Saturday, July 20, 2013

Let the Peace Processing Continue!

Mike L.

The snippet below was written and published by by Reuters and Jerusalem Post staff.
Israel has agreed to a long-standing Palestinian demand to release Palestinian prisoners in order to resume peace talks, but will not yield on other central issues, International Relations Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Saturday.

US Secretary of State John Kerry announced Friday that Israel and the Palestinians have laid the groundwork for renewed direct peace talks, some three years after the previous attempt at negotiations fell apart.

"There will be some release of prisoners," Steinitz told Israel Radio. "I don't want to give numbers but there will be heavyweight prisoners who have been in jail for dozens of years," he said. The release would be carried out in phases, he added.

Palestinians have long demanded that Israel free prisoners held since before 1993, when the two sides signed the Oslo Accords - a interim deal intended to lead to an independent state the Palestinians seek in east Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
I don't know about you, but I find myself just a tad skeptical about all this.  First off, Israel should not be releasing Jihadis with blood on their hands.  What does it say about the local Arabs that they demand the release of murderers before they are willing to negotiate peace?  What does it say about the actual prospect for peace?  Not much, I am afraid.

Meanwhile over at Y-Net Yitzhak Benhorin is absolutely crowing.
They said he was boring, they called him a diplomatic Don Quixote and advised him to forsake a lost cause and turn his attention to Syria, Egypt and Iran. But John Kerry's persistence paid off and proved all the cynics wrong.

While President Barack Obama questioned Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas's true willingness to make peace, Kerry was determined to end the Israel-Palestinian stalemate. Washington dared him to try.

Critics remarked that anyone who failed to beat George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election could hardly be expected to make any real progress in the Middle East peace process.

But the man who wanted to be president had spent years at the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee which prepared him for his grueling shuttle diplomacy that on Friday resulted in the announcement of the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
The only thing wrong with Benhorin's rather smug analysis is that it may not actually reflect reality on the ground.

In the Jerusalem Post we read this:
Senior PLO official Wasel Abu Youssef said of Kerry's initiative, "The announcement today did not mean the return to negotiations. It meant efforts would continue to secure the achievement of Palestinian demands ... Israel must recognize the 1967 borders."
Furthermore, of course, even if Netanyahu and Abbas can come to some reasonable compromise, Hamas will certainly not be on-board.

I wouldn't get my hopes up if I were you.


  1. There may be talks but there won't be peace.

    Israeli concessions will not moderate the Arabs and the Arabs have no real interest in peace.

    Jews are negotiating after all with the descendants of the Nazi Mufti - and they're still resolved as he was to annihilate the Jews.

    For that reason alone, peace is impossible.

  2. As Harold Rhode said:

    The Palestinians: Both Arafat and Abu Mazen, both of whom have led the Palestinian people, cannot sign any agreement with Israel to end the Israel-Palestinian conflict and recognize Israel and a Jewish state. When, at Camp David in 2000, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered Arafat 97% of everything said he wanted, Arafat jumped up and said that he could not sign such an agreement: he "didn't want to have tea with Sadat" – a reference to the Egyptian leader who had been assassinated at least partially for having signed an agreement with Israel. Arafat knew that had he signed, he would have been regarded as having backed down from a confrontation and therefore shamed; been considered a traitor by his people, and most likely killed.

    U.S. President Clinton, in a display of how little he really understood about leadership and the values of the Middle East, looked on at Arafat's reaction in amazement. But no compromise would have been possible. Egypt, during its negotiations with Israel for the peace treaty signed in 1981, held out for 100% of what it asked for -- and got it. Had Arafat gotten 100% of what we wanted, Israel would no longer exist.

    The same holds true for the Palestinian Authority's current leader, Abu Mazen, to whom, later, Israeli Prime Minister Olmert offered an even better deal than had been offered to Arafat. Condolezza Rice, like President Clinton, also look on in amazement at Mahmoud Abbas's reaction. (For more on Rice's views on Abbas, see her book No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington)

    The same condition continues to hold true today. Why Secretary of State Kerry and the Obama administration believe they can persuade Abbas sign an agreement guaranteeing Israel's right to exist in any form is astonishing. These leaders can lead only so long as they are not perceived as a shamed sell-out and traitor.

    It is pointless, therefore, for Western and Israeli political leaders to try to provide Middle Eastern leaders with incentives to reach compromises where, in Western eyes all sides win, but in Middle Eastern eyes -- to their fellow Arabs and Muslims -- their side loses. Sadly, in the Middle East, there are only win-lose/lose-win resolutions -- with the winner talking all and the loser losing all. One can hope there might in the future be an Islamic reformation to overturn this cultural demand, but so long as the Islamic Middle East does not truly believe it needs to change, a shift that deeply revolutionary is highly unlikely.

