A Survey of Palestinian Rejectionism
The Palestinians have a history of rejecting peace initiatives proffered by the Israelis. While Palestinian rejectionism has been the important driver of the conflict going back to the 1920s, this factsheet focuses on some of the key offers made by Israeli leaders since 2000. These include Ehud Barak’s offer at Camp David in 2000; Ehud Olmert’s of 2008; and Benjamin Netanyahu’s unprecedented settlement freeze and explicit willingness to negotiate a two-state solution with no preconditions. The Palestinians rejected all of these out of hand, without counter-offers. The latter half of the factsheet illustrates examples of incitement to violence and terrorism, as well as the denial of Jewish links to Israel, by the Palestinian Authority.
· In July 2000, at Camp David, Ehud Barak offered 92% of the West Bank and all of the Gaza Strip, as well as a capital in East Jerusalem. Israel even proposed that a maximum of 100,000 refugees would be allowed to return to Israel on the basis of humanitarian considerations or family reunification, and an international fund would be created to compensate the Palestinians. But Arafat rejected the offer. http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/files/pressman.pdf, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2000_Camp_David_Summit#cite_note-21
· In December of 2000, Clinton proposed the Clinton Parameters which would have given the Palestinians 97% of the West Bank, with no cantons, and full control of the Gaza Strip, with a land-link between the two, as well as a capital in East Jerusalem . It was endorsed by Ehud Barak but the Palestinians rejected it outright. http://www.jcpa.org/jl/vp474.htm, http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Peace/cd2000art.html
· Both Dennis Ross and Bill Clinton have praised Ehud Barak for his willingness to compromise and make peace, while placing the blame for the failure of Camp David and the Clinton parameters on Arafat. http://www.newsweek.com/clinton-arafat-its-all-your-fault-153779http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/05/opinion/stop-giving-palestinians-a-pass.html?_r=0, http://www.timesofisrael.com/bill-clinton-palestinians-were-offered-temple-mount-in-2000/
· Gaza withdrawal: In 2005, Israel withdrew from all of Gaza, dismantled all of its settlements there and brought all the settlers back to Israel proper, in the hopes that this would increase Israeli security and reduce tension with the Palestinians, and possibly reignite the peace process. However, in 2006, Hamas, won a majority in Palestinian elections, a civil war between Hamas and Fatah ensued, and then in 2007, Hamas seized complete control of Gaza.
· Hamas refuses to recognize Israel, rejects a negotiated solution, and calls for the complete destruction of the state of Israel. Since then, Hamas has perpetrated terrorist attacks against Israel, and launched countless rockets and missiles at Israel.
Olmert made an offer with the following components
· A committee with representatives from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine, the U.S., and Israel to administer Jerusalem’s Holy Basin.
· Israel would retain 6.3% of the West Bank. They would make this up with land swaps: A tunnel to the Palestinians to provide passage between Gaza and the West Bank (0.5%). Israel would relinquish territory including near Afula; near Tirat Zvi, which is south of Beit She’an; north of Jerusalem; Judean Desert; and in the Lachish area, making up 5.8%.
· Removal of Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley
· 5,000 Palestinian refugees, 1,000 a year over five years.
· An international fund that would exist to compensate Palestinian refugees, consisting of several billion dollars and under Norwegian administration
On September 16, 2008 Olmert presented Abbas with a detailed proposal for a peace agreement. In Olmert’s words (in an exclusive with The Tower) “At the end of the meeting, we called Saeb Erekat and Shalom [Turjeman, Olmert’s diplomatic adviser]. We asked them to meet the following day, Wednesday, together with map experts, in order to arrive at a final formula for the border between Palestine and Israel.” The next day, however, Erekat told Turjeman they could not meet because “they had forgotten that Abbas has to go to Amman!” Erekat said they would meet the next week, but they never did.
Abbas had presented a formal map to Abbas asking for a signature, but Abbas refused and instead huddled with officials over his own hand-drawn map. In an interview with Jackson Diehl in May 2009, Abbas admitted that he had turned down the offer and said, “The gaps were wide.”
