PLO approves proximity talks

Posted: May 9, 2010 by Jonathan Boyko in Israel, Palestinians, Peace Process, West Bank
Tags: , ,

Will the proximity talks fail? Having little choice but acceptance, Palestine Liberation Organization agreed to begin indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinians:

PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ right-hand man, Yasser Abed Rabbo, said the decision was "mostly premised on pledges and guarantees made by the Americans to the Palestinian side in respect to the issue of settlements and the basis for negotiations – Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, the Road Map, and the Arab peace initiative."


IN THE PAST, Palestinians were criticizing Israel for not beginning negotiations, and the reason was pure condition in the Palestinian Autonomy – the economy tanked, the restrictions on population were great. Now that Israel eased many of the restrictions and the businesses are flourishing, Abbas is in no hurry to negotiate and with Obama in office, feels the strength of his position and his ability to pressure the Israelis. Thus, the circus of “deliberations” was unnecessary, but Abbas believed he should have illustrated the “democratic ways” of the Palestinian entity.

From his side, Netanyahu plays along, saying outright that the indirect negotiations should lead to direct ones:

In a statement on behalf of the PM, Netanyahu said that "Israel’s position was, and still is, that the talks should be managed with no pre-conditions, and that they should lead to direct negotiations soon."

Earlier, Defense Minister Ehud Barak issued a statement also lauding the Palestinian approval of talks.

"I hope and believe that through an approach of responsibility and willingness to take the tough decisions required of both sides, we shall reach direct talks and a breakthrough towards an agreement," he said.


However, the arrogance of both sides – especially Palestinians, lauding “five-star occupation” – will get the people nowhere, and the negotiations are likely to stall. Unless Abbas recognizes Israel as a Jewish state, the whole deal will not go any further. Yes, there are dangers for Abbas personally in taking such a step. But if there is to be peace sometime, won’t he have to take this step anyway?


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