Arrogant Israel is unwilling to be a partner for peace
The Palestinians are ready to make peace with Israel. However, Israel is not ready to reciprocate. According to the latest polls, about half of the Palestinian public want to make peace with Israel and many are so desperate that they would be willing to accept a one-state solution, in which Arabs and Jews would have equal rights under the Israeli flag.
They are, however, rightly opposed to the imposed peace associated with US President Donald Trump’s plan. This Americansponsored deal would leave them with fragmented ghettos on less than 20 percent of the land of historical Palestine. After 70 years of searching in vain for justice and an independent state, no one should blame them for rejecting this ultimatum.
Today, there is an Arab partner for peace, but there is no Israeli partner. The Arab governments want to give peace a chance, but the extreme right-wing coalition firmly in power in Israel does not. Arab states proposed a peace plan of their own, but this 20-year-old Arab peace plan has never been reciprocated by any Israeli government. At the Beirut Arab League summit of 2002, 22 states unanimously adopted the Arab Peace Initiative — a historic document that offered a formula for ending the wider, lingering Arab-Israeli conflict.
More significantly, even Arab public opinion, especially among the younger generation, is gradually inching toward accepting Israel. Only a few lunatics in Iran continue to use slogans about destroying Israel. So, ironically, at a time when Palestinians and Arabs want to recognize Israel, normalize relations with it and live in peace, Israel is not interested. It is too arrogant to think of peace these days.
The latest polls indicate that more than half of Israeli settlers support the unilateral annexation of the West Bank, regardless of the reaction of Arabs. The annexation is opposed by Arabs, the
UN, Europe and the rest of the international community. More than 1,000 European parliamentarians issued a letter last week outlining their strong opposition. This annexation plan is a war on peace. The few rational voices in Israel — which are against the oppression of Palestinians and reject the annexation plan — live on the margins of the country’s politics.
For more than 70 years, Israel has been on the wrong side of justice: Occupying Palestine, brutalizing Palestinians, building illegal settlements and setting up a fortress apartheid state. It has developed into a political beast that is totally out of control and certainly on the wrong side of peace and history.