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Why These Negotiations Will Always Fail


rabin + arafat

Peace in the Middle East between Israel and its neighbors—including the Palestinians—is generally described as “elusive.” Why have forty years of active efforts not led to permanent peace in the region? Why 20 years after Oslo is there no great sign that peace stands ready to break out between the Palestinians and Israelis? The simple answer is that parties are negotiating on different planes that can never intersect.

Let’s analyze the ostensible goals of the parties to the current round of talks. The Israelis want peace and one can see why: lower regional threats, less military spending, greater regional cooperation, increased tourism revenue, export of Israeli technology, increased trade with Europe and more. What do the Palestinians get in the peace deal? They get less than half of the land they believe they deserve. They can look forward to a million or more Arab “refugees” showing up, expecting housing, food, work, and schools. They will be saddled with building an economy without natural resources or a strong technical ethos, while international donations will dry up (especially from Muslim countries, for the sin of recognizing a Jewish state). In short, the Israelis have much to gain from peace, while the Palestinian leaders who are running their side of the talks have much to lose.

Additionally, Israelis negotiate like Americans and Europeans: they try to cut a deal, but if it does not work, then they fall back to the present conditions. The Palestinians work in a different way: either they get what they want, or they pull out the terror card. Lawyers who reviewed signed confessions of Marwan Barghouti’s lieutenants found a singular pattern: if negotiations in the Arafat period were going well, then Tanzim and the like were told to lay low. If the Israelis were intransigent—on borders, refugees, or the like—then the order was given to attack. Negotiations cannot proceed when one side is willing to take a much greater liberty than the other side is willing to entertain. Picture if one football team had to respect the out-of-bound lines, while the other did not. The Israelis might walk away from talks, but they would not order the murder of Palestinian citizens, leftist propaganda aside. The Palestinians, on the other hand, are more than comfortable using attacks on Israeli citizens as a means to get what they want at the negotiating table—and this is a point that Americans and Europeans diplomats have never understood. They are convinced that everyone thinks like they do: peace is always good, and the rules of negotiations exclude violence between sides.

The reason for this failed understanding is cultural. Let’s look back at the Nazis, some of the greatest murderers ever. One notes that no German soldier was ever commanded to either kill or injure himself in order to gas, shoot, blow up, torch or otherwise kill a Jew. The Nazis were sadists and invented horrific ways to kill Jewish men, women and children; still, they would not have considered personal bodily harm or worse as being required to kill a Jew. The Palestinians, on the other hand, not only are active practitioners of suicide bombings, but polls still show that their citizenry supports such activities. We of a Western mind-frame find it impossible to consider such an act—whom do we hate so much that we would be willing to undertake such horrific activity? Are there any children or aged citizens of any country that we would hope to obliterate with flying shrapnel so as to somehow exact revenge on somebody else who has some tenuous relationship to the ones blown up? I have asked these questions to student groups visiting from the US; no one can answer in the affirmative.
This week marked another gratuitous prisoner release by Israel in the ersatz peace process.

These releases have generally been categorized as “confidence building measures.” Is there anyone who could define or identify any confidence built by releasing 26 murderers? The Palestinians partied with the released convicts and demanded the release of all Palestinian prisoners; Israelis felt anguish at the release and saw protests and complaints against the release of more murderers. What confidence was built by this act? None. The prisoner release is a bribe to the Palestinian leaders to continue with the worthless process of peace-making, so that they can show their base that they are getting something from the talks. The terrorists are free, the Palestinians only want more, and the Israeli leadership is put in the uncomfortable position of explaining why murderers walk free, with nothing to show for it. The Palestinians get their terrorists back, but the act has no tangible effect on the direction, good will or pace of the negotiations.

The current peace talks will enjoy the same fate as their predecessors; and ditto for any future talks. The talks will break down because even the most left-wing Israeli politician is not yet ready to commit national suicide to accommodate the minimal Palestinian demands on dividing Jerusalem, accepting indefensible borders, and welcoming anything more than some token refugees. The Palestinians will blame the Israelis, as will most of the international community. Israel will point the finger at an intransigent Palestinian Authority, and we’ll wait for the whole process to start again sometime in the future.

I would argue that the above analysis is pragmatic and not in the least pessimistic. The Palestinians have too much to lose by making peace and also play by rules not understood or appreciated by the likes of John Kerry or Catherine Ashton. The simple fact is that the Palestinian Authority today enjoys large contributions from international donors and avoids all responsibility for building a functional society designed to absorb four generations of self-made Palestinian “refugees” living in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and the like. Israel looks forward to a rosier future, one that would include peace; the Palestinian cannot see getting a better deal than they have in the present. And for that, negotiations will—again—go nowhere, however much John Kerry and his Israeli partners try to tell us otherwise.

