Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Making a Joke of the "Peace Process"

The idiotic coverage of the President's speech earlier this week, and then blowing the context of the speech and the response by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netenyahu have done nothing to resurrect a moribund and defunct "peace process". Fact is that Israel has not had a partner in peace in the Palestinians, even dating back to the signing of Oslo.

The Palestinian Authority has not been the partner in peace Israel was looking for and Palestinians still refuse to accept a key condition to any deal - accepting a 2-state solution with Israel as a Jewish state. Hamas refuses to accept Israel's very existence, and they're part and parcel of the Palestinian Authority.

That's why President Obama's latest statements show the farce that the entire process has become.
US President Barack Obama said Wednesday that a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was "more urgent than ever." He said that he was "confident" that there could be a Jewish state with "safe and secure" borders alongside a Palestinian state where Palestinians can "determine their fate and future."

Speaking alongside UK Prime Minister David Cameron at a press conference after the two privately met, Obama said that the Palestinians must understand that "they have obligations as well."

The US president said that the conflict rests on four central points: territorial boundaries, Israeli security, the Palestinian refugee issue, and Jerusalem. He said that the last two issues were "extraordinarily emotional" and would require "wrenching concessions."

He stressed that talks were necessary and that without negotiations, there would be no peace. He said that a UN resolution calling for an independent Palestinian state, if passed, would not create a viable Palestine and, in the end, would not "serve the Palestinians."

Obama acknowledged, however, that Hamas was not a partner for negotiations until it renounced violence and recognized Israel. He said Israelis have a right to be worried by the reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah, given that Hamas does not recognize Israel and has not renounced violence.

The US president also thanked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for expressing his position, and making recommendations on how to restart the peace process.

Both the UK prime minister and US president expressed unity in supporting Israeli security, as well as a sovereign Palestinian state, in a jointly penned op-ed on Tuesday.
He warns that Hamas is no partner in peace, and yet Israel has to work with the Palestinian Authority. What a way to mangle reality. We have to turn a blind eye to the fact that Hamas is involved in the PA and get Israel to the negotiating table with groups that refuse to recognize Israel's right to exist.

At the same time, the Palestinians keep making the same demands that they've been making for years - an unlimited right of return that would swamp Israel demographically with millions of Palestinian "refugees" most of whom have never actually lived in the area from which Israel was created or which it later captured from Jordan, Syria, or Egypt.

What exactly is so urgent about forcing a peace deal? It is to provide a legacy achievement for any President who works through a deal, but is it actually in the interests of Israel to cut a peace deal that undermines its security? With the Palestinians steadfastly incapable of adhering to the Oslo requirements - including accepting a 2-state solution, we now have Mahmoud Abbas claiming that he's going to the United Nations in the fall to declare Palestinian independence when Oslo requires a negotiated statehood.

Abbas claims Netenyahu's speech shows that Israel is the stumbling block to a deal, but the reality is that the Palestinians view Israel's existence as the stumbling block - not settlements, not right of return. Eliminate Israel and voila - peace.

You want a breakthrough on a peace deal - how about the Palestinians giving up the right of return. How about them actually eliminating all references to an eternal struggle to destroy Israel in their charters (Hamas charter, PLO charter, and incorporated into everyday affairs such as maps that show Israel as being wiped out).

That's the crux of the Palestinian position, and it is in its most extreme form with Hamas. But Fatah, the PLO, and other Palestinians adhere to that line.

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