The current series of Israeli gestures could serve a vital role in enabling the Jewish State to keep the “ball” in the Palestinian “court” without being sucked into renewing the “settlement freeze”.
But making gestures should in no way be accompanied by a reconciliatory approach towards objectionable Palestinian behavior and Palestinian pronouncements.
Toning down criticism of the PA not only doesn’t serve the interests of Israel – it ultimately does not serve the interests of the Palestinians.
First, Israeli interests:
Israeli criticism of the PA serves both to highlight and emphasize the standard of behavior that we expect the Palestinians to meet while providing vital evidence that these standards are not being met.
The failure of the Palestinians to meet these standards can serve a critical role in justifying Israel’s final status requirements.
After all, if the Palestinians had honored Oslo – in particular the security elements of the agreement – we would be facing incredible pressure in final status talks to accept paper thin security arrangements.
The gross failure of the Palestinians to honor their security obligations makes “peace for piece of paper” a farce that no serious third party would even consider suggesting – let alone trying to impose.
But there are also Palestinian interests.
If you believe that the Palestinian leadership genuinely wants to implement a “two state solution” rather than a “two state stage” with the ultimate goal of destroying Israel then one would want to empower them to be able to honor their obligations.
And the best way to empower the Palestinian leadership is to put them in the position that they can point to the sharp criticism they suffer from for violations in order to justify compliance to their “street”.
For everyone’s best interests – let’s keep the gloves on.
About the Author: Dr. Lerner is the Director of IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis).
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