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[Vid] Wake-up Call: Israel says ... No

In the recent elections, Israelis clearly articulated what they don’t want, less clear was what type of future they do want. Ami Kaufman has a wake-up call for you.

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    1. Richard Lightbown

      Thanks Ami, I was starting to get just a little bit bored and then you hit me with that glorious punch line. Nicely delivered and so very apt (ain’t that right Gustav?).

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        The Palestinian Arabs say yes?

        They say nooooo! Cough.

        But let’s just ignore that yes? Cough.

        Reply to Comment
        • Bryan

          Go and read the Palestine Papers to see how often the PA has said Yes. And how could it be any different taking account of the huge differences in power, wealth and influence of the two sides in this dispute?

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            They said zilch, zip, nada to Olmert for six months till he was replaced by Bibbi. Which translated to NO! Cough.

            Reply to Comment
    2. Bryan

      Brilliant. Well done, Ami.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Ben

      When the Israelis say nooooo, Abbas says yes:

      Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s talk against the establishment of a Palestinian state was “harmful and bad,” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said, but he was nevertheless prepared to negotiate and deal with Netanyahu because he represents Israel. In an interview with Al-Arab TV, Abbas said Israel stands to gain if it agrees to the Arab Peace Initiative. “I have no problem negotiating with Netanyahu, because he represents the state of Israel. My hand is always stretched out. We made great headway in the negotiations with Olmert, in which we discussed everything, and suddenly he was distanced from the political arena. We say to the nation in Israel: Our hands are stretched out for coexistence between the two countries; do not chop off the hand that is stretched out in peace, because the alternatives do not help anyone. The alternatives are destructive. If you say you are opposed to the two-state solution, then what kind of solution do you want? Do you want racial discrimination or apartheid or a one-state solution? What exactly do you want?”

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        Why didn’t he negotiate with Netanyahu before these last elections? Netanyahu kept on asking him to negotiate.

        Abbas is up to his usual tricks. He is playing games.

        Reply to Comment
        • Bryan

          You’re making it up again Gustav! (“Why didn’t he negotiate with Netanyahu before these last elections? Netanyahu kept on asking him to negotiate.”) There WERE extensive “negotiations” between 29th July 2013 and 23rd April 2014. To get a flavour of Netanyahu’s approach to negotiations:
          * On 28 October, Netanyahu categorically rejected the Palestinian right of return and said that Jerusalem must remain undivided.
          * On 6 November, Israeli negotiators said there will not be a state based on the 1967 borders and that the Separation Wall will be a boundary.
          * On 26 December, Likud ministers led by Miri Regev began pushing a bill to annex the Jordan Valley, which would prevent Netanyahu from accepting the American proposal for the Jordan Valley and border crossings into Jordan to be placed under Palestinian control, with border security provided by IDF soldiers and the US
          * On 10 January 2014, Israel approved plans for 1,400 settler homes.
          * On 21 January 2014, Israel announced plans for 381 new settler homes in the West Bank.
          * During the course of negotiations, Netanyahu … made recognition of Israel as a Jewish state a requirement for peace (totally unnecessarily since the Palestinians had already extended recognition of the State of Israel, both in 1988 and in the 1993 Oslo Accords, and neither Jordan nor Egypt, with whom Israel had made peace treaties had been asked to recognize Israel’s Jewish character, and such recognition would be damaging to the rights of the Palestinian minority in Israel).
          * On 28 March 2014, Israel failed to release the fourth tranche of 26 Palestinian prisoners, as scheduled, in what Palestinian sources say was a violation of the original terms for the peace talks.
          * On 23 April 2014 Israel suspended peace talks after the rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah agreed to form a unity government and hold new elections (surely an internal matter for Palestinians just as the composition of the various coalition governments in Israel is an internal matter).
          * On 2 May 2014, the Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth, cited an anonymous senior American official (later revealed to US negotiator Martin Indyck) as placing the blame for the break-down in talks mainly on Israel’s settlement stance, directly quoting the remark: “Netanyahu did not move more than an inch.”
          * It was also reported that “Publicly, Mr. Obama has said that both sides bear responsibility for the latest collapse. But the president believes that more than any other factor, Israel’s drumbeat of settlement announcements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem poisoned the atmosphere and doomed any chance of a breakthrough with the Palestinians.”

