Memo to Ethan Bronner: Peace Talks are Dead
Ever one to put a high gloss on news unfavorable to Israel, Ethan Bronner’s latest report on the Israel-Palestine peace negotiations avoids the obvious–that they’re dead.
Saeed Barnoura of the International Middle East Media Center wrote after today’s failure of George Mitchell’s latest round of talks:
United States Middle East Peace Envoy, George Mitchell, left the Middle East on Friday without achieving any breakthrough in the troubled direct Palestinian-Israeli peace talks.
Mitchell could not convince Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to extend the freeze on settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories.
He said that direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are on hold, but reiterated the commitment of the U.S. Administration to support indirect talks between the two sides.
Contrast that with Bronner happy-talk:
The Obama administration’s Middle East envoy left Jerusalem empty-handed on Friday after intensive efforts to save Palestinian-Israeli peace talks that have run aground on Israel’s decision to allow a freeze on West Bank Jewish settlement construction to expire.
After two meetings each with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, the envoy, George J. Mitchell, said all sides would keep talking.
If the talks are on hold then the sides aren’t talking. You can’t have it both ways. And if you read further in Bronner’s report you see that Mitchell didn’t say quite what Bronner has him say. He really said:
“Despite that [failure] we will continue with determination.”
That just means that the U.S. isn’t giving up and hopes neither side will give up. It doesn’t mean they’ll continue talking, at least not at the negotiating table. Nowhere in Bronner’s article does he use the term “suspended,” “failed” or anything remotely like that to describe the current status. I thought a good reporter is supposed to tell you the news clearly and succinctly. I guess for Bronner that doesn’t include news that isn’t so good for Israel. For such news you can obfuscate and shilly-shally around the obvious.
What he does do is provide Israel’s brief for why settlement-building isn’t such a big deal for the Palestinians to get so hot and bothered about:
The built-up areas make up only 2 percent to 3 percent of the West Bank, and Mr. Netanyahu is arguing that the 2,000 or so housing units that might be built in the coming year while a final agreement was being negotiated would matter little in the end. If the talks stop, the building would be likely to increase.
An earlier NY Times report listed all the goodies which the U.S. was offering Bibi to extend the freeze. Guns, butter, the list was sickening; just about everything except what Bibi seems to covet above all else: Jonathan Pollard. I’m astonished that weeks before a crucial U.S. mid-term election Bibi is so politically tone-deaf as to demand freedom for America’s worst post-war spy. In fact, the very thought of this is an insult not just to Obama, but the American people. But it would only be an insult to them if Obama actually capitulated and freed Pollard. There would be howls of protest. Imagine freeing this man in return for the equivalent of a mess of porridge: a four-week extension of the freeze. The very thought of it is preposterous.
What I’ve written about this before is: sure, I’d trade Pollard in return for something. But not a measly four weeks. I’d trade him for a final peace agreement involving an Israeli return to 1967 borders and sharing Jerusalem as the capital of Palestinian and Jewish states. I’d give up Pollard in a heartbeat for that.
Pollard for Mossad Chief
I can just see it now: Pollard returns to Israel to a heroes welcome with Bibi and his ex-Mossad handler, Rafi Eitan, meeting him at Ben Gurion. Afterward, Rafi announces that he’s reviving his failed political party, the Pensioners’ movement so that he and Pollard can run on the same ticket for Knesset. And then when Israel rallies to their cause, they can join a new government with Pollard serving as the new Mossad chief or Defense Minister.
After all, the current chief, Meir Dagan is being sacked for the Dubai assassination fiasco and Bibi’s looking for a new top spook. The timing would be perfect and it would seem only fitting to name Pollard to the role since he’s performed such extraordinary service on Mossad’s behalf. My only regret is that Meyer Lansky’s passed. If he were still alive he’d make a perfect Justice minister. And while we’re at it, why not Irving Moskowitz for settlements minister?
26 thoughts on “Memo to Ethan Bronner: Peace Talks are Dead – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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Richard, the consistent flaw in all your arguments and discussions on this blog is “……… Palestinian and Jewish states.” It ain’t ever gonna happen. Nor should it.
Thank you, Gene.
