ZioNation - Progressive Zionism and Israel Web Log

ZioNation home Archives Site map Policy Definitions FAQ timeline history documents Links Photos Contact

Articles and Reference

History of Zionism and Israel
Middle East Encyclopedia
History of Anti-Semitism
History of Anti-Zionism
Encylopedic Dictionary of Zionism and Israel
Zionism and its Impact
Zionism - Issues & answers
Maps of Israel
Six Day War
War of Independence
Bible  Quotes
1948 Israel War of Independence Timeline Christian Zionism
Christian Zionism History
Gaza & the Qassam Victims of Sderot
Zionist Quotes
Learn Hebrew
Israel Boycott?
Boycott Israel?
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Jew Hate
International Zionism
Commentary in Russian
Middle East
The Grand Mufti Hajj Amin Al Husseini
Albert Einstein
Palestine: Ethnic Cleansing
History Arab-Israeli Conflict
Boycott Israel?
Amnesty International Report on Gaza War

Subscribe to
email newsletter for this site and others

Powered by groups.yahoo.com

In 2000 and 2001, Israel, the United States and the Palestinians conducted "secret" negotiations under the principle that nothing is agreed that everything is agreed, and stipulating that no sides are to release any details of the negotiations. As it turned out, the negotiations led nowhere except to the so-called second Intifadah. After the fact, partisans of each side published their own versions and commentary of what was offered and what happened. It is pretty certain that we can know most of what was really offered in 2000 and 2001 according to the account of Dennis Ross. Palestinians were offered a contiguous state in 97% of the West Bank and all of Gaza, free passage between them and sovereignty over a part of the Old City of Jerusalem as well as East Jerusalem suburbs. The status of the Temple Mount was apparently also discussed, but it is not clear what was included in the Israeli offer. In the hands of various anti-Israel publicists from Robert Malley to Jimmy Carter and Tony Klug, this offer was reduced to nonviable "Bantustans" - a fiction that they use to justify the Palestinian violence.

Having made that mistake once, you would think that Israeli negotiators would be wise enough to insist on a different format for the renewed negotiations in 2008. Instead, they have again adopted the formula of "secret" negotiations in which nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. This time, the manipulation and potential repercussions are even worse. The talks have not yet failed, as they probably will, but already the Palestinians are hastening to put out "versions." Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has of late filled the media with complaints that the talks are going nowhere and no progress has been made at all (see and here for example). A different picture emerges from recent utterances of Ahmad Qurei. Qurei manages to give different portrayals of the status of negotiations in different media outlets. In the Palestinian Maan News, he explained that negotiations have gone nowhere - the glass is mostly empty and most of what is there is poison for Palestinians. In Israeli media, he is quoted as saying that Israelis have made some concessions that are surprising and perhaps well beyond the national consensus - including Palestinian sovereignty in parts or all of "East Jerusalem" and in Latrun, a critical area on the road to Jerusalem. The glass is mostly full for Palestinians, and some Israelis will view most of the contents as poison.

The talks may soon become even more leaky, because the United States, in the grip of an election year, has now reminded itself to get actively involved in the negotiations and proposes to host trilateral talks. An outgoing president wants to make his mark on history and help his party by producing the rabbit out of the hat Middle East conflict solution. Where did we see that before? Are we going to have to have an Intifadah here every eight years in order to accommodate the needs of the US political system? To its credit, the United States also has pressured the sides to come up with a declaration of principles "soon." This would at least put the areas of agreement and disagreement before the public eye, and give both Israelis and Arabs some real way to judge what is being put on offer in their names.

In the best of all possible worlds, each meeting between the sides should result in a communique stating what issues were discussed, what offers were made and what was rejected or accepted. That might be inconvenient for diplomacy, but it is good for democracy, and it would protect the positions of all parties who were acting in good faith. Israelis of all political persuasions want to know what is happening. Doves want to know if what was offered was "enough" and hawks want to know if what was offered was too much. The same must be true of Palestinians. Therefore, this should be a universal demand. We know that is not going to happen unfortunately.

