Subhi Awad, Mullumbimby
With respect to Danny Wakil (letters 31 July), his assertion that Palestinians haven’t made or honoured a single concession is another example of how unreliable his position is. How can anyone believe, even after mountains of evidence (cited in The Guardian and Der Spiegel), that Palestinians didn’t make ever more painful and significant concessions? Really?
In reality, the problem has always been Jerusalem. Even though the whole world (except Trump) recognises East Jerusalem as part of Palestine, Israel refuses to cede all but token areas.
Al Quds is the name Palestinians give to Jerusalem; it means ‘the holy’ and is the recognised capital of Palestine (Israel’s capital is Tel Aviv). ‘The holy’ is the heart of the Palestinian nation. We have shown in negotiations our willingness (actually eagerness) to share the holy city along established east and west Jerusalem lines, but that was consistently rejected by Israel and is the main reason early negotiations failed.
The real reason that the last two decades of negotiations have failed is that there is no real will among the Israeli leadership or the general Israeli population. No major political party within Israel supports peace along internationally recognised borders. If we were to put a peace proposal based on the consensus UN position to the peoples of the holy land, less than 20 per cent of Israeli Jews would support it, whereas upwards of 95 per cent of Palestinians would wholeheartedly support it.
Sadly, Israelis, driven by ultra-nationalist leaders and hawkish pro-war media, have embraced the mindset of racial superiority needed to steal land and dispossess people rather than make peace with their weak and almost defenceless neighbours. In a recent poll conducted by Israel’s Channel 10, only 20 per cent of Israeli Jews rejected this statement ‘Most Jews are better than most non-Jews because they were born Jews’. The majority agreed with the statement.
The peace offer on the table from the Palestinian side is to have a completely demilitarised Palestine with UN peacekeepers, for Israel to keep all but four settlements, and the largest concessions on Jerusalem ever given.
Israelis and Palestinians are equally human and deserve equal human rights.