The PA hardly even represents all Palestinians, as Gaza is ruled by Hamas. All Palestinians are, however, united by the belief that Israel is the source for all their troubles. Consequently, the Palestinians are not moving in the direction of compromise and reconciliation.
Netanyahu’s government probably has no illusions about the ability of the Palestinians to reach an agreement with Israel and implement it in the near future, but Netanyahu keeps the option of negotiations open. In contrast, the Palestinians’ goal is to extract Israeli concessions without negotiations, hoping Washington and/or the international community will pressure Israel into accepting Palestinian demands.
About the Author:Efraim Inbar is professor of political science at Bar-Ilan University and director of the Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies. This article is a revised version of a piece published at Bitterlemons.com.
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Israel’s prime minister, Benamin Netanyahu, wants peace and is interested in negotiations with the Palestinians. The Netanyahu government enjoys popular support because a large majority of Israelis agree with this view. All polls show Israelis deeply desire peace and this influences their voting behavior.