Kerry told Abbas that, as part of the agreement being formulated, the Palestinians would have to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Mahmoud Abbas and his close associates understand that this request would force them to accept that they will no longer be able to claim the "right of return" of the Palestinians refugees to the State of Israel or destroy it by changing its demography. They understand that the refugees would have to settle in the future state of Palestine and that the Palestinians would have to declare the end of the conflict. That is not a situation the Palestinians are ripe for yet.
Kerry also told Abbas that the Palestinians would have to waive security control of the Jordan Valley corridor along the border with the Kingdom of Jordan. The Americans have therefore foiled the Palestinian plan of "stages," Yasser Arafat's original plot, never abandoned by the Palestinians, of dismantling Israel one slice at a time like a roasted lamb. The initial plan of "stages" was for Islamists to cross the Jordan river, join the Palestinian Authority's armed security forces (or those of Hamas, if it managed to take over the West Bank), and attack Israel's cities with missiles, cross its borders and slaughter its citizens.
If Israel were to waive security control, first the Palestinians would reap the political and territorial fruits of the agreement, then soon they would violate it by flooding the West Bank with mujahidin from all over the world.
In rejecting the American proposal the Palestinians now accuse Kerry of being a foil for the Israelis, ad have told him that Abbas is the one rational man with whom Israel can make peace. Some Palestinian leaders threaten that if no agreement is reached, a third intifada may break out. For Israel, that clearly means the entire peace process depends on one man alone, not on the will of the Palestinian people. The result of such a deal will be that the conflict will not have been resolved even after Abbas's eventual departure from the political scene: the next Palestinian leader will simply say that any agreement was Abbas's, not his.
The Israeli demand for the end of incitement and threats against Israel is directly related to its demand to construct a foundation for the Palestinian people which includes a real peace that will continue even after Mahmoud Abbas is no longer the Palestinian leader.
Israel has good reason to be suspicious, especially in view of the amateur and irresponsible policies of the current Obama administration, which now has a pattern of abandoning friends in need. Kerry's proposal reflects an understanding of historical truth: the need for both a Palestinian state and Israel's security needs -- but what will happen if Arab or European pressure forces the Americans to alter their policies, as they have done so often before?
The Arabs regard Israel as a well-oiled, state-of-the-art war machine, but in reality it is vulnerable, fragile and easily blackmailed, unable fully to implement its forces to counteract the Islamic terrorism deliberately hidden within the Palestinian population in the territories. In the meantime, Hamas continues to use human shields and the Palestinian Authority continues its anti-Israeli incitement, especially via Qatar's Al-Jazeera TV channel in Arabic. Qatar funds Hamas and supports Islamic terrorist organizations all over the Arab world.
In addition, the permanent support the Arabs and the Europeans give the Palestinians -- such as the Europeans' demand for "proportional" force and the expectation that Israel will compromise its own security by sacrificing its territorial assets -- only serves to encourage terrorism, makes the Palestinians less flexible and leads them to believe that between pressure from the Arabs and the sanctions and boycotts they expect to be imposed by the Europeans, they will eventually be able to defeat Israel.
The Arabs seem to have forgotten that Israel already overcame Arab and Palestinians boycotts. During the last two intifadas, when there was a Palestinian boycott of Israeli-made products and Palestinians were forbidden to work in Israel, Israel began using automated industrial building techniques, thereby leaving the tens of thousands of Palestinians who had previously worked in construction permanently without jobs.
When it comes to changing their situation, the Palestinians still refuse to ask the right questions. Is there a single Palestinian, for example, who really thinks Israel will sign an agreement that would settle millions of Palestinians into its territory? Would Israel agree to have its future depend on a leader like Mahmoud Abbas, who does not enjoy either a consensus or a legal Palestinian constitutional status? Can Israel ignore that both Palestinian society and public policy are based on the rejection of peace with Israel, and that the Palestinian street is bombarded daily with propaganda from the Palestinian establishment advocating war, the return of refugees and the destruction of Israel?
And is there really a single Palestinian who thinks Israel will rush to sign an agreement while the Palestinian Authority works unceasingly in international forums to delegitimize it, boycott it and maneuver to achieve unilateral international recognition without a gesture towards Israel?
There are other questions the Palestinians refuse to ask themselves: for instance, is there a single Palestinian who really believes that Israel places faith in the upper echelons of the Palestinian Authority who are now planning to have Israel's leaders tried as war criminals in the International Criminal Court in The Hague and threatening of a third intifada? Can Israel make concessions to the Palestinians in the Jordan Valley and ignore what happened after the Israeli army withdrew from south Lebanon, which it saw it turn into a vipers' nest of Hezbollah-instigated terrorism? Will Israel ignore the lessons of the past, especially after Hamas's border with Egypt turned into a highway for smuggling arms and the Gaza Strip itself became a regional and global stronghold of Islamism?
The Palestinians fool only themselves as they waste their time theorizing, inventing excuses and plotting, while the Jews engage in practical matters, and do not plan their future on the unattainable. Do the Palestinians not understand that once the murderers terrorizing the civilian population of Syria in the name of jihad have finished there, they will turn their attention to the Palestinian Authority and do the same to the Palestinian population there?
The peace process is not simple, it requires time and the building of trust. Israel has territories the Palestinians want and holds the key to the international recognition of "Palestine." The Palestinians have the resources of trust necessary to win over the hearts of the Israelis. The more that time passes, the more the Palestinians waste that precious resource. The Israelis dig in their heels and the Western world is gradually coming around to their way of thinking. If the Palestinians really want to establish a Palestinian state, they might start by asking themselves the right questions.