Sheizaf: A tale of two charters

Noam Sheizaf | May 5, 2010 at 11:32 | Categories: Diplomacy, Hasbara | URL:

Cross posted from Promised Land as the first installment of the series “Deconstructing right-wing arguments.”
Every now and than you get to hear Israelis argue that we cannot have peace with the Palestinians or even withdraw from the West Bank because Hamas still opposes the idea of a Jewish state and more, importantly, because the Palestinian National Charter,  the PLO’s binding document, still states that the Palestinians have a right to Mandate Palestine in its entirety, and that the “Zionist occupation” of the land is illegal.
But have a look at article 1(b) of the constitution of the Likud, Israel’s ruling party. Turns out the Likud never accepted the idea of partition either and its stated goal remains to settle and annex as much territory as possible.
This is the official translation of the constitution to English, taken from PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s own website (emphasis mine):

Article 2: General purposes
1. The Likud is a national-liberal party which advocates the ingathering of the exiles, the integrity of the Jewish homeland, human freedom and social justice, and it strives to achieve these goals:
b. Safeguarding the right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel as an eternal, inalienable right, working diligently to settle and develop all parts of the land of Israel, and extending national sovereignty to them.

Personally, I don’t pay much attention to such documents. We can negotiate with the PLO and even with Hamas, and Palestinians can talk to Likud Prime Ministers. Negotiations deal with the future, and those charters and constitutions are documents of the past. All arguments regarding them are no more than excuses.

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