US: Talk about negotiations are better than no talk
By Ted Belman
With the announcement of Obama’s visited to Israel in March, some suggested he is bringing a new peace proposal in order to break the log jam. But the latest report is that he is not.
I don’t think that there is any possibility that he would. In matters of substance he is not about to abandon his formulae of ’67 lines plus swaps” for surely he would be making it even more difficult for Abbas to return to negotiations.So Obama has no goodies to offer Israel. Nor has he anything else to offer Abbas.
Perhaps what was meant by a new peace proposal is nothing more than a formulae for enabling the parties to return to the negotiating table if they were so inclined. Israel has always stated its willingness to do so. Therefore an incentive is not necessary. What he could do is suggest to Abbas that he could return on his terms while Israel would return without acknowledging such terms. But where would such negotiations go but no where.
Similarly, if Israel were to make concessions or gestures to encourage him to return, Abbas would pocket the same and then return as intransigent as ever. So nothing is to be gained.
Either Abbas wants to negotiate a deal or he doesn’t. He obviously doesn’t.
From America’s point of view, fruitless negotiations are better than no negotiations and strenuous efforts to kick start negotiations are better than no efforts to do so.
On an aside, I was recently informed by someone very close to the settler communities
- “.. after four years of Netanyahu, Judea and Samaria are flourishing. There is virtually no community in which we are not building. New permits are being granted. Outposts are being legalized. And in my view, a Palestinian state was never more distant.”
Can anyone verify this.