Giving Away The Store Before Even Opening The Door

Can you imagine a news article this morning that reads:

“Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the PLO and the unelected leader of the Palestinian Authority, told Western reporters yesterday that the Palestinians are willing to make “significant concessions” for peace. 

Abbas went on to say: “We Palestinians realize that the negotiations will be tough and both sides will have to compromise. For our part, we are ready to be flexible on the issues of Palestinian refugees and recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.”

He continued that the Palestinians are willing to entertain the idea of Israeli sovereignty over the Haram ash-Sharif in Jerusalem, and “while not agreeing to any preconditions” have agreed to pay Israel the nearly one billion shekels the PA owes in electrical bills in order to get Israelis to come to the negotiating table.”

Of course you can’t.

You can’t because the Palestinians know how to “negotiate”. They never offer anything. Even when they make what seems to be a “concession” to get negotiations moving again such as agreeing not to pursue Palestinian statehood at the United Nations in September, their U.N. representative immediately stands up in the Security Council and accuses Israel of “war crimes.”  No one, not President Obama, not John Kerry, and not the European Union, says a word. 

Contrast this Palestinian strategy with that shown by Israel’s so-called Minister of Intelligence, Minister of International Relations, and Minister of Strategic Affairs, Yuval Steinitz. Steinitz told the British newspaper “The Telegraph” in an interview dated this morning, July 26, 2013:

“We are prepared to make considerable concessions and it’s not going to be easy but both both sides will have to make very significant concessions and very difficult concessions. We will probably have to make very serious territorial concessions and the Palestinians will also have to make also those territorial concessions because there will be settlement blocs and things like that, but more important still they will have to recognize the very existence of the Jewish people and the Jewish state.”

In an otherwise fine statement about what the Palestinians will have to do, why in the world does Steinitz tell the world in advance “we will probably have to make very serious territorial concessions”What kind of absurd negotiating strategy is it to tell the Palestinians what Israel is willing to give up before the “negotiators” even arrive in Washington?

The simple fact is that Israel does not have a coherent negotiating strategy because it will futilely go to almost any length to curry international favor before the process of making even more Israeli concessions begins.

Israel seems determined to give away the store before even opening the door.  


About the Author
George Rooks is a retired faculty member of the University of California, Davis. A lifelong writer, he has been writing the blog for more than two years with readers in more than 100 countries. Long time chairman of the largest committee in his synagogue back in northern California, he directs numerous Israel advocacy projects in his locale and is a well-known speaker in the area. He and his wife live half of each year in California and half in Ashdod.
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