Mahmoud Abbas is calling for a boycott of everything, everything beyond the Green Line that is blue & white. Maybe it is some decent negotiating tactic – something about pressure – but given the history of Palestinian negotiations, there is no intent to compromise on settlements being swapped with Israel for equal amounts of land exchanged to a Palestinian State. He has the opportunity to be more specific, to isolate settlements that wouldn’t be annexed to Israel, but he either doesn’t want to be or he hasn’t the power to be.
Personally, I’d negotiate as far as I could to retain Jewish blocs of settlements. I’d go further to come to some sort of split even of the Temple Mount if it were practical, possible and had any meaning. Mahmoud Abbas isn’t negotiating in good faith if he’s calling for a boycott of the people he is trading with. At this point the most he has to do is give up on Palestinian returnees to the State of Israel, but he won’t do it.
In the meantime, I’m ready to raise my kids to think about this conflict with a little more sophistication and tenacity, ready to negotiate for something meaningful if the time ever comes. But right now we’re looking at a forced treaty held together by American money and UN ‘let-me-just-get-out-of-the-way-of-your-tank’ peacekeepers, the diplomatic equivalent of really old duct tape and Elmer’s glue.
So spare me the trumpets a moment while I let my cynicism have my day, over a negotiating process that claims having ‘sovereignty under the Temple Mount‘ is of any value to Judaism or Jewish heritage in general; forgive my snickering when the definition of peace is contorted to justify the release of unremorseful and unreformed murderers whose crimes had no political motivation and only the intent to kill; look the other way while I roll my eyes at this worthless liar that lifts me up just enough to bring me down.
I don’t, and enough of us don’t, trust Mahmoud Abbas. It’s clear Israel is getting railroaded into these negotiations. The media secrecy only leads us to think we’re getting railroaded during them, as well. Israel is negotiating with half a country and being compelled to sign a proverbial blank check in an agreement that only invites more demands in the future from a government that teaches its citizens its okay to value its witless murderers more than the lives of any Israeli.
I’ve written this in the tone of a right-winger who sounds as though his willingness to compromise is token rhetoric, but it really isn’t. I’d split things if the right things ended up on the Jewish side of the line. But I’m weary of an armageddon prophesied by defense analysts in light of the wolf in sheep’s clothing, the comets that would fall from the sky and the proverbial tidal waves that would come crashing down on Israel.