From the beginning, this blog has predicted that the Israeli – Palestinian peace talks would go down the drain. That’s where the negotiations now appear to be.
While the story has not appeared to make much media news in the last month, the events have certainly been worthy of attention. On March 26, the Arab League announced full backing of the Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. This position reflects the Palestinian maneuvering to give them a back door to leave the conference table. Of course, recognition of their right to exist as been the fundamental number one requirement of Israel even before the talks began.
As the former Jewish diplomat Abba Eban once said, “the Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”
Stated in the blog for March 10, American Secretary of State John Kerry returned with a trade-off deal in which Israel would offer the Palestinians East Jerusalem as their capital in return for their recognition of Israel as a valid state. While painful for both sides, Kerry’s plan would have provided a breakthrough for final negotiations. Kerry met with PA President Mahmoud Abbas only hours before he addressed the Arab League, but his position was rejected out of hand by Abbas.
You have to give Secretary Kerry and A for effort, but and F for insight into where there negotiations would go before they even started. This blog regretfully perceived failure from the start. Following the Arab League statement Kerry told reporters that he intends to continue pushing forward and that it is too early to draw any conclusions or make any judgments on what has happened. What else can he say?
The Palestinian Authority announced it will begin attempts to join 15 international organizations because Israel has refused to release the fourth and final group of Palestinian prisoners that the PA calls heroes and Israel calls terrorists. This was a tit-for-tat response on the PA’s part. Because they can’t get started at the negotiating table, the PA has tried these end-around plays before. However, from the beginning, Israel made it clear that prisoner release depended on progress in the negotiations. When it came down to the final crunch, the Palestinians remained where they have always been.
The problem that much of the world refuses to recognize is that the Palestinians have one major objective. Israel must be pushed into the Sea. People may accuse Israel of this-or-that, but how can any nation ignore the refusal of an adversary to give up their hostile intentions? Peace in the Middle East remains at an impasse between the two bodies over this fundamental problem. The rest of the negotiations are window dressing compared to this singular issue.
Both sides will jockey for the best PR possible for why the talks drift toward the sunset. Finger-pointing will become pronounced and we will be back to where we were during the days of Hillary Clinton. The bottom line is that Israel continues to prosper; the PA doesn’t. The population of Jerusalem has grown over Tel Aviv and both cities are prosperous. The PA struggles to pay their bills. This problem can only increase.
Sorry. That’s where the situation appears to be.