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Statehood Threat Looming, Talks Called For

Can they pick up where they left off?

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Today in Tel Aviv, a right-wing protester (R) argues with a left-wing one (L) who also happens to be the daughter of Moshe Dayan.(Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images))

When we checked in a week ago on the poker hand that the Mideast peace process has evolved into, the Palestinian Authority’s pledge to take their case for statehood to the U.N. General Assembly in September was most plausibly seen less as its actual Plan A and more as a threat—and, perhaps, a bluff—designed to prod concessions from the Americans and the Israelis. A week later, this blockbuster report from the White House finds the Americans and Israelis practically tripping over each other to offer a peace plan first, though there is cause to believe that the U.S. may yet fall on the side of not offering one (though Secretary of State Clinton seems to be doing all she can to make it a foregone conclusion), and there is also cause to believe that when Prime Minister Netanyahu addresses a joint meeting of Congress next month—at the invitation of Republican Speaker John Boehner (cue electioneering music)—he may not offer a particularly bold plan while thousands of miles away from his actual constituents.

For now, the Palestinian plan has been articulated as follows: No violent uprising (since international opinion is particularly important right now) and the strategy of taking its case come September to the actually binding U.N. Security Council, which basically amounts to a dare for the Obama administration, which clearly wants a Palestinian state and could use good P.R. in the Arab world but has also insisted statehood must come after negotiations with Israel, to veto it.

And pressure continues on Israel, with the so-called Quartet threatening to recognize a Palestinian state in the absence of a peace deal (although again this would require American approval, and as of last week the U.S. was halting the Quartet from making overly ambitious statements). Within Israel, respected intellectuals and artists have called for the two sides to pick up where they left off in 2008, when then-Prime Minister Olmert and President Abbas seemed to be pretty close on a number of key issues; the group clashed today in Tel Aviv with right-wing counter-protesters.

At the Forward, J.J. Goldberg takes stock of the two side’s positions. Personally, I can’t help but agree with his barbs concerning Bibi’s intransigence, which is especially destructive in the context of the U.N. threat (Bibi’s personal demeanor, which has led him to personally tangle with President Obama, hasn’t helped, either). However, what I think Goldberg, as well as all others who call for the 2008 negotiations to be resumed, fail to appreciate is the extent to which any sort of deal that would be acceptable not only to Bibi but to any conceivable Israeli leader would be unpopular among the Palestinian people; and at a time when people in the Arab world have found effective yet necessarily destabilizing ways to express their unpopularity at their leaders’ decisions, I sympathize with Netanyahu’s reluctance to strike a deal that could prove the suicide of the Palestinian Authority’s comparatively moderate leadership. It is telling that Hamas, the ultimate inconvenient fact of the peace process, is not mentioned once in Goldberg’s piece.

Obama and Netanyahu Maneuver Over Who Should Offer a New Peace Plan [NYT]
Clinton: Talks Are The Only Way To Establish Mideast Peace [Haaretz]
Palestinians Will Seek Security Council Approval for Membership If No Peace [AP/WP]
Report: Quartet May Formally Recognize Palestinian State if Peace Talks Not Renewed [LAT/Haaretz]
Israeli Luminaries Press for a Palestinian State [NYT]
Left and Right Clash at Tel Aviv Rally To Support Palestinian State [Haaretz]
As the Palestinians Pursue Statehood, Israel Won’t Take ‘Yes’ for an Answer [Forward]
Earlier: The Palestinian Statehood Bluff

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It’s a common psychological dynamic. Confronted with an intractable and wearying problem–in this case the iron refusal of Hamas to accept Israel as a bona fide state–you discharge your anger on the party that is amenable to your wishes and designs. In this case, that lightning rod is Israel, not, paradoxically, because they haven’t made concessions in the past, or withdrawn from disputed territory, but because they have. They are the movable object, so we concentrate our anger on them when they drag their feet.

I’m all for an immediate withdrawal from the territories. But there will never be peace so long as there are A’jads and Haniyas, and Nasrallahs, and westerners who coddle them.

pheldermaus says:

Interesting choice of words for the title: “statehood threat”… why is a palestinian self-determination is a threat? Why isn’t Israel the first one to not only congratulate, but to sincerely and actively support them?

