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Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Dennis Ross starts to get it

Former peace processor Dennis Ross has finally started to get it. In an op-ed in Monday's New York Times, he seems to finally recognize that the 'Palestinians' aren't willing to compromise... on anything.
Since 2000, there have been three serious negotiations that culminated in offers to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Bill Clinton’s parameters in 2000, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s offer in 2008, and Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts last year. In each case, a proposal on all the core issues was made to Palestinian leaders and the answer was either “no” or no response. They determined that the cost of saying “yes,” or even of making a counteroffer that required concessions, was too high.
Palestinian political culture is rooted in a narrative of injustice; its anticolonialist bent and its deep sense of grievance treats concessions to Israel as illegitimate. Compromise is portrayed as betrayal, and negotiations — which are by definition about mutual concessions — will inevitably force any Palestinian leader to challenge his people by making a politically costly decision.
But going to the United Nations does no such thing. It puts pressure on Israel and requires nothing of the Palestinians. Resolutions are typically about what Israel must do and what Palestinians should get. If saying yes is costly and doing nothing isn’t, why should we expect the Palestinians to change course?
That’s why European leaders who fervently support Palestinian statehood must focus on how to raise the cost of saying no or not acting at all when there is an offer on the table.
Why not wait? If a new Israeli government after the elections is prepared to take a peace initiative and build settlements only on land that is likely to be part of Israel and not part of Palestine, there will be no need for a United Nations resolution.
If not, and the Europeans decide to pursue one, it must be balanced. It cannot simply address Palestinian needs by offering borders based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps and a capital in Arab East Jerusalem without offering something equally specific to Israel — namely, security arrangements that leave Israel able to defend itself by itself, phased withdrawal tied to the Palestinian Authority’s performance on security and governance, and a resolution of the Palestinian refugee issue that allows Israel to retain its Jewish character.
In all likelihood the Palestinians would reject such a resolution. Accepting it would require compromises that they refused in 2000, 2008 and 2014. There is, of course, no guarantee that the next Israeli government would accept such a resolution. But the Israelis are not the ones pushing for United Nations involvement. The Palestinians are. And if their approach is neither about two states nor peace, there ought to be a price for that.
Peace requires accountability on both sides. It’s fair to ask the Israelis to accept the basic elements that make peace possible — 1967 lines as well as land swaps and settlement building limited to the blocks. But isn’t it time to demand the equivalent from the Palestinians on two states for two peoples, and on Israeli security? Isn’t it time to ask the Palestinians to respond to proposals and accept resolutions that address Israeli needs and not just their own?
And if the 'Palestinians' won't compromise, Dennis, what should happen? Do we sit frozen in time? Much more from my friend David Gerstman here.

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At 12:01 AM, Blogger free` said...

Can someone please explain how building houses on land that may be traded to the Palestinians at a later date is an obstacle to peace? I just don't get it.

At 5:50 AM, Blogger mrzee said...

The houses would have Jew cooties and have to be burned to the ground like the Gaza greenhouses.

Islamic authorities don't agree on whether the ground would also have to be salted to prevent anything from growing.


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