[Diary of a Vengeance Foretold] Part 128
NOVEMBER 7 1988
”We must have a realistic program and I say this in a loud voice; a program in which Israelis feel that we really wish to co-exist with them and that afterward the two people, Israelis and Palestinians, decide their future course.”
Salah Khalaf, known as Abu Iyad, the No. 2 P.L.O. leader
Leaders of the Palestine Liberation Organization now hold that the best they can hope for is a Palestinian mini-state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Countries such Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Iraq also agree with this realistic analysis.
They suggested that the deal should be negotiated after an Israeli withdrawal and totally reject Israeli suspicions that such a state would be intended simply as a launching pad for a larger Palestinian state. They argue that Israel’s military force would easily deter such goal.
”Over the last two years in particular, discussions about the need for peace have taken place not only in private gatherings or to impress foreigners, but in debate with one another, in Arabic and before an Arab audience,” the New York Times points out today.
Other still disagree. Syria and the Palestinian factions based in Damascus, such the PFLP-GC of Ahmed Jibril, hold that the balance of power is overwhelmingly in favor of Israel. They argue that talks should not begin until the Arab camp improves its strategic position.
Finally, a small minority of absolute rejectionists, led by Libya and the most radical Islamic fundamentalists and Palestinian factions, still hold out for ”total liberation of Palestine.”
Peace talks with Israel are denounced as treason by extremists like Abu Nidal.
“At the present, I am content to watch Arafat destroy himself with this so-called moderation and peace process,” Nidal told investigative reporter David Yallop later this month (1988) during an interview in Liba.
NOTES AND REFERENCES
ARABS WARM TO NEGOTIATIONS AND WATCH ISRAEL CLOSELY – November 6, 1988