Thursday, July 25, 2013

  • Thursday, July 25, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
If the Palestinian Arabs are living in such a desperate situation....

If their lack of having full statehood is so terribly onerous...

If their desire for peace is so strong....

Then why are they constantly adding roadblocks?

And why doesn't the world ask this basic question?

There is something very wrong about the negotiations before the negotiations, and they prove how little the Palestinian Arabs care about peace.

First the US had to put its own prestige on the line for its Secretary of State to shuttle back and forth several times just to get the PLO to agree to think about talking to Israel. Key phrases needed to be manipulated and secret promises have to be made. But the practical concessions, as always, go only one way.

Israel is being forced to release over a hundred of the worst terrorists remaining in prison - just to have a conversation with their erstwhile peace partner.

Now, not only is the PLO making demand after demand to be able to do something that theoretically can bring them closer to having this state they claim they need so badly, but the prisoners themselves are now issuing their own threats!

YNet reports:
[T]he prisoners asked that the Palestinian Authority secure the release of at least 52 inmates in the first phase – representing half of the list of 103 prisoners. They also demanded that the selection of the prisoners be based on time served, meaning that those who served the most time would be the first to be released.

The prisoners threatened not to leave prison unless they are sure that a third party is carefully overseeing the release. "Should there be any manipulation on Israel's part we will take unexpected steps that will stop the entire peace process," they wrote.

We have a quasi-state that is doing everything possible to avoid independence, and we have prisoners who are doing everything possible to avoid freedom!

If Israel is the oppressive ruler and occupier of a helpless people, how come Israel appears to be the desperate party willing to make concrete concessions just to talk, and the suffering Arabs are acting like they hold all the cards?

Maybe, just maybe, there is a serious quid pro quo going on involving lots of American B-2 bombers, cruise missiles and bunker-busters heading towards Iran.

But if that is not the case, Israel is acting like it is the weak party.

In the bazaar of Middle East politics, Israel is doing an incredibly poor job of bargaining. The PLO is making all the demands and Israel is making all the concessions. The reason, I believe, is years of Israeli politicians and pundits warning about a demographic time bomb, combined with Western pressure, Israel's natural desire to please its friends, and endless articles about how the current situation is unsustainable.

But the current situation has given rise to perhaps the most peaceful period in Israel's history. Abbas will never follow through on his hollow threats to dissolve the PA; Hamas will do what it can to hold onto its mini-state even if that means stopping rockets, Egypt and Syria have evaporated as serious threats except for the ever-present threat of terrorism which will never go away no matter what concessions Israel gives. Things are more stable now than they were during both intifadas, more than during the Oslo process in the 1990s. Not optimal, but a damn sight better than they were in every other decade of Israel's existence.

We are way past the point of Israel saying, bluntly, to both the West and the Arabs that the status quo is quite acceptable, building will continue in the territories and the PLO can call back in a few years when it decides that it has something to lose by not negotiating. Oh, and if they try to do anything funny like starting another violent intifada, occupation is not such a scary option if the only alternative is Jews being blown up in buses again.

Whether it is true is irrelevant. Israel is in a souk and one doesn't start begging the seller to pay full price.

In reality, Israel has the upper hand. It is not too late to start acting like it. The first step is to say that there are alternatives to negotiations.

And Israel needs to tell the world that if the other side needs to be cajoled and bribed just to act like a peace partner, perhaps they weren't really a peace partner to begin with - and should be treated accordingly.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون



This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 18 years and 38,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

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