Regardless of who sits as Israel’s Prime Minister and regardless of any comments Bibi made about a Palestinian state, one can take a look at the facts and realize quickly that a Palestinian state will not come into being because the Palestinian Authority (PA) has no interest in peace with Israel. It would also be suicidal for Israel to give Judea and Samaria (the West bank) to the PA. It may be a different story in the future, but the reality on the ground today is clear.
The PA has proven time and again – through its genocidal incitement to kill Jews, its glorification and funding of terrorism, and its rejection of recent peace deals – that it has no interest in peace.
PA-sponsored media outlets regularly publish cartoons, videos, poems, and more that encourage Palestinians to hate and kill Jews. PA-sponsored imams encourage a religious war against Israel and world Jewry. PA-sponsored schools teach children that Israel either does not exist or must be destroyed. PA leaders also name schools, streets, summer camps, and more after the terrorists who have murdered the most civilians. Will the same PA leaders who brainwash their people to destroy the Jews make peace with the Jewish state and suddenly discourage the killing of Jews?
We know the answer is “no” and we have proof. Left-wing Israeli governments in 2000 and 2008 offered the PA nearly all of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza to create a Palestinian state. Yasser Arafat in 2000 and Mahmoud Abbas in 2008 rejected the offers and instead resorted to more violence and anti-Jewish incitement. Furthermore, Israel gave all of Gaza to the Palestinian Authority in 2005, but that resulted in more terrorist attacks against the Jewish state.
Many people blame the Israelis for the fact that a Palestinian state does not exist, but why would the Israelis make irreversible concessions to a government that openly calls for its destruction? How can Israelis raise their kids in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, knowing that the government sitting in the hills overlooking them preaches their annihilation?
What is also problematic is the fact that even if the PA wanted peace, it could not uphold any agreement because it is too weak. Every expert on the right and left says with certainty that Hamas or other terrorist groups would take over the day Israel withdraws from Judea and Samaria (maybe that’s why PA President Abbas is in the 11th year of his four-year term and refuses to hold elections).
The international community has promised Israel that if a Palestinian state is created, it would guarantee the PA would stay in power and that Hamas would not take control. This is, of course, the same international community that promised North Korea would never get a nuclear weapon, that promised Ukraine would have safe borders, and that promised to punish Syrian President Assad for using chemical weapons. This is also the same international community that gave a notorious terrorist (Yasser Arafat) the Nobel Peace Prize.
Given all of this and after ‘land for peace’ with the PA failed so miserably with the Oslo Accords and Gaza withdrawal, why should we expect the PA to this time call for and run a peaceful state next to Israel? And how can we expect the Jewish state to trust the Palestinian Authority in the hills overlooking Israel’s major population centers?
Zach Stern is the Managing Director of ZOA Campus. He also works with schools and leads events in the Tri-State area.