Avid Editor's Insights

Journalist Reveals The PA’s ‘Palestine Plot’

Posted by Glezele Vayne on September 21, 2010

BS”D

by David Lev

“There’s a method to PA chief Mahmoud Abbas’ ongoing refusal to negotiate seriously with Israel”, journalist Uri Elitzur told Israelnationalnews in an interview – “and unfortunately, his plan has a relatively good plan of succeeding”.

Elitzur laid out the plot in the weekend edition of Hebrew newspaper Mekor Rishon, of which he is one of the editors, last Friday. “The PA’s insistence that it will walk out of the talks if Israel ends the building freeze in Judea and Samaria” he says, “is a political gambit for something Abbas and company are far more interested in: An Israeli agreement on the borders of a Palestinian state before resolving other sensitive issues, such as security, Jerusalem, and PA demands that descendants of Arabs who abandoned Israel in 1948 be allowed to return to their former homes”.

“The strategy is apparent to anyone who bothers to look”, Elitzur says. “Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu knows that the talks are a game, Abbas knows the talks are a game, and both are playing well.” The game, in this case, is to pass the blame for failure of the talks to the other party. U.S. President Barack Obama knows it’s a game, too, Elitzur says – and he also knows how far he can push Israel. “Obama knows that an American president is not a Caesar who can do whatever he wants, and there is a limit to the pressure the White House can impose on Israel.” Given that both Israel and the PA have so many red lines that they dare not cross, the talks were doomed to fail, even before they started, Elitzur says.

So why bother? “Behind this endless game lies an important consideration: What happens the day after the talks fail? What is the alternative plan?” Unlike Israel, Elitzur says, the PA has such a plan: To back Israel into a corner and get Netanyahu to agree to a “shelf agreement” – meaning that most of the impassable issues would be put “on the shelf” for the time being, while the one issue that the PA really wants to see resolved – the borders of the Palestinian state – are decided right now. Tsipi Livni actually agreed to this when she was Prime Minister, Elitzur says.

If the borders between Israel and Palestine are delineated, Elitzur says, the PA can declare an official Palestinian state – one that has a reasonable chance of being accepted by the rest of the world. Contrary to popular thinking, the PA would not be able to get away with declaring a state unilaterally – not after they signed agreement after agreement that specifies negotiations as the only legitimate path to a PA state.

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From Glezele Vayne

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