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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Huh? Peres to Abu Bluff: Negotiate or face another intifada

No, the headline is not a mistake. Israeli President Shimon Peres has warned 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen that if he does not return to the 'negotiating' table, he will face a new intifada. But that's not even the most incredible part of this story. Peres met with Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Storr this week. Here's some of the conversation.
Store told Peres that Israel should take more steps to support Abbas. "Abu Mazen [Abbas] is vulnerable and feels hurt, and his position needs to be bolstered by American support," Store said, adding: "You have the best psychologists ... How do we read the personality and political mind of Abu Mazen? What will make him move?"

Peres told him about his meetings with Abbas and Saeb Erekat. According to Palestinian sources, Erekat comes to the President's Residence every few weeks for meetings with Peres.

"I am a friend of Abu Mazen. He says the Americans put him in a high tree and took the ladder away. [That's actually true by the way. I wrote that earlier today myself without having read this article. CiJ] Some of the mistakes were made by him. His expectations of Obama were created by him. He thought that Obama would take the Palestinian side. ... I can understand his feelings of disappointment," Peres said.

Peres said he told Abbas at one point that "postponing peace negotiations is playing with fire. He says that he has time. Something will happen to start an intifada and the two sides will have lost an opportunity."

Peres said he told Abbas, "Start the negotiations. What are you going to lose? It's impossible to have a happy end at the beginning."
I can just imagine Peres and Storr commiserating over poor Abu's hurt feelings.... Please....

But Abu Bluff has different ideas.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has proposed that the Obama administration negotiate the final borders of a Palestinian state with Israel, a Palestinian official said Wednesday, as a US envoy headed to the region for another attempt to restart Mideast peace talks.

Such a proxy arrangement could provide a way around the current deadlock over reviving Israeli-Palestinian talks, which broke off more than a year ago. Abbas says he won't return to the table without a complete Israeli settlement freeze, something Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to do.
And what will happen at the end of those 'negotiations'? Israel will give Abu Bluff how much land in return for what? What kind of 'peace' will it be if it can't even be negotiated between the parties? The whole idea is absurd. Let's hope that Obama isn't desperate enough to try to take him up on it.

What could go wrong?


Haaretz adds:
As an alternative, U.S. officials could replace Palestinian negotiators in border talks with Israel, said an Abbas aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the content of internal meetings. The U.S. negotiators would be given clear parameters, the aide said.

The state would have to be established in the territories Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast War - the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem - but the Palestinians would agree to swap up to 3 percent of the territory to accommodate some Israeli settlements, the aide said.

Abbas made the proposal in recent meetings with Egyptian officials who passed the idea along to Washington, the aide said. It was not clear how the Americans reacted.

Officials at the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, which serves the West Bank, had no comment.
The Boston Globe adds:
Meanwhile, Netanyahu said yesterday that Israel must have a presence in the West Bank to stop rockets from being imported even after a peace agreement is achieved - the first time such a demand has been spelled out.

He said the experience of rocket attacks from the Lebanese and Gaza borders means Israel must be able to prevent such weapons from being brought into any future Palestinian state in the West Bank.

“We cannot afford to have that across from the center of our country,’’ he told foreign reporters in Jerusalem.

“In the case of a future settlement with the Palestinians, this will require an Israeli presence on the eastern side of a prospective Palestinian state.’’
And the odds of the 'Palestinians' agreeing to an Israeli 'presence' in the 'West Bank' (actually, he said the Jordan Valley) are somewhere between slim and none.


At 8:31 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The Palestinians don't want peace. And in the post-Goldstone Era, the prospect Israel will give up the Jordan Valley range from slim to none.


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