view counter
U.S. Negotiators Blame Israel For Collapse Of Talks
Photo Galleria: 

U.S. negotiators said Israel’s settlement policy was the primary reason the peace talks failed.

At least two officials speaking anonymously to Yediot Achronot in a report May 2 by longtime senior correspondent Nahum Barnea said multiple factors were at play in last month’s collapse of the U.S.-backed talks, but Israel’s settlement policy was preeminent.

“There are a lot of reasons for the peace effort’s failure, but people in Israel shouldn’t ignore the bitter truth — the primary sabotage came from the settlements,” one of the officials said. “The Palestinians don’t believe that Israel really intends to let them found a state when, at the same time, it is building settlements on the territory meant for that state. We’re talking about the announcement of 14,000 housing units, no less. Only now, after talks blew up, did we learn that this is also about expropriating land on a large scale. That does not reconcile with the agreement.”

The officials said Israel’s refusal to address borders in the talks inhibited progress. Had the borders been settled, the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could continue to build within the agreed parameters, the officials said, but without such agreement, the continued building exacerbated tensions.

“At this point, it’s very hard to see how the negotiations could be renewed, let alone lead to an agreement,” the officials said. “Towards the end, [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas demanded a three-month freeze on settlement construction. His working assumption was that if an accord is reached, Israel could build along the new border as it pleases. But the Israelis said no.”

One of the quoted officials said the world community pays more attention to Israel’s actions than other countries because it was founded by a UN resolution.

“Its prosperity depends on the way it is viewed by the international community,” the official said.

The official added, “The Jewish people are supposed to be smart; it is true that they’re also considered a stubborn nation. You’re supposed to know how to read the map: In the 21st century, the world will not keep tolerating the Israeli occupation. The occupation threatens Israel’s status in the world and threatens Israel as a Jewish state.”

Later in the interview, one of the officials told Yediot, “The Palestinians are tired of the status quo. They will get their state in the end, whether through violence or by turning to international organizations.”

According to one of the officials, the United States is “taking a time-out to think and reevaluate.”

Separately, Haaretz reported Sunday that Martin Indyk, the chief U.S. negotiator, will resign as the U.S. special envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. Such reports have been circulating since the collapse of the talks last month.

On April 30, a U.S. official close to Indyk denied he was leaving in a comment to JTA, and on Monday another official confirmed that Indyk was not leaving government.

Prior to assuming this post last July, Indyk headed the Saban Center, a Middle East policy shop, at the Brookings Institution.

Asked whether Indyk was returning, a top Brookings official told JTA, “No comment.”

Last Update:

05/12/2014 - 17:59
The Jewish Week App -- Now Available!
view counter


The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Comment Guidelines

The Jewish Week feels comments create a valuable conversation and wants to feature your thoughts on our website. To make everyone feel welcome, we won't publish comments that are profane, irrelevant, promotional or make personal attacks.

I simply don't believe that building houses, schools, and shopping centers in disputed territory to accommodate natural growth is a cause of the conflict or anything for which Israel should be blamed. Look at Homs, Syria. It has been flattened. Is that what 'the world' wants? No. This is about 'the world' wanting Jews to disappear. It is about a scandalous, corrupt world which is in denial about their pathology. Who gave the the Palestinians the license to cleanse Jews from disputed territory? Complicity in 'the world's' intolerance of Jews is a disgrace.

The same goes for the Israeli side. Each time when there is a smidgeon of hope, here comes another order to build another "settlement". They know to choose the right time. In the eyes of the world we are the bad guys. Why doesn't Israel remind every one that Israel was the ONLY one to sign the partition. In my view the Arabs abandoned their right to the land. Do not forget our President faces daily over one billion Muslims. I would not want to be in his shoes. Let Shias and Sunis kill each other, and when the old leadership is gone, maybe the younger ones and educated who see the benefits of working with Israel and not against, the maybe progress can be made.

The US should have some highly educated, well-intentioned negotiators trying to promote Middle East policy - I would think. Their failure, however, was easy to foresee and not at all the fault of Israel. Reasonably informed, objective observers should have known from the beginning that with the widespread turbulence in the Arab world, the Palestinians were in no mood for real peace with the Jewish state and the Israeli's could not afford to engage in yet another territorial compromise which was likely to end badly. That is the perspective from which this whole Kerry-lead peace initiative should be seen. It was doomed to failure before it started and never should have taken place. Yet it did. The real concern is about the future of this country when we are so poorly lead. If I'm so smart, what would I do about Israel? I believe Israel is a great nation and a fabulous ALLY of the US. Allies should stick together and fight common enemies. The US should not engage in undercutting Israel, as they are doing. They should stand by Israel's side. It is foolish, bordering on insane to pal up to the Arabs. They are business partners, not friends. Until our leaders start thinking clearly about the world as it is, not as we wish it were, we are all in jeopardy.

view counter