"If it is true that Abu Mazen [Abbas] believes Livni will be a more comfortable negotiating partner for the Palestinians, then it shows the wisdom of the Israeli voter, who decided to place someone else in charge."
It's not a wholly unrealistic fantasy. Bibi was ousted by the Israeli electorate when his stance generated tension with Bill Clinton over the peace process. Abbas thinks history will repeat itself. Mahmoud, I hate to piss on your parade but, in case you haven't noticed, these are different times. When Netanyahu was driven from office in the mid 90's it was not long after the slaying of Yitzchak Rabin in the wake of the false optimism of the Oslo fiasco. It was also before the second intifada, which was launched by Yassir Arafat when he and Ehud Barak were on the verge of a deal that would have given him virtually all of the West Bank with a piece of Jerusalem as the capital of the new Terror Kleptocracy. When faced with actually having to lead a real country (which would have meant demonstrating to his generous world financial backers, whose money he pocketed in the billions, that he could actually do so) he decided he'd rather keep stealing the world's money out of the pockets of his people, and keep killing Jews. If your real desire is to eradicate the Jewish state and take all the land "from the river to the sea," as the traditional chant goes, accepting borders that give you less sorta kills that notion.
Here's another fly in the ointment for Abu Killajew; Ehud Olmert offered Abbas 97% of the West Bank, and a portion of Jerusalem to Abbas. Like the scraggle bearded angel of death before him, Abu Killajew said, "No thanks." Jackson Diehl, a man apparently lacking the savvy to realize that Fatah and Hamas are two sides of the same coin, confirmed the existence of the deal from Abbas' own mouth:
In our meeting Wednesday, Abbas acknowledged that Olmert had shown him a map proposing a Palestinian state on 97 percent of the West Bank -- though he complained that the Israeli leader refused to give him a copy of the plan. He confirmed that Olmert "accepted the principle" of the "right of return" of Palestinian refugees -- something no previous Israeli prime minister had done -- and offered to resettle thousands in Israel. In all, Olmert's peace offer was more generous to the Palestinians than either that of Bush or Bill Clinton; it's almost impossible to imagine Obama, or any Israeli government, going further.
Abbas turned it down.
Diehl also states in the article that Netanyahu did not make Arab recognition a precondition of meeting with Abbas. So not only is Diehl lacking savvy, he's also an idiot, as Netanyahu made it very clear in the White House that this concession was an absolute necessity. [Is it any wonder why print media is failing? It's being put together by people who don't know a hawk from a handsaw.]
Abbas is a killer first and a diplomat...well, never. His own lack of smarts is showing. Perhaps he's growing soft in the brain. He rejected the best deal Israel will ever give, even sweeter than Barak's in 2000. He has, as has Fatah and Hamas, gone on record again with Diehl, as he did a couple months ago, and as he does periodically over time, saying he will not ever recognize Israel.
Abbas rejects the notion that he should make any comparable concession -- such as recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, which would imply renunciation of any large-scale resettlement of refugees.[Life is normal now? Well then I guess we'll stop hearing all the death to Israel chanting, and you won't be needing all that World Bank money now too I suppose] Now he hopes the Israeli public will forget this, along with forgetting the intifada, and eight years of Hamas rockets, which continue to fall after a full evacuation of Jewish settlements in Gaza (oh, yeah...that's something else Israelis know now Abu...land for peace is a lie). Here's a newsflash, that's the reason the Israeli electorate put a right wing government in power, you dumbass.