About the Author: Alan Bauer sent us the following bio: Born in Chicago, Bachelors, Harvard, Ph.D. Wisconsin—both in Biochemistry. Fulbright Fellowship to Israel; lived here over 20 years. Wounded with son in suicide bombing in 2002. Author of 120 patent applications. Inventor.


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16 Responses to “Why These Negotiations Will Always Fail”

  1. Lindsey Marshall this is so true! ;)
    I love you! Come to the right side my love!! :)

  2. Lindsey Marshall, I am going to come kidnap you & lern you sumtin lol. I love you my dear!!

  3. -_- how about all the settlers that go around killing Palestinian civilians for no reason!

  4. Oh you know that is a false statement!!! The “Palestinians” do not exist, as history proves, they are Jordanians who flooded into the land of Israel in the late 19th early 20th century to try & prevent as much land as possible from falling into Jewish hands, the only true owners of all that land!!! Now, terrorism is the ploy to destroy the ONLY democracy & place where minorities like Christians, Druze & Alawites do not face GENOCIDE!!! This is the truth & no rewriting of history can change this!!! I love you Lindsey Marshall!!! :)

  5. Grrrr. Danny TheGreat Ralph II. I love you too.

  6. Settlers kill Palestinians “for no reason at all”? Where is your citation for that b.s. Also you didn’t address the suicide bomber issue. Haven’t ever seen a Jew offer to blow themselves up to kill civilians. Nice try, Lindsey.

  7. Ken Kelso says:

    Alan your totally right what you said.
    Another good article detailing pretty much what you said.

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/175864#.UsXpNfRDsng
    Netanyahu: Time for Abbas to Stop Celebrating with Terrorists
    Arrest of PA officer in bus bombing is proof that the PA is directly involved in terrorism, says Prime Minister Netanyahu.
    Elad Benari
    1/3/2014

    Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Thursday evening that the arrests of the 14 terrorists who were behind the bombing of a Bat Yam bus is proof that the Palestinian Authority (PA) is directly involved in planning and carrying out terror attacks.

    One of the terrorists was a member of the PA security forces. The other detainees were members of the Islamic Jihad and Bedouin Arabs.

    "This is further evidence of the PA’s direct involvement in terrorism. It’s time that [PA Chairman Mahmoud] Abbas stop celebrating with freed murderers and lead his people to the path of peace," said Netanyahu.

    The Prime Minister praised the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), the IDF and the Israel Police for their quick work in nabbing the terrorists. Some of the terrorists were caught hours after the attack, but a gag order on the details of the investigation was only lifted on Thursday evening.

    Netanyahu’s comments were the second time in one day that he criticized Abbas for his support of terrorism. Earlier on Thursday, during a meeting with visiting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Netanyahu said that “given the actions and words of Palestinian leaders, there’s growing doubt in Israel that the Palestinians are committed to peace.”

    “A few days ago in Ramallah, President Abbas embraced terrorists as heroes,” Netanyahu told Kerry, referring to the PA’s celebration late Monday night over Israel’s release of convicted terrorists.

    “To glorify the murders of innocent women and men as heroes is an outrage,” he added. “How can President Abbas say that he stands against terrorism when he embraces the perpetrators of terrorism and glorifies them as heroes? He can’t stand against terrorists and stand with the terrorists.”

    The Prime Minister added that he was “wondering what a young Palestinian would think when he sees the leader of the Palestinian people embrace people who axed innocent men and women, axed their heads or blew them up or riddled them with bullets. What’s a young Palestinian supposed to think about the future? What’s he supposed to think about what he should do vis-à-vis Israelis and vis-à-vis the State of Israel?”

    Netanyahu told Kerry that it is “not surprising that in recent weeks Israel has been subjected to a growing wave of terrorist attacks. President Abbas didn’t see fit to condemn these attacks even after we learned that at least in one case, I stress at least in one case, those who served and are serving in the Palestinian security forces took part in them.”

    “In the six months since the start of peace negotiations, the Palestinian Authority continues its unabated incitement against the State of Israel,” he pointed out. “This Palestinian government incitement is rampant. You see it in the state-controlled media, the Government-controlled media, in the schools, in text books, in kindergartens. You see it in every part of Palestinian society. So instead of preparing Palestinians for peace, Palestinian leaders are teaching them to hate Israel.”

    Netanyahu previously slammed the PA over its celebration with the released terrorists on Tuesday, a day after the celebration took place.

    “While we are willing to take extremely painful steps with the goal of reaching an agreement that will put an end to the conflict, they, along with their most senior leaders, are celebrating,” he said.

    The PA’s celebration sends a terrible message, he continued. “Murderers are not heroes. This is not how you educate people to peace. This is not how you make peace,” he warned.

  8. Lisa Kamins says:

    thank you Alan Bauer.

