These famous words, uttered by then prime minister, Ehud Barak, single handedly cemented the idea that the Palestinians are not only terrorists, but greedy as well. Of course, a deep scrutiny of the deal put on the table in Camp David (2000), would have the Palestinian people on the loosing end, again.
The Territorial Dispute
Basically, while the Palestinians were asking for full sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza strip (this includes the clearing of illegal settlements). Barak offered only the strip and 73% of the West Bank, adding up to 94% of the territory within 10-25 years (just imagine the grand war, when this isn’t fulfilled). The West Bank would be separated by a road from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea, with free passage for Palestinians although Israel reserved the right to close the road for passage in case of emergency, in return the palestinians would get 1% of Negev territory.
The Negev is in the South- desert land, so I assume this would mean a small addition to the Gaza Strip. If you look at the map, you can see that a 1% addition would mean territory about the size of the strip. Here’s another assumption: it wouldn’t be another strip to the North, where they can control more seascape.
The Right of Return
Imagine that someone (let’s call him White) walks into your (let’s call you Black) home, shoots you and your family out of the rooms and out to the front lawn (in the process you’ve lost three brothers and sisters and both your parents). Then for about 57 years, this inconsiderate prick sits in the shed you built outside with a gun, demolishes the shed, beats the ever-loving crap out of you on a regular basis, makes it extremely hard for you to go back into the house, so you can work for him, in order to buy bread to feed your children, then a stray bullet ricochets from a wall and hits one of your children in the head. Now obviously you don’t have much left and really all you want is the option to return home with whatever’s left of your family. But you cant, because by now, your kids are quite old and have children of their own and well, Mr. White- in your house- realizes that if you came back, there’ll be more Blacks than Whites in the house.
That’s basically what happened in Camp David.
There’s much more to this little catastrophic agreement, but these two points, in my opinion at least, are enough to explain why then Palestinian Authority Chairman, Yasser Arafat, walked away from the table. Ehud Barak returned home a champion of peace, declaring "There is no partner to peace".
Is there a Partner to Peace?
Here’s an interesting survey, run by the Jerusalemite-Palestinian paper, Alquds Alarabi (Arabic), of Palestinian views (limited by a double translation):
1. The support for movements:
Who do you think represents Palestinians? Fatah 47% (stronger in the West Bank), PNA 33%, Hamas 20%
- To witch movement do you belong? Fatah 24%, Hamas 14%, Other 7%, No one 55%
- Who do you trust? Abbas 23%, Haniya 18%, Neither 59%
2. Feelings of no security [not insecurity], depression and worry:
76% do not feel secure about themselves, their family and their property.
- How do yo feel? Depression in light of the new situation 89%, Worry 90%
- Main reason for worry? No security 34%, The occupation 27%, Inner conflicts 18%, Financial difficulty 14%
- 59% support the Egypt initiative
- The rocket firing must stop 67% Support the rocket firing 33%
- 65% support signing a peace agreement with Israel. (West Bank 62%, Gaza 70%)
- 59% agree that Hamas must change it’s position on recognizing Israel (West Bank 55%, Gaza 66%)
- How do you think the conflict can end? Peace talks 42%, Armed combat 25%, Social battle 10%, All of the above 23%
4. The Attack on Gaza:
- What was the objective? Humiliation/surrender of the Palestinians 60%, Weakening Hamas 33%
- What is the Palestinians’ first priority? 77% Unity