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Friday, August 12, 2011

Good cop, bad cop

The 'Palestinians' tried to play the good cop, bad cop game with Congress this week, with unelected Prime Minister Salam Fayyad playing the good cop and 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen playing the bad cop.
The Palestinian leadership sent mixed messages to a Democratic Congressional delegation visiting Ramallah, with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad saying that no decision on the UN bid in September has been finalized, while PA President Mahmoud Abbas gave the impression that going to the UN was a done deal.

"Fayyad said that the decision to go to the UN had not been made, in other words had not been finalized, which we were pleased to hear," US Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MA), the head of the delegation, told The Jerusalem Post shortly after the talks.

"Then we met with Abbas for about an hour and a half, and the discussions were different from Fayyad in the sense that he talked throughout as if the decision had been made, and that they were going to the UN," Hoyer said.

Hoyer, who co-authored a Congressional resolution last month with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) against a Palestinian unilateral move at the UN, said that he and some other members of the delegation told Abbas they felt a move at the UN would be a "destabilizing effort," and that both Israel and the Palestinians agreed in the past that the only way to solve difference was through bilateral negotiations.

Hoyer said that the delegation "indicated" that a PA decision to go to the UN "would be unwise and that the Congress would be very concerned about that happening, and might take action."

When asked what kind of action, Hoyer said "funding."

Hoyer held out the possibility that while budgetary funding to the PA might be stopped, it might not be stopped for security training. A judgment would have to be made, he said, whether cutting off funding for security might not be "cutting off one's nose to spite one's face. Undermining security in the West Bank may have an adverse consequence in Israel."

Abbas, according to Hoyer, said that there are no negotiations now because Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has placed pre-conditions, specifically a demand that there be an IDF presence in the Jordan Valley.
That last bit is a load of nonsense. Israel hasn't demanded anything as a precondition to coming to the table. It's the 'Palestinians' who have demanded preconditions before they come to the table: a 'settlement freeze,' using the 1949 armistice lines as a basis for 'negotiations,' etc. Those are the preconditions here. Israel sets out what its goals are at the negotiating table but is more than willing to talk regardless of whether the 'Palestinians' accept them.

Abu Bluff knows the difference. He also knows that he cut off negotiations because Israel refused to comply with his precondition by extending the ten-month 'settlement freeze,' the first nine months of which he wasted. Does Congress see through this? We can only hope.

I'm also uncomfortable with Hoyer saying that Congress might continue 'security aid' because if they're not going to cooperate with us (and after September they may well not cooperate with us), we are better off sending the IDF back in and not having an armed 'Palestinian' force there.

But let's give Hoyer some credit: He had something good to say on Jerusalem.
Hoyer, the House of Representative's Democratic Whip, said that Wednesday night's decision to approve 1,600 units in Ramat Shlomo came up only "tangentially" in the talks. "They made a reference to it, and very frankly did not spend much time on it."

Regarding his own view of the decision, Hoyer said "it is not reasonable to believe that a city over 44 years does not grow and need housing for its people. So I am not surprised that additional housing units are provided for." Hoyer said that while this complicated "to some degree the continuing attempts to resolve the differences, over 44 years populations grow."
At least someone has some common sense. Now, if only he could talk some sense into the Executive branch....

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