Tuesday, January 16, 2018

  • Tuesday, January 16, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
Haaretz has an article by former US ambassador to Israel, Daniel Shapiro, where he tears apart Abbas' nonsensical and hateful speech:

His bizarre description of Israel as colonial creation of European powers, his canard that Israel has no organic connection to Jewish history, is completely inconsistent with any plausible logic of accepting a two-state deal. His accusation of Israel importing drugs to poison Palestinian youth is shameful.

And his ardent defense of the payments made to Palestinian terrorists in prison tells Israelis, Palestinians, and the U.S. Congress that he will not educate Palestinians to give up violence directed at civilians in their struggle for independence.

Here’s a thought experiment: Let’s say a more strategic version of Trump, capitalizing on (rather than wasting) the goodwill built up by envoys, had already - either before or together with his Jerusalem announcement -submitted a perfect plan for the "ultimate deal"/two-state solution, in which all legitimate Palestinian aspirations could be achieved. If Abbas believes the nonsense in his speech delegitimizing Israel’s existence, there is no way he could accept it.

But then Shapiro, who should know better, falls into the lazy false conventional wisdom that Israel's leadership is just as bad:
A similar thought experiment applies: Even if Abbas, or some other Palestinian leader, met every Israeli condition - recognition as a Jewish state, renouncing the right of return of refugees, extensive arrangements to ensure Israel’s security - there is no chance that the current coalition would meet him halfway.

What does Shapiro base this on? Bibi has spelled out these exact conditions as necessary for peace. Why doesn't Shapiro believe him?

Because he reads Haaretz?

Well, Haaretz is what proved that Bibi is far more willing to compromise than any Palestinian leader!

We've mentioned it before. Haaretz reported that Bibi accepted a US-drafted framework for peace and to create a Palestinian state.

This was in 2014. This is Haaretz' graphic summarizing what happened:

Is Shapiro confidently predicting that the current coalition would reject a plan that Bibi approves? It is possible, but he really needs to show support for such a position rather than declare it as fact outright. Israelis have shown enthusiasm for peace before, and it seems unlikely that a peace plan that addresses all Israeli concerns would be turned down.

Obviously, we will never know, because Palestinian intransigence is so much deeper and embedded than the most right wing parts of Israel's ruling coalition. But Shapiro knows the players. If he has evidence for his assertion, and is not falling into the Obama mindset of "Bibi=Likud='most right wing government in Israel's history'," he should spell it out.

And if he has some inside information  that Haaretz's reporting on the 2014 negotiations is inaccurate, and in fact Netanyahu is who rejected the Obama/Kerry framework, we need to know that as well.

UPDATES: Shapiro responded via tweet:
Not what I’m implying. I’m very clear on the responsibility Abbas bears. I also address the fact that the vast majority of the ministers in the current govt are very clear (& proud) that they do not seek and would not support 2 states. I listen to them and take them at their word.
I replied:
But do you think that Bibi would hold new elections if something like that happened? In other words, do you think they have veto power? Because if not, still no analogy.
He responded:
He very well might. Whether he would succeed or not, I have no idea. But your question makes my point: with *this* government, you could not get agreement for two states.
I am not so sure about that; Menachem Begin faced fierce opposition from his cabinet as well when he was selling the Egyptian peace treaty.

Also, a Palestinian Authority that drops the "right to return" and Jerusalem and allows, for example, Israeli forces in the Jordan Valley would be a completely different entity than we have seen. Saying that the government would not cooperate with true peace partner is a much different proposition than saying it won't cooperate with the current PLO, which never has acted contrary to Arafat's phased plan to destroy Israel.

I don't think Shapiro's assertion is so obvious. But at least he responded, and that was nice of him.

UPDATE 2: More of our thread:










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