However, if there is supposed to be secrecy, let there be complete and absolute secrecy. The only comment that should be permitted about the progress of the talks should be "no comment." Otherwise, there will be a constant barrage of leaks that become weapons in the continuing propaganda war. In any case, the final result should be subject to a referendum of both Israelis and Palestinians before it is implemented.

Ami Isseroff

Original content is Copyright by the author 2008. Posted at ZioNation-Zionism and Israel Web Log, http://www.zionism-israel.com/log/archives/00000565.html where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Disributed by ZNN list. Subscribe by sending a message to ZNN-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by e-mail with this notice, cite this article and link to it. Other uses by permission only.

Click to Reddit! Facebook Share

add to del.icio.us

Add to digg - digg it

Constructive comments, including corrections, are welcome. Do not use this space for spam, publishing articles, self promotion, racism, anti-Zionist propaganda or character defamation. Inappropriate comments will be deleted. See our Comment policy for details. By posting here, you agree to the Comment policy.


Please take our reader survey!

Our Sites

Zionism News Net
Zionism-Israel Pages
Brave Zionism
IsraŽl-Palestina.Info (Dutch & English)
Our Blogs
Israel News
IMO Blog - IsraŽl & Midden-Oosten (NL)
Israel Like this, as if
Zionism News Net
Israel & Palestijnen Nieuws Blog
IsraŽl in de Media

Blog Roll:
Adam Holland
Blue Truth
CIF Watch
Contentious Centrist
Dutchblog Israel (NL/EN)
Harry's Place
Ignoble Experiment
Irene Lancaster's Diary
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Jeff Weintraub Commentaries and controversies
Jewish Issues Watchdog Meretz USA Weblog
Meryl Yourish
Middle East Analysis
MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log
Modernity Blog
Pro Israel Bay Bloggers
Point of no return
Simply Jews
Something Something
Tempting Topical Topics
The Augean Stables
Unplugged Mike
Oy Bay! San Francisco Bay Area Jews
Vital Perspective
Israel Mon Amour
Liberty & Justice
On the Contrary
Magdeburger Chossid
Tulip - Israeli-Palestinian Trade Union Assoc.
Southern Wolf
Sharona's Week
Sanda & Israel
Fresno Zionism
Anti-Racist Blog
ZOTW's Zionism and Israel News
Zionism On The Web News
ZOTW's Blogs
Christian Attitudes
Dr Ginosar Recalls
Questions: Zionism anti-Zionism Israel & Palestine
Liberal for Israel

A Jew with a view
Realistic Dove
Christians Standing With Israel - Blog
SEO for Everyone
Vision to Reality: The Reut Blog
Calev's Blog
Candidly speaking from Jerusalem
Dvar Dea
Ray Cook
Shimshon 9

Mark Halawa

This link space is 4 your blog - contact us!

Other Web sites and pages:

PeaceWatch Middle East Commentary Christians Standing With Israel
Zionism On the Web
Guide to Middle East, Zionism
Z-Word blog
Labor Zionism
Le Grand Mufti Husseini
The Grand Mufti Hajj Amin El Husseini
ZNN - Zionism News Network Middle East
Euston Manifesto
Jewish Blogging
Peace With Realism
Israel Facts (NL)
Space Shuttle Blog
Love Poems
At Zionism On the Web
Articles on Zionism
Anti-Zionism Information Center
Academic boycott of Israel Resource Center
The anti-Israel Hackers
Antisemitism Information Center
Zionism Israel and Apartheid
Middle East, Peace and War
The Palestine state
ZOTW Expert Search
ZOTW Forum


Judaica: Jewish Gifts:

RSS V 1.0

RSS V 2.0

Home » Archives » June 2008 » Israeli Palestinian Negotiations: Deja vu all over again

[Previous entry: "Baruch Haim Obama"] [Next entry: "Gaza Monopoly"]

Help us improve - Please click here to take our reader survey

All entries copyright by the authors and or Zionism-Israel Information Center. Please forward materials by e-mail with URLS. Other uses by permission only.