Telegraph cites PLO claim that Israeli bill requiring vote on territorial withdrawal ‘stabs peace efforts’

For those of us used to hysterical claims made at the Guardian and elsewhere warning of the potential demise of Israeli democracy, it’s quite entertaining to see even the most robust democratic expressions within the Jewish state somehow framed as inconsistent with progressive values.  

A case in point is a March 11th article in the Daily Telegraph by Inna Lazareva (Israel set to pass bill on peace deal referendum) which focuses on the imminent passing of three bills in the Knesset – one of which would instill a requirement for a nation-wide ballot on any decision by the government to concede land in Israel, ‘eastern’ Jerusalem and Golan to achieve a peace agreement.  (What’s known as the Referendum Bill faces a final vote on Thursday morning.)


After quoting some Israeli critics of the new law, including Tzipi Livni and opposition leader Isaac Herzog – who claimed that the legislation strips the Knesset of the power to cede land – Lazareva then pivots to the Palestinian reaction:

The new law demonstrates that Israel is “extending one hand for peace, and stabs peace efforts with the other hand”, said Yasser Abd Rabbo, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s Executive Committee.

 So, are Palestinians, per the PLO – an organization evidently now passionately committed to peace and non-violence – truly outraged at the idea of a national referendum on a final status agreement between the two parties?

Not likely.

As several news sites – including the Guardian – reported last July, none other than Mahmoud Abbas himself (in an interview with a Jordanian paper) made a pledge that “any agreement reached with the Israelis will be brought to a [Palestinian] referendum.”

Indeed, this wasn’t the first time Abbas made such a claim.  

In February last year, Abbas said the following at a meeting of the Fatah Revolutionary Council in Ramallah:

If there is any development and an agreement, it is known that we will go to a referendum,” Abbas clarified. “It won’t be enough to have the approval of the Fatah Central Committee or the PLO Executive Council for an agreement. Rather, we would go to a referendum everywhere because the agreement represents Palestinians everywhere.”

The news sites which actually covered Abbas’s announcements naturally did not frame such a decision as a ‘blow to peace’.

Finally, though we’re not holding our collective breaths that such a Palestinian plebiscite will ever occur, we’d be remiss if we didn’t note that such a vote – if it takes place – would represent the first significant democratic expression in the Palestinian Authority in quite some time.

President Abbas just entered his tenth year of his four-year term in office.

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22 replies »

      • What does that have to do with anything? This story is about a commitment to a democratic approval of land for peace. Nothing to do with settlements at all. Now stop diverting and address the issue. Why is a Palestinian referendum “democratic”, whilst an Israeli one is a “stab” to the peace process?

      • If the law demands that the land be frozen in ’67 until there is peace, or that Jews won’t be allowed to move or build there(neither of which I believe), it’s clearly broken.

        • (clarification; by broken I meant that the law would be far too defective to be helpful, and not worth following)

      • Your braindead idiocy never fails to shock. The Palestinians could have had their own state plenty of times over by now, but morons like you insist that killing Israelis is righteous.

        Gee, I wonder if that’s the reason why they’re still struggling as refugees. Your bloodlust is sad, and shows how truly pathetic you happen to be.

        • No they could not , peace means dividing up the land, giving back lands to the Palestinians, that can never be allowed to happen therefore no peace can take place.

          • Gaza the terrorists got back, but Natzie wants a complete land for terrorists. Of which faction is he? Islamic Jihad, PFLP, Fatah, …?

      • Harry, how so?
        Please cite the relevent court ruling in this matter.
        Since you can’t, I suggest you keep to the script.

  1. Unfortunately, our neighbors are bringing a sook mentality to the peace table and stubbornly and unreasonably insist on a stance guaranteed to not make a sale. The foolish pride of the entire Arab League is on the table, Too bad! No sale!

  2. The settlements built in the West Bank, East Jerusalem included, are in breach of international law and therefore illegal. A vote organized by a handful of marginal MKs will not change that.

    Seen from Europe, Israeli MKs voting on land that lays outside Israel is weird and well worth mentioning in the press. It is as if Italians were voting to determine the status of East London…

    • Please explain how it’s illegal for us to make use of land we conquered 19 years after Jordan conquered it.

      • So if another country were to conquer land inside Israel (as opposed to outside it, i.e. the West Bank), then that would be perfectly legal and fine by you?

        • Who exactly was the WB conquered from by Jordan or Israel?
          Jordan never annexed it or gave it independance.
          You cannot equate your example to the WB.

        • No, because it’s not justified for anyone to attack us at all. That may change if our behavior does, though, as our enemies’ behavior justifies taking far more than we did.

        • Also, I don’t really care what international law says. It didn’t protect us, so it shouldn’t hinder us.

      • See peace means that land taken would need to be restored, so it has never been Israelis intention to settle on two states

        • My point was that if the Israeli legal fraternity never pursued the case of the JORDANIAN occupation of the territories in question before the World Court, it must have recognized that it was not a legal issue. Likewise, Israel’s failure to ANNEX these territories since 1967 means that it does not constitute a World Court issue YET.

    • Since you’re talking about International Law, Harry, I notice that you don’t seem to discuss the missiles shot by Hamas into Israel from Gaza neighborhoods.

      Yeah, you’re such an intellectual. Using broad definitions to specify your hatred of Israel. Such an accomplishment for a puny, mental midget.

  3. In the 19 years that the British trained and equipped Jordanian troops held the Old City and territories, Israel could have pleaded under International Law but failed to do so probably because they understood that such a case would be without merit then and even less now. How can we prejudge a case that has yet to be submitted?

    • Mr Lombard;
      “How can we prejudge a case that has yet to be submitted?”

      Harry is a parrot and a mouth of piece of various Islamic and Arab entities through out the years.
      The case is a lie but that doesn’t disturb Harry or the other idiots (including various heads of states) from parroting baseless propaganda that is straight from the book of Goebbels.

      This type of statements like the ones Harry make need no evidence or truth.