Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Three noes again

In his meeting with Pres. Obama last week Pres. Abbas of the PA expressed the classic Palestinian Arab rejectionist policy, namely the three noes, no to recognition of Israel as the Jewish State, no to giving up the right of return of Palestinian refugees (supposedly all 5 million of them) and no to an end of conflict agreement. This is so reminiscent of the three noes promulgated by the Arab League meeting in Khartoum in its response to the amazing victory of Israel in the Six-Day War of 1967, no to negotiating with Israel, no to any agreement with Israel and no to any recognition of Israel. Not much has changed in 47 years.

What is amazing about this is that the US with all its intelligence capabilities could not have predicted this before the current negotiations got underway 8 months ago, when most casual observers could have told them so. If any Palestinian leader accepts a final end of conflict, he would be rejecting over 50 years of Palestinian history. Even in abject defeat they cannot and will not give up their fantasy of ultimately defeating Israel. Its like knocking their heads against a brick wall and ultimately expecting the wall to collapse. If they did recognize Israel as the Jewish State they would be in effect giving up their claim to all of Palestine and accepting an end to the conflict and they cannot do that. Meanwhile we await to see if even a Framework for future negotiations can be produced by Secty Kerry after all his work and focus on this problem.

Given the anticipated end of the negotiations in one month after the 9 month agreed period is up, the question is should Israel continue to release Palestinian prisoners. A fourth group of 28 prisoners were due to be released in order to keep the PA at the table. But, if they are not going to continue to talk why then release the prisoners. It has been suggested that to persuade PM Netnayahu to continue with the release the US needs to do something extra, and it has been suggested that this gestrue should be the release of Jay Pollard after 28 years in prison. Not only is this a miscarriage of justice, but it shows a deep strain of anti-Semitism within the US establishment, that does not want to see Pollard released. Even though some balk at equating Pollard with Palestinain terrorists, it would be worthwhile to have him released at almost any price, just as the State did for Schalit. So even "no" may have some positive consequences.


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