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June 18, 2006
Are We Talking About A Two-State Solution?

Earlier this evening I posted an update on the tensions between Fatah and Hamas regarding the efforts by Mahmoud Abbas to use a plebescite to bypass Hamas and work towards a two-state solution. At least, that has been the reporting from the mainstream media. However, CQ reader Dan and Charles at LGF point towards the actual document -- and we find no evidence that the so-called National Conciliation Document envisages any such solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The proposal has some problems in its presentation at the Jerusalem Media & Communication Centre. Either the translation is sketchy or the original language has a number of grammatical errors. The writing uses long run-on sentences that seem to double back on themselves. However, it clearly never states any intention of recognizing Israel, nor of accepting 1967 borders for a Palestinian state. Let's take a look at the key paragraphs of the proposal:

1- the Palestinian people in the homeland and in the Diaspora seek to liberate their land and to achieve their right in freedom, return and independence and to exercise their right in self determination, including the right to establish their independent state with al-Quds al-Shareef as its capital on all territories occupied in 1967 and to secure the right of return for the refugees and to liberate all prisoners and detainees based on the historical right of our people on the land of the fathers and grandfathers and based on the UN Charter and the international law and international legitimacy.

The "right of return", of course, is mentioned separately from the "territories occupied in 1967", the first clear indication that the NCD has no intention of recognizing Israeli sovereignty in any area.

2- to work quickly on achieving what has been agreed upon in Cairo in March 2005 pertaining to the development and activation of the PLO and the joining of Hamas and Islamic Jihad Movements to the PLO which is the legitimate and sole representative of the Palestinian people wherever they are located and in a manner that meets with changes on the Palestinian arena according to democratic principles and to consolidate the fact that the PLO is the legitimate and sole representative of the Palestinian people in a manner that reinforces the capacity of the PLO to assume its responsibilities in leading our people in the homeland and in the Diaspora and in mobilizing the people and in defending their national, political and humanitarian rights in the various fora and circles and in the international and regional arenas and based on the fact that the national interest stipulates the formation of a new Palestinian National Council before the end of 2006 in a manner that secures the representation of all Palestinian national and Islamic forces, factions and parties and all concentrations of our people everywhere and the various sectors and the figures on proportional basis in representation and presence and struggle and political, social and popular effectiveness and to maintain the PLO as a broad front and framework and a comprehensive national coalition and a gathering framework for all the Palestinians in the homeland and in the Diaspora and to be the higher political reference.

All this does is demand that Hamas, Fatah, and Islamic Jihad finally unite in a single organization to speak for the Palestinians. Apparently, the Triangle Strategy has run its course. The multiple militias now on the brink of civil war worry the prisoners who promulgated this document, and they know a civil war will completely undermine any sense of legitimacy for existing organizations.

3- the right of the Palestinian people in resistance and clinging to the option of resistance with the various means and focusing the resistance in the occupied territories of 1967 alongside with the political action and negotiations and diplomatic action and continuation of popular and mass resistance against the occupation in its various forms and policies and making sure there is broad participation by all sectors and masses in the popular resistance.

This equates resistance in the occupied territories with "the continuation of popular and mass resistance" elsewhere in the region; the document makes a distinction between the two, and endorses resistance in both.

7- Administration of the negotiations is the jurisdiction of the PLO and the President of the PNA on the basis of clinging to the Palestinian national goals and to achieve these goals on condition that any final agreement must be presented to the new PNC for ratification or to hold a general referendum wherever it is possible.

8- To liberate the prisoners and detainees is a sacred national duty that must be assumed by all Palestinian national and Islamic forces and factions and the PLO and the PNA as President and government and the PLC and all resistance forces.

9- The need to double efforts to support and care for the refugees and defend their rights and work on holding a popular conference representing the refugees which should come up with commissions to follow up its duties and to stress on the right of return and to cling to this right and to call on the international community to implement Resolution 194 which stipulates the right of the refugees to return and to be compensated.

Resolution 194 of the UN Security Council dealt with Cyprus. UN General Assembly resolutions have a prefix for the session of the UN in which they were promulgated, and 1967 was the 22nd session. Resolution 194 in fact comes from 1948, and it has no binding effect. Interestingly enough, it recognizes Israeli sovereignty, at least implicitly. However, it predates the 1967 war in which Israel occupied the territories in question in reaction to another invasion from the West Bank by its Arab neighbors, a war that the Arabs lost in spectacular fashion. It shows that the NCD has no intent on stopping at the 1967 borders and instead insists on the destruction of Israel.

Quite frankly, nothing in this document speaks to any solution other than the annihilation of Israel. Perhaps another translation has a better grip on why anyone considers this a breakthrough, but in reality all this proposes is a union of all the enemies of Israel in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to stop the impending civil war. A plebescite on this document effectively puts all power back in the hands of Mahmoud Abbas, but does nothing for a peaceful, two-state solution. In fact, this looks a lot like the kind of dodge that Mussolini attempted at Munich, a dodge that succeeded all too well.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 18, 2006 9:51 PM

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» One-State Solution, or Closing The Triangle from Hard Starboard
Please do read the NCD. Then see if you can get Israeli Prime Minister Ohlert to read it. And comprehend it. And perhaps even grasp the bitter reality that it doesn't matter who runs the Palestinian territories and how much land the Jewish state reli... [Read More]

Tracked on June 20, 2006 12:51 AM


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