Or how ’bout this trade?
Jonathan Pollard for 2 months of a fake freeze + Marwan Barghouti + Mordechai Vanunu
How ’bout this trade?
10 Month freeze on construction in territories beyond the 1967 border in the hopes that it encourages direct negotiations.
How ’bout simply admitting that there is no point in negotiating how the pizza, which by all rights belongs to the Palestinians in the first place, is going to be divided while Israel keeps taking bite after bite out of it.
Richard, unless the Palestinians would abandon the right of return issue, these talks are were bound to fail before they even began. no one in the Israel would support that, very few people in the world would support that Palestinian demand.
Abu-Mazen has no other choice but to jump out of the talks before they will get to the point at which the right of return will be discussed.
Israeli settlements were never an obstacle when peace process was involved, israel cleared all the settlements in Sinai after the peace agreement with the Egyptians was signed, Israel evicted all the settlements from the gaza strip and the northern part of the shomron.
so really PLO decision makes no sense.
Oh, please, cut out that bullshit. The colonies in the West Bank (which includes East Jerusalem) were from the beginning, always have been, and continue to be intended to permanently obviate the creation of a Palestinian state. To claim that the core problem is not Israel’s determination to transform the OPT into Jewish territory and incorporate it into Israel defies all reason. To claim that the real problem is the right of return issue is either delusional or irredeemably dishonest.
No they won’t nor should they. Actually, the Geneva Accord spells out a Right of Return and its overall provisions were supported by 40% of Israelis according to polling in Israel. I guess you didn’t read that, did you? Even more people in the rest of the world would support the Geneva Accords.
Are you saying that Israel considers the W. Bank settlements to be of as little significance as those in Sinai & Gaza? You know that’s not true & you know that Bibi doesn’t want to clear any of these settlements in order to secure peace.
Negotiations? what negotiations?
Please read the commentaries about the REAL negotiations.
It seems that Bibi’s ONLY subject was Israel’s security.
No other subject was even mentioned. Until everyone had had enough.
Netanyahu has NEVER hidden his intentions. There will be negotiations over his dead body, the rest is just smoke screen to give a “SEMBLANCE’ that ‘SOMETHING” is being negotiated
More wasted time, until the next blow up and the finger pointing
Cojones anyone? anyone?
That shows, by the way, how these negotiations are viewed by the Netanyahu administration:
a) They knew the Palestinian side’s announcement about leaving the talks as soon settlement building resumed.
b) They knew the only sensible way around this would be to discuss land swaps first, and hammer out an agreement on this subject in the month during which the “freeze” was still in effect. If they had done that, they could then have proceeded with building in those areas Israel would receive in the swap.
c) Nevertheless, any time the Palestinian negotiators tried to bring up the subject of borders, the Israeli side evaded.
Netanyahu’s aims, from the very start, were to:
a) Sabotage the negotiations.
b) Pin the blame on the Palestinian side.
c) Continue and expand the settlement enterprise.
You, of course, are assuming that the Palestinians would accept the Geneva terms for the “right of return”. There is no basis whatsoever for assuming that. No Israelis will accept an unrestricted right of return and no Palestinian leaders has ever said he would accept restrictions on it.
BTW-40% is a minority.
Umm, you mean “no basis” other than the fact that the very Palestinians who signed the Geneva Accords & devised the Right of Return formula it contains would be neogitating on behalf of the Abbas gov’t?? Is that why you made the absurd claim that these same leaders would turn their backs on the provisions of a document they publicly signed to much fanfare???
Richard, with respect to the refugee issue i suggest you will get yourself familiar with a recent ruling of the European Humanitarian court (from march 2010) who denied the right of return from Cyprus refugees. same idea applies here.
as for the settlements, Moshe dayan once stated :its better to have sharm-el-shaikh with no peace, then a peace without sharm-el-shaikh, based on that one can understand the importance of the settlements in Sinai. despite that, they were evicted, and so would the settlements in the west bank.
history proves that.
First of all, why do all you Hasbaristas have that kind of pseudos ? There’s been an ‘objective’, an ‘moderate’ or something like that and now ‘analyser’. You’re not analysing anything, you spreading total bull… propaganda.
