it with full skepticism because it would be coming from a leader who does not have a mandate to make even the slightest concession.

Under the current circumstances, the wisest thing to do would be to maintain the status quo until the emergence of a new Palestinian leader who would have the true courage to make peace with Israel.

By Khaled Abu

Posted in Israel, Terrorism and tagged , , , , , , , .


  1. RAM SWARUP IN 1992


    Muslim politics in turn is grounded in Muslim theology. Islam believes in one God (their God) but two humanities: the believers and the infidels. Islam teaches, at least according to its most pious and learned men, Jihad or holy war against the infidels. It is not that the infidels have done any harm to Islam or Muslims but it is simply because holy war against the infidels “is established as a divine ordinance, by the word of God, who has said in the Koran, ‘Slay the Infidel’,” according to Hidayah, an old and important work widely esteemed in the Muslim world.

    Similarly, it is not a question of self-defence against any aggression or any unprovoked war but it is simply because the infidels by being infidels incur “the destruction of the sword,” although “they be not the first aggressors,” to put it again in the language of the Hidayah, which derives it “from various passages in the sacred writings which are generally received to this effect.” It reveals not only what the Islamic sacred writings say but, what is still more important, what the Muslim pious men and scholars believe these writings do. There has been a wide consensus among them about the message of these writings.

    To this theology of holy war belong two related concepts: dar al-harb and dar al-islam. According to this theology, dar al-harb is a country of the infidels, a country not ruled by Muslims; Muslims have to wage a war against it and convert it into dar al-islam, a country governed by Muslims. Again, it is not a question of majorities and minorities but of believers and unbelievers. A country of a majority of infidels but ruled by a small minority of Muslims, as India once was, is dar al-islam and is perfectly legitimate and conforms more truly to the divine injunction and is superior in Allah’s eyes to a country ruled by its own people but who are infidels. Similarly, it is not a question of “equal rights” for all citizens irrespective of their religions. Such concepts are un-Islamic. Under Islam, non-Muslims, if they are allowed to exist at all, are non-citizens or zimmis; only Muslims are full citizens.

    It also means that, theoretically, the believers are at war with the infidels all the time, though, in practice, a war may not be possible at a particular time. The actual shape of the war will depend on many external factors, not the least of them being the stage of preparedness of the believers for the venture. But they must continue exerting and planning and looking for opportunities. This is the essence of Jihad. It has been widely discussed in Islamic books on religious laws.

    But it does raise some problems on the practical level. For example, when Europe ruled and the whole Muslim world was on its knees and Muslims were not in a position to wage an effective war, what would they do? Then the concept of Jihad had to be diluted and in India another concept was added, the concept of dar al-aman. According to this concept, it was sufficient if Muslims had the liberty to give their azan-call (which was banned by Maharaja Ranjit Singh), to offer their namaz and keep their fast, and it was enough for them to be most loyal to a Christian power. There are also other complicating problems in a world where nationalism has become a new recognised value and a citizen is governed by his country’s laws and owes his first allegiance to his country. But Islam is essentially pan-Islamic and pan-Islamism must override the demands both of territorial nationalism and of universal humanism. In this sense extra-territorialism (and also religious exclusivism) is fundamental to Islam. If the contending parties are Muslim, nationalism could still have a meaning; but when of the two contending parties, one is Muslim and the other infidel there is no dilemma for the Muslims of both countries and their duty is clear. The Muslims living in dar al-harb must support a Jihad against their Government.

  2. It is a genetically originated “incompatibility”, which has no diplomatic solution, and should be left to the parties involved. Period.

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