Friday, June 2, 2017

Palestinians: Israel's Goodwill Gestures Send Wrong Messages

Palestinians: Israel's Goodwill Gestures Send Wrong Messages

by Bassam Tawil  •  June 2, 2017 at 5:00 am
  • Here is what is being said on the Palestinian street: Today Israel runs away from the West Bank or the Gaza Strip; tomorrow Israel will run away from Ashkelon, then from Tel Aviv and from there to the sea, and we have achieved our goal of destroying Israel. Therefore, we need to continue attacking Israel.
  • As with the Gaza Strip, the withdrawal from Lebanon taught the Palestinians that terrorism could drive Israelis out of their country.
  • Never have the Palestinians given Israel credit for its goodwill steps. On the contrary, they scoff at these moves and describe them as "cosmetic changes". The Palestinian line is that Israel's steps are "insufficient" and "unhelpful." Its concessions are regarded as gestures of a terrified people and as the rightful reward for terrorism. Far from satiating the appetite of the terrorists, such steps prompt them to step up their attacks against Israelis.
Palestinian terrorists who were released from prison by Israel as a "goodwill gesture" are honored at Mahmoud Abbas' presidential compound in Ramallah, on October 30, 2013. According to statistics, at least half of released Palestinian prisoners have returned to terrorism. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Getty Images)
The West suffers under a major misconception concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: that "goodwill gestures" and territorial concessions on the part of Israel boost the prospects of peace in the Middle East. The facts, suggest that precisely the opposite is true.
Last week, Israel's Channel 10 television station reported that the U.S. administration was pushing Israel to transfer parts of Area C -- areas under full Israeli security and civilian control in the West Bank -- to the control of Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority (PA). According to the report, the U.S. believes that the transfer of the territory to the PA would be a "goodwill step" towards the Palestinians, paving the way for the revival of the stalled peace process with Israel.
This assumption, of course, has already proven wrong. The experiences of the past few decades have shown clearly that Israeli concessions have always sent the wrong message to the Palestinians.


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