Sunday, May 9, 2010

Netanyahu is blamed for... his desire to talk face to face to Abbas.

This time the article has been published by Público, under the title Las negociaciones indirectas de paz en Palestina chocan con Netanyahu (Indirect peace negotiations in Palestine are at odds with Netanyahu) and the subtitle "Israeli Prime Minister criticizes the process started this Sunday, which counts on American mediation". Content of the article below (translated as accurate as possible, between quotation marks):

"Attempts for achieving peace between Israel and Palestine through the indirect conversations initiated this Sunday are at odds with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's words, who has maintained that it's not possible to achieve an accord 'from a distance'.

Precisely on the same day on which Palestinian chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, announced in Ramallah the beginning of the indirect negotiations with Israel under American mediation, Netanyahu has shown himself critical with the process to demand the establishment of 'direct' negotiations 'as soon as possible' and not through 'remote control'. 'We'll not achieve accords or take decisions about critical issues if we don't sit down together in the same room', Netanyahu has declared.

This is not the first stone which Israeli Prime Minister puts on the way of these new negotiations, the first ones after 18 months, having declared on other occasion that the conversations should be initiated 'without previous conditions', referring to the Palestinian condition of stopping East Jerusalem's Jewish settlements.

White House's envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, is participating in the indirect conversations, and he has maintained a meeting last Sunday with the President of the Palestinian National Authority (P.N.A.), Mahmoud Abbas, who leads the Palestinian negotiating team. The objective of these meetings is to deal with all the issues related to the definitive peace statute."

So, according to Público, Netanyahu should be blamed for a new hindrance in the recently re-started peace process, just because he wants to talk face to face with Mahmoud Abbas. Shouldn't Abbas himself be blamed for trying to avoid direct peace conversations with Netanyahu? Who is more likely to want peace, someone who wants to talk directly about a peace accord or someone who doesn't want to do so?


  1. Midtskogen, how do you understand that Netanyahu is talking about peace on the one hand and destroying Palestinian houses on the other hand? Is this compatible with fair negotiations? Would you accept that Palestinian officers were talking about peace and killing Israeli soldiers in the settlements (which they consider their territory) on the other? That is why Abbas does not want direct peace conversations, as a protest for what he sees as a mock to the Palestinian Authority. You can or cannot respect that (I don't personally think he is doing the right thing) but he has a legitimate right to do it.

    Who is more likely to want peace, someone who waits for the agreements and proposes before acting (as in a fair game), or someone that is already acting offensively before anything has been agreed? How could anyone have confidence in such an interlocutor or in any consequences that might come out of those so-called peace conversations?

    What kind of things do you think the current Israeli government is able to offer, when they do not even stop building more and more settlements in what the Palestinians consider their territories?

  2. And do you consider compatible with peace... not to talk about peace? What's the difference between a message directly sent to somebody and a message sent to somebody through a third person?
    It's not necessary to put an example about what would happen if Palestinians were talking about peace while attacking Israelis (and not only in the settlements). Arafat signed the Oslo Accords the same year in which suicide bombings began to happen (1993). In 2000, some East Jerusalem's areas were offered (among other territories) by Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Barak to the Palestinians. Do you know what was Arafat's response? The Second Intifada.
    To stop Israel's policies in the West Bank, it's necessary to establish a peace accord which must include a future Palestinian State, and to achieve that, it's necessary to talk; using intermediators without face to face debate only makes the process slower.