Oops - 'Palestinians' walk back Qatar's land swap offerthey have walked it back completely.
Yet the Palestinians seemed to be surprised, following the meeting with Kerry, to hear the Qatari representative talk about possible land swaps between Israel and the Palestinians.
The Palestinian Authority's initial response was to issue a statement in English -- not Arabic -- voicing support for the land trade proposal. The statement said that this was an old idea that had been discussed in the past between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators.
But following strong condemnations from many Palestinians, the Palestinian Authority leadership took a step backwards.
First, the Palestinian Authority said that it was only prepared to discuss "minor" adjustments to the border between Israel and a future Palestinian state.
Later, as the denunciations grew, the Palestinian Authority took yet another step backwards, saying it was opposed to making any "down payments" to Israel before the peace talks resumed.
In other words, the Palestinian Authority is not prepared to talk about any territorial concessions to Israel before the Israeli government accepts the pre-1967 lines as the basis for a two-state solution.
Palestinian reactions to the land swap proposal seem to have angered Qatar and other Arab countries.But land swaps are nothing new, right? Well, maybe....
Although the Palestinian Authority leadership had in the past hinted that it would be willing to accept the land swap idea, it is now obvious that it would never be able to win the Palestinians' support for such a proposal.
As leaders of Hamas and other Palestinian groups emphasized over the past few days, no Palestinian leader has a mandate to make any concessions to Israel.
Even worse, the Arab League proposal is being viewed by many Arabs and Palestinians as part of an "American-Zionist conspiracy" to force the Palestinians to accept Israeli "dictates."
Abbas and the Palestinian Authority leadership in the West Bank seem to have absorbed the message and are now back to demanding a full Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines, which were never official borders.Don't expect 'peace' to burst out anytime soon. The 'Palestinians' are determined to miss the opportunity of having the most pro-'Palestinian' President evah.
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