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Sunday, May 04, 2014

'Unnamed US officials' blame Israel for talks' collapse, green light new intifada

Shavua tov, a good week once again. I have a few minutes before my two hours of sleep before I start my day with a trip to the airport.

An appalling piece in YNet based on interviews by Nahum Barnea with two anonymous officials - most likely Martin Indyk and David Makovsky (Makovsky did the maps referenced in the interview using Google Earth in 2011) places the blame for the collapse of the 'peace talks' on the 'settlements' and gives a green light to a new 'Palestinian' intifadeh.
The American version of why the current round of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians failed is fundamentally different to the one presented by Israeli officials. The list of those to blame for this failure is also very different. From the US perspective, the issue of the settlements was largely to blame.
The Israeli government made no response to the American plan, and avoided drawing its own border outline.

The criticism against the Israeli government is presented in terms of wounds inflicted by a friend who could still be trusted: Israel is very dear to them, but the wounds are deep. 

"There are a lot of reasons for the peace effort's failure, but people in Israel shouldn't ignore the bitter truth - the primary sabotage came from the settlements. The Palestinians don't believe that Israel really intends to let them found a state when, at the same time, it is building settlements on the territory meant for that state. We're talking about the announcement of 14,000 housing units, no less. Only now, after talks blew up, did we learn that this is also about expropriating land on a large scale. That does not reconcile with the agreement.

"At this point, it's very hard to see how the negotiations could be renewed, let alone lead to an agreement. Towards the end, Abbas demanded a three-month freeze on settlement construction. His working assumption was that if an accord is reached, Israel could build along the new border as it pleases. But the Israelis said no."  
"There was a massive effort on our part to pull the wagon out of the deep quicksand it was stuck in. But the reality here hit us hard. Neither side had a sense of urgency. Kerry was the only one who felt a sense of urgency, and that was not enough."

Were you surprised when you discovered that the Israelis don't really care what happens in the negotiations?

"Yes, we were surprised. It surprised us all along the way. When (Moshe) Ya'alon, your defense minister, said that the only thing Kerry wants is to win a Nobel Prize, the insult was great. We were doing this for you and for the Palestinians. Of course, there were also American interests at play.
It almost sounds like you wish for an intifada.

"Quite the opposite, it would be a tragedy. The Jewish people are supposed to be smart; it is true that they're also considered a stubborn nation. You're supposed to know how to read the map: In the 21st century, the world will not keep tolerating the Israeli occupation. The occupation threatens Israel's status in the world and threatens Israel as a Jewish state."
The world is being self-righteous. It closes its eyes to China's takeover of Tibet, it stutters at what Russia's doing to Ukraine.

"Israel is not China. It was founded by a UN resolution. Its prosperity depends on the way it is viewed by the international community." 

"Abbas reached the conclusion that there was nothing for him in such an agreement. He's 79 years old. He has reached the last chapter of his life. He's tired. He was willing to give the process one final chance, but found, according to him, that he has no partner on the Israeli side. His legacy won't include a peace agreement with Israel.

"In February, Abbas arrived at a Paris hotel for a meeting with Kerry. He had a lingering serious cold. 'I'm under a lot of pressure,' he complained. 'I'm sick of this.' He rejected all of Kerry's ideas. A month later, in March, he was invited to the White House. Obama presented the American-formulated principles verbally - not in writing. Abbas refused.

"The claim on your side that Abbas was avoiding making decisions is not true. He wasn't running away, he was just stuck." 

What concessions?

"He agreed to a demilitarized state; he agreed to the border outline so 80 percent of settlers would continue living in Israeli territory; he agreed for Israel to keep security sensitive areas (mostly in the Jordan Valley - NB) for five years, and then the United States would take over. He accepted the fact that in the Israeli perception, the Palestinians would never be trustworthy.
"He also agreed that the Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem would remain under Israeli sovereignty, and agreed that the return of Palestinians to Israel would depend on Israeli willingness. 'Israel won't be flooded with refugees,' he promised.

"He told us: 'Tell me if there's another Arab leader that would have agreed to what I agreed to. I won't make any more concessions until Israel agrees to the three following terms:

  • Outlining the borders would be the first topic under discussion. It would be agreed upon within three months.
  • A timeframe would be set for the evacuation of Israelis from sovereign Palestinian territories (Israel had agreed to complete the evacuation of Sinai within three years).
  • Israel will agree to have East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.
The Israelis would not agree to any of the three demands."
Read the whole thing.

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At 7:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"He [Abbas] also agreed that the Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem would remain under Israeli sovereignty, and agreed that the return of Palestinians to Israel would depend on Israeli willingness. 'Israel won't be flooded with refugees,' he promised."

Really? While, with American approval or at least understanding, Abbas demands that Israel build nothing in East Jerusalem, absolutely refuses to "accept the Zionist narrative," closes ranks with Hamas and publicly and repeatedly declares that millions defined as "refugees" will precisely flood Israel, ceaselessly demands the Jews stop "Judaizing Jerusalem" while the PA insists the "Zionists" give up rights to the Kotel?


Whether the American "intermediaries" are mendacious or merely credulous their blathering elitist bromides--Israel exists solely right of the
UN and not its own history or national rights, not to mention self-defense against UN enabled Arab wars of liquidation--inspire no confidence.

Far better that they simply move their chairs squeak squeak and join the Fatah side of the table in any future negotiations if this dreck is their Weltenschauung.

As for this never ending good-cop bad-cop habit of turning their much declared friendship for Israel into a stick with portents of American "re-evaluation" in the face of Zionist apartheid obstinacy-caused international delegitimization and Palestinian intifada, well the American leadership and the Jewish prince poodles adorning its laps will just have to do what they gotta do.

At 4:43 PM, Blogger Marvin said...

To quote Hilary: "What difference does it make?" Kerry, Obama and the whole state dept. can blame Israel for anything they want or think of. But, the bottom line is very simple: The PA leadership from top to bottom kept repeating that this is the first step to eliminating Israel. So, again, What difference does it make?


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