· August 2009: The Israeli government under Netanyahu announced it hoped to restart direct negotiations with the Palestinians; Abbas responded that no substantive talks would take place without a freeze in settlement construction. http://www.haaretz.com/news/israel-hopes-for-direct-peace-talks-next-month-1.282510
· November 2009: Israel announced an unprecedented, 10-month construction freeze of West Bank settlements. Defense Minister Ehud Barak said of the move: “This step was not carried out in the Olmert government or in the Sharon government, not in my government and not in Yitzhak Rabin's government either. The real significance is that for the first time, we are suspending all new construction for an extended period and therefore giving peace negotiations a chance." In response, the PA slammed the offer saying it was insufficient. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/6095939/Benjamin-Netanyahu-raises-hopes-for-Middle-East-peace-talks.html
· October 2010: The PA announced that it would not continue talks unless the Israelis extended its moratorium on construction. Netanyahu announced he would agree to such an extension if PA declared its recognition of Israel as a national home for the Jewish people. The PA refused and Saeb Erekat said that the PA would never recognize Israel as the Jewish state. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2010-10/03/c_13540450.htm, http://www.jpost.com/Israel/PM-Moratorium-for-PA-recognition-of-Jewish-State, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/14/opinion/14oren.html
· May 2011: Abbas wrote an op-ed in the New York Times that, in September of that year at the UN General Assembly, the Palestinians would “request international recognition of the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders and that our state be admitted as a full member of the United Nations.” http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/17/opinion/17abbas.html?_r=1
· July 2013: Israeli government announced it would release 104 prisoners in four tranches. They were collectively responsible for killing 55 Israeli civilians, 15 soldiers, a tourist and dozens of Palestinians suspected of collaborating with Israel. Palestinians agreed in return not to turn to the ICC. http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.538523
· March 2014: Israel said it would not release the last 29 prisoners unless assured the Palestinians would continue to negotiate after their release. http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/US-to-Israel-No-Palestinian-prisoner-release-is-violation-of-terms-of-talks-346878
· April 2014: Fatah and Hamas announced a unity government, which put an end to the negotiations, as Israel will not negotiate with Hamas. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/world/middleeast/palestinian-factions-announce-deal-on-unity-government.html
· January 2015: PA submitted application to join ICC. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/07/us-palestinians-israel-un-idUSKBN0KG1JV20150107
· March 2015: It was reported that recent talks between the Israelis and Palestinians would discuss a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders with land swaps. Palestinians given the Jordan Valley and the “right to return” on a personal, not national basis. (Netanyahu’s office later denied the government had offered these concessions). http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4634075,00.html
American sponsored peace talks: Netanyahu and Abbas
· In 2014, President Obama set out a framework which Netanyahu accepted. But Abbas declined to give an answer as to whether he would accept it. http://www.thetower.org/1436-livni-abbas-sabotaged-american-sponsored-peace-talks/
· Despite this, the Israeli government promised further prisoner releases and agreed to negotiate past the April 29 2014 deadline, with a commitment to slow down or freeze building of Israeli settlements. But then Abbas attempted to join 15 international agencies and formed a unity government with Hamas, which refuses to reject violence and terror against Israel. This ended the negotiations. http://www.thetower.org/1436-livni-abbas-sabotaged-american-sponsored-peace-talks/
· By agreeing to form a unity government with Hamas, it was Abbas that sabotaged the negotiations. http://www.thetower.org/1436-livni-abbas-sabotaged-american-sponsored-peace-talks/
Palestinian terror, incitement to violence and terror, and unilateralism
Palestinian violence after Israel makes concessions
- Since the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, over 11, 000 rockets have been fired into Israel. http://www.idfblog.com/facts-figures/rocket-attacks-toward-israel/
· Terror after the Oslo Accords: “[I]n the 30 months after Oslo, as previously noted, Palestinian terrorists killed more Israelis than they had during the entire preceding decade. Yet in 1995-97, due in part to American pressure, Israel transferred six more West Bank cities to the Palestinian Authority (PA), in exchange for nothing but renewed Palestinian pledges to end violence. In July 2000, Israel offered the Palestinians some 88 percent of the territories, including most of East Jerusalem. The Palestinians responded by launching the second intifada. But despite this gross violation of Oslo, Israel capitulated to American and international pressure and offered more territory, including the Temple Mount, in Washington in December 2000 and at the Taba talks in January 2001.” “The Deadly Price of Pursuing Peace”, Evelyn Gordon, Commentary, January 2010 https://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/the-deadly-price-of-pursuing-peace/
