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Debates Forum

  1. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    17 Jun '10 16:31
    Sorry for the slightly spammy post, but I couldn't reasonably cut any of these points.

    http://www.jstreet.org/blog/?p=1102

    In a wide-ranging, nearly two-hour roundtable discussion, Abbas told us plainly that the only solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is two states living side by side in peace and security, with the 1967 borders as a basis and land swaps to account for on-the-ground developments. The capital of Israel would be in Jerusalem’s Jewish neighborhoods and the Palestinian neighborhoods of East Jerusalem would be the capital of the Palestinian state.

    He recognized Israel’s right to exist and expressed real understanding of its security needs. He affirmed the historic ties of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, citing the Koran, and stated that it’s up to Israel to determine the character of the state - whether it’s a Jewish state, a state of all its citizens, or if it prefers to use some other formulation. To those who ask why he won’t recognize Israel as the Jewish state, he asks – rightly in my opinion – why Israel should need the Palestinian imprimatur to determine its character.

    He also rightly admitted that there is incitement in the Palestinian Authority and that it is wrong. He asked – justifiably to my mind – why the Israelis refuse to revive the mechanism for addressing incitement that they agreed to in the Wye River agreements, signed during Prime Minister Netanyahu’s last term in office. The Wye River agreement created a trilateral committee of Israel, Palestinians and the US to review charges from both sides of incitement. Abbas is prepared to address all instances that are judged to be incitement by such a committee and asks that Israel do the same.

    He is ready to negotiate directly with Israel, he says, once the Americans establish clearly that Israel is ready to present serious proposals on security and borders as has been requested by the United States. He says he has presented ideas and proposals on both topics to Mitchell and they’re waiting for Israel.

    He’s gone on Israeli TV to establish directly with the Israeli people that he is serious about ending the conflict. He’s asked Prime Minister Netanyahu to do the same, but he has refused so far.

    Finally, he quoted back to the group the old adage that the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. While that may have been true about the Palestinians at one time, he said, today it’s the Israelis who are missing the opportunity – not simply for a two-state solution but for comprehensive peace under the Arab Peace Initiative.


    Now, no doubt there will be some who will simple call Abbas a corrupt collaborator and some on the other side who will call him a terrorist.

    But, for you reasonable people out there (and you know who you are): Does anyone disagree with this basic formulation?
  2. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    17 Jun '10 16:40 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sh76
    [Abbas] recognized Israel’s right to exist and expressed real understanding of its security needs. He affirmed the historic ties of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, citing the Koran, and stated that it’s up to Israel to determine the character of the state - whether it’s a Jewish state, a state of all its citizens, or if it prefers to use some other formulation.
    Why do so many pro-Israeli commentators so often say that the Palestinians refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist and that Palestinians refuse to acknowledge Israel's security needs, I wonder.
  3. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    17 Jun '10 16:43
    Originally posted by sh76
    The Palestinian neighborhoods of East Jerusalem would be the capital of the Palestinian state.
    I don't think Israel will ever go for this.
  4. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    17 Jun '10 16:46
    Originally posted by FMF
    Why do so many pro-Israeli commentators so often say that the Palestinians refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist and that Palestinians refuse to acknowledge Israel's security needs, I wonder.
    I don't know that the reasonable ones say this with respect to all Palestinians, but rather with respect to certain Palestinians who are in power, such as certain member of the Hamas leadership.
  5. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    17 Jun '10 16:47
    Originally posted by sh76
    ...the only solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is two states living side by side in peace and security, with the 1967 borders as a basis and land swaps to account for on-the-ground developments.
    Does he envisage Israel ceding bits of pre-1967 Israel to the Palestinians in "swaps" for land occupied now by Israeli settlements on the West Bank? Can't see that happening.
  6. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    17 Jun '10 16:48
    Originally posted by FMF
    I don't think Israel will ever go for this.
    You might be right; but I hope you're not. Having the Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem be the Palestinian capital is perfectly reasonable. Israel will want to keep control of the Old City, of course, with some sort of shared control over Temple Mount. But that doesn't seem to be a major roadblock.
  7. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    17 Jun '10 16:48
    Originally posted by sh76
    I don't know that the reasonable ones say this with respect to all Palestinians, but rather with respect to certain Palestinians who are in power, such as certain member of the Hamas leadership.
    Haven't Hamas backed away from their Destroy Israel doctrine?
  8. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    17 Jun '10 16:52
    Originally posted by FMF
    Does he envisage Israel ceding bits of pre-1967 Israel to the Palestinians in "swaps" for land occupied now by Israeli settlements on the West Bank? Can't see that happening.
    Barak agreed to this idea in principle in 2000. A one-for-one swap of WB territory with settlements on it for equal land inside the Green line seems fair. I would not expect the Palestinians to settle finally for anything less and I'm pretty sure Israel would do it under the right circumstances (though a Netanyahu government might not).
  9. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    17 Jun '10 16:54 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by FMF
    Haven't Hamas backed away from their Destroy Israel doctrine?
    Yes, it appears that there have been some public statements to that effect. I don't know what they say to themselves in private, but one can't really control that anyway.

    I would agree that negotiations with Hamas are probably necessary, although Abbas seems less susceptible to religious fanaticism, and thus more reasonable.
  10. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    17 Jun '10 16:55
    Originally posted by sh76
    Does anyone disagree with this basic formulation?
    I think Israel will, which is all that really matters in terms of 'facts on the ground'. What is interesting about Abbas' 2 hour round table effort and his stuff on Israeli TV is that he will have painted himself as plausible and reasonble - underming the Israeli "we have no partner for peace" thing - which could affect his ability to spin things at certain times in the future. I would imagine though that some hardline Israeli political and media stakeholders will be briefing journalists on the 'doubts that the naive/well-intentioned Abbas can carry his people' etc. etc.
  11. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    17 Jun '10 16:58
    Originally posted by sh76
    Abbas seems less susceptible to religious fanaticism, and thus more reasonable.
    He seems less susceptible to religious fanaticism? He has always cut an essentially secular figure in my mind's eye - in the 'for all intents and purposes' sense, at least. Have I missed something? While "more reasonable" and not "susceptible to religious fanaticism", is he cloyingly religious to some degree?
  12. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    17 Jun '10 16:58
    Originally posted by FMF
    I think Israel will, which is all that really matters in terms of 'facts on the ground'.
    The Netanyahu government, which is susceptible to the right wing extremists that form part of its base might. But I wager that if these tenets were put to a referendum in Israel, it would easily garner majority approval. Of course, I can't prove that; but other than the settlers, I don't think most Israelis give a hoot over things like who has civil control over which patches of desert and whether Palestinian East Jerusalem remains under Israeli sovereignty.
  13. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    17 Jun '10 16:59
    Originally posted by FMF
    He seems less susceptible to religious fanaticism? He has always cut an essentially secular figure in my mind's eye - in the 'for all intents and purposes' sense, at least. Have I missed something? While "more reasonable" and not "susceptible to religious fanaticism", is he cloyingly religious to some degree?
    Okay's I'll rephrase:

    Abbas seems not susceptible to religious fanaticism, and thus more reasonable.
  14. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    17 Jun '10 17:00
    Originally posted by sh76
    I would agree that negotiations with Hamas are probably necessary...
    Abbas took pains NOT to say this, presumably.
  15. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    17 Jun '10 17:00
    Originally posted by sh76
    Okay's I'll rephrase: Abbas seems not susceptible to religious fanaticism, and thus more reasonable.
    In what way do you see him as a religious figure at all?