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Illumination

Reader comment on item: My Testimony before the House Subcommittee on Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations
in response to reader comment: Negotiation is valuable, even if you believe it won't bring peace

Submitted by Felipe Ornelas (United States), Mar 1, 2007 at 18:47

I appreciate the spirit I perceive to be present in your comments Mr. Nelson. Negotiation does help delineate the core concerns of its participants, even if agreement is not reached. But within negotiations consequences have to be discussed and implemented, or both parties lose respect for one another, and the negotiation process.

However "harsh", or counterintuitive it may sound without reflection, it would be disrespectful to the Palestinians to negotiate with them until they face the consequences of their actions. If you are a father, I believe a parallel to relationship with your children will be readily available to you. If my daughter lies to me (comitting an offence against our relationship), we negotiate. If this is the first offence of the kind, I am obliged to be forgiving, but consequences for further offences are discussed and agreed upon (i.e. if this happens again, you'll be going to bed early for a week).

If I don't follow through with consequences the next time she lies, I am teaching her that she can't trust what I say, and that she can get a way with bad behavior. If she keeps lying and I keep negotiating, never following through with consequences, our relationship suffers. In effect I am setting a precedent for her behavior in the future, I am leading her into character flaws. True, she may chose to be a consistent liar in the future no matter what I do or say, I can't control that, but I am responsible for what I can control, and those are the consequences for her actions.

Israel, the United States, any country in relationship with the Palestinians owes them the respect of allowing them to receive the consequences of their actions. Negotiations, let alone peace, will not be beneficial until then.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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