· “Over the next four years, Palestinian terror claimed more Israeli victims than in all the years from 1947 through 2000. Yet international pressure for Israeli concessions continued, and Israel again capitulated: in August 2005, it evacuated 25 settlements—something it had previously conditioned on a full-fledged peace treaty—for no recompense at all. And when the Palestinians responded with daily rocket fire from evacuated Gaza, as well as with a landslide electoral victory for Hamas, Israel responded by electing Olmert, who campaigned on a promise of unilaterally quitting most of the West Bank and evicting some 80,000 settlers (10 times the number removed from Gaza). Finally, when the ongoing barrages from Gaza and the Second Lebanon War combined to kill that plan, Olmert’s response was to sweeten Israel’s final-status offer. He proposed a withdrawal from 94 percent of the West Bank; territorial swaps to compensate for the remainder; international Muslim control over Jerusalem’s holy sites; and the resettlement of several thousand Palestinian refugees in Israel.” “The Deadly Price of Pursuing Peace”, Evelyn Gordon, Commentary, January 2010 https://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/the-deadly-price-of-pursuing-peace/
Statements opposing existence of Jewish state and promoting lies about the history of the conflict and of Israel
The Palestinian Authority (PA):
· Excerpt from school text book: "Palestine’s war ended with a catastrophe that is unprecedented in history, when the Zionist gangs stole Palestine … and established the so-called State of Israel." [Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, grade 12, p. 104] http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=433
· January 2015: The governor of Ramallah said in Official PA daily that “Israel steals Palestinian dress for fashion shows and airline uniforms, just as Israel stole the land”: She also noted that the occupation was trying to steal it by using it in Israeli fashion shows and for the uniforms of the Israeli airline attendants. Ghannam clarified that stealing is their [the Israelis'] conduct, as they have stolen the land, and are now trying to rob all that is Palestinian, without anything to stop their savagery, criminality and unrestrained terrorism." http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=433
· January 15, 2015: On the terror attacks in France, the Official PA daily wrote that Israel was behind the attacks: “[Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, together with [other] Israeli leaders, is now walking in the footsteps of the first leaders of the Zionist project, who invented, created and funded the terror against the Jews in Europe, particularly in Germany, and in the Arab world... Over the next few days, the death of the officer in charge of investigating the attacks of the terrorists, who perpetrated crimes against humanity, against the French journalists and citizens, may well be revealed to have been murder, rather than suicide – for he had [discovered] the first threads of the plot leading back to Netanyahu’s Mossad- [Netanyahu] who wishes to realize the myth of the “Jewishness of Israel” even at the expense of new victims among the citizens of European countries... " http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=487
· June 23, 2009: Published in the Official PA Daily, a Palestinian professor wrote that the Jewish Temple did not exist: "There is a view that where it [the Dome of the Rock] stands was the Holy of Holies of the fictitious Temple – and by the way, that is merely an illusion. There is no remnant of it. It's a myth. A story of no value, like the Arabian Nights, and other legends.” http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=487
· November 2014: Abbas said, “We will never recognize the Jewishness of the state of Israel.” http://www.timesofisrael.com/abbas-palestinians-will-never-recognize-israel-as-jewish-state/
· April 2014: “The Palestinians will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said.” http://www.jta.org/2014/04/27/news-opinion/israel-middle-east/abbas-palestinians-will-never-recognize-israel-as-jewish-state
· January 2011: Reaffirmed refusal to recognize Jewish state: “This is a story that we have heard only in the last two years. We won’t recognize and accept the Jewishness of Israel. We have many excuses and reason hat prevent us from doing so…We won’t accept the Jewishness of Israel. We ar3e asking for the 1967 borders…[negotiations at that point would continue for only 9 months, and then]After that, we are free to do what we want. The talks are limited to this period.” Also said, “We don’t love death, but we welcome martyrdom if it happens. We will march to Jerusalem in the millions, as free people and heroes.” http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Abbas-reaffirms-refusal-to-recognize-Israel-as-a-Jewish-state-337854
· August 1994: Arafat at a mosque in Johannesburg, referred to the Hudaybiyyah Pact between Muhammad and Meccans as a precedent: “This agreement, I do not regard it as anything more than the agreement the Prophet Muhammad signed with Quraysh.” Called on the audience to be prepared to wage jihad to liberate Jerusalem if Palestinians did not get it from negotiations.
