21 May '18 18:39>1 edit
Originally posted by @sh76This offer, if ever made, would far exceed what Barak offered at Camp David in 2000:
Stumbled on this while responding to no1 in the other thread.
I come here today, a week after forming the new Israeli government, to try to start a new chapter in relations between our peoples. I have chosen to come here, as the ne ...[text shortened]... o say to the next generations: “In Rawabi, we laid the cornerstone for peace.”
To accommodate the settlers, Israel was to annex 9 percent of the West Bank; in exchange, the new Palestinian state would be granted sovereignty over parts of Israel proper, equivalent to one-ninth of the annexed land. A Palestinian state covering 91 percent of the West Bank and Gaza was more than most Americans or Israelis had thought possible, but how would Mr. Arafat explain the unfavorable 9-to-1 ratio in land swaps to his people?
In Jerusalem, Palestine would have been given sovereignty over many Arab neighborhoods of the eastern half and over the Muslim and Christian quarters of the Old City. While it would enjoy custody over the Haram al Sharif, the location of the third-holiest Muslim shrine, Israel would exercise overall sovereignty over this area, known to Jews as the Temple Mount. This, too, was far more than had been thinkable only a few weeks earlier, and a very difficult proposition for the Israeli people to accept. But how could Mr. Arafat have justified to his people that Israel would retain sovereignty over some Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, let alone over the Haram al Sharif? As for the future of refugees -- for many Palestinians, the heart of the matter -- the ideas put forward at Camp David spoke vaguely of a ''satisfactory solution,'' leading Mr. Arafat to fear that he would be asked to swallow an unacceptable last-minute proposal.
As far as Arafat being solely or mostly to blame for the breakdown of negotiations:
Many have come to believe that the Palestinians' rejection of the Camp David ideas exposed an underlying rejection of Israel's right to exist. But consider the facts: The Palestinians were arguing for the creation of a Palestinian state based on the June 4, 1967, borders, living alongside Israel. They accepted the notion of Israeli annexation of West Bank territory to accommodate settlement blocs. They accepted the principle of Israeli sovereignty over the Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem -- neighborhoods that were not part of Israel before the Six Day War in 1967. And, while they insisted on recognition of the refugees' right of return, they agreed that it should be implemented in a manner that protected Israel's demographic and security interests by limiting the number of returnees. No other Arab party that has negotiated with Israel -- not Anwar el-Sadat's Egypt, not King Hussein's Jordan, let alone Hafez al-Assad's Syria -- ever came close to even considering such compromises.
And Barak's offer was overwhelmingly unpopular in Israel and would have been very unlikely to pass the Knesset in any case:
Only 25% of the Israeli public thought his positions on Camp David were just right as opposed to 58% of the public that thought Barak compromised too much. A majority of Israelis were opposed to Barak's position on every issue discussed at Camp David except for security.
Perhaps it is true that IF Arafat could have seen the deary future caused by the political shift in Israel he would have been more willing to push harder for an agreement. But the true cause of the failure to reach an equitable two State solution was always the intransigence of the Israeli right; Netanyahu even bragged of wrecking the Oslo Accords:
"Because at that very moment, in fact, I halted the fulfillment of the Oslo Accords."
From 1:45 on, he describes how he intended to do so: by disingenuously declaring huge sections of the West Bank, including the entire Jordan Valley, as "military facilities" exempt from the pull out requirements. This was obviously a violation of both the letter and spirit of Oslo.
So it's going to take a major revamping of Israeli political views to reach an equitable settlement. I still think it's possible given the alternative i.e. that Israel will be in permanent occupation of a population larger than its own.