State Department urges 'take it or leave it' plan as MK's realize 'Palestinians' at faulttake it or leave it' plan on the table.
Some in the State Department are concerned that Kerry is being dragged into blind alleys by the two sides, expending too much energy on detailed questions about how many Palestinian prisoners Israel would release before and during the talks, and exactly where a settlement freeze would be imposed.
According to this school of thought, these arguments could go on forever and simply wear Kerry down. Instead, Kerry should simply lay down a formula that would indicate that the talks were to begin with the baseline being the June 4, 1967 lines with mutually agreed land swaps, and a Palestinian recognition of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.
This way, both the Palestinians and Israel would have to give the other something, and whatever side was not willing to do so would be pinned with the blame for the talks’ failure.I wonder which side would say 'no' faster....
In the meantime, at an event sponsored by the Leftist Geneva Initiative, Yesh Atid MK Yaakov Perry admitted that it's the 'Palestinians' fault there are no negotiations. Perry is a long-time supporter of the Saudi plan, which would have Arab states recognize Israel in return for its agreement to commit suicide.
“At the current time, we have to be honest and say that it seems the obstacle to renewing talks is on the Palestinian side,” he declared. “I have to say, I’m sorry about that.”
He explained, “At a time when the Prime Minister of Israel explicitly declares that he is prepared to return to the negotiating table without preconditions, and the American Foreign Minister invests all his energy in attempts to restart the process, and the Quartet is sparing no effort to build cooperation and an economic framework that will serve as a basis and support for the diplomatic process, at a time when there is majority support both in the Knesset and in the Israeli public for moving the peace process forward – I can’t understand why the Palestinian Authority continues to refuse to come back to the negotiating table and give the process a real chance.”
Perry immediately balanced his criticism with an expression of sympathy for PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. “I am not discounting the difficulties and complications facing the Palestinian Authority Chairman as he returns to the negotiating table, both politically, within the PA, and against Hamas,” he said.
Abbas must also face “the Palestinian public’s deep fear and growing doubt due to the many years in which [the process] has been frozen,” he added. However, he said, “there is reason for serious concern that the failure of the current attempt to restart negotiations could have serious implications for both sides, in terms of security, politically, and on the international stage.”
Despite his criticism of Abbas, Perry reiterated his support for the Arab Peace Initiative, also known as the Saudi Initiative, which promises that Arab states will normalize their ties with Israel if Israel will withdraw from Judea, Samaria (Shomron), the Golan and eastern Jerusalem, including the Old City and Temple Mount. The initiative also demands an agreement regarding the “right of return” – the Arab demand that millions of descendants of Arabs who fled pre-state Israel be allowed to “return” to Israel.
“The Saudi Initiative is one of the currently existing paths the state of Israel could take to solve the conflict, and it requires serious thought,” he argued.
“Of course, we cannot accept the principles of the initiative exactly as they are… But they could definitely be a basis and a starting point for negotiations, and point out the direction we need to take,” he continued.Perry is a member of the coalition.... What could go wrong?