Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Israeli-Palestinian Talks Break Down - And The Back Story They're Not Telling You

The Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations came to a standstill as Israel refused to extend its unilateral 10 month concession of a building freeze in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria (AKA the West Bank)indefinitely and 'Palestinian' leader Mahmoud Abbas left New York after delivering an ultimatum that he would break off direct talks unless Israel announced it would continue the freeze.

This kind of tactic makes perfect sense for Abbas and the 'Palestinians' revanchist goals of obtaining everything they want from the current negotiations while giving no concessions in return.

The 'Palestinians' have continued to build on land in Jerusalem and in the disputed areas of Judea and Samaria all during the freeze without the international community saying a word, and it's obvious that they expect to get the entire West Bank area and East Jerusalem in their entirety while giving up nothing except a signature on a few pieces of paper.'Palestinian' spokesholes like Nabil Shaath and Saeb Erekat constantly refer to Israel building on 'their' land as if the entire process was just a comedy prelude to Israel capitulating to their demands in full.

Since Abbas and Fatah were aware from the first that the Israeli freeze was a one time special offer available for a limited time only, it's quite obvious that they planned this kabuki crisis in advance.

There's no downside whatever for them. If Israel capitulated, Abbas could simply pocket another concession without giving up anything, one that allows them to build while the Israelis do not, thus altering the facts on the ground and weakening the Israeli government strategically and politically. And then Mahmoud Abbas could boast in Arabic to cheering crowds in Ramallah about how he had stood up to the Jews. On the other hand, if Israel refused to extend the freeze, Abbas would have the excuse he wanted to break off direct talks while blaming Israel for 'ending the peace process', aided by the usual suspects. And Mahmoud Abbas could boast in Arabic to cheering crowds in Ramallah about how he had stood up to the Jews.

Meanwhile the aid money continues to flow into the Palestinian occupied areas of Judea and Samaria..and part of the equation Abbas and the Palestinians figured on is that they can count on Barack Obama not to make any real demands on them whatsoever.

The Israelis understand all this quite well, which is exactly why they decided to not to renew the freeze. From their standpoint, they already made a major concession under pressure from Obama that cost them a great deal politically just to get Abbas to direct talks, and there's no upside for them in continuing it.

As things stand right now, the Obama Administration is desperately trying to salvage something out of the mess.

Mahmoud Abbas basically told the Americans that he was holding off formally breaking the talks off until he met with the Arab league on October 4th. The Americans tried floating a compromise by Abbas regarding limited construction in just some areas,or a limited extension of a couple of months, but Abbas turned them down cold.

Meanwhile Arab-American envoy George Mitchell is headed to Jerusalem and scheduled to meet with Israeli PM Netanyahu tomorrow. The chatter is that SecState Hillary Clinton spoke with Netanyahu twice yesterday and made a proposal that would include U.S. guarantees over core issues in the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians on any Palestinian 'right of return', security arrangements and recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. In return for the American guarantees, Israel would extend the freeze.

Now, if I were Benyamin Netanyahu, all I'd have to do is flash back a few months to see what any guarantees coming from the Obama Administration were worth. And according to a number of sources, Netanyahu was not favorably impressed and did not provide a positive response.But then, they likely talked about more than that.

It turns out that Abbas and the 'Palestinians' were playing a double game of their own behind Clinton's back.

Abbas sent a high level Fatah delegation to Syria led by long time Abbas confidant Azzam al Ahmad, a high ranking member of Fatah's central committee for secret talks with top Hamas leaders, including Hamas head Khalid Meshaal. After assuring Meshaal that what happened in Washington and Egypt between the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and Israel were not negotiations but just preliminary meetings over negotiations, Ahmad got down to the real business of working out a reconciliation between Fatah and the genocidal Hamas and beginning the coordination of strategy for more joint 'armed resistance' measures. Indeed Meshaal went on record today saying that Hamas was going to 'kill all illegal Israeli settlers'.

According to at least one of my sources, other participants in the powwow included Hamas chief Mussa Abu Marzouk, who is a fugitive terrorist wanted by the US for laundering money for Hamas in America and Izzat Rishak, who reportedly planned and orchestrated the attacks that left five Israeli civilians dead when the peace talks first started at the end of August.

Needless to say, the Israelis are fuming over this development and understandably so. With one hand Abbas is issuing ultimatums and making pious noises about negotiations while with the other he's downplaying the peace talks and negotiating on a partnership with a bunch of Hamas terrorists whose intentions are anything but peaceful.

And I'd be very surprised in Netanyahu didn't discuss this with Secretary Clinton and if the conversation doesn't continue with Mitchell tomorrow.

For her part, Clinton tried to salvage something by flying to Syria and wooing the Assad regime by offering to 'fold' peace negotiations between Israel and Syria into the mix. However, Syria's minimum precondition for even meeting with Israel involves a surrender of the strategic Golan Heights, which isn't going to happen.

As Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem told Mrs. Clinton, the the Middle East Peace talks are 'a dead letter'.

Assad already knows the US is in retreat in Iraq and in political trouble at home. And an alliance between Fatah and Hamas that Syria and Iran can use to their own advantage against Israel and against American interests in the region suits them quite well.

Needless to say, you're getting none of this from the dinosaur media. It doesn't fit the narrative of intransigent Jews 'killing the peace talks. '

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