Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Israel’s Generous Offer

with 3 comments


This is the “final offer” Israel put on the table for Yasser Arafat at the Camp David Peace conference in 2000. This was the offer that Arafat refused, and was soundly pilloried in the west for doing so. I mean, he was offered something like 91% of the occupied territories, what more do the Palestinians want?

Well, let’s look at Israel’s so called final offer. I’m sorry the map above is in French, it’s the best I could find. Israel’s offer wasn’t in writing so is subject to interpretation, this version is the most generous I could find. Note first that the so called “sovereign” state of Palestine is divided into at least 3 regions, 4 counting the Gaza Strip, with passage of goods and people between them subject to Israel’s control. Israel would keep all the orange regions, and see all those red triangles? Those are Israeli settlements, they would stay. The striped area would be “temporarily” under Israel’s control, with no date as to its eventual return. And in any case, Israel would control the borders  around and the airspace above the Palestinian State. The Palestinian state would also be permanently demilitarized. And Israel would retain control of about 80% of the west Bank’s water.

In other words, if the Palestinians lived peacefully on their reservations completely surrounded by Israel, completely at Israel’s mercy, and with Israeli settlements scattered among them … why, they could call themselves independent! This wasn’t an offer of  independence, this wasn’t even an offer at all, since this offer is basically what exists now. The occupation repackaged, some deal. No one would accept an offer like that. The black homelands established by South Africa during the apartheid era were more viable than this plan.

And this is the best offer Israel has ever offered the Palestinian? After Arafat refused it and returned to Palestine a hero, the western press went into overdrive blaming Arafat for the “failure” of the peace talks. Even Carter to his eternal shame parroted the Israeli line. Of course he was pretty pissed, he and the Israelis had been eager to get the Palestinians to sign off on some sort of peace deal. So much for his legacy. At least he had the stones to point out later that what the Palestinians live under now is at least as bad as the South African system of apartheid.

The ridiculous thing about this is that Israel is bargaining with stolen property, if their offers can be described as bargaining to begin with. Israel invaded and  occupied the West Bank and the Gaza strip in 1967. Since then Israel has refused to annex them, has refused to withdrawal, has built all sorts of illegal settlements on them, and hasn’t negotiated with the Palestinians with anything even resembling good faith. And yet somehow it’s all the Palestinians fault? This occupation is one of the planet’s longest standing injustices, and yet in the western press it is continually portrayed as some sort of situation where Israel has been reasonable and restrained while the “Palestinian violence” is the problem. Yet the Israeli violence, which exceeds Palestinian violence by a factor of a hundred or more, is somehow ignored or even justified. It’s the Palestinians who are living under Israeli occupation, not vice versa.

At least some voices in Israel are calling for a halt to the madness, Israel has to make a just peace with the Palestinians, not bomb them into submission. It’s been more than 40 years since Israeli tanks rolled into the West Bank and Gaza strip, and the more I study the situation the more one sided the public narrative, at least in the USA, seems. In a subsequent post I will talk about the various offers the Palestinians and Arabs have made, yes, they have made very substantive offers. You won’t hear that on Fox.

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s not being used for profit, it’s the best image available to illustrate the post, and it’s a low resolution copy of only a section of the original image. Credit and copyright: Jerusalem Task Force. I’m going to be posting a number of Palestine posts, because so much of the violence that has wracked the Middle East since World War Two has it’s roots in this mess. Even if it’s only for my own edification and amusement.)


Written by unitedcats

February 2, 2009 at 11:43 am

Posted in History, Peace, Propaganda, World

3 Responses

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  1. Shlomo ben-Ami was foreign minister for Ehud Barak.

    He says that if he were Palestinian, then he would have rejected the Camp David offer, too.


    February 2, 2009 at 12:31 pm

  2. It’s great to see a perspective other than what Americans are spoon-fed through the news media. What bothers me is that there are people who would consider you “anti-Semitic” for having it.


    February 3, 2009 at 9:20 am

  3. Those are the same sort of people who consider you “unpatriotic” if you don’t immediately agree with a President’s new plans to go bomb the living hell out of some new civilian population on the other side of the planet. In other words, why be bothered by lunatic sheep?


    February 6, 2009 at 8:56 am

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