The definition of stupidity
US Middle East envoy David Hale is expected to return to the region in the coming days for talks aimed at reviving the peace process, Ameen Makbul, a Fatah official in the West Bank, said Thursday.Funny, those 'new' ideas sound remarkably like the old ones, don't they?
Makbul did not say whether Hale would try to arrange a meeting between Abbas and Netanyahu.
Makbul said that Hale would brief the PA leadership on US plans to break the current stalemate in the peace process.
The Americans have told the Palestinian leadership that they have "positive ideas" to revive the peace process, Makbul said.
After Hale's visit, the PA leadership will make a final decision whether to go ahead with the statehood bid at the UN or return to the negotiating table, the Fatah official said.
The London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper quoted a senior Palestinian official said that renewed US efforts to revive the peace talks are designed to stop the PA from pursuing its plan to seek unilateral UN recognition of a Palestinian state.
The official said that fresh US ideas include more goodwill gestures on the part of Israel, such as the release of Palestinian prisoners and freezing settlement construction.
Last night, somebody in the US sent me an email telling me that a well-known persona in the US had suggested that now that Israel has a 'big' government, it can 'afford' to adopt a 'settlement freeze' without worrying about losing its 'extremists' in the coalition. He suggested that I run the story on my blog. I told him that I would not give the person who proposed doing this the publicity by publishing the idea on my blog, because I think that it's an idea that's been tried and failed, and that it's a stupid idea. I cited Einstein's definition of stupidity.
This morning, there was a commentary on Israel Radio that explained that more than anyone else in Israel, Prime Minister Netanyahu aims to please Defense Minister Ehud Barak, even though Barak seemingly has no political base and may not even be a part of the next Knesset. The example they cited was Netanyahu's killing a bill to increase the power of the National Security Council, which had been promoted by National Security Adviser Uzi Arad, who has been a Netanyahu confidant for many years. The bill was killed because Barak didn't like it - he didn't want to take away more power from his ministry or from the IDF. The context was that as a result of the bill being killed, the National Security Council played no significant role in planning what became the Mavi Marmara fiasco.
Netanyahu cannot adopt Ehud Barak's policies vis a vis the 'Palestinians,' which, as you may recall, involved giving the 'Palestinians' 95% or so of what they wanted. While Netanyahu may have dodged a bullet regarding the law last week that would have saved Beit El's Ulpana neighborhood, I believe that he would have a very difficult time keeping the Likud in line for a Knesset vote on a 'settlement freeze.' Let alone all those 'extremists' who would most certainly desert him.
Then again, having a coalition of 30 or so (out of 120) did not stop Ehud Barak from going to Camp David in 2000.
What could go wrong?