8 thoughts on “Abbas and Arab League On Verge of Pulling Plug on Peace Talks – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. 50,000 new homes around Jerusalem beyond the Green Line? This must convince anyone who still thought that East Jerusalem would be the capital of a future Palestinian state that it is simply never going to happen.

    What will happen though? With settlement expansion continuing also elsewhere in the West Bank, with all the restrictions on movements of Palestinians anywhere near these settlements, with absolutely no sovereignty in Area C of the West Bank (ca 60 % of it) etc – all that will be left for Palestinians to exist in are the major towns and a few number of villages near them in much less than 40 % of the West Bank but with a US government funded Palestinians-only road network (such as the new road being built around the Gush Etzion settlement block) connecting them. And the grim Gaza Strip of course.

    What would we do if that was to be our future? Can anyone think of similar examples elsewhere in world (eg I don't know much about South Africa but they didn't have segregated road networks, did they)? Does anyone have an idea what term would best describe this severe physical and political confinement?

  2. Oh – and I forgot to mention the industrial zones – existing and planned – inside the West Bank run by Israeli and international companies that are taking advantage of the 'competative' Palestinian labour force.

  3. Netanyahu does not believe what every rational politician in the world believes, that Israel cannot survive long-term as an imposed single state.

    He doesn't believe that there is any emergency, and that there is a great deal of risk internally of moderating.

    It is very unlikely that the vast majority of the Israeli or American public will adopt the radical view of Israel as oppressor only, rather than in conflict. But, it is possible to appeal to the majority of Israeli and American public opinion to advocate for peace and for legal individual rights.

    I read the BDS demands yesterday, and there is an interpretation that is perfectly reasonable to me.

    1. End the occupation of the West Bank (in the context of a comprehensive peace)
    2. Grant equal rights to all Israeli citizens (and one would assume to minorities in Palestine as well)
    3. Grant right of return and citizenship to all that were dispossessed of land and/or homes from 1948 Israel, and allow all their day in court to address specific land and other title claims.

    Each of those is doable without risking the Zionist nature of Israel.

    It can only be considered vanity why Israel doesn't proceed on that. Of course, when those claims are presented in the vague terms that they often are, allowing misconceptions about what they mean ("occupation of any part of hoped Palestine". "Elimination of all not-for-profit assistance or recruiting of Jewish immigration. "Right of return to Israel of any that call themselves Palestinian, wherever they've lived their whole lives or where their families lived."

    Vague vs clear is the difference between a mass and compelling movement and a fringe and angry one.

  4. On the one hand, staying away from the negotiations after such an obviously intentional provocation would probably be the dignified thing to do. On the other hand, it's of course exactly that reaction which Netanyahu (who most definitely knew about this and likely approved of the timing personally) tries to provoke. Essentially it's the "giving terrorists what they want" dilemma.

    What Abbas should do in my opinion, instead of just cancelling the talks: Denounce Netanyahu as the liar he is. Openly, viciously ridicule Biden for his toadying up to Israel. Make it absolutely clear that the US is about as far from being a mediator as it is from the Ile St Paul – as far as possible on this planet. Don't be shy on insulting, biting sarcasm and condescension. And then, after you're done, announce your continued willingness to engage in proximity talks.

    Play Netanyahu's game. Slap them in the face, then insist you're ready for negotiations. The worst thing that can happen is that *they* cancel the talks.

    1. Oh, sure. Is it also your opinion that Abbas is his own man, and can talk truth to power? Who do you think pays Abbas to keep his mouth shut and do Israel's bidding? Israel and the U.S.! And if you think Biden is upset, you can't tell a bad actor from a good one. He's on the same stage with Obama, participating in the same play: "F**k the Arabs."

      1. No, I realize the above won't happen. I merely voiced what *should* happen.
        I never said I thought Biden was upset, though he might have been. But certainly not upset about Palestinians being pushed from their land, neither about Israel torpedoing the chances for a two-state solution. Upset about how he might look like a sucker – at best.

  5. Abbas would never denounce anybody; he has no credibility in Palestine, anyway. He deserves to be ignored. What is truly disgusting here is that the US, "honest broker" that it claims to be, is supporting the bantustanization of the West Bank by building those Palestinian-only roads. What liars on all sides!

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