          But have it your way – Abbas was playing games. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013%E2%80%9314_Israeli%E2%80%93Palestinian_peace_talks) The whole world now understands that Israel’s commitment to “peace” has always been a delaying tactic whilst it continues to build settlements and gobble up another “piece” of the West Bank.

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            A typical Bryan post. Even his own reference link shows him up to be the biased little propagandist which he is. His quotes are selective. He filtered out all the little games which the Palestinian Arab negotiators have played and he pretends that all the actions of the Israeli negotiators were unreasonable. For instance stopping the release of Arab terrorists who have Israeli blood on their hands. In return for what concessions? For delaying the action in the UN for the recognition of the “Palestinian state”. That’s a concession? Let them be recognized. But they will never have a state till they recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. And that is just for starters. They need to agree to appropriate security measures for many years to come.

            Last but not least. There are numerous references in that link which clearly show that the Palestinian Arabs were the ones who kept interrupting the negotiations and suspending talks. Yes, I stand by my claim that Abbas was/is playing games.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            “On 26 September, Mahmoud Abbas spoke in front of the UN Security Council, and welcomed the resumption of peace talks” – resumption? Who interrupted them by walking away?

            On 14 November, the Palestinian team quit the negotiations blaming the “escalation of settlement-building.” – nuff said.

            “On 4 December 2013, Saeb Erekat told John Kerry that the peace talks with Israel were faltering and urged Kerry to salvage them.” – what he meant to say was that Israel was not meeting ALL the Palestinian Arab demands and it was insisting on concessions from the Arabs too. Hurrrumph, the cheek of Israel (sarcasm)….

            “On 30 December, Saeb Erekat said that the peace talks had failed” – hurrumph, Israel was not compliant enough. Another dummy spit…..

            “The PLO senior official also rejected the idea of extending the peace talks beyond their nine-month deadline.[36]” – nuff said….

            “Saeb Erekat responded by saying “The recent announcement shows Israel’s clear commitment to the destruction of peace efforts” – more theatrics and dummy spitting…

            “The Palestinians condemned this move, and also ruled out the possibility of the peace talks extending beyond the nine-month deadline.[46” – nuff said…

            “‘to accept it now as a Jewish state would compromise the claims of millions of Palestinian refugees whose families fled the fighting that followed Israel’s creation in 1948 and were not allowed to return.”[ – this clearly shows that despite Abbas’s utterances that the right of return demand does not intend to destroy the demographic balance of Israel, he does not mean it.

            “Israel reportedly demanded an extension of the April 29 deadline before the release.” – this shows that Israel wanted the negotiations to continue.

            “The Israeli proposal conditioned the release of the fourth tranche of 26 Palestinian prisoners on an extension of the negotiations beyond the current deadline of 29 April” – and it shows it again…

            “Israel also offered to put an unofficial freeze on most settlement construction outside of East Jerusalem for the next eight months.[69]Israel said it would resolve the status of family reunification requests submitted by some 5,000 families in the West Bank and Gaza.[69]According to Israeli officials, the United States would release Jonathan Pollard as a concession to Israel” – and Israel was making concessions. What concessions were the Palestinian Arab negotiators making?

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Netanyahu’s first term of government began in 2009. Why weren’t there negotiations between 2009 and 2013? Or between 2014 and 2015? I’ll tell you why. Because Abbas made preconditions and he refused to negotiate without those being met. And in the brief period when he agreed to negotiate Abbas played games.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Give it a rest. “Netanyahu the sincere negotiator of a two state solution.” LOL! Who do you think you’re kidding? The man’s spent his whole life avoiding a solution. No need to reply. Thanks.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            You give it a rest Ben. As I said before, Netanyahu may or may not be a sincere negotiator of peace. But even if he were, it would not matter. It would not matter because Abbas is not a sincere negotiator of peace. How do I know? I know because he ignored Ehud Olmert’s 2008 peace offer. He sat on it for 6 months and prayed for Netanyahu to be elected so that he would at least have a fig leaf to cover his refusal to sign a peace deal with ANY Israeli leader.

