Thursday, April 03, 2014
Yes, The Peace Talks Are Dead - And An Opportunity For Real Peace Comes Alive
While neither side has formally acknowledged it, the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are dead, and even John Kerry has thrown in the towel.
The Obama Team would never admit it, but they're fully aware that it was Palestine's unelected dictator Mahmoud Abbas that pulled the trigger and ended the talks, and his own controlled Palestinian media proudly admits it. Both Palestinian and Israeli media outlets on Thursday night quoted Abbas as saying, “I would rather become a martyr” than rescind the applications he signed on Tuesday to join 15 UN and other international treaties and conventions.
Which of course means the talks are over, since that was the sole concession Abbas was willing to give in order to even participate in the negotiations, and he had to be bribed with the release of over 100 convicted terrorist killers in Israeli custody to even do that much.
Kerry and the rest of the Obama team managed to arm twist the Israelis into discussing a further release of convicted terrorists along with releasing the fourth batch provided Abbas rescinded the UN membership applications and agreed to extend the deadline of the talks.
Instead of agreeing to what amounted to another gimmee, Abbas came out with a whole new set of pre-conditions to continue talks, conditions he knew no Israeli government could accept. According to Abbas' own Palestinian News Agency Ma'an, the new pre-conditions included formal Israeli recognition of the borders of 'Palestine' as the pre-67 lines with all of East Jerusalem as its capitol; the release of 1,200 Palestinian prisoners including convicted terrorist leaders Marwan Barghouti, Fuad Shweiki and Ahmad Saadat; a Israeli building freeze in East Jerusalem and all of Judea and Samaria; Israeli citizenship for 15,000 Palestinians under a 'family reunification program' essentially a recognition of a Palestinian 'right of return'; the end of Israel’s blockade of Hamas in Gaza; the right of return for PLO terrorists who were exiled to European countries under an agreement between the EU and Israel after the 2002 Palestinian siege of the Church of the Nativity; forbidding the IDF to enter Area A, the part of Judea and Samaria under PA control which would essentially create an escape zone for terrorists after attacks on Israelis since the PA has never jailed anyone for murdering an Israeli; and Palestinian control of parts of Area C, the areas now under full Israeli sovereignty.
And that was just to continue listening to Abbas say no for another few months!
Kerry's deputy Martin Indyk mediated a nine hour meeting between head Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, Head of Palestinian intelligence Majid Faraj, and Israeli negotiators Tzipi Livni and Yitzhak Molcho and tried to cable together some semblance of a reasonable platform, but he was yelled down by the Palestinian negotiators and the entire meeting turned into a shouting match, with even the ever flexible Tzipi Livni unable to contain herself. At one point, Livni reportedly demanded of Erekat that Abbas rescind the applications to the 15 UN organizations and conventions he'd submitted in order to negotiate any other preconditions. Erekat flatly refused, and Livni announced the next day that Israel would definitely not release that fourth batch of convicted Palestinian terrorists.
When Indyk tried to reason with the Palestinians, saying that any agreement had to consider Israel's security considerations, Faraj snapped back that the Palestinians weren't there to discuss Israeli security, but to negotiate over a timetable to get all of their demands met.
Things went quickly downhill from there, with the Palestinians threatening to join even more international bodies and take prosecute Israel for 'war crimes' at the International Criminal Court and the Israelis promising retaliation if they did so.
Abbas never had any intention of actually negotiating. Even Saeb Erekat admitted earlier this month that Abbas was staying in the talks just to get the terrorist releases.
Kerry. for his part has pretty much given up, saying in Algiers during his North African trip, "You can facilitate, you can push, you can nudge, but the parties themselves have to make fundamental decisions to compromise."
In a way, I almost feel sorry for him. The real author of this fiasco was none other than President Barack Obama.The 'nudge and pushing' , and indeed the threats were reserved for Israel, while Abbas and the PLO got nothing but concessions and applause from the White House. Had President Obama told Abbas during their last meeting that yet another refusal to meet the Israelis half way was going to entail real consequences for Abbas and the PA, the talks just might have been salvaged. Instead the president stuck to his preferred role as the Palestinian's lawyer and community organizer and left Kerry to deal with the mess the president created.
This will end up in the UN. And contrary to the president's remarks about not being able to defend Israel in international forums, a simple look at the UN Charter shows that the US can easily veto statehood for Abbas' corrupt little apartheid reichlet, just like any other permanent member of the Security Council. I have my own ideas how that particular brawl will end up going, but we'll see.
As it is right now, Israel needs to work on the divorce, end any serious discussion of the Two State mirage and secure its rights in Judea and Samaria as well as its national security. That should have happened a long time ago. Israel needs to unilaterally mark out its own borders, annex those areas, bring any Jews on the Arab side of the line to the Jewish side and move any non-Israeli Arab citizens to the other side, perhaps with property compensation.Then build the land and defend it.
The odd part is that it might actually work for the Palestinian's benefit. Abbas and the rest of the corrupt Fatah crew are on the way out with the money they stole. An autonomous Palestine might even decide that its best chance for peace and prosperity would be better relations with Israel.
Would there be a lot of international posturing? Media outrage? Of course there would, for a time. I can literally smell the likes of Tom Friedman and Peter Beinart from here. But much of the world, particularly the EU is tired of 'Palestine', they can't financially support it any more, they have their own problems to solve and many of them are ready to move on after the obligatory lip service.
That's how the question of 'Palestine' needs to be settled once and for all, in the same way every other question involving refugees has been settled throughout history. This ought to be the last time the Arabs who identify themselves as Palestinians have an opportunity to miss an opportunity, with all the blood and treasure involved each time they do. Enough.
Real peace beckons..it's time Israel embraced it.