  9. —–

    OVER 1300 hits please share on your list. rabbi rosenberg

    Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg SAYS President Obama You Have Some Nerve. ISRAEL Will Not LISTEN To You : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ig8c795KymA#t=63

    Trying to speak to Roosevelt behind closed doors didn't help the Jews of Europe, 6,000,000 Jews were slaughtered, murdered, burned, vanished!

    Speak Up!

    לנסות לדבר עם רוזוולט בדלתיים סגורים לא עזר ליהודי אירופה, 6,000,000 יהודים נטבחו, נרצחו, נשרפו, נעלמו!

    דברו בקול רם

    'Trying to speak to Roosevelt behind closed doors didn't help the Jews of Europe'

    Official in Prime Minister's Office reacts angrily to accusations that Israeli leadership harming strategic ties with Obama administration: Seventy-five years ago, the Jews tried to talk with Roosevelt, and that did not really help the Jews of Europe."

    If Israel is destroyed another Holocaust will have happened. Sis million Jews perished while the world abandoned us. Among the murdered was my family. American Jews speak out before it is too late.
    Downplaying the Holocaust — Sulzberger & NY Times: Anna Blech at TEDxHunterCCS – YouTube In my book "CONTEMPLATING THE HOLOCAUST'' I have entire chapter on this subject. Israel is in trouble and we listen to Obama and others who have interests OTHER than saving ISRAEL from destruction. . Let us stop being politically correct and protect . Israel.. RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG

    —–

    OVER 1300 hits please share on your list. rabbi rosenberg

    Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg SAYS President Obama You Have Some Nerve. ISRAEL Will Not LISTEN To You : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ig8c795KymA#t=63

    Trying to speak to Roosevelt behind closed doors didn't help the Jews of Europe, 6,000,000 Jews were slaughtered, murdered, burned, vanished!

    Speak Up!

    לנסות לדבר עם רוזוולט בדלתיים סגורים לא עזר ליהודי אירופה, 6,000,000 יהודים נטבחו, נרצחו, נשרפו, נעלמו!

    דברו בקול רם

    'Trying to speak to Roosevelt behind closed doors didn't help the Jews of Europe'

    Official in Prime Minister's Office reacts angrily to accusations that Israeli leadership harming strategic ties with Obama administration: Seventy-five years ago, the Jews tried to talk with Roosevelt, and that did not really help the Jews of Europe."

    If Israel is destroyed another Holocaust will have happened. Sis million Jews perished while the world abandoned us. Among the murdered was my family. American Jews speak out before it is too late.
    Downplaying the Holocaust — Sulzberger & NY Times: Anna Blech at TEDxHunterCCS – YouTube In my book "CONTEMPLATING THE HOLOCAUST'' I have entire chapter on this subject. Israel is in trouble and we listen to Obama and others who have interests OTHER than saving ISRAEL from destruction. . Let us stop being politically correct and protect . Israel.. RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG

  10. Zain Khan says:

    You may not have seen a jew offer to blow himself up but im sure you’ve seen Jews holding innocent women and little children at gun point begging for their lives?
    Or do they not show you that part on the news?

  11. The author is right. Why are you playing a game in which you're the only one playing by the rules? Are you playing to lose? And really, sitting down at the table with them is sort of acknowledging that they have legitimate grievances. Forget peace talks and forget the imaginary boundaries others keep trying to set for you and you alone. it's your table and your game to lose, not these blind referees that have nothing to lose when they make poor calls on the field.

  12. I am against efforts to make peace that involve Israel in such a way that demands that they give up any of their land. I know it sounds weary to many people that I state that God brought Israel back into this land, BUT that is EXACTLY what God has done! When the Arab nations around Israel attacked; God continued to extend Israel’s borders. Israel even regained Jerusalem and the Temple mount! These events/wars have been an obvious fulfillment of God’s promise to bring Israel back into his land in the end times. He even specified that the nation would be born in ONE day. That day was May 14, 1948. God’s word teaches us that in the end times when Israel is brought back, that they would never be fully removed again. To make a so called peace deal which involves giving away the land that God promised Israel is a huge sin. I believe that the rapture/departure of the Christian church is to take place very soon and that an evil peace deal will be made for 7/360 day years, between Israel, the Arabs and a person who will head the one world government. That man will be the anti-Christ. I wrote a book in 2012 that discusses some of the prophecies written about in the Bible. It’s a short read of 6 or 7 pages and it’s totally free. I hope you will have a look: http://www.booksie.com/religion_and_spirituality/book/richard_b_barnes/after-the-rapture-whats-next

  13. Arie Arazi says:

    Agree fully with the author's diagnostics. How about some suggestions for remedy?

  14. Hello my friend. This is there life, to kill anyway, any time.

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rabin + arafat

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