The Israeli political language is one of rejection of any Arab, Palestinian or Intl. suggestions regarding the conflict resolution. nothing proactive, nothing positive and nothing constructive.

http://rottenjewishapple.blogspot.com/2011/04/about-bees-and-israeli-logic.html

pheldermaus, you political illiterate, because the Israelis have, on two occasions, offered the Palestinians the generously delineated contours of an autonomous state, only to be rebuffed, first by Arafat, then by Abbas. How stupefyingly ignorant of recent history can you possibly be?

But don’t take my word for it. Unaccustomed as you obviously are at cracking open a book, you might try Bill Clinton’s memoirs for a description of Arafat’s rejection of Israel’s peace offer, notwithstanding the best efforts of Arafat’s Arab colleagues. Prince Bandar, of Saudi Arabia, called Arafat’s act a crime against the people of the region.

It is apologists like you who, far from aiding the Palestinians, actually do them the worst possible harm, by convincing them that they needn’t bear any responsibility for their own fate, victims as they are of Israeli aggression without the means of representing their own interests in a non-violent way.

If the Palestinians hadn’t been jacked up on hateful rhetoric like yours, that papers over historical reality, they might have tried peaceful protest, like the citizens of Lebanon, and Syria, and Egypt, and Tunisia, etc.

But why isn’t it they can’t seem to do what nearly every country around them has? Why is it they continue to fire missiles and projectiles blindly into Israel, or deploy suicide bombers to kill civilians?

I think it’s leftist cheerleaders like you who romanticize that kind of violence, depicting it as heroic and effective, rather than the bloody dead end that it is and always will be.

I suppose the obvious must be belabored in a case like yours, pheldermaus, that by ‘statehood’ and ‘threat’, Marc is referring only to the Palestinian’s professed willingness to declare statehood through the vehicle of the United Nations, without negotiation, which they have boycotted for a year now, on the specious grounds that the disposition of settlements which had formerly been agreed on by both parties now represents an insuperable barrier to even meeting.

That Israel supports the creation of a Palestinian state even Netanyahu concedes.

But, by all means, continue to embarrass yourself, pheldermaus.

fledermaus says:

@fw

thank you for demonstrating my point about language.
you say : “on two occasions, offered the Palestinians the generously delineated contours of an autonomous state…”
look at the words ‘offered’ and ‘generously’ – as if Israel is handing out candies to poor kids out of the goodness of its heart. your condescension is well rooted in the pro-israel language, so I don’t blame you.

I completely understand your fear and anxiety. Israel got one magor stap of approval in the UN general assembly (Nov 29 1947 – still celebrated today) and the palestinians are going to do just the same. you understand the palestinian ‘threat’ as a going to the UN without negotiation. so what? did Israel negotiate with the palestinans before going to the UN in 47 or did it just lobbied the superpowers? I detect some double-standarts there…

Finally, Israel is de-facto doing the best it can to kill any remote possibility for a pal state. If sure even Netanyahu believed himself when he gave the ‘brave’ (15 years late) speech about two states, but I rather listen to someone with some honesty – like Liberman.

AIPAC cant get out of this one…. but you are well trained!

http://rottenjewishapple.blogspot.com/

Gene says:

Signing “declaration of independence” had no other purpose but to provoke. They got what they wanted.

Are we really being critical of the use of language when our website is called rottenjewishapple? Just how many people do you suppose actually take you seriously, with a name like that? I guess the same number who read David Duke regularly. But the like-minded prefer one another’s company, don’t they?

It’s funny, your first post radiates a kind of wounded earnestness. Why, just why you ask, with indignant perplexity, doesn’t Israel support the Palestinians? I can almost hear Nancy Kerrigan’s plaintive cry in the background.

And then you revert to character and append that spectacularly ugly link to it. It’s a little incongruous, my slow-witted friend, playing the righteously angry liberal while simultaneously invoking red-hot antisemitism. But go ahead; I’m sure the inconsistency doesn’t trouble someone whose readership will blithely conclude that white has turned to black, if they can blame the Jews for it.

Your fantasy history doesn’t even warrant a response. Not in these precincts, where at least half the readership, including myself, has been yearning for Palestinian state for far longer than you are likely to have been familiar with the issue. The @fw nomenclature would seem to give you away as someone young. Torture the facts as you will, your chronology is selective, distorted, incomplete and tendentious.

