The Middle East Quartet (the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia) met in Washington yesterday to try and reach an agreement on reviving peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians. They failed to do so and no peace talks are in the offing.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu nonetheless said that Israel is ready to resume negotiations at any time whereas the Palestinian Authority accused Israel of bearing sole responsibility for the collapse of the peace process because it refuses to enter into negotiations with certain conditions being set beforehand, conditions which the Israelis say would change the very nature of their country and make defending it impossible. The Palestinian Authority also said that the Quartet succumbed to Israeli pressure by failing to call for a resumption of talks with their desired preconditions being set, when in fact the Quartet did no such thing. It succumbed to reality, not to pressure from Israel or anyone else.
That bears repeating. The Quartet succumbed to reality, not to pressure from Israel or anyone else.
The Quartet correctly concluded that peace talks are pointless because they would have no chance of success unless the Palestinians are willing and able to modify their entirely unreasonable and unrealistic demands. They are clearly unwilling and unable to do that, so ergo no talks. The real reason peace talks aren’t taking place is because Palestinians don’t understand the meaning of the word negotiate, because their positions are frozen in place and there is no room for compromise or concessions. What’s the point in the two sides sitting down and talking if Palestinian intransigence makes negotiation impossible and failure a foregone conclusion? There isn’t any and the Quartet recognized this.
Rightly so and long overdue. If the Palestinians want peace they can have it, but not at the expense of Israel’s existence and security. That’s what the Quartet really said and that’s why the Palestinians are so upset. History tells us that they don’t want peace with Israel and never have…what they really want is to take over the country themselves and remove the Jews from the land like they’ve been removed from everywhere else in the Middle East. There have been innumerable opportunities for a just and equitable peace over the years but Palestinians have always prevented it even though they have always tried to convince us they desire it. They’ve been deceiving everyone and everyone has paid a terrible price as a result.
Is the world finally seeing through their deceit and calling their bluff? Let’s hope so for all our sakes, including theirs.