Palestinian strategy document

By Akiva Eldar, HAARETZ

This version will make it difficult for the United States and the Marshall Islands, and even for Israel, to explain their votes against the proposal. Instead of recognizing Palestine within the 1967 borders, it will state that the permanent borders will be determined in negotiations with Israel based on the borders of June 4, 1967. This approach made it possible to enlist the support of leading moderates in Hamas, who claim that recognition of the 1967 borders before the signing of a final-status deal means waiving the claim to the right of return.

Several of those people are signatories to a new strategic position paper, drafted by more than 50 Palestinian government officials, researchers and advisers ? members of the Palestine Strategy Group. This is the forum that in 2008 composed a document recommending that the leadership transfer the conflict to the United Nations.

The new document presents the Palestinian strategy both before and after the UN vote.

Already in the preface, the authors stress that “strategic unity,” now greatly enhanced by the reconciliation process, is a key condition for putting together an effective strategy. The document’s starting point: Given the Israeli government’s intransigence, the option of settling the conflict via bilateral negotiations ? the path pursued by the Palestinian leadership for 20 years ? is no longer available.

Most of the document’s authors support the option of an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital and a fair arrangement that will fulfill the right of return and the compensation of the Palestinian refugees. The document rejects the possibility of continuing the status quo, maintaining that the endless negotiations provide cover for expanding the settlements and consolidating the occupation. The authors also erase from the agenda the option of a Palestinian state with temporary borders and limited sovereignty, under effective Israeli control.

If the strategy of a diplomatic struggle for Palestinian independence ? including sanctions, turning to the International Criminal Court and nonviolent resistance as in Egypt and Tunisia ? does not change the situation, the group recommends switching to what the document calls Plan B: dismantling the Palestinian Authority and restoring responsibility for the West Bank’s inhabitants to Israel. The authors are not ignoring the price their public would pay for that, but wonder what honorable option would remain.

If it turns out that this option is unattainable, the authors recommend working toward a model of a binational state or democratic state without distinction between Israel and Palestinian citizens. Another possibility is a confederation between Jordan and the Palestinian state.

No armed struggle

The authors recommend explaining to the Israelis that they must forget the plan for unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank, with restrictions on the movement of Palestinians, and the dream of annexing Gaza to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan.

They hope their neighbors will understand that the realistic alternatives to a genuine negotiated settlement will be far worse for Israel’s security.

Most participants in the workshops rejected an armed struggle against a foreign occupation and especially the use of violence against civilians. But the authors warn that a change in strategy from an attempt to achieve political independence to a conflict like the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa will play into the hands of extremists in the region.

“Should this happen, not just Israel’s legitimacy will be under threat, but its very existence, ” they conclude. “And this will have been brought about by Israel itself.”

August 30, 2011 | 4 Comments »

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4 Comments / 4 Comments

  1. Nowhere does the article mention anything about formal recognition of Israel as a Jewish state by the PA.

    Unless and until that occurs, anything else they agree to is meaningless. Even then, it might be meaningless – after all, Germany happily recognized Poland as an independent sovereign state apart from Germany right up until September 1st, 1939 – but recognition is the most fundamental, necessary condition for any negotiated settlement.

    Recently, it was reported on JTA that Abbas has once again – as he has many times in the past – rejected unequivocally the concept of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.

    So, this is all part of a transparent, stupid game, this “strategy paper”. Israeli leaders should be able to leverage Palestinian intransigence over the recognition issue into justification for the most decisive and violent response to any uprising that takes place against Israel in the wake of whatever happens in the UN.

    I hope Bibi plays for keeps and crushes the PA once and for all. Who the hell do they think they are, telling Israel what she can or can’t “forget about”??!! No, it is for Israel to tell them. And the world.

  2. Regardless of what they say or write in ANY languish, Israel MUST be ready for ANY possibility. It is all about taqyia.
    Not to be ready would be highly foolish, stupid even unforgivable.
    Israel needs NO MORE flotilla or Gaza/Egypt border incident.
    The official world does not give a Sh….
    The war against the Jews continues.

  3. All of Israel from the Jordan to the Meditteranean Sea is biblically, and legally Jewish to this day. The Arabs were given legal rights in Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq at the same time. This was agreed to by the Arabs and the jews in San Remo Italy after WW1. This is legal and binding to this day. As for Jordan? It was part of the original Mandate for Palestine, set aside for the Jewish people, under the San Remo Resolution. The British illegally divided the mandate for Palestine down the Jordan River and gave the lands to the east to the Arabs of Palestine, and the lands to the west to the Jews. The other problem that persists to this day is that the Hashemite dynasty was put in charge in Jordan and not the Arabs of The Mandate for Palestine. 77 percent of the original mandate for Palestine was given to the Arabs, and only 23 percent to the Jews. Do the math. Arabs now control 21 states in the ME to 1 tiny little Jewish state. Anyone else see the hypocrasy? Pray for the Jews.

  4. Screw that.

    If they behave themselves, they can stay where they are:

    as resident, peaceable, non-citizens of a prosperous and kindly Israel.

    If, on the other hand, they must have sovereignty,

    nobody’s holding them prisoner.

    Israel isn’t the former East Germany; they’re free to go wherever they like.

    Maybe Abdullah will give them citizenship in Jordan, where they already have a de facto Pali state.

    But Pal-Arab sovereignty west of the River?

    anywhere west of the River?

    Not by a hair on my chinny chin chin.

    If they want to fight over it,

    they can die where they stand.