We don’t do training here, my simple friend. We merely have a common affinity for the truth.

tillkan says:

Such ignorant commenters: “they might have tried peaceful protest.” They do this every week in the West Bank and most months one peaceful protester or another is murdered by the IDF.

Jehudah Ben-Israel says:

Israel, driven all along by the intent to reach an accommodation of peaceful coexistence between Arab and Jew, between the Muslim-Arab world, local and regional, and the nation-state of the Jewish people, Israel, has made more than just symbolic gestures towards the Arabs of Eretz Israel (Land of Israel).

The very fact that Israel has agreed to set up an independent Arab state within the boundaries of Eretz Israel and preceded it with the establishment of a Palestinian Authority has been a major gesture and, as we now know, a very risky one as a result of which thousands of Jews lost their lives.

Permitting this new entity to hold light-armed “police” force and operate in these territories has been a major real step and a risky one at that as well. Members of this force are the once who opened fire at Israeli police forces and killed them, 1996, and were actively involved in the campaign-of-attrition-through-terror initiated by their leader, Arafat, and managed to mass murder civilian Jewish citizens of Israel.

And, in 2005 Israel made the biggest and most deadly gestures of all: It expelled the Jews who lived in the Gaza Strip and handed on a silver platter the entire territory to the Palestinian Authority, only to see the number, quality and distance of the rockets fired from Gaza at the Jewish civilian population of Israel intensified.

It is time to draw some red lines and cease being the Jews of the Galut, bowing down, kissing the feet of the Paritz and apologizing of the fact that we exist. It is time to stand tall and demand:

1) Accept Israel’s right to be, to exist as the nation-state of the Jewish people

2) Accept any peace treaty as the ‘end of the conflict’

3) Accept a peace accord as the ‘end of all future demands’

And, it is high time we demanded that on the basis of which all peace talks and gestures of good will have been made: The implementation, as is, of UN Security Council Resolution, 242!!

Jehudah Ben-Israel says:

P.S. I am yet to hear of a single gesture of good will Israel received from the Arabs…!!

Gene says:

I don’t understand why everybody is getting so excited. It is unlikely that Palestinians will ask UN to recognize palestinian state in September and if they will do – it will good for Israel (that is why they won’t). The recognition of the state requires to “recognize” certain borders. However, SC resolution 242 demands those borders to be “secure”. (check it out, second paragraph) (that is the difference between now and 1947; in 1947 there was no resolution 242 and no such demand). Can UN guarantee security without peace agreement? If not than recognition of the Palestinian state within certain borders (any borders) will be illegal according to the international law and UN own charter. Israel can bring UN to the international court of justice for breaking its own resolutions. Besides, declaring Palestinian state automatically resolves “problem” with Palestinian refugees (they cannot be refugees in their own country). In such case Palestinians and palestinian masters from the Gulf States will lose their main demand and with it their ability to destruct their own population from real problems. Would they go for it? These and many other pitfalls cast significant doubt on the possibility of declaration of the Palestinian state by UN in September.

MARTY says:

ISRAEL HAS MADE SOME HUGE MISTAKES IN THE PAST BUT PROBABLY ONE OF THE BIGGEST WAS GIVING GAZA TO THE ARABS. NOW WHEN THE NEW ARAB STATE IS FORMED ISRAEL WILL HAVE TO HAVE AN ARAB ZONE RUNNING DOWN THE MIDDLE OR IT’S NATION. A ZONE CONTROLLED BY A SWORM EMEMY RUNNING THROUGH THE HEART OF YOUR HOME LAND IS JUST CRAZY.
ISRAEL NEEDS TO SWAP PARTS OF THE WEST BANK FOR GAZA & MOVE EVERY ARAB OUT OF GAZA, SET BOUNDARIES FOR THE NEW STATE & GET THE HELL OUT OF IT & ALLOW THE ARABS TO GOVERN OR KILL EACH OTHER WITHOUT ISRAEL BEING INVOLVED AT ALL…
THE ARABS HAVE BEEN KILLING THEMSELVES FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS & GIVING THEM A NEW STATE WILL DO NOTHING TO STOP THE KILLING.

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Statehood Threat Looming, Talks Called For

Can they pick up where they left off?

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