Palestinians Reject Israel’s Demand for Legitimacy, Peace Talks in Doubt
October 12, 2010
(ChattahBox World News)— Another wrench has been tossed in the works to further impede progress in the direct peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians. The expiration of the West Bank settlement freeze, prompted the Palestinians to demand an additional freeze as a condition to continue with the U.S. led peace negotiations. But hardliner settlers and Israel cabinet members are not about to agree to another freeze on construction. So, in one fell swoop, Netanyahu put it all on the line, imposing another condition on any settlement freeze. He demanded that the Palestinians unequivocally accept the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish nation-state.
The Palestinians called the new terms “unacceptable.”
“Netanyahu told parliament yesterday he was ready to convene his Cabinet and ask for a renewal of a freeze on settlement building if “the Palestinian leadership tells its people in an unequivocal manner that it recognizes Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.”’
“Mohammad Shtayyeh, a member of the Palestinian Authority negotiating team, said Netanyahu’s demand was “unacceptable.”’
Moving the goal line even further at this stage in the peace talks, provides BiBi political cover with the right-wing officials dominating his cabinet. But it does little to advance the peace process.
“Palestinian refusal to accept Israel as the Jewish homeland and their unwillingness to renounce future claims against it means “there is no chance in the coming years for a peace agreement,” Minister of Strategic Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, told Israel’s Army Radio today.”
Moshe Ya’alon continued, as reported by the Jerusalem Post:
“In the eyes of the Palestinians, the occupation started in ’48 and not in ’67. It is not only Hamas that thinks this way, but also [PA President Mahmoud Abbas]. They need to be released from this delusion, from not recognizing Israel as the home of the Jewish people, and from from their readiness to agree that an agreement will be the end of all mutual claims,” he said in the interview.”
As long as the Palestinians refuse to recognize Israel’s legitimacy, the loudest radical voices of both governments would influence the peace talks, leaving any short-term progress in doubt.
And so it goes. A hundred years in the future, there will still be no peace, and the same arguments will be made.