A breakdown of recent statements by principal players in the Kerry-led peace process.
The Israeli/Palestinian negotiations remind me of a volleyball court. With a lack of hard information available to the public, each player punts a ball into the air at regular intervals with identifying marks on it, to remind everyone that he or she is still there for ten seconds before the ball drops and another pops up.
These blips sound like a standard shouting match on the surface. But their subtext can give a snapshot of the peace process at this moment – and reveal why it’s so frail. Below are some of the recent statements by key players (paraphrased) that stood out to me, in no particular order, and my interpretation of what they mean.
-Naftali Bennett: “We have to look at the document before we decide whether to leave or stay in the coalition!” Translation: Please, please don’t make us bolt. We are desperate to stick to our first shot at power, build our electoral base beyond settlers and look very credible in other areas of life – including a slick call in the New York Times to bring Arab Israeli women and ultra-Orthodox into the work force. We just need to crack the big-party club and take power one day in order to ensure implementation of Naftali Bennett’s own plan for full Israeli control from the river to the sea, forever.
-Hamas (in Haaretz): “We won’t accept an international presence in Palestinian territory after the occupation army leaves!” Translation: We expect the IDF to leave the West Bank, which is what we now mean by Palestinian territory. We’re too weak to throw around our old maximalist rhetoric about pre-1967 Israel and our people are too fed up to take us seriously if we do.
-Netanyahu: “There is no reason Jews can’t stay there after the Palestinian state is established, just like we have...Read More