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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

January 15, 2003

Rebuttal to Palestinian whiner (it is always someone else's fault!) Israel Won't Let Us Reform

Here is the whining, in part: RAMALLAH, West Bank -- Israel's most recent excuse for why it cannot negotiate peace with the Palestinians is that the Palestinians have been unable to develop a fully democratic society while living under Israeli occupation. This excuse is better known as "reform." And yet, when Palestinians are invited to go to London to further the reform process, the government of Israel prevents us from doing so.

Yes, Palestinians are expected to reform, but no, we are not supposed to succeed at it. The truth is that Israel's purported interest in reform is merely an attempt to divert the world's attention from the crux of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Israel's 35-year occupation of Palestinian territory and the denial of Palestinian freedom.
[note] the link to the whiner is within the text of Martin Kimel's rebuttal; the link in the title is to the Kimel rebuttal.

Here is the rebuttal:

Israel won't let us reform, whines Yasser Abed Rabbo, the Palestinian Authority's Minister of Culture and Information, in an op-ed in today's Washington Post. It is a depressingly old argument from the Palestinians: blame Israel for everything, accept no responsibility for anything. Rabbo assails Israel for its "collective punishment policy of closures, checkpoints and curfews" but says nothing about the deliberate Palestinian murders of Israelis that has brought everyone to this sorry point. (Message to Yasser: Stop the terrorism and the Israelis will stop the closures, checkpoints and curfews. Plus, you'll actually get a state.) Moreover, while Rabbo is upset he didn't get to see Big Ben and Buckingham Palace on a VIP tour, he admits that reform is a side issue:

The problem in the Middle East is, and has been for the past 35 years, Israel's occupation of Palestinian land. And no Palestinian budget, no Palestinian law and no Palestinian constitution is going to change that fact.

As long as the Palestinians see the problem as all Israel's fault, they won't make the compromises necessary for peace.