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Israel’s rejection of Arafat Street reflects rejection of peace
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stepped in this past week to force residents of an Israeli city consisting of mostly Muslim and Christian Palestinians to remove a street sign etected to honor the late Palestinian President Yasir Arafat.
Arafat was the signatory to an agreement that Netanyahu has broken to create Two States, Israel and Palestine. Arafat signed the agreement with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Israeli President Shimon Peres in 1993, symbolized a handshake that symbolized what many hoped would be the end to the Palestine-Israel violence.
But Rabin was murdered by a Netanyahu disciple, and Arafat was poisoned by Netanyahu’s predecessor former Terrorist Ariel Sharon, who like Netanyahu opposed any peace accord with the Palestinians.
Netanyahu’s entire existence in political life has been to discourage and block peace with the Palestinians, to provoke the Palestinians into emotional anger and counter-violence, and to steal more and more land from Christian and Muslim Arabs in the occupied West Bank and occupied Jerusalem.
By demanding that so-called Israeli citizens remove the street sign honoring Arafat in the Israeli village of Jatt and banning street signs honoring other Palestinian and Arabs from Arab political and cultural history.
Netanyahu’s actions prove that he is against peace and that he prefers continued violence and conflict. Netanyahu wants the violence because he uses the violence as a justification to cloak his theft of lands from Christian and Muslim Palestinians. He uses the violence he provokes through his policies to push otherwise fair American Jews and pro-Israel activists to frown on and question peace based on Two States.
Peace doesn’t come from empty words and phony smiles like what we get from Netanyahu. It’s not the words that make peace but the intentions.
It comes from genuine substance. Recognizing the rights of both peoples Israelis and Palestinians in a historic land that is sacred to both peoples, Israel and Palestine.
Israelis complain because Arafat pushed back against the ultimatum deal offered by Rabin’s successor, the cowardly Prime Minister Ehud Barak who refused to detail his “peace proposal” to Arafat on paper. Instead, Barak allegedly had ant-Arab negotiator Dennis Ross describe the deal to Arafat who balked at the refusal of Israel to address the issue of the Palestinian “Right of Return.”
Negotiations are to be a give and take. Compromise comes from a back and forth that engages in the issues. When Arafat demanded that Israel address the issue of the Right of Return, Barak used that as an excuse to end the Camp David meetings and with the complicit lying of then President Bill Clinton and Ross, asserted that Arafat had killed the peace process by rejecting “the best peace plan ever offered by Israel to the Palestinians.”
The fact that Barack, an alleged moderate, refused to negotiate on his plan shows that even the Israeli left rejects a genuine peace accord.
The gamesmanship of Barak, Ross and Clinton torpedoed the peace process and sent Israeli-Palestinian relations into a violent downward plunge that we are still paying for.
They and the biased, anti-Arab racist American news media blame the failure of peace on Arafat, but the truth is the failure was built in and intended by Israel, Clinton and their allies.
Israel never really wanted peace. They want the land. The only problem is how can they keep the land and expel the Christians and Muslims who live on it.
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political columnist and author. He covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and for TheArabDailyNews.com, and TheDailyHookah.com.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.
His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania
Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com
Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com www.arabnews.com/taxonomy/term/10906
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