The question is-what’s the point in offering anything-the answer is-there isn’t one, Re: Israeli PM offers non-stop talks, Toronto Star, January 3, 2011

On January 2 Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel offered to meet non-stop with Palestinian President Abbas until a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians was concluded. In making the offer Netanyahu said that all of the core issues would be on the table, including security for Israel, borders and settlements. His gesture was rejected immediately, with the Palestinian leader stating that there must be a freeze on settlement construction and a general agreement on borders before any talks take place, overlooking the fact of the recent nine month limited freeze and the question of what on earth would be discussed if substantive issues such as borders were dealt with beforehand.

By any standard this was an extremely generous offer by Netanyahu and by extension the Israeli government and its rejection is just the latest affirmation by the Palestinians that they are simply not interested in peace with Israel. Over the years Israel has made every effort to bring about peace, to no avail. The list of compromises and sacrifices Israel was (and is) willing to make and her genuine efforts to achieve peace are endless and do not bear repeating here. Suffice it to say that there could be a peace agreement in very short order if the Palestinians really wanted one. Indeed, there is no question that there could have been peace between Palestinians and Israelis many years ago if not for the Palestinian’s unwillingness to negotiate in good faith.

That is why there is no point in offering the Palestinians anything anymore. The record is very clear on the matter. The lack of a peace agreement is the Palestinian’s fault and always has been. Absolutely nothing Israel offered would be acceptable, as history has shown many times over. It is the Palestinians who should be making genuine offers, not the Israelis. Until then Israelis should refuse to be blackmailed and bullied and should not participate in talks that are nothing more than a sham. They should put the onus on the Palestinians where it belongs and tell them to put up or shut up and go home until they do. Israel has done everything else…its long past time for Palestinians to make serious moves if they really want peace.

Don’t hold your breath.

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