Instead, he says, he will remain passive. "I will wait for Hamas to accept international commitments. I will wait for Israel to freeze settlements," he said. "Until then, in the West Bank we have a good reality . . . the people are living a normal life." In the Obama administration, so far, it's easy being Palestinian
The Barry of course is right in line with Abbas, increasing the pressure on Israel, in tandem with George Mitchell and the State Department, and apparently Barry's lovers in the Arab League, to freeze all settlement construction, including the "natural growth" of the large established communities. Bibi has agreed to halt the establishment of new settlements, and has consented to taking down hilltop outposts, which religious zealots reestablish as soon as they are torn down. But the expansion construction of established settlements will continue. Apparently only the Jews are not allowed to have children and expect them to be able to live in the towns in which they were born. But Israel is supposed to accept "right of return" of Arabs to Israel. Who exactly are the advocates of apartheid? The Israeli response to the pressure so far has been, "Go park it where the sun don't shine."
On Saturday night Elkin said:
"With all due respect to the United States, our strategic ally, we are an independent democratic country, and our political leadership is chosen by internal democratic processes."
Another senior government official said:
"It would be a pity if the Palestinian leadership threw away the very real chance that exists to move forward with this Israeli government on our proposed three-track approach of political, economic and security issues. If they decide they don't want to work to move the process forward, they'll have no one to blame but themselves."
The Barry is now going to have to come to terms with reality. The two sides have dug their heels in. One side will not make any concessions that hinders its ability to destroy the other. One side will not negotiate until the other concedes its right to exist. To an ethical human being, who is supposed to be the leader of the free world, it would make sense to lean on the side bent on the other's destruction. Not so with The Barry. If it's anti-Israel, anti-Jew, and flies in the face of American interest, it has to be good to The Barry. Pressure is being applied on Israel by the White House to commit suicide.
It has not taken the Israeli government long to figure out what I and others have known for some time; The Barry is hostile to Israel, and cannot be relied on. He cannot be relied on to use American influence to shield Israel from Iranian nukes. He cannot be relied on to be an honest broker for peace that will force the Arabs to finally let go of the notion that they are going to be allowed to destroy Israel.
And what is the response to this realization? Israel is following the suggestion I made at this blog in early March. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is traveling to Russia and Belarus on Monday. According to Lieberman's spokesman, Tzhai Moshe, Lieberman will be meeting with President Medvedev, Prime Minister Putin, and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for talks, "that are part of the special strategic connection which the minister believes Israel has with Russia."
He went on to say that they will, "discuss many issues, including Iran and the strengthening of Israel's relationship with 'Eastern bloc' countries." This might include expanding Israel's role in helping Russia deal with Islamic terrorists, potential arms deals (Israel is already moving full speed ahead in producing UAVs for Russia in a multi-million dollar deal, the first time Russia has purchased a weapons system from Israel, the pace quickening with the announcement that Russia has cancelled its sale of Mig-31s to Syria; and has assured Jerusalem that it would not sell the s300 defense missile system to Iran), technology exchanges, or maybe Black Sea Fleet access to Israeli ports, or maybe piping Russian oil through Israel to the Red Sea so Russia could circumvent the Suez Canal, a notion that has already been bandied about by the two countries. I bet joint submarine exercises in the Mediterranean would make a lot of people crap their drawers. I wonder if the Department of Defense and The Barry will rethink the strategy of withholding the sales of new American fighter planes and Apache Longbows to Israel. Or maybe they'll just buy the MiG-31s that Syria was going to get. They sound more suited to Israel's pressing needs vis a vis Iran's nuclear weapons program anyway.
I would not be surprised if The Barry tried calling Putin and Medvedev today to try and stymie the talks. I wonder how Russian snickering sounds on the red phone these days? It's probably hilarious. All in all this is just another indication that The Barry is in over his head, the threads of our international relations are slipping in the hands of an inexperienced puppet master who is more used to committing election fraud and being lazy than he is upholding the law and doing actual grownup stuff. Even Shrub had Darth Vader.
Stay tuned. Things haven't been this interesting in the Middle East since the Cold War. Too bad America is in the hands of Jimmy Carter 2.0. He has led Abbas to believe that he could put a pie in Israel's face and get away with it. If Bugs Bunny has taught us anything, and I'd like to think that he has, such a notion is a big mistake.
Do you like blackberry pie?