Indirect talks with Israel: Chasing an illusion

The recent decision by the Palestinian Authority (PA) to hold indirect talks with the government of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was utterly unjustified, since the latter has shown no sign that it is willing to change its current inflexible position on a final settlement of the conflict.

Netanyahu’s government still refuses to withdraw to 1967 borders, still considers Jerusalem its “undivided” capital, and still forbids Palestinians from returning to their rightful homes. Moreover, it continues to build settlements, judaize Jerusalem and view local holy sites as part of its own “cultural heritage.”

Therefore, the PA’s decision to participate in talks–even indirect ones–merely goes to show that it is the Palestinians who are pleading for a solution; that they will accept anything the Israelis deign to give them.

But can we blame the PA alone? Certainly not, since the Palestinians sought support from the Arab states. But the Arab League took a lenient stance, claiming that it wanted to give the Obama administration four more months to “remove the obstacles” impeding direct talks.

Strangely enough, the league announced its position in a statement issued from Washington–not from its Cairo headquarters.

But Israel nonetheless refused all this and requested that direct talks resume immediately, while it continued to build ever more settlements on occupied Palestinian land.

The PA, for its part, kept talking about US “guarantees,” which never existed in the first place.

The Arabs’ next move is known: should indirect talks fail, they will go to the International Court of Justice and call for yet another conference.

But since when was that court–or any other international institution for that matter–impartial when it came to Israel?

The four-month deadline will pass without the Palestinians getting anything, the US will ask for more time, and the Arabs will continue to run after illusions.

When will the Arabs–and the Palestinian factions–learn that the only way out of the impasse is armed resistance?

But will the Arab regimes, which have forfeited their sovereignty, ever allow this option to be pursued?

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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