Even Syria's Bashar al-Assad now says openly that making an Israeli construction freeze in the West Bank a precondition before Abbas will talk to Israel is pointless and stupid.
Even the most hard-line, anti-Semitic regime in the neighborhood agrees with most Israelis that insisting on a settlement freeze is a complete waste of time; if Mahmoud Abbas wants to stop the growth of settlements, then the only way to do it is to negotiate an agreement.
The column is dressed up in the usual flotilla of paranoid anti-Israel claims, of course, but the final conclusion is actually pretty reasonable:
"What matters are results, not the slogans that we have become addicted to."
It is time for Pres. Obama, Sec. of State Clinton and Sen. Mitchell, and also the useful EU idiots who wrote an anti-Israel letter to Catherine Ashton the other day, to come to the same conclusion. Blaming the settlers amounts to a mindlessly repeated, worn-out slogan. But the mindless repetition of slogans does nothing to improve the world.
Only an Israel-PA agreement that specifies borders will define the borders of Israeli towns in the West Bank. Without a peace agreement, US or PA attempts to micromanage what construction occurs in Israeli towns in the West Bank bring absolutely no benefit to anyone.
Of course, one cannot lay the blame *entirely* on Mr. Abbas.
The Obama administration, not Mahmoud Abbas, created this fiasco. The Obama administration took a situation that was gradually improving and, by introducing this mindless precondition, completely shut down negotiations. And they pursued this direction, in their arrogance and ineptitude, despite being warned of the consequences.
But Mr. Abbas, of course, had every opportunity to reject such a pointless diversion. Mr. Abbas, being the do-nothing that he is, leaped at the chance to sit around doing nothing. And for that he MUST be blamed.
Since that time, the US insistence on beating up Israel for Abbas' rejectionism has given those who hate Israel a chance to sit back and smile. But the handful of people who would prefer to actually improve the lot of West Bank Arabs have grown increasingly frustrated.
Meanwhile, naive European and Israeli leftists, by continuing to flog the dead horse of the freeze, have simply prolonged the fiasco.
But there are some people in the Arab world who actually do think about the situation, and these people have increasingly criticized the whole pointless freeze idea. And now even Bashar al-Assad, die-hard enemy of Israel, looks at the freeze and comes to the same conclusion as Netanyahu or Lieberman.
Without a peace agreement, US and PA attempts to micromanage what construction occurs in Israeli towns in the West Bank bring absolutely no benefit to anyone. Only an Israel-PA agreement that specifies borders will define the borders of Israeli towns in the West Bank.