Forced out of their last trenches in Lebanon after the Israeli invasion in 1982, the PLO lost the ability to launch any serious military operations against Israel. In November 1988, the Palestinian National Council voted to accept UN resolutions 242 that was rejected in 1967 by the Palestinians and all Arab countries and 338 in 1973. By doing so, the PLO recognized the sovereignty of all states in the Middle East, and to use the resolutions, together with acknowledgment of the Palestinian right to self-determination, as the basis for an international peace conference. This opened the door for direct talks with the Jewish leadership that resulted in an overt recognition of Israel’s right for existence with the price of limited Palestinian self-rule in Gaza Strip and the West Bank city of Jericho.
However, the Israelis in a tactical and deceitful move delayed negotiations about the following most pressing three issues to an indefinite latter phase of talks: (a) The destiny of Jerusalem, (b) Jewish settlements in the West Bank and (c) The fate of Palestinians in exile (refugees in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and others).
By delaying negotiation over these issues, the Israelis were able to accomplish at least six strategic goals in order to strengthen their presence in the area:
(1) Giving the PNA (Palestinian National Authority) the densely populated areas pausing great security threats to Israeli national security was a gain in itself.
(2) Israel was able to put the PNA on the front line against any expected Palestinian Intifadha.
(3) Leaving the PNA to deal with the different Palestinian factions that have devastated the security of the Jews for years; especially Hamas, the Islamic organization that has the support of a great portion of the Palestinian and Muslim community at large.
(4) The Israeli negotiators were able to leave the door open to execute its plans in changing the demographic situation in the West Bank and most importantly Jerusalem via escalating the construction of many giant new settlements. Figures show that Israel established about 5,000 new apartments in 1997 alone in Nablus Ramallah and others not including Jerusalem.
(5) The Palestinian authority is left single handed to deal with the hassles left over of about thirty years of brutal occupation. Most of territories given to the PNA consist of slums that lack the most basic infrastructure.
(6) Since no fixed settlement has been reached to solve the issue of Jerusalem, the Israelis are executing all possible measures to dominate Jerusalem with newly established Jewish settlements and extending its municipal borders. Their major aim is to exploit the above gaps in Oslo Accords to establish new realities on the ground in order to oppose any future negotiations over destiny of Jerusalem, the claimed eternal capital of the Jewish People.
Now, what are the Palestinians going to do in the face of the Israeli arrogance and deceitfulness?
Continue calling for the Americans to come for rescue!!, I do not think that they will be able to respond.
Lucius D. Battle, assistant secretary of state for Near East and South Asian Affairs under president Kennedy and a former ambassador to Egypt, frankly criticizing the American administration of lacking genuine initiatives to remove obstacles from the way of peace talks by stating:
“The credibility of the Clinton administration has been put to the test and has been found wanting. The short comings of the U.S. policy have encouraged the Netanyahu Government to conclude that there is no price to be paid stalemates … a failure that has placed the United States in the danger of being led by events instead of shaping them” (in P. Findley’s Speak Out, Saudi Gazette 29 May ,2998, p.10).
Such strong criticism of the current American policy in Palestine by one of the U.S. foreign policy veterans was announced before the current Monica-Clinton affair, which will be inflected on an already stumbling foreign policy towards the Middle East. In the aftermath of Monica gate, I don’t think that President Clinton can come up with any operative proposal to save the currently standstill peace talks. This will be in the best interest of the Zionists to keep on with their expansionist and opportunistic plans. If any progress is it will definitely be for the benefit of the Israelis.
The Europeans will be too weak to have a firm collective action that might lead to a workable solution. The U.S. will even work as a stumbling block against any unexpected serious action or even a resolution by the UN, as long as it is against the Zionists. Serious decisions are prudently implemented against Muslims only. The only alternative in front of the Arabs and the stranded Palestinians is to work seriously to strengthen the fragile and fragmented Islamic front and enhance the commitment to stand for the Muslim Holy Land and dignity of the Muslims Ummah that have been humiliated by the arrogant and aggressive cavalier Zionist leadership. It only aims are to keep the exiled refugees displaced and placing the rest under siege and unjustly claim the right to occupy the Muslim Holy places. No wonder since the their nature as described by all prophets (Moses, David, Jesus and Mohamed).