UPDATE: 9 am Israel time Sunday:
Overnight has seen an IDF contingent fired upon along the border with Gaza, and Israeli motorists injured by “rock” throwing Palestinian terrorists in Samaria.
An estimated 20,000 people (mostly reservists in the IDF) marched in Tel Aviv last night demanding universal enlistment in the army or in civilian national service and chanting “One people, one draft.” They were specifically attempting to make their voices heard as the Netanyahu government continues to struggle to find a replacement for the Tal Law (that exempts some ultra-orthodox from national service if they are studying in a yeshiva).
The Israel Foreign Ministry announced yesterday afternoon that the three person “investigating committee” of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) who have been tasked with “probing” Jewish communities in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria, will not be allowed into the country–or to enter Judea or Samaria from any border crossing.
Last night, Israel’s Channel 2 TV ran a fifteen minute interview between one of its lead weekend newscasters, Danny Kushmero, and Abu Mazen (aka Mahmoud Abbas), the head of the PLO and President of the PLO’s Palestinian Authority (PA).
The interview was conducted in a room at the Muqata in Ramallah with Kushmero tenaciously asking questions in English and Abbas, often contentiously, answering in Arabic. On Israeli TV, all of the English and Arabic was captioned in Hebrew.
At the outset of the interview, Kushmero asked some prefatory questions such as why Abbas had just backed out of a meeting with Shaul Mofaz (Abbas: “the time was not yet ripe”), if Abbas thinks that peace is further away after all of his years in office (Abbas: “I don’t think so”), and will the Palestinians continue to pursue statehood at the United Nations (Abbas: “yes but I don’t know when and we are not issuing ultimatums”).
What followed was an astonishing 6 minute exchange that forever underscores why Israel will never be able to reach peace with the Palestinians (for brevity I have paraphrased some of Kushmero’s questions and Abbas’ answers–you can see the interview itself by clicking here):
Kushmero: Why don’t you just meet with Netanyahu? He has said that he is willing to be here at the Muqata tomorrow morning to talk peace.
Abbas: I am ready to talk peace at any time. I don’t think that Netanyahu is ready for peace.
Kushmero: But I want to understand why you refuse to meet Netanyahu. In 2009, you said it was because of the “settlements”, in 2010 you said it was because of the 1967 lines, since last year you have been talking about that Israel must release prisoners arrested before the Oslo agreements. Maybe you think that time is [on the side] of the Palestinians?
Abbas: There are no preconditions to talks, but Israel must do all of those things.
Kushmero: You know PM Ben Gurion was offered much less in 1948 and he took it. He was a leader.
Abbas: I am ready for peace.
Kushmero: There were several offers made by Israel. One by Ehud Barak in 2000. Another generous offer made by Ehud Olmert in 2008 that spoke about 97% of the territory, and Olmert accepted the principle of the right of return of the refugees–something no previous Israeli prime minister had done before. And yet referring to that offer you said in an interview that “wide gaps remain”.
Abbas: I didn’t say no.
Kushmero: But you didn’t say yes.
Abbas: I was thinking about it.
Kushmero: Even Condoleeza Rice said in her book said that it was the best deal ever and that even she was shocked by it, but that you told her that “I can’t tell 4 million Palestinians that only 5,000 of them can go home.”
Abbas: I didn’t say that.
Kushmero: Are you saying that Condoleeza Rice is a liar?
Abbas: No, I am saying that I didn’t say that.
Kushmero: Look, there were 700,000 Palestinian refugees in 1948, and there are 4 million today. Why can’t you just tell them that a few thousand of you can go back and others can receive financial reparation? The dream is gone.
Abbas: First, there were 950,000 Palestinian refugees and now there are over 5 million–and I am one of them.
Kushmero: So what number do you think should return to Israel?
Abbas: That is something for us to talk about–I am not talking about a number.
Kushmero: If Netanyahu will make you the same offer as Olmert, would you take it?
Abbas: I didn’t accept Olmert’s offer, and I would not accept the same offer from Netanyahu.
In sum, there will never be peace between Israel and the Palestinians because Israel exists as a Jewish country. Peace will only come if the so-called 5,000,000 Palestinian “refugees” (that Abbas has now concocted) return to Israel and demographically wipe it off the map. Once there is no Jewish state, then there will be peace.
Think about how Abbas now admits that he rejected Olmert’s absurdly generous offer (an offer, by the way, that critically undermined Israeli security and sought to give away the Temple Mount), and tell that fact to anyone who ridiculously talks about how much the Palestinians want peace: “I didn’t accept Olmert’s offer, and I would not accept the same offer from Netanyahu.”
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