Thursday, September 16, 2010

Master Tactitian or the Most Dangerous Man in Israel

I found this OpEd piece from the Jerusalem Post interesting in light of the latest round of face to face negotiations taking place at the behest of Washington. If what Mr. Leibler opines below is correct, then Benjamin Netanyahu is a master tactician. If he is wrong, then the Prime Minister is looking to give away the store to the Palestinians and Syrians. Something tells me Mr. Leibler has it right. Read on.

Candidly Speaking: Peace theater of the absurd
By ISI LEIBLER 09/15/2010
It is once more déjà vu. Magnificent speeches bubbling with visions of reconciliation and goodwill between Israelis and Palestinians. Global media editorials pontificating and debating whether peace in our time is about to be consummated, accompanied by demands for Israel to be flexible and forthcoming.Yet despite all the ritualistic pledges endorsing peaceful coexistence, the likelihood of meaningful progress is virtually zero.Fortunately most Israelis no longer delude themselves. They appreciate that our prime minister is obliged to placate the Obama administration by participating in a theater of the absurd and act as though real negotiations were taking place with a genuine peace partner.To his credit Binyamin Netanyahu has performed superbly and, to the surprise of many of his detractors, united the country behind him. In the face of the brutal pressures exerted against him, it was no mean feat to retain a relationship with an American president unfavorably disposed toward Israel without capitulating on essentials.In the course of the opening negotiations, Netanyahu reinforced the message that to achieve a genuine settlement, this country is willing to compromise on all issues other than those affecting security. In his Washington address, he said, “We left Lebanon, and we got terror. We left Gaza, we got terror.We want to ensure that territory we concede will not be turned into a third Iranian-sponsored terror enclave aimed at the heart of Israel. That is why defensible peace requires security arrangements that can withstand the test of time and the many challenges that will surely confront us.”In contrast Mahmoud Abbas was adamant that the Palestinian Authority would not contemplate any compromises. He told Al Kuds newspaper that “we’re not talking about a Jewish state and we won’t recognize Israel as a Jewish state... you can’t expect us to accept this.” Interviewed by Al Ayyam he said, “If they demand concessions on the right of the refugees or the 1967 borders, I will quit. I can’t allow myself to make even one concession.” He also told the Egyptian media that while he would contemplate NATO forces being deployed in a future Palestinian state, he would not tolerate the presence of Jews among NATO forces and “will not allow even one Israeli to live among us on Palestinian soil.”IT IS surely mind-boggling to suggest that a person holding such views be considered a “moderate” or “genuine peace partner.” Yet the US is funding a major far-left advertising campaign directed toward the Israeli public promoting the falsehood that Abbas is a true peace partner.There can be no negotiations when one party refuses to contemplate compromising on anything. The talks will thus inevitably break down either because Israel will refuse to extend a total settlement freeze or on some other pretext.

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