Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Peace now?

The name of the Israeli "Peace Camp" has been Peace Now for the past almost 30 years. It is an idiotic name as it implies that if Israel wants it can make "peace now". The only problem is that the Palestinians don't want Peace Now.

Saeb Erekat, Palestinian Chief Negotiator, is quoted in the Jordanian newspapers as saying that the Palestinians are in no hurry. Israel is slowly but surely caving in to the PA positions and therefore the Palestinians need to be patient.

Saeb Ereqat: We Have No Reason to Hurry

Saeb Ereqat: Over the Years, Israel Has Gradually Withdrawn from Its Positions; Therefore, We Have No Reason to Hurry

In a June 25, 2009 interview with the Jordanian daily Al-Dustour, Palestinian Authority negotiations department head Saeb Ereqat said that the previous Israeli government, under Ehud Olmert, had offered PA President Mahmoud 'Abbas territory equal in size to 100% of the land occupied in 1967, by means of a land swap. Ereqat explained, however, that the PA would not agree to a land swap before Israel recognized the Palestinians' right to sovereignty over all the territory occupied in 1967. He added that there had been a steady erosion in Israel's position over the years, to the point that it had recently offered the Palestinians 100% of the territory; therefore, the Palestinians had no reason to rush into accepting the Israeli proposals. He stressed that the Right of Return and monetary compensation for the refugees were not mutually exclusive, and that the Palestinians would insist on receiving both.

Here is 1 short excerpt from the interview:

"[Some ask] where the negotiations with the Israeli side have brought us. First [the Israelis] said we would [only have the right to] run our own schools and hospitals. Then they consented to give us 66% [of the occupied territories].

"At Camp David they offered 90%, and [recently] they offered 100%. So why should we hurry, after the all the injustice we have suffered?

The Israeli government needs to understand that they are negotiating with themselves. The Palestinians have not offered a single real concession while every time the Palestinians say no Israel comes back with a new concession.


abiebaby said...

The Number 1 Rule in negotiating is not to bid against yourself.

When Ehud Barak's offer was not even dignified with a counteroffer, Israel should have said, "You have our phone number--call us when you are ready to make a counteroffer," a la US Secretary of State Jim Baker. (Of course, he also said "F--- the Jews; they didn't vote for us.")

Netanyahu would still be waiting for the phone call.

Israel should ask the PA for "cofidence building" measures before it goes back to the table. The US and the EU are always Israel for them.

The Leader, Garnel Ironheart said...

The problem is that Israel is held to a double standard. Arab lack of cooperation is dismissed. Israeli lack of cooperation is tracked and condemned as a war crime.

Erekat is right. Israel has crossed almost every red line it set in 1993 (all of them if you belive the rumours of what Olmert was trying to give away) while the Arabs have not budged one inch from their original positions.

The key to Netanyahu running a successful and popular government is for him to announce the following:
1) Reb Abbas, since we still seem to be holding all the cards, here's our phone number. Call me when you're ready to give up your demands.
2) My fellow Israelis, it's time we stopped worrying about our enemies and started worrying about ourselves. I'm therefore going to ignore any false peace initiatives and concentrate on rebuilding the Israeli educational system, cleaning up the environment, reducing secular-religious tensions...

I guarantee that like any spoiled child deprived of attention, the Arabs will immediately scream and yell!