Requirements On The Road To Reconciliation and Peace

by Yoram Getzler

Based on the Bedein Kushner formula from the Jerusalem Post

1) Renunciation of the PLO state of war with Israel.

The charter of Fatah – the predominant element in the PLO and the PA – to this day continues to call for the destruction of Israel. Written in 1964, before Israel controlled the West Bank and Gaza, it uses the term “Palestine” to refer exclusively to Israel within the Green Line. The charter declares that “Liberating Palestine is a national obligation,” and that “Armed public revolution is the inevitable method” for doing so. This cannot be dismissed as an irrelevant anachronism. Last August, Fatah held its first General Congress in 20 years. Hope was held out for a charter revision, with violence officially renounced, but it never happened. Instead, Fatah continued to unambiguously embrace “armed resistance” to liberate Palestine. Why is this so?

2)Cessation of incitement via changes in PA-produced textbooks, and on TV


The Institute for Monitoring Peace and Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT ) has issued six reports on new PA textbooks published over the past eight years. Journalist and scholar Dr. Arnon Groiss, who translated these PA textbooks, has just completed an update. He writes that the new PA texts… “deny the historical and religious presence of Jews in Palestine,” “fail to recognize the State of Israel,” “demonize Jews and Israel,” “assign blame for the conflict exclusively on Israel, totally absolving Palestinians,” “stress the idea of a violent struggle of liberation rather than a peaceful settlement.

It is disingenuous for Palestinians to profess dedication to peace while the PA curriculum infuses these ideas within its youngsters. Peace is impossible until the message changes. Why do visiting elected officials and journalists not hold the PA accountable for the new PA textbooks and the content of children’s TV ?

3) Renunciation of the “right of return.”

The “right of return,” promoted for 60 years by UNRWA and embraced by the PA as a non-negotiable right, remains a recipe for the destruction of Israel from within. If the PA is serious about peace, why not ask them to accept the principle of permanent resettlement of the refugees? UNHCR, the UN High Commission for Refugees – which oversees all refugees except Palestinians – operates according to this principle. Only Palestinian refugees are not resettled, but instead, for purely political reasons, are forced to linger in a (rage-inducing) state of limbo. Fayyad, in his master plan for a Palestinian state, openly states that he supports the “right of return.” Isn’t it time to ask Fayyad and the PA to openly embrace the UNHCR policy and pave the way for UNRWA to adjust its mandate?

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