by Barry Rubin
Shouldn't this farce teach us a lesson? The leaders of France, Germany, Italy, the United States and others have telephoned Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas and begged him, pleaded with him:
Oh, please please--one can imagine them saying--negotiate with Israel so we can give you a state as soon as possible. We will give you a lot of gifts if you do it, so we can then bestow even more goodies on you!
And Abbas says "No!"
Why? Why if Palestinians are so eager for a two-state solution, for a country of their own, for ending the "horrible" "occupation" (which mostly ended in 1994-1996), putting a stop to the "suffering" of their people, putting a stop to violence, enabling their children to go to school, raising living standards, and all the other benefits of putting an end to this long-standing conflict?
Why? Why? If it is
Because it is precisely the PA, and Hamas of course, that is sustaining the conflict. It refuses to make peace because:
--It still hopes for total victory.
--It believes that if it can sabotage a negotiated agreement there will be an imposed one giving the PA everything it wants without compromise or concession on its part.
--It doesn't want to end the conflict forever, accept less than 100 percent of British mandatory
--It fears that any compromise will ensure that the PA, or the individual leaders who make a deal, is branded as a traitor.
And here, too, is the PA openly thwarting President Barack Obama, who publicly bristles at the tiniest Israeli disagreement, yet seems to accept this disrespect without demur.
Sooner or later, there will probably be direct talks--as there were from 1992 to 2000--and the PA will simply ensure that these fail. But it it fascinating to see how long Abbas will hold out. When he first came to
Yet I'll bet most Western journalists and academics would (wrongly) say that Abbas wants a negotiated peace and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doesn't.
Moreover, the Arab League meeting was a step backward. It is generally being reported as giving the green light for Abbas to negotiate with
What is needed is a paradigm shift in the West to bring public views--in private, government officials often admit that the Palestinians are the problem behind the failure to achieve peace--into line with daily observable reality.
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.