The Palestinian ROR has nothing to do with the European Humanitarian Court. When do you guys understand that the Palestinian refugees have a special right of return. If you don’t like it, complain to the UN, you know that internationational institution who created Israel too.
His e mail address includes this: “Analyze shit.”
No, the European Court of Human Rights did not deny the “right of return” to Greek Cypriot refugees. ECHR ruled on a case where refugees from the part of the island now under Turkish control were claiming back their property, and the ruling stated that they should either present their claims before the Turkish authorities in Northern Cyprus or await a political solution of the Cypriot crisis. The ECHR did not rule on what that solution should be, in part wuth regard to the refugee problem. The ECHR is simply not an authority to rule on political conflicts, it can only address the human rights aspects thereof.
I suggest that you’re full of nonsense (& note you haven’t provided any link so that anyone can tell whether or not you’re making a legitimate claim). Thanks to Mena for pointing out what the ruling really said rather than yr self-interested interpretation. Besides, Palestinian refugees are not the same as Cypriot refugees though I’d like to read the hasbarist publication fr. which this came to see how they attempt to equate them.
As for Moshe Dayan, he’s dead. Last I checked, Jews don’t worship the dead so no need to pay due deference to his views. You can argue all you want about the relative importance of various settlements to Israel, but any reasonable person knows that the West Bank settlements are sacred to the Israeli far right. The Sinai settlements were not & hence the relative ease w. which Begin parted w. ’em.
These blah-blah-blah ‘peace talks’ are programmed to fit the US political agenda; nothing else; and they will go blowing in the wind like all the other US-sponsored (and controlled) ‘peace talks’ over the past 20 years or so.
It’s time to get the US out of this process, and put someone with some sense in charge.
@ Deïr Yassin
thanks for elaborating, what you are saying is there is one set of rules that apply to the world, according to which conflicts around the world are judged, and there is another set of rules under which Israel is judged. to me it sounds like antisemitism.
@ Menni, the ECHR stated that the changing political situation supersedes the right of the refugees to their home and land, and sent the refugees to complain to Turkey. we all know what that will get them.
“There is another set of rules under which Israel is judged. To me it sounds like antisemitism”.
Yeah, it sure does. And how does White Phosporus, ethnic cleansing and killing of innocent civilians sound to you. From the “international community” it’s the Sound of Silence !
Well, if you can find another case in history where the UN gave 55% of an indigenous territory to people coming from another continent within less than 70 years prior to the Partition.
If you can then find another UN Partition Plan that had to go through 3 rounds before obtaining the necessary votes, including pressure, literally black-mailing and lobbying between the second and the third round.
If you then can find a country being admitted to the UN under the condition of accepting a resolution and who still 62 years later, is only doing as it pleases, then we’ll eventually discuss the ‘antisemitism’ of the Palestinian ROR.
Richard, stating that Palestinian refugees are different then Cypriot refugees without offering any reason is no more then cheap propaganda. are they 2 feet taller ? do they have horns ? both became refugees after hostilities same thing.
as for the European court decision here it is:
Palestinians are not Cypriots, don’t live on Cyprus, didn’t experience the same history. Nothing in common. You didn’t answer my question which was where did you pick up this little propaganda talking pt? You clearly didn’t make this up yrself or create the notion yrself. ‘Fess up, my friend. Who put you up to it?
Not to mention that the ruling doesn’t say what you claim it says. Other than that you’re home free.
Ah, but what goes around comes around. Others might say that those words can describe the quality of yr own analysis.
my email includes Analyze Shit as a reflection of the level of analysis on many of the blogs i read.
That seems closer to the level of your own analysis most of the time.
Richard,here is the conclusion from the court’s decision
for these reasons, the court
decides unanimously to joint the applications
declares by a majority the application inadmissible
you are becoming lazy Richard old boy.
talking about BS analysis please go back and read your own “kill switch” analysis.
Didn’t you read Mena’s comment. The court DID NOT rule on whether they had a right of return. It only ruled that there were other means of addressing the claim than through this particular court. Again, your claim was not only wrong, since you’ve continued repeating it after being told it was, you’re being mendacious. Do this again & you’ll face moderation.