Today everyone is concerned that the negotiations with the Palestinians will “fall apart.” If that happens, it is said, there will be severe consequences for Israel: boycotts and delegitimization (because no matter what, Israel will be blamed for the failure of the talks), possibly another violent intifada (because Palestinians will then be even more ‘frustrated’ than usual), there will be anti-Israel actions by the UN, the Americans will stop supporting Israel diplomatically, etc.
Therefore, it is said that Israel must do everything possible to ensure that the talks continue.
This is despite the fact that everyone must know by now that the Palestinians will not and cannot honestly agree to end the conflict. As I said the other day, even if we offer them a state in all of Judea and Samaria — leaving aside the security considerations that make this impossible — they will never stop insisting that the part of the land of Israel that they don’t get also belongs to them, and will never stop trying to get it.
This is the essence of the Palestinian narrative, the Palestinian Cause, and what they have been assiduously teaching their youth. This is why Palestinian refugee status is hereditary, and why there are hundreds of thousands of refugees who are not permitted to assimilate in their countries of residence, and why they demand a “right of return.” This isn’t rocket science (pardon the expression). Just ask a Palestinian.
But if we know that the talks can’t succeed, why keep up the pretense? Well, in order to avoid the consequences discussed in the first paragraph.
My hypothetical visitor from Mars is shaking what would be his head, if he were an Earthling. This is so pointless.
But it is not pointless for the Palestinians. They have made it clear to the US that they will talk only if they are paid to do so. So they receive bribes, including money and military aid (to, er, “fight terrorism.”) Most important, every time there is a ‘crisis’ in negotiations (which they create), they threaten to walk away unless they get something from Israel. They present their demands, and the US explains to Israel that it’s necessary to “generate good will,” to “build confidence,” or to “strengthen (the allegedly moderate) Abbas.” So Israel releases 104 murderers, for example. This has been going on literally for decades.
Note that Israel gets nothing in return, except a continuation of the talks that we know will not succeed. And the Palestinian demands are never satisfied. Israel offers an additional 400 prisoners? Not enough, say the Palestinians, give us 1000! A construction freeze in Judea and Samaria? Not enough, it must include eastern Jerusalem!
I submit that the consequences of continuing the talks are worse than letting them fall. It will happen anyway at some point, and Israel will be worse off because of all the concessions it has made along the way.
Israel doesn’t need to be ashamed of its history and of its possession of Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. It doesn’t need to apologize for its struggle to keep the Jewish homeland that has been reestablished after almost 2000 years. And it doesn’t need to pretend that its enemies — who themselves don’t pretend otherwise — are interested in coexistence.