Wednesday, November 11, 2020

  • Wednesday, November 11, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon



Haaretz has an article praising the late Saeb Erekat,  written by a group of people who were involved in negotiations between Israel and the PLO over the decades: Martin Indyk, Daniel Kurtzer, Robert Malley, Aaron David Miller, Dennis Ross, Jonathan Schwartz, and Toni Verstandig.

In their rush to say how wonderful Erekat was, they tell us a bit more about themselves.
We had our differences because at times he could be inflexible. But then, without an independent base of his own and subject to Arafat’s whims, Saeb had little flexibility to depart from core Palestinian positions, and we often suspected, his bosses did not want him to do so.  
And what are those core positions? A state on the 1949 armistice lines, all of east Jerusalem, Israel releasing all terrorists from prison, the "right to return" - all things that Israel cannot possibly accept if it is to remain a secure and Jewish state. 

This is revealing. These negotiators knew that these are red lines for Israel. They would often say words to the effect that "everyone knows" that the Palestinians will in the end compromise on "return" or prisoners or "1967 lines." But in the actual negotiating room, what "everyone knows" was shown to be false - the Palestinians are incapable of compromise with Israel, of abandoning that they call their "constants." 

This is hardly a secret. Palestinian leaders brag about how they have not modified their core positions since 1988. It is a source of pride - and once it crosses the line into becoming a matter of honor, then Palestinian leaders have purposefully painted themselves into a corner where they cannot compromise even if they wanted to because they would be branded traitors or worse. 

So we know that these negotiators knew (or "suspected") that Arafat and Abbas simply had no desire for real peace with Israel. Their "constants" are not a recipe for a Palestinian state but as a stage for the destruction of Israel, entirely consistent with Arafat's "phased plan" of 1974

Even though these professional diplomats knew this, most of them kept castigating Israel in public as the obstacle to peace and had nothing negative to say about the Palestinian side, no matter how many times the Palestinians simply responded "no" to every offer, idea and framework.

This article shows that they know the truth - that Palestinian leaders will never change their position without extreme pressure and that Israel is not the problem. Which makes the attacks on Israel by some of them unconscionable. 

We are now on the verge of a new US administration that will be filled with people like these diplomats, who think the Oslo process is still alive, that if only Israel would compromise a little more there would be peace. It failed before Trump and it will fail after him - because the Palestinians aren't interested in peace.

And everyone knows it. 

__________________________________________

Since 2015, Erekat was  Secretary General of the Executive Committee of the PLO, which is a pretty high position. I don't see any moves that he made towards peace when he actually had political power of his own.





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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون



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