First, Kuttab whines about Israeli soldiers destroying television equipment in Ramallah during the Second Intifada, or as Kuttab calls it "the Israeli reoccupation of major Palestinian cities in 2002." Darn those Israelis, reoccupying Palestinian cities for no reason! Why couldn't they just let Kuttab's people blow up their children without any consequences! The reason why he brings up the television equipment is that it was donated to the Palestinians by the American government, and Israel didn't even care before it destroyed the equipment. I say: who cares that the Palestinians were using the equipment in violation of agreements with Israel and to broadcast anti-Israel and anti-Jewish propaganda? Israel was destroying American-made equipment! Waah! It's not like the Palestinians and their Arab allies have ever done anything to America that might make us not like them, right?
Then Kuttab finally starts talking about Kerry's economic peace plan. He says the Palestinians "aren't enthusiastic about it." Why? Because there has been "forty-six years of continuous Israeli occupation that the world community called in 1967 "unacceptable" and scores of peace offers." No reason to mention why Israel's still occupying the West Bank and who was making the peace offers and who was rejecting them. That kind of honesty would be at home in someone else's op eds. But let's hear why the Palestinians (in Kuttab's opinion) don't like this economic peace plan:
"As various international studies have repeatedly stated, the biggest cause of Palestine's economic troubles is the existence of a foreign military occupation that controls the movement of people and goods and that has a colonial philosophy that considers Palestinian lands "fair" territory for its own population to settle in and where to enjoy unique privileges.
The World Bank and other international agencies issued report after report saying that restriction of movement of people and goods causes the economic woes in Palestine."Once again, the Palestinians are putting the cart before the horse. Rather than building up the economy gradually and working with Israel, which would deradicalize the population and give them something to work for rather than killing Jews, Kuttab demands the occupation end first, and then the economy can be built up. Because, you know, Palestinians demanding they get what they want first without doing anything in return has moved the peace process forward so well in the past 60 years. As many people have said before me, making peace is a two way street that requires both people to work. Kuttab would have Israel and America work, and his people make excuses.
After that rejection, Kuttab moves on to more half truths:
"When the Palestinian leadership decided to go to the UN to seek recognition as a state, the US Congress immediately took measures to cut off aid to the Palestinian territories. Even an important UN agency such as UNESCO was punished by the US, which cut its annual contribution to this agency, to the amount of $60 million."No need to mention that the Palestinians signed an agreement that they wouldn't go to the UN to seek recognition as a state until after a peace treaty with Israel is signed. As MJ Rosenberg would say, the Palestinians told the US Congress and American people to "drop dead." And so their behavior led to sudden, immediately and complete expected blowback. But to say that would require a kind of honesty that just wouldn't make the Palestinian case work nearly as well.
So what's Kuttab's solution?
"The US administration must have the courage to come up with a strong and fair peace initiative and to follow up on it with the weight of the US presidency, and then declare publicly which party to the conflict is the obstacle peace. That, and not some financial initiative, should be the main preoccupation of the US government."Generalizations and hoping the US government will blame Israel for the lack of peace. Even if they did come up with a strong and fair peace initiative, the Palestinians woulds still reject it because not only do they not want peace, but they will say nothing that involves Israel's continued existence as "fair." So nice to see Kuttab making a positive influence on the world and the peace process.