Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Palestinians intransigent; Reuters cheerleading

The Palestinian Arabs are now reported to be refusing to return to peace talks even if Israel were to agree to extend its previous unilateral and unprecedented concession to freeze Jewish building in Judea and Samaria (the "West Bank").  This, following months of stalling by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas during which time there were no negotiations and no progress on a possible settlement of the conflict.

Notwithstanding, Reuters correspondent Douglas Hamilton continues to apologize and cheer for his home team:
U.S. President Barack Obama invested substantial political capital in persuading the Palestinians to resume direct talks with Israel in early September, after months of mediation.  
The Obama administration has now offered Israel diplomatic and defense inducements to renew the freeze for 90 days and give talks a chance, hoping [Israeli Prime Minister] Netanyahu will tell Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas what size and shape of state he can agree to. 
But, true to their warnings, they [the Palestinians] halted negotiations when Netanyahu refused to extend the 10-month partial construction moratorium on Jewish settlements in the West Bank after it expired at the end of that month.
The Palestinians suspect they may be presented with plans for a shrunken, fragmented territory studded with Israeli settlements and without East Jerusalem as its capital.
Much of what appears above, comes straight out of Hamilton's tired Palestinian public relations playbook.  Netanyahu has already made perfectly clear the "size and shape of state he can agree to".  As has been widely acknowledged on both sides, Jewish communities straddling the 1949 Armistice Lines like Betar Illit, Maale Adumim, and Modi'in Illit will remain a part of Israel in any peace deal; the current Israeli government will not surrender Jerusalem to the Palestinian Arabs; and Netanyahu has called for a multi-year Israeli security presence in the Jordan Valley.  90 days of further negotiations will not change these realities after nearly 20 years of Palestinian intransigence and terror.  Israel knows this; the Palestinians know it; and the Obama administration is quickly losing any illusions it may have had otherwise.

Only Douglas Hamilton and the other cheerleaders at Reuters continue to rattle their Palestinian pom-poms.

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