Yet the Israeli-Palestinian talks in 2007 and 2008 provide an invaluable template for a new, Obama-led push for peace.
Each told me that if new violence breaks out in Palestine, as seems quite likely, historians will look back with a sense of pathos on how narrow and, in some key areas, trivial the gaps were. “We were very close,” Olmert told me, “more than ever in the past, to complete an agreement on principles that would have led to the end of the conflict between us and the Palestinians.” Abbas said the talks produced more “creative ideas” than any in the past. He took pains to assure me that he had been most flexible on Israel’s security demands. Olmert, in retrospect, agrees, saying that Abbas “had never said no.” Olmert insisted that he had conceded to Abbas every major demand Palestinians had made for decades: a border based scrupulously on the 1967 lines, a Palestinian capital in Jerusalem and “recognition of the problem” of refugees. “I was ready to take complete responsibility and move forward forcefully,” Olmert told me. “I believed, I still believe, that I would have broken through all the barriers and won over public opinion in this country and the world.”
Nothing he says makes any sense in the real world. This isn't a computer card game, during which you can "undo" and try again, and again until you win.
The more I look at Avishai's article the more ridiculous it sounds:
"As unlikely as it might sound, now is the time. Obama’s hand in Israel has been strengthened by events in Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan."Duh? As the saying goes... "What is he smoking?"
Our Land and security aren't toys, clothes, commercial real estate to be traded for fun and profit. It's crucially necessary to listen to what the Arabs are saying. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas says different things in English to the western media than he says to the Arabs in Arabic. Hat tip: PMW
Abbas to Western audience:
"'I am committed to peace, but not forever,' Mr. Abbas said. 'I don't mean I will turn to violence - never. In my life, I will never do it. But I cannot stay in my office forever doing nothing.'"
Abbas to Arab audience:
"I have said more than once that if the Arabs want war - we are with them."
Abbas made the statement against violence in an interview with Bernard Avishai* writing for the New York Times Magazine. The statement was intended for an international audience and reported in the New York Times on January 27, 2011.
Abbas made the second statement not ruling out war in a meeting with Egyptian and other Arab journalists. This statement was meant for an Arab audience and reported in the official Palestinian Authority daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida on January 24, 2011.
Bernard Avishai* has fallen for a very professional con man. Abbas knows how to play his audience, manipulate the journalists and politicians.
There will only be peace, real peace, when the Arabs want it and educate a generation plus of children to be peaceful and tolerant. Peace will come when the Arabs stop attacking us with physical and verbal and literary weapons. And when and if that day does come, there will be no need for conferences and negotiations. We almost had it after the 1967 Six Days War, but Israel rejected it by offering our Land to the defeated enemy. Now it will be much harder and take so much longer.
We should not aim for peace, because we aren't the aggressors. For peace we must get stronger, so the enemy will recognize that they can't defeat us. Then they will try to live in peace with us, G-d willing. Yes, G-d has overriding control over things. We must recognize and respect it.