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          • Gustav

            By the way, why were two of my posts suppressed by the moderators? Is the other side of the story too uncomfortable for them?

            The first post contained selected quotes from Bryan’s own link which showed him up for HIS selective biased quoting.

            My second post had a quote from another Wikipedia link which talked about how Netanyahu tried to meet Abbas’s precondition of a settlement freeze yet even then Abbas took his time and began talking only at the 11th hour, very briefly then stopped the talks again.

            None of my posts were abusive or rude. Why were they suppressed by the moderators?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “…he ignored Ehud Olmert’s 2008 peace offer…”

            That’s a lie. Stop repeating it.

            If you read both these articles in full you will see that it is undeniably false what you write about Abbas (over and over and over I might add; which does not make it less false).

            http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/05/28/what-commentary-gets-wrong-about-olmert-abbas-negotiations.html

            http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/13/magazine/13Israel-t.html?pagewanted=all

            “It is false to state that Abbas rebuffed Olmert’s plan. It is false to say that the Palestinians were unwilling to pursue further negotiations in the wake of Olmert’s offer…”

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            The only liar around here is you Benny…

            I love your spin. You people always do this whenever you need to explain inconvenient bits of history which contradicts your claims. Now here is a dose of reality for you…

            Ehud Olmert made his peace offer to Abbas on the 18th of September 2008.

            Binyamin Netanyahu got elected on the 20th of February 2009. Just about 5 months later.

            … and what happened in between? Precisely nothing. This is what Olmert said about it…

            http://www.haaretz.com/news/olmert-abbas-never-responded-to-my-peace-offer-1.263328

            “Abbas never responded to my peace offer”

            And this is how Condi Rice writes about Olmert’s peace offer in her memoirs…

            http://www.newsweek.com/condoleezza-rice-memoir-peace-process-anguish-68179

            “…to have an Israeli prime minister on record offering those remarkable elements and a Palestinian president accepting them would have pushed the peace process to a new level. Abbas refused.

            We had one last chance. The two leaders came separately in November and December to say good-bye. The President took Abbas into the Oval Office alone and appealed to him to reconsider. The Palestinian stood firm, and the idea died.”

            And what do you people do? You claim that Abbas never REJECTED the deal. No, but did he accept it? Did he come back with a counter proposal? Did he attempt to negotiate?

            No, none of the above! He hunkered down and ignored the deal and hoped that it would go away together with Olmert following an election victory by Netanyahu. He knew that would be the outcome especially if Olmert’s deal would be ‘as good as rejected’ by Abbas ignoring it. He knew that the Israeli voters would get the message coming out of his refusal. He knew that we the voters would want to elect a strong leader who would resist making more concessions. And Abbas got his wish. He has his fig leaf. He and his apologists (people like you, Ben) can point at Netanyahu and blame him for the impasse.

            David Irving would be proud of you and people like you Ben. Your attempt to revise history is no less a feat than his Holocaust denial. It is at least as cheeky because we are talking about very recent history (less than a decade ago) yet you expect people to forget what unfolded in front of our own eyes!!!

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Wow you managed to drag in the Holocaust! Lol! There is nothing, zilch, in Rice’s account, which mentions Ariel once at the top but not again, that Avishai’s account does not fully explain to Abu Mazen’s credit. Others here need to read Avishai (links above) and decide for themselves. It remains simply false what you say about Abu Mazen. It amazes me, by the way, the way the Right thinks they are ever going to walk away with Ariel in a final, fair settlement. “Well!, Olmert’s offer was sooooo generous and the best deal any Palestinian leader will ever ever get! blah blah blah.” Well ok, that’s really too bad that you are sure about that because you’re not going to get a two state deal then and let me tell you the world is not going to sympathize with you. What makes any Israeli think he is entitled to Ariel, Ma’aleh Adumim and Efrat, other than sheer narcissistic entitlement? Look at a map!

