Palestinians were always willing to go to extreme lengths in Arab-Israel peace process

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 11 December, 2016, 4:26pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 11 December, 2016, 4:26pm

I refer to the letter from Peter Forsythe (“Arab-Israel conflict was avoidable”, December 3).

Mr Forsythe concludes by saying Israel is unfairly “pressured” – but wasn’t Israel carved out of stolen land from indigenous Palestinians 70 years ago?

In the 2011 leak detailing negotiations between 1999 and 2010, the Palestine Papers revealed how Palestinians were always partners in peace, willing to go to extreme lengths for peace, while Israel has repeatedly held a firm line against any peace deal.

Yet he unashamedly labels displaced Palestinians “intransigent interlocutors”?

Mr Forsythe also falsely claims “none of the murderous mayhem of the last 70 years” would have happened if the Palestinians in 1947 had accepted the UN Special Committee proposal on the split, but does not mention how more land was allocated to the Jews then, despite having a smaller population compared to the Arabs.

Israel also rejected the Madrid conference in 1991 and is in continuous violation of UN Resolution 242 from 1967, calling for Israeli withdrawal from all territories occupied but this is never attributed to the arresting of the “murderous mayhem”.

In fact, the so-called peace process has been all about process and little about peace, going nowhere and slowly providing Israel with just the cover it needs to expand its settlement in the West Bank.

In the 20 years since Oslo, Israel’s settler population in the occupied territories has more than doubled – from roughly 270,000.

Thus, Israel’s fraudulent claims to be committed to the peace process and yet never having stopped colonising Palestinian land is a farcical joke of biblical proportions.

The fact is that Israel has repeatedly opposed any UN resolution supporting a Palestinian state.

Mr. Forsythe also talks about the revered “Israeli entrepreneurial spirit” but Israel controls 80 per cent of Palestinian water resources.

This means 520,000 Israeli settlers use approximately six times the amount of water that the 2.6 million Palestinians in the West Bank use, according to Oxfam.

In September, the UN released a report saying the Palestinian economy would double in size without Israeli occupation, citing Israeli “restrictions on the movement of people and goods; systematic erosion and destruction of the productive base; losses of land, water and other natural resources”, as some of the key factors crippling Palestinians’ ability to thrive.

Siddiq Bazarwala, Discovery Bay