Arafat rejected perfectly good deal
Recent calls for “more balance” in the Middle East are a classic example of reliance on hearsay based on Palestinian propaganda. The real “deal” proposed in December in no way contained anything remotely similar to “Bantu stands.” It was an offer for roughly 97 percent of what they wanted.
But the Palestinians never got a chance to hear or to vote on the proposal because Arafat turned it down. An eye witness to the negotiations with Arafat and Barak was assistant ambassador Dennis Ross. Here’s an excerpt from his interview with Brit Hume, April 11, on Fox News.
“When it came to territory, there would have been 97 percent of the territory that would have gone back to the Palestinians. We were talking about a two-state solution. When it came to security, there would have been an international process in the Jordan Valley. Now, I will tell you that Palestinian negotiators clearly thought this was acceptable. It was unacceptable to only one man – Yasser Arafat. And the question is why. I believe because in this agreement was a phrase that said end of conflict. … He did not want to be in a position where he had to end the conflict.”
Hume: “Now, they also say that the offer would have divided Palestinian territory into four separate cantons and entirely surrounded and therefore controlled by Israel.”
Ross: Completely untrue. There were not going to be cantons. … They were getting contiguous territory in the West Bank. When they say that, they’re referring to a map the Israelis showed to them first in May, and a map the Israelis presented at Camp David in July. That was not what the United States presented in December.” (see
I do agree on a key point: It is terrible what is happening there. Palestinians have a right to freedom from occupation, just as Israel has a right to exist without threat of attack. These problems are a result of Arab intransigence going back to 1947, when they rejected a U.N. and Israel proposal for separate Jewish and Palestinian states.
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