As these words are written, Secretary of State John Kerry has announced agreement with Israel and the Ramallah government to restart peace talks, a Foreign Ministerial-level meeting is to be held shortly,
Ramallah continues both its condemnation of “Zionist atrocities” and reiterates its willingness to conduct negotiations on the basis of pre-1967 borders, Israel has said a return to pre-1967 borders – which would leave only 9.3 miles from the Mediterranean to hostile Arab territory – is out of the question but it will release 104 prisoners as a token of good faith.
Mahmoud Abbas, who in the past has said “We want the Israelis to leave. They want to leave – so let us let them leave” said on Monday in a briefing to mostly Egyptian journalists quoted by Reuters, less than a day after Kerry’s announcement, “In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli – civilian or soldier – on our lands.”
Hamas has reiterated its refusal to negotiate anything at all with Israel under any circumstances whatsoever. Hamas may be the only honest player on the field.
Some things never change; if the talks do, in fact, take place they will fail as always. As Israel’s Foreign Minister Abba Eban said at the Geneva Peace Conference with Arab countries (December 1973), “[t]he Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” However, Eban’s aphorism missed the fact, incomprehensible to reasonable minds, that these “failures” have been a deliberate policy from the start.
Arab leaders in the West Bank and Gaza don’t want their own state, and never have except as a tactical feint to an overarching objective. What they do want is the obliteration of Jews and Israel at any cost and under any pretext.
As PLO executive committee member Zahir Muhsein said in a March 31, 1977 interview with the Dutch newspaper Trouw: “The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct “Palestinian people” to oppose Zionism.
Herewith, the Escher-Aiken Roadmap to Peace in the Middle East, a simple plan named for the late Senator George Aiken (R-VT) who, during the turmoil over US involvement in Southeast Asia, said “the best policy is to declare victory and get out”, which, of course, is what finally happened, and the Dutch graphic artist M. C. Escher, renowned for drawing physical objects that couldn’t possibly exist.