David Singer is an Australian lawyer and convenor of Jordan is Palestine International, an organisation calling for sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza to be allocated between Israel and Jordan as the two successor states to the Mandate for Palestine.
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(Israelnationalnews.com) Israel’s current President - Shimon Peres - has used the 14th anniversary of the assassination of former Israeli Prime Minister - Yitzchak Rabin - to pledge that the former Prime Minister’s vision of peace would not be abandoned.
"The goals bravely sought by Yitzhak, with a bold vision and diplomacy, will not be abandoned," President Peres said, adding that "even if they are delayed we will achieve his goals."
Regrettably, however, President Peres was pulling the wool over the Israelis' eyes by not articulating what those specific goals were and by suggesting that whatever goals he was referring to could be achieved.
The following is what Mr. Rabin actually proposed. That will enable an assessment of the truth of President Peres' statements.
Mr Rabin’s ideas and visions are set out in the speech he delivered to the Knesset on October 5, 1995 - just days before his assassination, when presenting the 300 page “Israeli - Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip” for approval.
That speech laid out the following goals:
“We are striving for a permanent solution to the unending bloody conflict between us and the Palestinians and the Arab states. In the framework of the permanent solution, we aspire to reach, first and foremost, the State of Israel as a Jewish state, at least 80% of whose citizens will be, and are, Jews.
At the same time, we also promise that the non-Jewish citizens of Israel, Muslim, Christian, Druze and others, will enjoy full personal, religious and civil rights, like those of any Israeli citizen. Judaism and racism are diametrically opposed.
We view the permanent solution in the framework of State of Israel which will include most of the area of the Land of Israel as it was under the rule of the British Mandate, and alongside it a Palestinian entity which will be a home to most of the Palestinian residents living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
We would like this to be an entity which is less than a state, and which will independently run the lives of the Palestinians under its authority. The borders of the permanent solution will be beyond those which existed before the Six Day War. We will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines.
These are the main changes, not all of them, which we envision and want in the permanent solution:
A. First and foremost, united Jerusalem, which will include both Ma'ale Adumim and Givat Ze'ev, as the capital of Israel, under Israeli sovereignty, while preserving the rights of the members of the other faiths, Christianity and Islam, to freedom of access and freedom of worship in their holy places, according to the customs of their faiths.
B. The security border of the State of Israel will be located in the Jordan Valley, in the broadest meaning of that term.
C. Changes which will include the addition to Israel of Gush Etzion, Efrat, Betar and other communities, most of which are in the area east of what was the "Green Line," prior to the Six Day War.
D. The establishment of blocs of settlements in Judea and Samaria like the one in Gush Katif”(note the irony!!D.S.)
President Peres himself has rejected Mr. Rabin’s Roadmap, endorsing former American President Bush’s Roadmap which calls for a 22nd independent Arab State rather than Mr Rabin's "entity" which was to be created between Israel and Jordan.
Releasing murderers of Jews and granting them pardons have now become accepted policy under President Peres.
The Palestinian Authority has already rejected offers in 2000 and 2008 by Prime Ministers Barak and Olmert to end the conflict by dividing Jerusalem. The Palestinian Authority demands that places like Maale Adumin, Efrat and Betar become part of the new State of Palestine and continues to insist that Israel return to the June 4, 1967 lines, forcibly removing 500,000 Jews now living beyond them.
Gush Katif and other settlements in Gaza no longer exist because of Israel’s unilateral abandonment of Gaza in 2005 and the evacuation of 8000 Jews who once lived there.
Israel no longer controls the border with Egypt and allows flagrant breaches of the Gaza Strip maritime zone for fear of creating a public relations backlash. Those acts certainly do not conform with Rabin’s words.
Most important, it is clear today that the belief that the Arabs will ever recognize Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people is a pipe dream. Israel’s President must stop telling telling fairy tales by suggesting that Mr Rabin’s ideas and visions can still triumph despite his death. Peres’ own ideas are to hand over much more to the Arabs than Rabin would have, and they, too, have been rejected out of hand.
The President needs to acknowledge that Mr Rabin’s ideas and vision are incapable of fulfillment today as Israel pursues a path that is fraught with much greater danger for its continued existence than Mr Rabin’s proposals ever contemplated. Ironically President Peres made the following comment on the occasion of the 13th commemoration of Yitzchak Rabin’s death last year:
“The bullets that were fired into Yitzhak’s back didn’t kill his plans, because ideas and visions cannot be killed.” However, it was not bullets that killed Mr Rabin’s ideas and vision. It was the abandonment of his policies by those who succeeded him in the corridors of power that has been the real cause.
The official public commemoration service to mark Mr Rabin's death was postponed until 7 November because of inclement weather last week. A videotaped message from President Obama is due to be played to a crowd expected to reach 100,000.
Hopefully President Obama will not indulge in such duplicity. His message will be awaited with great interest.