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Hussein Ibish

Safer Side by Side: Why Israel Needs Palestine

(...) The mainstream Palestinian leadership in Ramallah has staked its future on a two-state agreement and an end to the occupation. Through the Arab Peace Initiative, the rest of the Arab world signaled unanimously that an Israeli-Palestinian final status agreement would also mean normalization between Israel and the Arab states. Plainly, most Palestinians, other Arabs and their governments would welcome an end to this destabilizing conflict.

It is frequently alleged that a core barrier to peace is the Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel. But the Palestine Liberation Organization—the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people—did, in fact, formally recognize Israel in 1993. Israel, in return, only recognized the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people. Israel has never recognized a Palestinian state, or, in any formal manner, the Palestinian right to statehood.

Moreover, the Palestinian Authority has engaged in unprecedented security cooperation with occupation forces in recent years. Joint efforts to thwart attacks against Israelis, intelligence sharing and coordination in confronting militants have all persisted despite the breakdown of negotiations and at tremendous political cost to the PA.

Israeli security officials acknowledge that the Palestinian security cooperation and performance have been excellent. Attacks against Israelis in Palestinian-controlled areas in the West Bank have fallen to virtually zero.

But this security cooperation is frequently ignored and emphasis instead placed on the actions of militants in Gaza. The PA has not been able to contain the Gazan violence because Hamas runs Gaza. The PA lost control of Gaza for several reasons: its own miscalculations; Israel's refusal to allow the PA to develop elite counterterrorism forces; and insufficient support from half-hearted patrons like the United States (Hamas's patrons lavished enormous support on it). But most importantly, groups like Hamas need the absence of peace to thrive, even in Gaza.

The above article was published in thedailybeast.com on April 2nd, 2012 (5:05 p.m. EDT).

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  • Henricanan

    @Annoniem : Normalization is in progress. A week ago, Qatar, was held a session of the famous Doha Forum on the theme of intermarriage among Arab. It is televised with a potential 400 million viewers of the BBC. Four teachers were facing an audience of experts. Among them, an Israeli professor of Genetics at the Ben Gurion University of Negev. These recommendations were adopted by 82% of these ... If you were among the remaining 18% who continue to say: "No, No normalization, never!" In Israel will accommodate, it's not so bad. The Egyptian and Jordanian barkers Quranic saying the same thing as you. But they do not count. They are like pests that must be addressed from time to time.

    April 4, 2012

  • Annoniem

    I wish Mr Ibish would give up trying to sell Isreal to the Arabs. Arabs that are not on the payroll will never accept the Zionist state. It's crimes contnue over the decades until this day. . Find as many puppets as you like but they represent nobody but themselves. No normalization, never!

    April 3, 2012