From 1937 onward, Palestinian leaders have repeatedly rejected offers, brought to them by the British, the U.S., and Israel itself, to share the territory west of the Jordan River. Yet claims routinely surface suggesting that responsibility for the failures to reach a compromise lies elsewhere. Ben-Dror Yemini examines the evidence, and puts paid to such attempts at distortion:
For decades, many people, for good and bad, have been spreading the narrative that if only Israel would be a little more generous, and if only the Americans brokered a serious peace agreement, peace was within reach. For the bad, this stems from the desire to blame Israel for all world crimes. For the good, this is due to a sincere and genuine desire for peace, mixed with a lack of knowledge, or reluctance to know, or self-deception of those who struggle to reconcile the gap between beliefs and desires on the one hand and facts on the other.
There are . . . official announcements, materials exposed [by Al Jazeera’s publication of thousands of leaked documents in 2011], and always denials trying, unsuccessfully, to create the impression that the Palestinians wanted peace. In 2012, I was invited to attend a meeting with [the former Palestinian chief negotiator] Nabil Shaath. A welcome initiative. It was a wonderful meeting—up to that moment when I presented to Shaath what he himself said on July 3, 2011: “We will never accept the ‘two states for two peoples’ formula to resolve the conflict.” I asked him if he had changed his mind. He was evasive. I was no longer invited to the next meeting. . . .
Why should anyone bother the enthusiasts of illusion? As long as the Israeli and global left wing insist on ignoring facts, they are not promoting peace. Doing so serves Palestinian rejectionism. It’s bad for the Palestinians and it’s bad for Israel.