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Let THEM get on with It; It's THEIR problem, not ours

Reader comment on item: The Motives Behind Palestinian Leader's Effort to Gain Statehood at U.N.

Submitted by Argus4 (United States), Sep 25, 2011 at 19:55

One of the most difficult things for the Obama administration to understand is that the Palestinians, whatever their faults may be, evidently want to negotiate with Israel (Charlie Rose with chief Palestinian negotiator last week). A fundamental problem appears to be that the Palestinians would like to be negotiating from a similar position as the Israelis, that is, as state to state, not as supplicant to occupier.

Benjamin Netanyahu's obduracy is one of the problems. Perhaps the next prime minister will try harder to understand that peace is within reach (though it won't be as easy as eating ice cream on a summer's day).

I suggest that the US butt out. We've not been able to bring about peace and to all appearances have an intractable conflict of interests. It's fine to support the Israelis; it's better to be open about our support than to do it covertly. But it is no one's interest at all for the US to appear to be kowtowing to the Zionist segment of American Jewry or in the hip pocket of the Israeli government. Yes, it's difficult to be evenhanded; it's next to impossible to appear evenhanded. And, to my mind, that is the prime reason for the US to butt out. Monitor the situation; wheedle and cajole if and when necessary, but stop trying to broker the deal. The US is not Santa Claus and should drop the pretense.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said (again on Charlie Rose) that one of the reasons he is a successful negotiator is that he has a large pot of coffee in the room and locks the door(s) so that no one can get out. After a time the urge to leave is so great. . . and you can figure out the rest. Perhaps in the Middle East the preferred drink would be tea.

Elevate the status of the Palestinians; help them develop the sort of self-confidence and self-respect that will promote their negotiating seriously. And elect an Israeli government that is quite serious about working out a peace agreement.


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