PLO Official: New Approach Needed on Talks
03/03/11
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NEW YORK (JTA) -- The PLO representative to Washington called for a new approach to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying the two sides are far from resolution.

“We are not close to ending this conflict,” the representative, Maen Rashid Areikat, said Wednesday at a kosher luncheon organized by New York University’s Taub Center for Israel Studies and the Berman Jewish Policy Archive at NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service.

“We cannot continue to pursue the same failed policies we’ve followed for 20 years,” he said. “We should abandon the management crisis efforts and get to the real work of conflict resolution here.”

Areikat said the current Israeli government is “not serious” about peace, telling the mostly Jewish audience: “You cannot continue to support Israel blindly, even when they make mistakes.”

The remark came a day after President Obama reportedly told a group of about 50 Jewish organizational representatives at the White House that they should speak to their friends and colleagues in Israel and to “search your souls” over Israel's seriousness about making peace.

Areikat rejected the notion of resuming direct negotiations with Israel while Israel continues Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank, saying it’s an issue of “credibility.”

The Palestinian Authority broke off direct talks with Israel after Israel’s self-imposed, 10-month moratorium on new settlement construction expired last September, just weeks after the Palestinians had returning to the negotiating table.

Areikat also said the Palestinians cannot return to the negotiating table until the end game is clear on such issues as borders, the right of return for Palestinian refugees and a timeline for Palestinian statehood.

Areikat called his speech Wednesday part of the PLO’s “continued effort to open dialogue with the Jewish community.”

Last Update:

03/07/2011 - 08:14

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'Areikat said the current Israeli government is “not serious” about peace, telling the mostly Jewish audience: “You cannot continue to support Israel blindly, even when they make mistakes.”'
I'll grant he has chutzpa - but chutzpa is not what the Palestinians need.

Netanyahu recently said he favored a Palestinian state under the following conditions:
• Any Palestinian state must be demilitarized, without an air force, full-fledged army or heavy weapons.

• Palestinians may not sign treaties with powers hostile to Israel.

• A Palestinian state must allow Israeli civilian and military aircraft unfettered access to Palestinian airspace, allow Israel to retain control of the airwaves and to station Israeli troops on a future state's eastern and southern borders.

• Palestinians must accept Israel as a Jewish state, a nod to the hawkish side of Mr. Netanyahu's governing coalition that has raised concerns that the Palestinian Authority, which nominally governs the West Bank, does not recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

If the Palestinians truly wanted a state of their own, they would agree to this offer.
There is no doubt that in 1948, Jews would have jumped at this deal for a state of their own if it were offered. In fact, the territorial situation for Jews that the United Nations created in 1948 was far worse. Israel wasn't just postage stamp size - it was a chopped up stamp.

All talks to date have been based on UN Security Council Resolution 242. Yet, this resolution does not expect Israel to withdraw the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to the 1949 armistice (green) lines - dubbed 1967 border - but rather to "secure and recognized boundaries" And 242 does not call for the setting up of an additional state in the region in resolving the Arab Israeli conflict. In fact, 242 doesn't even mention concepts such as "Palestinians" or "Palestine".

Israel's willing to set up an independent "Palestinian state" has been a major good will gesture that the PLO now takes for granted, for no good reason.

And, the very same PLO, this representative included, continues to refuse to accept, 62 years after its proclamation, of Israel's RIGHT to be - not the FACT that it is - to exist as the nation-state of the Jewish people while demanding a nation state of the "Palestinians", the Arabs of Eretz Israel who, until the very late 1960s and early 1970s didn't refer to themselves but as Muslims and Arabs.

It is time we, Jews, open our eyes and view reality for what it is: The Muslim-Arab drive today is of the same nature that it has been all along: the erasing of the nation-state of the Jewish people, Israel, off the face of earth; if not in full scale war, that they have attempted and failed, than in stages, while categorically refusing to accept Israel's right to be!!

If the Palestinians cannot return to negotiations until "the endgame is clear on such issues as borders, the right of return for Palestinian refugees and a timeline for Palestinian statehood," then what is left for negotiations? This does not sound like the Palestinians want to negotiate, and why is nobody picking up on that?

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