Sharansky: Are the Palestinians Ready for Peace? – David Horovitz
Former Soviet dissident and government minister, and today Jewish Agency chairman, Natan Sharansky said he had been arguing since the 1990s that the best way to judge the seriousness of the peace process – the best criterion by which to gauge whether the two societies were truly ready for peace – was by their handling of the issue of Jews in a Palestinian state and Arabs in Israel. There’ll be room for optimism when “we don’t have to discuss how we are removing Jews and how they are removing Arabs” from each other’s territory.
“[It] goes without saying that every territory that is left by the Israeli army has to be Jew-free, that Abbas feels very comfortable saying…that there will be no Jews….That’s why I don’t believe in the reality of this peace process, which is brought from the top and not from the bottom.” Abbas is correct to think that Palestinian society is not ready to live with Jews in its midst. “He’s right. He’s saying, ‘Our society is not ready to accept this.’…But this, for me, is the barometer of readiness or not readiness to accept a peace treaty.”
What’s still needed, he stressed, is true “political freedom and education. If there was organized collective effort by the free world on these issues,” rather than the constant encouragement being given to the Palestinian leadership that they can circumvent these issues and get a state, then we’d truly get closer to peace. (Times of Israel)