Saturday, April 26, 2008

How Not To Make Progress

The reports on Abu Mazen/Mahmoud Abbas' meeting with President George W. Bush illustrates why not only is there little hope for peace but why things keep getting worse.

This is an AP story published in the Jerusalem Post.

Abbas: No progress made during Mideast peace talks with Bush

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Friday he failed to achieve any progress in Middle East peace talks with President George W. Bush and he was returning home with little to show for his visit.

In an interview with The Associated Press, the Palestinian leader sounded pessimistic about the prospects of achieving any deal with Israel this year despite a big US push that began five months ago at a summit in Annapolis, Maryland.

"Frankly, so far nothing has been achieved. But we are still conducting direct work to have a solution," Abbas said.

[Nothing has been achieved because the Palestinian Arabs have no desire to live in peace. Pretending otherwise only exacerbates the situation and encourages them to continue their obstinacy.

Given the current situation of two Palestinian Authority governments not only trying to outdo each other in their instransigence but also incapable of upholding an agreement even if they were so inclined, pushing Israel for concessions which are bound to be unreciprocated - as have all its concessions since the Oslo Experiment began - is also counterproductive.]

Abbas said the biggest obstacle is Israel's continued expansion of Jewish settlements on Palestinian-occupied territories.

[The presence of Jews in Judea and Samaria is no more an obstacle to peace than is the presence of Arabs on the other side of the Green Line.

If the Palestinian Arabs were interested in peace, they wouldn't demand the ethnic cleansing of the disputed territories.]

"We demanded the Americans implement the first phase of the road map that talks about the cessation of settlement expansion," Abbas said, expressing disappointment the US has not exerted more pressure on Israel to stop. "This is the biggest blight that stands as a big rock in the path of negotiations."

[There has been very little building in the Jewish communities in the disputed territories, far less than the amount of building in the Arab settlements.

By far the most important provision of the first stage of the road map is the dismantling of the terror infrastructure built up by the Palestinian Authority. Indeed, that infrastructure has expanded significantly since the road map was supposedly accepted by the Palestinian Authority.

It's convenient for Abbas to try to divert attention from his own duplicity and unwillingness to follow through on his commitments, but appeasing him is counterproductive.]

Israel is pushing forward with controversial building projects on disputed land in the West Bank and east Jerusalem and is refusing to take down illegal settlement outposts, release Palestinian prisoners, halt military incursions, and dismantle roadblocks that severely disrupt daily life.

[In violation of journalistic ethics, the reporter has inserted propaganda into a purported news article as if it were fact.

For Israel's enemies, any housing for Jews is controversial. If the Arabs want to keep Jews out, they should negotiate a peace treaty, adhere to it, and then they'll be able to control their own territory.

Until then, Jews have just as much right to build homes in the disputed portions of Eretz Yisrael as anyone else.

The so-called "illegal" settlements are only illegal because they were not autorized by the Israeli government. They're really an internal, Israeli matter.

The Israeli government has repeatedly released Arab prisoners, only to have them return to murdering innocent Israelis, and continues to do so. Primerprez believes no Arab terrorists should be released as long as Gilad Shalit, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser are being held hostage by Hamas and Hezbollah.

As long as the Arabs continue to insist on murdering Israelis, the Israeli government has no choice but to defend its citizens. The "military incursions" and roadblocks save lives.]

Abbas' aides said he also was upset after his lunch Thursday with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. While discussing what a peace deal would look like, Rice did not mention the Palestinian goal of creating a state based on borders before Israel captured Palestinian land during the 1967 Six-Day War.

[There were no "borders" before 1967 and Israel did not capture "Palestinian land;" Israel captured land that had been occupied by Egypt and Jordan.]

"We demanded that they talk about the '67 borders," Abbas told AP, showing a rare flash of anger. "None of them talk about the '67 borders."

[How can one talk about something that never existed?]

Asked whether US officials offered any new proposals, Abbas said no.

"They are exerting efforts. And we are still negotiating," he said, but he noted that no progress had been made on any of the core issues.

[Mostly because the Palestinian Arabs have yet to make any changes in the outlandish demands they made at the start of the Oslo Experiment.]

"All the files are still open. None of them are concluded. The situation is still as it was," Abbas said, speaking in Arabic.

The main unresolved issues include the final borders of a Palestinian state, the fate of Jerusalem, disputed Israeli settlements and Palestinian refugees.

[The article doesn't mention the core issue: the unwillingness of the Palestinian Arabs to make peace.]

Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, said Bush did not respond directly when Abbas brought up the issue of Palestinian objections to continuing Israeli settlement expansion when the two leaders met Thursday at the White House.

"Bush told him (Abbas) that I'm focusing on the bigger picture," Erekat explained.

Abbas said he was looking for a full Middle East peace framework agreement that would be detailed and includes timetables, while the Israelis have signaled that a "declaration of principles" would be enough of an achievement before Bush leaves office in January 2009.

[Abbas can't even control Ramallah and can't set foot in Hamastan; what's the point of a peace agreement?]

"We don't want a declaration of principle because we had one," Abbas said, referring to the 1993 peace agreement reached at Oslo between the Palestinians and Israel. "Now we want a normal agreement. And then we can go for the details."

Despite his disappointment, Abbas said he would still meet with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert regularly in hopes of achieving a deal. But there are no three-way talks scheduled anytime soon with Bush, Abbas and Olmert.

Bush is scheduled to visit Israel in May to help Olmert celebrate the country's 60th anniversary, and then the US president will travel to the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to see Abbas separately.

"It will be a bilateral meeting between me and Bush. That is the meeting I was invited for," Abbas said.

Abbas said the one thing he did achieve during his USvisit was to lay out the Palestinian conditions for any peace deal and press his case that he cannot go for any partial agreement because the Palestinian people would not accept it.

[So far, there's no indication the Palestinian Arabs would accept any agreement.]

"We have made clear our position to the president, to the State Department and to the Congress," Abbas said during the 15-minute interview in his hotel room in Washington. "And now our position is very clear to all of them."

Abbas' moderate and Western-backed government rules the West Bank, the territory that would eventually form the bulk of an independent Palestinian state. Hamas, the Islamic militant group that seized control of Gaza and serves a rival force to Abbas, is not involved in the peace negotiations with Israel.

Abbas has been losing popular support for the peace process due to a lack of any changes on the ground for people whose daily lives have been disrupted by Israeli checkpoints and roadblocks that Israel says are meant to maintain security and stop militant attacks on Israeli citizens.

[He's been losing popular support because he's a weak, spineless, ineffectual leader whose far more interested in blaming Israel for his failures than in helping his people.

Israel says those measures are meant to maintain security and stop militant attacks on Israeli citizens because they are needed to maintain security and stop militant attacks on Israeli citizens. They wouldn't be needed if Abbas would adhere to his commitments under the road map and dismantle his terror infrastructure.]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

America better be very careful how we handle issues with Israel and the Palestinians. God's word says that "what you do to My people (the Jews), I will do to you." God will not stand by and let America force Israel to give away land that He gave them through a covenant. America is not bigger than God Almighty.