The Nov. 1 2020 news article “Mideast accords earn critics’ applause” noted a “promised peace” between Israelis and Palestinians “seems further away than ever.” But it’s not that peace is elusive. In fact, Palestinian leaders have rejected numerous offers for Palestinian statehood in exchange for peace with the Jewish state.
As the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis and others have noted, Palestinian leadership refused U.S. and Israeli proposals for statehood in 2000 at Camp David, 2001 at Taba and 2008 after the Annapolis Conference. The 2008 offer included 93.7% of the West Bank, with land swaps for the remainder, a capital in eastern Jerusalem and would’ve given Palestinians something that they’ve never had before: a state.
More recently, Palestinians rejected Obama administration efforts to restart negotiations in 2014 and 2016. Instead, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has incited anti-Jewish violence and refused to quit paying salaries to imprisoned Palestinian terrorists and their families. This, is a violation of the Oslo Accords that created the Palestinian Authority more than a quarter of a century ago.
Palestinian leadership could have chosen the path of peace, as the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have recently done. They’ve chosen otherwise.
The writer is a Senior Research Analyst for the Washington D.C. office of CAMERA, the 65,000-member, Boston-based Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis
(Note: A slightly different version of the above appeared as a letter to the editor online in The Washington Post on Nov. 6, 2020, as well as in print on November 8)