Saturday, December 20, 2008

Fayad the Comedian

The punch line comes at the end, with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister (West Bank Branch) Salaam Fayad qutoed as saying: "We owe it to this third party to be accountable to them, and one way is to deliver on commitments that we make. The same should be demanded of Israel."

The Oslo Experiment was a dismal failure because the Palestinian Authority didn't uphold any of its commitments, the most basic of which was to work against terrorism rather than promoting terrorism.

World must hold Israel accountable

The Jerusalem Post
The international community must do more to hold Israel accountable - particularly on its accelerated West Bank settlement construction - if peace efforts are to have a chance, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayad said in an interview Saturday.

[There's been comparatively little Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria; indeed, far less than Arab construction.]

Fayad said he is disappointed by a recent EU decision to continue strengthening ties with Israel, without linking such an upgrade to a settlement freeze. However, he said he'll keep pressing.

[Making Judea and Samaria judenrein is a prime goal of the Palestinian Authority.]

"If I am disappointed, I am certainly not discouraged," Fayad said. "The point is, there is much better awareness in Europe now of this issue, something which did not exist before."

EU leaders decided earlier this month to upgrade political ties with Israel, but have not yet voted on an improved economic relationship, said Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor.

Palestinian leaders often complain about a failure to take Israel to task for allegedly breaking commitments, such as a settlement freeze required by the US-backed "road map" plan.

[By far the first and most important commitment under the road map was for the Palestinian Authority to dismantle the terror infrastructure it built up in blatant violation of its earlier commitments under the Oslo Agreements.

That the Palestinian Arabs keep complaining about the presence of a relative handful of Jews in portions of Eretz Yisrael is just one more pieces of evidence that they're not really interested in peace.]

However, in recent months, Fayad has tried a new approach, proposing practical steps in which European countries could help curb settlement expansion.

[If Fayad really wants to keep Jews from living in various parts of Eretz Yisrael, he might start by adhering to the commitments of the Palestinian Authority, ending terrorism and incitement and actually negotiating seriously. If the Palestinian Arabs ever agree to peace, they'll be able to control whether Jews live in the areas in their domain.]

In May, he wrote to 27 EU nations, proposing the link between an upgrade in Israel-EU ties and halting settlement construction. Fayad also exchanged letters with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown who said he wants to make sure products from West Bank settlements are denied favorable EU tariffs.

Under a 2003 agreement between Israel and the EU, settlement products must be clearly labeled. Brown wrote Dec. 9 that he wants to make sure the agreement is implemented effectively "and any abuse of the system fully investigated." Brown also wrote that he's looking into ways to discourage British citizens from buying property in settlements.

[For shame, Mr. Brown.]

Fayad would not say whether he's found other European leaders as receptive as Brown.

Palmor said the issue of settlements should be dealt with at the negotiating table, and not be singled out. "We hear all these protests and condemnations," he said. "What we say is that the way to solve this issue is through negotiations."

[That makes sense.]

Fayad noted he's not seeking an economic boycott of Israel.

"After all, Israel is our largest trading partner, and I foresee that situation to continue for many years to come," Fayad said. "This is about saying your settlements are illegal under international law."

[One small problem: they're not illegal.]

Fayad said he is astounded that the fateful issue of West Bank settlements, home to nearly 300,000 Israelis, has not been raised in Israel's election campaign.

Fayad said the negotiations will not move forward unless the international community gets more involved, and holds both sides accountable.

[The negotiations won't move forward unless the Palestinian Arabs get serious about negotiating and stop going off into side issues that demonstrate they're not interested in real negotiations.]

Without such involvement, "we are not really going to get the desired result of ending this conflict anytime soon," he said.

[Their desired end of the conflict: the elimination of Israel.]

"We owe it to this third party to be accountable to them, and one way is to deliver on commitments that we make," he said. "The same should be demanded of Israel."

[Back in 1993, the PLO made a commitment to end terrorism. It also made a commitment to eliminate the portions of its covenant calling for the elimination of Israel.

The Palestinian Arabs owe it to "this third party" to deliver on those commitments.]

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