    For those that say it is racist to see Palestinians this way, as unwilling to compromise, I would ask for even one example where Palestinians have manifested their intent to have peace. It seems they are only interested in presenting grievances.

    I would also ask why you look for specks or Israeli dust while trodding over Palestinian dirt.

    I would not release prisoners because they become the heroes and leaders. If nothing results from the agreement to agree to talk, then the Palestinians get something for nothing, likely the intent all along.

    Wish it was otherwise, but we in the West did not make the Arab mentality as acted out. They did it all by themselves.

  3. Not again!!!

    Please spare me.

    How many more murderers are we going to release back to continue to go back to work?

  4. If Israel has to release terrorists who murdered Jews to get the Arabs to sit down at the table, of what value are talks?

    Prime Minister Netanyahu is an incredibly stupid man if he really believes his own nonsense:

    "Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called the resumption of talks with the Palestinians "a vital and strategic interest" for Israel."

    What vital and strategic interest does Israel have in releasing mass murderers from prison in exchange for nothing? What vital and strategic interest does Israel have in giving away Jewish land to those who would use it as a base to destroy Israel? What vital and strategic interest does Israel have in creating another Hamastan next to Jerusalem and major Israeli population centers? I'm hard pressed to identify any benefit accruing to Israel out of these talks. They won't lead to peace.

    And if Israel refuses as she must - Arab demands to commit national suicide, Israel will be blamed for the breakdown of the talks! The Arabs won't be blamed for their own intransigence. Put quite simply, the time is not ripe for peace in the Middle East. Not in our own lifetime.

    1. "And if Israel refuses as she must - Arab demands to commit national suicide, Israel will be blamed for the breakdown of the talks! The Arabs won't be blamed for their own intransigence."

      I feel very much like Israel is strolling into a trap and, in fact, strolling into the same trap that we saw with Oslo.

      This could all very easily lead to a lot of dead Jews and dead Arabs, but the Jews will get the blame, hatred toward Israel will increase around the world, and the EU will lead the effort to delegitimize the Jewish State.

      What we may very well see going forward is what you predict and what I have been predicting for awhile.

      If there are talks they will not lead to peace but to blood and to the further undermining of the legitimacy of Israel throughout the world, just as it happened the last time around.

      I firmly believe that Israel, in as diplomatic a manner as possible, must take matters into its own hands and declare its final borders, whatever those borders might be.

      My sense of foreboding is beginning to increase.

      Let's hope that I am wrong.

    2. I think we are getting closer to the time that this wave will crest and the tide will turn toward those that believe human rights are for the individual and universal in scope.

      No one knows what will happen, but once relativism is finally repudiated at least there will be a chance against those that pursue an ideology that demands tolerance without giving it and coerces us, even the relativists, to submit.

  5. Iran will announce a breakout nuclear capability before the end of the year. When that happens the Arabs will walk away hoping Iranian threats will do their talking for them. It will also represent Assad and Hezbollah's final conquest over the 'rebels' in Syria. And with a Hezbollah victory Lebanon completes its devolution to a fully sharia state. Obama will announce an accelerated timetable to bail 100% on Afghanistan and pull the $7 billion a year we spend in and on Pakistan. The signs say that Iraq, which is close to a civil war today could get worse or better with a nuclear Iran. It's unclear. John Kerry will be on his 12th trip to Ramallah. The progressive media in the US will of course scream about those goddamn Jews and yell that they are the root of all the world's problems. The UN will pass 67 more condemnations of Israel while the regional body count outside of Israel presses into the low 7 figures by the end of 2014.

    Obama's solution to extricating the US from the Mideast is to leave the whole place a smoking hole in the ground. I'm putting the probability of nuclear terrorism somewhere in the Mideast sometime during Obama's remaining term at 7:3 against, or 30%

  6. Notification:

    It seems that the link to the documentary, which is posted on YouTube, that I listed earlier has been blocked to Israelis.

    Here is a link to the documentary on Vimeo:


    1. Again (as this documentary documents): Fatah-PLO is a Nazi organization. Literally.

    2. Dan, thank you for this.

      I have considerable respect for Francisco Gil-White and very much recommend that people read his work on Understanding the Palestinian Movement.

      My intention is to headline this tomorrow.

    3. Dan, can you provide a link that would verify the fact that this video is blocked in Israel?

      I was going to feature this, but I need some verification.

    4. Mike, the only information that I know about this is that I received an e-mail message from Dr. Francisco Gil-White in which he expressed that the video on YouTube (but not the video on Vimeo) is blocked to Israelis.

      The video on YouTube: