It’s reported that PA chairman Abbas may be proposing a new idea to Condoleeza Rice on her imminent visit to the region. That a temporary Palestinian state be set up in the existing areas up to the line of the security fence.
I don’t think this will ever happen, no matter what great headlines such an announcement will make to boost the flagging ratings of Bush, Blair and the discreditable Olmert. That is because the creation of a Palestinian state is anathema to the puppeteers of this eternal conflict who call the shots from Teheran, Cairo and Riyadh. The struggle must continue to ensure their own survival as tyrants, despots and rulers in their own countries. Without the diversion of this conflict, and the portrayal of Israel as a mortal threat, the Iranian and Saudi proletariat would start asking the ruling mullah’s and sheikhs about their lack of jobs, housing and education and why their national oil wealth has been squandered on nuclear centrifuges and elaborate palaces.
This is why Arafat turned down the Clinton plan. To many it is still a mystery why he would turn down Barak’s offer even to hand over Jerusalem (as if it were his to give away!). The old and sickly Arafat may have been sorely tempted, but his masters nixed the whole deal. If Arafat had defied them and signed up, he would not have lived long enough for the celebration on the White House lawn. The same bullet awaits Abbas, who is tolerated as long as the internecine feuds and gunfights continue in Gaza and the cauldron continues to boil. But the day he looks to be accepting a statehood deal with Israel, he becomes a dead man walking.
Arafat could have declared a Palestinian state in Ramallah or Gaza any time he wanted. Within minutes of that announcement, world leaders would have been falling over each other to be the very first to recognise the new state with offers of aid, embassies … the lot.
So why didn’t that happen? Simply because the overriding agenda is of course as it has always been: not two states, but one single Arab state standing in place of Israel.
For Israel and its supporters, peace has always been the only option.
For the Islamic powers that be, failure is the only option.