According to multiple Sunday morning reports, one of the big hang-ups in Secretary Of State Kerry’s Middle East discussions is the Palestinian’s refusal to recognize Israel as the Jewish State.
Every single Israeli prime minster after Rabin recognized the right to a Palestinian Arab state) including Netanyahu (Rabin, idolized as the great peacemaker, did not recognize the need for a Palestinian State). No Palestinian leader has ever recognized the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish State. To be frank if you were to read their charters, neither Fatah the party that rules the West Bank, nor Hamas, which rules Gaza, recognizes Israel to exist in any formant.
This lack of recognition has stymied the peace process before. For example, in October 2010 negotiations were being conducted to convince Netanyahu to extend the building freeze in the West Bank. The Israeli Prime Minister made a very simple offer to the Palestinians. If they were to recognize Israel as the Jewish State, Israel would extend building freeze indefinitely. As reported by Al Jazeera the answer from the Palestinians was a resounding no.
Israel as a Jewish State is not a strange idea; in fact throughout its history, the Jewish people have recognized themselves as a religion/nation tied to a specific land. Which is why United Nations Resolution 181, the original partition resolution passed by the UN in November 1947, called for dividing Palestine into Independent Arab and Jewish States.
While the number of Palestinian refugees in 1949 was somewhere around 800,000 (there were 900,000 Jewish refugees from Arab states) today the number is over 4 million. The Palestinian refugees are the only example in history where the number of refugees has grown without a population shift. These refugees are also unique in that the UN counts the original refugees, their children, grandchildren, first cousin twice removed on their mother’s side, friends etc. as refugees.
Abbas’ hardline refusal to recognize Israel is part of the stated strategy to destroy Israel. The purpose of this unique artificial growth is one of the stated Palestinian goals is to flood Israel (within the green lines) with Palestinian Muslims. Being a democracy, if Israel allows herself to be flooded with those 1948 refugees’ along with descendants of those 1948 refugees, she will cease to be the Jewish State. Instead Israel will be just another Muslim country in the Middle East
Until 2012 when the Democrats changed their Platform, it had been the stated policy of both the Democrats and Republicans that any Palestinian refugees be settled in the land of a Palestinian State.
The call for recognition of Israel is not a new demand for any Israeli Prime minister including Netanyahu. He outlined the issue perfectly in a speech before Congress in May 2011:
If the benefits of peace with the Palestinians are so clear, why has peace eluded us?
Because all six Israeli Prime Ministers since the signing of Oslo accords agreed to establish a Palestinian state. Myself included. So why has peace not been achieved? Because so far, the Palestinians have been unwilling to accept a Palestinian state, if it meant accepting a Jewish state alongside it.
You see, our conflict has never been about the establishment of a Palestinian state. It has always been about the existence of the Jewish state. This is what this conflict is about.
They were simply unwilling to end the conflict. And I regret to say this: They continue to educate their children to hate. They continue to name public squares after terrorists. And worst of all, they continue to perpetuate the fantasy that Israel will one day be flooded by the descendants of Palestinian refugees. My friends, this must come to an end.
President Abbas must do what I have done. I stood before my people, and I told you it wasn’t easy for me, and I said “I will accept a Palestinian state.” It is time for President Abbas to stand before his people and say “I will accept a Jewish state.”