The Times of Israel, based on communications with unnamed Palestinian Authority officials, reports that the Palestinians have conveyed their rejection of John Kerry’s draft “framework” proposal:

The Palestinian Authority has informed US Secretary of State John Kerry that it will not accept his framework peace proposal as it currently stands, PA officials told The Times of Israel….

Central clauses of the framework deal as presented by Kerry, and rejected by the PA, the Palestinian officials said, are as follows:

Borders: The peace agreement is to be based on pre-1967 lines, but will take into consideration changes on the ground in the decades since.

Settlements: There will be no massive evacuation of “residents.”

Refugees: Palestinian refugees will be able to return to Palestine or remain where they currently live. In addition, it is possible that a limited number of refugees could be allowed into pre-1967 Israel as a humanitarian gesture, and only with Israeli acquiescence. Nowhere is it written that Israel bears responsibility for suffering caused to the refugees.

Capital: The Palestinian capital will be in Jerusalem.

Security: Israel has the right to defend itself, by itself.

The Jordan Valley: The IDF will retain a presence in the Jordan Valley. The length of time the IDF will remain will depend on the abilities of the Palestinian security forces.

Border crossings: Israel will continue to control border crossings into Jordan.

Definition of the countries: Two states will result, “a national state of the Jewish people and a national state of the Palestinian people.”

So what’s the problem?  Some of these issues probably are surmountable.

But one issue probably is not, the recognition of Israel as the Jewish homeland, as further reported by the Times:

The PA is also having trouble digesting the Israeli insistence on the Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, he noted.

“We have no intention of dragging this conflict in a religious direction. Every sensible person in the Middle East is trying to keep religion away from the various conflicts, except for you. What’s in it for you? The conflict between us is not religious. So why do you need our recognition that your state is Jewish? In your ID cards, your nationality is listed as ‘Israeli’ and not as ‘Jewish.’ You never asked such a thing of Egypt or Jordan. What is your concern? We are telling you outright: the peace agreement will bring about the end of the conflict and the end of all claims. So what is all this nonsense you are saying that this proves we won’t accept the state of Israel? The whole world recognizes you. These are not the days of the founding, when the world didn’t accept you. But you’re still stuck in that mindset.”

Netanyahu has called Palestinian recognition of Israel as the “Jewish state” his “first and most unshakable demand.” “Recognizing Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people means completely abandoning the ‘right of return’ and ending any other national demands over the land and sovereignty of the State of Israel,” he said last October. “This is a crucial component for a genuine reconciliation and stable and durable peace.”

There is good reason for both Netanyahu and the United States to insist on acceptance of a Jewish state: It goes to the fundamental issue that transcends borders.  Will Muslims finally accept a non-Muslim state in their midst?

The answer appears to be what it has been since even before Israel was a state: No.

Until that “No” becomes a “Yes,” any peace agreement is just a stepping stone in the war to destroy Israel.