Israelis, Palestinians see talks fail

Posted: May 6, 2010 by Jonathan Boyko in International, Israel, Palestinians, Peace Process, US, West Bank
Tags: , , ,

Olmert. Offered all he could - and then some No supernatural powers are required to see the “proximity talks” between Israeli and Palestinians are a non-started. With both sides saying the talks won’t go far, any effort is destined to fail:

“This won’t work,” [Deputy Premier Dan] Meridor told the Post. “And I think the Americans tell this to the Palestinians. I think the corridor we go through, the entrance we go through to the [direct] talks – indirect talks, proximity talks – will not yield results. I hope yes, but think not. Everyone will want to pull America to their own side, and they won’t get closer, [rather] they will get farther apart…

“I think we need to go quickly to direct talks, in which we’ll have to make tough decisions, and they will have to make tough decisions,” Meridor said.

(Jerusalem Post)

MERIDOR THEN WENT on to say that instead of smaller steps, both sides should go for a blitzkrieg of negotiations, during which both sides would have to make tough decision. Surprisingly, he was somewhat echoed by Palestinian PM Mahmoud Abbas:

Abbas gave the talks four months to make progress. After that, he said, he will seek Arab League advice on next steps.

"We said the indirect negotiations will last only four months," Abbas said. "After that, we will go to the Arab League to consult on whether to continue or what to do."

The Palestinians have refused to hold direct talks with Israel until it freezes all Jewish construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem – areas the Palestinians want for a future state along with the Gaza Strip.


The Americans, however, want to postpone the “tough” part for as long as possible, as illustrated by President Obama’s advisor David Axelrod:

David Axelrod, top political advisor to the US president, said during a press conference with reporters from Jewish media channels that Obama agrees "Jerusalem as an issue can’t be the first issue for negotiations."

Axelrod said the issue of Jerusalem should "probably be the last" issue. Thus he toed Israel’s line, according to which this is a particularly sensitive issue, and should therefore be left until other core issues have been agreed on – first and foremost the issue of borders.


Probably being the toughest of all, the issue of Jerusalem is the toughest for Israelis, as many older-generation citizens of the capital remember constant bombardment from Jordan-controlled West Bank. With Israeli Parliament within few miles of future Palestinian Al-Quds, and Palestinians gaining access to increasingly sophisticated weaponry, the Israelis fear for both own safety and that of Jewish holy sites. During Palestinian takeover of several Jewish religious locations, those were burned and destroyed by the Muslim mob.

Unlike any previous round of negotiations, no one seems to be optimistic, including Obama administration. Palestinians, from their side, know Israel will not offer more than what they were offered by Olmert – that is, 96% of the West Bank, all of Gaza and the rest 4%exchanged for Israeli land. Netanyahu knows that Abbas will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state, as it would end his political career and – probably – his life, as he is likely to be executed by his own men for betraying cause for Palestine. Hamas would certainly use the opportunity to blame Abbas for sleeping with the Zionists and the Americans, thus gaining points with Palestinian population.

Of course, Abbas could take the tough role and explain to his people that hatred is all good and hip – but it might not be worth dying for. Unfortunately, Abbas is not a revolutionary – just a corrupt politicians.

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