· July 2000: Arafat asserted: “the Temple never existed in Jerusalem, but rather in Nablus.” Erekat: “Jerusalem Temple is a Jewish invention”
· September 2000: Arafat said there was no Temple in either in Jerusalem or Nablus, it had been in Yemen. http://www.the-american-interest.com/2011/03/01/king-solomons-vanishing-temple/
Promoting terrorism, violence, and incitement
· Fatah’s armed wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade has, for decades, committed acts of terrorism against Israeli civilians: suicide bombings, the shooting of civilians, road-side bombs aimed at civilians, and the kidnapping of civilians. Despite the fact that Abu Mazen announced the disarmament of all militias and irregular military groups, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade continues to operate in the West Bank. http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_article=795&x_context=7, http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=13599
· January 24, 2015: Marking their 50th anniversary, Fatah posted to their Facebook page: "We, Fatah members, were and continue to be the closest to the trigger of the rifle." http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=13824
· January 22, 2015: In a Facebook post, Fatah posted a photo with a quote from Abbas. The poster reads: "I am not one to surrender. When Fatah launched the armed struggle, we were nine members. Four of us supported the armed struggle, and four opposed it. My vote tipped the scales in favor of the armed struggle. But everything in its time.” “Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine" http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=708
· November 2014: Following a wave of terror attacks in Israel that culminated in a terror attack at a synagogue in Jerusalem, The Times of Israel writes: “Abbas called on Palestinians to prevent Jews from entering Jerusalem’s Temple Mount “by any means possible.” A few days later, he warned against extremist Jews “contaminating” the Temple Mount compound. He also praised Rabbi Yehudah Glick’s attempted assassin as “a martyr defending the rights of our people and its holy places.” There can be no denying that these comments, plus those made by other senior officials in the PA and his Fatah movement, did their part to increase the tensions, inspiring many angry Palestinians to take out their frustration in violent ways. http://www.timesofisrael.com/is-mahmoud-abbas-to-blame-for-the-recent-terror-attacks/
· May 2014: Fatah put a video on its Facebook page made by its military-wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigages, which is a terrorist organization. The video celebrated terrorists who have killed many Israelis, including Abu Jihad and Abu Iyad, and bragged about the many operations carried out against Israel and Israelis around the world, including the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre. The video also says, “The triumphant brigades carried out the second Intifada under Arafat’s leadership.” http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=718&doc_id=11516
· June 2014: Fatah joined with Hamas to form a unity government, even though Hamas refused to accept the Quartet’s conditions including recognizing Israel, ending terrorism and violence against Israel, and agreeing to previous agreements made between the PA and Israel. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/palestinians-form-new-unity-government-including-hamas/2014/06/02/c681d5c6-ea46-11e3-9f5c-9075d5508f0a_story.html
· December 12, 2013: Abbas says no to armed conflict because of Israeli military superiority: “Then came the Intifada (PA terror campaign, 2000-2005), which was an armed Intifada. It destroyed us, completely destroyed us. I wish you could see Ramallah now, and [that you] could have seen it during the Intifada. I have said that I won’t agree to an armed Intifada but the people have the right to hold public peaceful demonstrations anywhere and using any means, however, not military means. Honestly, we don’t have the Israelis’ military capabilities. Proof of this is that they destroyed everything here in the Intifada, including the Presidential Headquarters - the Muqata’a in Ramallah and in Gaza. Therefore, I said ‘no.’” http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=827
· May 14, 2012: Abbas in a speech on Nakba Day says, “I want to remind [them] that resistance to the occupation is a broad all-inclusive concept, with various means and tools, which are determined at each stage by the supreme national interest. It was we [Fatah] who initiated armed resistance for many years, and thanks to it, we obtained recognition of our rights, and [recognition] that the PLO is the legitimate and sole representative of the Palestinian people. That was after the PLO, for many years, was considered a terrorist organization by the US, Israel, and others. ” http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=827
· April 2002: Signed documents found at Arafat’s headquarters in Ramallah and in the PLO base in Jerusalem prove that Arafat planned terror attacks. http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/11/21/the-truth-about-intifadas/http://edition.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/meast/04/02/al.aqsa.finances/
· Suha Arafat admitted that Arafat planned the second intifada, that it was not a spontaneous reaction that erupted because of Sharon’s visit to the Temple mount. Arafat ordered his wife to leave the PA areas "because he had already decided to carry out an Intifada." On a program about Arafat on PA TV, Nabil Shaath, member of Fatah Central Committee explained that "[Arafat] saw that repeating the first Intifada in new forms, would bring the necessary popular, international, and Arab pressure upon Israel." http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=5875
The Palestinians have attempted to unilaterally achieve statehood through the United Nations, despite commitments in the Oslo Accords to pursue a bilateral approach
· In November 29, 2012, at their request, the UN General Assembly granted the Palestinians “non-member observer state” status at the United Nations. Previously, the Palestinian status at the UN was “non-member observer entity.” This upgrade in status at the UN made the Palestinians eligible to join other international organizations. http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=43640#.VQm9r47F-Ag, http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/29/world/meast/palestinian-united-nations/
· Following their upgraded in status, the Palestinian Authority submitted the paperwork to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) in January 2015 and will formally join on April 1, 2015. http://www.wsj.com/articles/palestinians-to-join-international-criminal-court-1420607546, http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/07/us-palestinians-israel-un-idUSKBN0KG1JV20150107
· Additionally, on October 31, 2011 after applying for membership, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) voted to admit the Palestinian Authority as a full member. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/03/us-palestinians-israel-usa-idUSTRE7A18AQ20111103, http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/12/what-palestine-membership-means-for-unesco-and-the-rest-of-the-united-nations#_ftn9
· Additionally, the Palestinians have signed onto 32 other treaties/conventions and the leadership has claimed that they intended to join other UN bodies. http://www.maannews.com/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?id=751160, http://www.emirates247.com/news/world/palestinians-aim-to-join-16-other-un-agencies-2011-11-01-1.426493