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Good Benny, you are coming around. This is what you first claimed…

            Benny:”…he ignored Ehud Olmert’s 2008 peace offer…”

            That’s a lie. Stop repeating it.”

            … but now you are shifting gear. Now you claim that Olmert’s deal was not a good deal. That’s why Abbas ignored it.

            I have news for you. The Palestinian Arabs will never get a better offer (my Haaretz link outlines what it entailed). In fact, I doubt that they will even get the same offer no matter what dire consequences you threaten us with. Circumstances have changed and as usual, once again, the Palestinian Arabs have not failed to miss an oportunity. Whatever the final deal will end up, it will not be as good as Olmert’s offer was.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            There WERE some brief negotiations (very brief) in 2010 but this is what happened…

            “In early 2010, Benjamin Netanyahu, imposed a ten month moratorium on settlement construction in the West Bank as gesture for the Palestinian Authority, after previously publicly declaring his support for a future Palestinian state, however he insisted that the Palestinians would need to make reciprocal gestures of their own. The Palestinian Authority rejected the gesture as insufficient. Nine month later, direct negotiations between Israel and the PA relaunched, after nearly two years stalemate.[1]

            In early September, a coalition of 13 Palestinian factions began a campaign of attacks against Israeli civilians, including a series of drive-by shootings and rocket attacks on Israeli towns, in an attempt to derail and torpedo the ongoing negotiations.[2]”

            Yes, game playing by the Palestinian Arabs.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Finally you tacitly admit it’s false to say Abbas ignored Ehud Olmert’s 2008 peace offer. Glad we cleared that up.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Twice I posted a response to your revisionist history.

            I provided references from Olmert himself saying that he had no response to his offer from Abbas.

            Another reference from Condi Rices memoirs who confirms Abbas’s refusal to respond.

            Alas there seems to be a reluctance by the moderators to post posts which show the inconvenient truth contradicting your kind of party line. That is no way to win a debate. it is bloody minded censorship which is just a way to show what cowards you all are.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Censorship here again. I twice posted a detailed (not rude) response to Ben but both those posts were suppressed. Well done +972 (sarcasm).

            Both my posts contained links verifying that Abbas did not respond to Olmert’s offer. He sat on it for 5 long months till Netanyahu got elected.

            Link 1 was a Haaretz article quoting Olmert himself.

            Link 2 was from Condi Rice’s memoirs which also clearly state that Abbas refused to respond to the offer.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            You are confused, Benny (I am being kind).

            YOU are the one who openly admitted your lie. You shifted gear. Now you claim that Olmer’s offer wasn’t good that’s why Abbas did not respond to it.

            Anyone interested can just read the last few posts before this and see for themselves.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Yes they can see for themselves. Are you always this tiresome? I’m not shifting any gears. There is a difference between “respond to”and “totally and immediately accept lock stock and barrel.” Abbas was indeed not ready to surrender Ariel and 5.9%, and he had an Israeli leader, Livni telling him not to, but he was always ready to continue talking and was clearly acting in good faith. Why are simple things like this lost on you? Why do you always reduce things to the simplest propagandistic terms? You know that these negotiations were far more complex and far more to Abu Mazen’s credit than you are admitting and Avishai’s accounts make that very clear. You continue to peddle a falsity. You continue to show your usual zero empathic capacity for the other side. Good negotiators never do that.

            So you have news for me do you? Which is that Israel is going to keep Ariel? And have its cake too, a final settlement? Suuuure. And the tooth fairy is going to bring this wondrous dispensation. And we’ll all live happily ever after.

            You never answered me: why does any Israeli think he is entitled to Ariel, Ma’aleh Adumim and Efrat? Why?

            And why, if you were a Palestinian leader, would you agree to that? Why?

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Ben:”..but he was always ready to continue talking and was clearly acting in good faith”

            Ready? So how come he did not talk to Olmert for 5 long months after Olmert made the offer?

            Reply to Comment
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