Powered by WebAds

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Israel is winning the 'blame game'

There has been a subtle shift in the 'direct talks' reports Politico's Ben Smith, but from Israel's perspective that shift could be the most important one of all: Israel is winning the 'blame game' for the talks' failure.
Last summer, Israel owned the dead cat. Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made plain their view that Netanyahu’s failure to stop all settlement construction on the West Bank was the obstacle to resumed talks, and after an ill-timed construction announcement, Clinton’s office released details of the unusual 43-minute tongue-lashing she delivered to the Israeli.

Obama then brought Netanyahu and Abbas to the White House early this month with the exhortation to begin direct talks. Looming over the celebratory announcement that they would was the impending expiration of Israel’s moratorium on new settlement construction.

Now that the moratorium has expired, the Obama administration has completed a subtle tilt toward Israel’s point of view. The problem is no longer Israel’s actions: It’s the Palestinian insistence that one issue – settlements – be resolved before talks can begin.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is now feeling some of the heat reserved last year for Netanyahu, and facing the prospect that if he fulfills his promise to withdraw from talks, he will bear the full blame for their collapse.

“The onus is on the Palestinians not to walk away. That’s not fair but it’s the way it is,” said Hussein Ibish, a fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine, which backs the talks. “There are people on both sides who have no confidence [in the peace process] and so the name of the game is who gets blamed. Which is why the Palestinian can say a million times that they’ll walk out — but they can’t.”
Read the whole thing.

It's beginning to look more and more like Abu Mazen is going to walk away from the talks. For the last week, I've expected him to keep repeating a mantra that hides behind the Arab League, makes no commitments, and just keeps saying that he will abide by whatever the Arab League decides. But instead, Abu Mazen and his negotiating team, especially Yasser Abed Rabbo, keep repeating over and over again how they 'cannot' negotiate without a freeze in place. Unless the Arab League decides to save Abu Mazen by overruling him, I think he has backed himself into a corner where he must walk away.

If Abu Mazen does walk away, I would say that we get a respite from the Obama administration for a couple of months anyway. No, it doesn't mean the game is over. But for now, Advantage Bibi.


At 3:08 AM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Israel kicked over the rock and showed the worms by leaving Leb and Gaza, as clamored for by the lefties. The rest of the population in the U.S. and I'd say the EU sat and watched the bus bombers and the rockets... even though the govts of the EU and Russia (and a scattering number of U.S. govt people) stand with the enemies of Israel, the polls say that there is not public support for pressuring Israel into accepting attacks on civilians or for giving up more land with the previous result.

At 4:14 AM, Blogger Eema to 3 said...

Obama is trying to win back some of the Jewish vote for November.

At 7:00 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

I've the same thoughts.

If the Palestinians walk away, the revanants can build full speed and the Palestinians will be in a worse position the next time.

Their all or nothing strategy has historically nullified the advantage that normally comes with being the victim.

The problem is the zero sum game mentality in Arab thinking that holds a win for Israel is a loss for the Arabs. They really can't see a situation in which both sides benefit.

That said, I'm not crying tears over Abu Bluff's walking away from direct peace talks. He has made his bed and now has to lie down in it.

At 10:50 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's UN speech was harshly criticized by Israel's Left, including Haaretz's Aluff Benn.

This is what he said in a subsequent interview with Israel TV's Channel 2:

"I was talking about facts, about views that represent the majority of Israeli citizens, out of a clear position that it is better to say truth even when it is bitter,"said Lieberman. "I think that things were taken exactly as they should be."

Lieberman added: "We have to stop apologizing and looking for where we are guilty. The other side does not want peace and wastes time. The truth is not always pleasant but it needs to be told."

I happen to agree with him completely. I don't think there is a single person in Israel or even among most of the Septet who disagrees with his analysis. One may not like the truth but it had to be said. The problem is most Israeli politicians treat their countrymen like children and are afraid to level with them. The truth is we're not going to have peace with the Palestinians in our generation. Its better to get it out there than cling to illusions the other side wants the same thing Israeli Jews do.

It does not. That should be clear to every one who has been following for sometime the direct talks.


Post a Comment

<< Home