To anyone who has been through a few rounds of these peace talks over the years, it was kind of obvious that they were going to have to collapse. What wasn’t obvious was how, when or what excuse would be given.
Abba Eban once incorrectly said that the Arabs “never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” I say incorrectly because he assumed that the Arabs must have the same desire and goal for peace as he did, and they just keep messing it up.
But that statement is wrong because the underlying assumption is wrong. The Palestinian Authority is not interested in peace. At least not in the way Abba Eban understood it.
The Palestinian Authority was obtaining the release of some very horrible terrorists, a lot of them, and even lots more of them in the future. If the leaks were even partly true, they were, in their salami method, getting some seriously bad concessions from Israel, and they were doing it with the help of the most friendliest, pro-PA, anti-Israel government in US history.
And all they had to do was keep talking.
Yet they threw it all away.
It wasn’t because they weren’t getting major concessions in the talks, they were, and over time they would have gotten even more.
It wasn’t because they were being forced to offer any concessions in return – because they weren’t.
Well, except for one nonnegotiable.
Netanyahu demanded they acknowledge Israel as the Jewish state.
This would mean ending the fight, and recognizing the Jewish right to the land of Israel, and admitting that Israel was making concessions to the PA. But primarily it meant declaring an official end to the war and trying to destroy Israel.
Look at one of the precondition demands the PA made yesterday.
They demanded that 15,000 PA citizens be granted Israeli citizenship. Does that really jive with the narrative that they want their own state for their own people, or does that jive better with the fact that they still want to destroy Israel and overrun it with Arabs? The answer speaks for itself.
The PA collapsed the peace talks, most likely because they were reaching that point, just like they reached that point in the past, where they had to decide, do they want to be a normal, productive country, or do they want to continue to try to destroy Israel.
The answer is clearly the latter, and perhaps partially, because they have no culture to be the former.
But unfortunately, as experience shows, this doesn’t mean the end of the peace talks. It means the end of this round, and at some point they’ll be started up again.
Perhaps after (yet another) unilateral declaration of statehood. Perhaps after a UN vote. Perhaps after another intifada (which Israel will win). Perhaps next week, if the US gives them a big present.
And the game will continue. The talks will restart, and they’ll reach the point near the end, where they’ll collapse again, for only one reason, because a signed peace agreement won’t allow for the destruction of Israel.