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Monday, January 02, 2012

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result

In the wee hours of Sunday morning, I reported that 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen is willing to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu. That may well turn out to be the case... eventually. As I was about to report when I crashed on Sunday night, Israeli and 'Palestinian' negotiators are going to meet this week in Jordan.
According to Petra, Jordan’s official news agency, Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh will host a joint meeting with the Israeli and Palestinian officials, along with the representatives of the Quartet, followed by a second Israeli-Palestinian meeting, this time without a Quartet presence.

Jordanian Foreign Ministry spokesman Muhammad al-Kayed was quoted by Petra as saying the purpose of the meetings was to find common ground enabling a resumption of talks that will “achieve a Palestinian-Israeli peace accord that embodies the two- state solution and addresses all final status issues by the end of 2012." The Quartet, in its statement from September 23 establishing a framework for direct talks, set the end of 2012 as a deadline for reaching an agreement.

Kayed said Jordan’s King Abdullah II pushed hard for the talks during his November meetings in Ramallah with PA President Mahmoud Abbas, and in Amman with President Shimon Peres.

The Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement thanking King Abudllah and Judeh for their initiative in convening the meetings “in accordance with the Quartet’s framework.” One official said that Jordan’s positive involvement in the diplomatic process, at a time when Islamism was on the march in Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt, sent an important message of moderation.
The meeting is to take place on Tuesday.
The meeting will come well before January 26, the newest deadline on the diplomatic calendar. This day marks the end of a 90-day period the Quartet gave the sides to come up with “comprehensive proposals on territory and security.”

The Palestinians interpreted this to mean that both sides were to come up independently -- without direct negotiations -- with proposals on territory and security and give them to the Quartet. This interpretation was recently backed up by the EU, prompting a Foreign Ministry statement saying that the EU was risking becoming irrelevant in the diplomatic process.

Israel’s interpretation, backed up by Washington, was that the comprehensive proposals were to be put forward after 90 days of intensive direct talks between the sides. The hope in Jerusalem is that Tuesday’s meeting will mark the beginning of this intensive negotiation.
Let's stop fooling ourselves with deadlines. When and if a deal happens, it will happen. Setting deadlines is irrelevant. And it's not going to happen so long as Abu Mazen thinks he can get away with not negotiating with Prime Minister Netanyahu. That much is for sure.

And the title of this post? Well, that came from Hillary Clinton, who right on cue is muttering platitudes about not missing this 'opportunity.' Clinton's statement includes something every Israeli has now figured out is a lie. Clinton claims that the status quo is 'unsustainable.'
"We welcome and support this positive development. I applaud the efforts of the [Jordanian] King [Abdullah] and Foreign Minister [Nasser] Judeh to bring the parties together and encourage them to approach these meetings constructively," the US secretary of state said.

Clinton added: "We are hopeful that this direct exchange can help move us forward on the pathway proposed by the Quartet. As the [US] President [Barack Obama] and I have said before, the need for a lasting peace is more urgent than ever. The status quo is not sustainable and the parties must act boldly to advance the cause of peace."
When Clinton says that the status quo is 'unsustainable,' it is clear to all of us that she is talking to Israelis. It is also clear to all of us that she is wrong. The status quo has done quite well since 2006, and if it is attacked, it is unlikely to be attacked (at least right now) from Judea and Samaria, where most people are concentrating on making a living. So long as the 'Palestinian Authority' is weak, the IDF is there to prevent a Hamas takeover and the security fence is in place, the status quo will do just fine in Judea and Samaria and we Israelis all know it.

As to the 'Palestinians,' they're biding their time until they believe that - God forbid - they are strong enough to wipe us out, which is why there is no deal they will make.
The Palestinian Authority, however, tempered expectations of the meeting, emphasizing that it did not signify a renewal of negotiations.

Wasl Abu Yossef, a senior figure in Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's umbrella PLO executive, described Tuesday's meeting as a forum for the sides to "offer their positions on security and borders" as requested by the Quartet in October.

"This is not a resumption of negotiations," Abu Yossef told Reuters in Ramallah, the seat of Abbas's administration.

Erekat said the meeting would be "part of ongoing Jordanian efforts to compel Israel to comply with its international legal obligations ... specifically its obligation to freeze all settlement construction".
What could go wrong?

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