Don’t weep for Palestine

When it comes to Israel, and discussing the Israel-Palestine conflict, many 'activists' like Gerry Chidiac tend to champion the cause of the Palestinians without understanding the salient and pertinent facts behind the very situation they are meandering about.

First and foremost, Palestinians have been offered many peace plans over the years, which have only been met with recalcitrance and intransigence. Indeed, in 2000, Ehud Barak offered Arafat around 95 per cent of the West Bank (plus land swaps to make up for the remaining five per cent), only to be met with a counteroffer of suicide bombings and another intifada.

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Even in 2008, Ehud Olmert offered Mahmoud Abbas a similar plan to internationalize Jerusalem, withdraw from the West Bank as well as provide land swaps, only to be rejected. Indeed, the onus is on the Palestinians to make concessions should they want sovereignty, as they are the aggressors and have rejected peace many times.

Furthermore, for Chidiac to say Palestinians have fewer rights than Israelis is to misrepresent the actual situation. Around 95 per cent of Palestinians in the West Bank are under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority.

The PA controls their taxes, policemen, courts and decides the rights of their civilians, etc. Unfortunately, the Palestinians in these territories have less rights than Israelis, however that is at the PA's discretion and not Israel's. Even so, the territory is not diminishing, again, around 95 per cent of Palestinians live in Area A and Area B of the West Bank, land that Israel is unable to build settlements on.

For the land in Area C, the settlers living there, legally buy the land from Palestinians who sell it to them. Again, were the Palestinians to agree on a peace plan, Israel would be more than happy to pull out and concede the territory.

Moreover, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is a group that hides behind a thin veneer of peaceful protest and only when you dig a little deeper and get past the faade, you will find out the leader, Omar Barghouti, calls for the right of return of millions of refugees, a one-state solution and refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist. Were these tactics to come to fruition, it would result in the end of the Jewish state demographically. The BDS, therefore, should not be lauded for their actions, rather they deserve to be outed and delegitimized for their nefarious ideologies.

Jake Beaumont

HonestReporting Canada

Toronto

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