Akiva Eldar writes: The plight of the Palestinians is similar to that of a cat chased into a dead end. It looks for a way out, meows plaintively, tries to make friends, but after nonviolent resistance fails, it does not surrender. In desperation, the cat bares its claws, pounces on the target and sinks its teeth into the large-bodied enemy. At the start of the occupation in 1967, the Palestinians tried being nice to the Israelis who took over their lands. They tried to befriend the new landlord, helped him build settlements and cultivated the home gardens of their privileged Jewish neighbors.
After baring their claws in the first intifada that broke out in late 1987, the Palestinians recognized Israel within the 1967 borders and pledged to stop their armed struggle. In September 1993, they signed an agreement at the White House that to their understanding was supposed to set them free. Instead, the agreement pushed them into the cages of Areas A and B, and deepened Israel’s hold over 60% of the West Bank.
In the second intifada, which broke out following the failure of the Camp David talks in the summer of 2000, the Palestinians started biting, but the Israelis broke their teeth. Ever since President Mahmoud Abbas replaced late Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat more than 10 years ago, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has aspired to exchange violence for diplomacy. Since then we’ve had the 2003 Road Map, the 2007 Annapolis talks, negotiations in Amman and eventually the 2014 Kerry initiative. What they all have in common is zero progress toward ending the occupation and hundreds of new housing units in the West Bank and Jerusalem. [Continue reading…]