Thursday, December 13, 2012

Chutzpah and lies in Palestinian Conditions to Renew Talks

Chutzpah and lies in Palestinian Conditions to Renew Talks

Dr. Aaron Lerner 

Let’s walk through the three “principles” Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat set for a return to the negotiating table in remarks broadcast on Voice of Palestine Radio today – as reported by AFP:

+++"The first principle is that the goal of the peace process -- according to all previously signed agreements and international law -- is the withdrawal of Israel to the June 4, 1967 borderline, including Jerusalem."

This is a barefaced lie. Nowhere in any of the signed agreements is there any indication that Israel agreed to withdraw “to the June 4, 1967 borderline, including Jerusalem."

+++"The second principle is related to the necessity of re-launching negotiations from the point they were halted, which means they should not start from scratch like Netanyahu wants them to be.”

This is incredible chutzpah. Saeb Erekat knows damn well that Israel is a democracy and what that means. And first and foremost that means that the Israeli public has every right to change its leadership and in turn its negotiating positions. Yes, signed agreements remain agreements regardless of who is defeated and who elected, but it is downright silly to assert that elected Israeli leaders are somehow obligated to honor the negotiating positions of their political rivals.

+++"The third principle is to set a six-month time-table for the negotiations to reach an agreement over all final status issues…Settlement activity should be halted during this period of time and Palestinian prisoners should be released in accordance with previously signed agreements and not as preconditions."

This is a combination of a lie and chutzpah: the provisions in the agreements for prisoner release as they apply to the prisoners serving time now do not actually require the release of groups Erekat apparently has in
mind (including terrorists serving time for such heinous crimes committed before Oslo that they remain behind bars to this day). Settlement activity is not restricted by the agreements signed to date.