Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have reached an agreement according to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
” … that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. They also have an agreement that they’re not going to go out and talk about what they’re doing in each of the meetings”
This revelation was made in mid-air to the press corps travelling with Ms Rice en route to Tel Aviv this week . It ensured that yet another of Ms Rice’s frequent flying visits to the region would again not yield any significant results or breakthroughs to fill the media columns and air waves sweating on getting some substantive announcement of success or progress in the current negotiations.
Indeed there is going to be a very long blackout and wait by the media for nothing - if what took place on the ground when Ms Rice came down from the clouds is any indication.
Whilst these Mickey Mouse negotiations aimlessly continued to slide to their inevitable denouement, Israel had yet again offered major concessions to induce some change of direction and mind set by the PA to coincide with Ms Rice’s visit.
Israel released hundreds of more prisoners including those with “blood on their hands” where previously this had been resisted. No doubt many of them will show their gratitude by attempting further acts of terrorism fully expecting to be released again if caught. Many will pass on their knowledge and expertise to brainwashed adolescents who have been educated to hate and kill all Jews and are ready to give their lives to achieve this goal.
Israel had also lifted what Ms Rice described as “significant checkpoints ” to help ease the movement of Palestinian Arabs whilst at the same time increasing the risk of terror attacks on their Jewish neighbours.
These unilateral concessions were grudgingly accepted by PA President Abbas complaining however that they were inadequate and demanding more of the same. No doubt his wish will be granted the next time Ms Rice comes calling.
President Abbas showed that such concessions had not changed his direction or mindset in the slightest - making the following statement with Ms Rice standing by his side:
“The solution should be comprehensive, and as we have worked relentlessly throughout this peace process in order to achieve the aspirations of our people and their dream in having an independent Palestinian State on the 1967 borders with its capital, Jerusalem, within the framework of the Palestinian fundamental principles.”
Apart from the fact that there are no 1967 borders - they are only armistice lines - this Abbas demand renewed the long standing and unchanged call for the ethnic cleansing of almost 500000 Jews who now live beyond those armistice lines.
This Palestinian “dream” enunciated by President Abbas does not coincide with the American “vision” enunciated by President Bush and unambiguously rejected by him four years ago.
President Abbas did not spell out what he meant by “the Palestinian fundamental principles”. No doubt he would have had in mind the provisions of the Charters of the Palestine Liberation Organisation and the Islamic Resistance Movement - Hamas - which both unequivocally call for the eradication of Israel.
Not one of the assembled journalists thought it relevant to challenge President Abbas on maintaining these highly racist and offensive statements. The “settlement issue” - not “the fate awaiting the settlers or Israel” - was deemed a more important question to raise at the press conference following these remarks.
President Abbas once again reminded the journalists that the core issues were
“Jerusalem, refugees, borders, settlements, water and security.”
He echoed Ms Rice’s in flight comments in stressing
“the importance of reaching complete, comprehensive solutions, not partial solutions, and not postponing any of the main issues.”
Ms Rice was forced to admit that
“there are still difficult issues to come to agreement on, that there are still gaps.”
She was being very circumspect and less than forthright in her assessment.
“Yawning chasms incapable of being bridged ” would be a far more truthful way to describe these issues which have doomed any negotiations based on the Roadmap to failure from the time it was first articulated by President Bush in 2002.
One such yawning chasm was confirmed just two days later when President Abbas was in Beirut. He took the opportunity to trumpet his mantra that 400000 refugees living in Lebanon be allowed to migrate to Israel rather than being resettled in the independent democratic contiguous and viable Palestinian Arab State supposedly to be created for the first time in history between Israel and Jordan as a result of the current Roadmap negotiations.
Israel had already made it clear that maintaining this kind of outrageous demand would mean the death of any agreement being reached - a position that has also been fully supported by the United States.
This ludicrous state of affairs guarantees that the only announcement that will be eventually made to the media is that the parties have been unable to agree on all the issues in dispute and that the negotiations have been disbanded.
One wonders why those frustrated reporters accompanying Ms Rice did not immediately try to book a flight out of Tel Aviv to Georgia, Russia, South Ossetia or Abkhazia.
Awaiting them is an abundance of news stories remaining untold and just waiting to be exposed on subjects so dear to the media - occupation, genocide, ethnic cleansing, violation of human rights, disproportionate responses, killing civilians and oppression of minorities.
By concentrating on these very disturbing territorial and humanitarian events occurring in one of the world’s current hot spots, our intrepid reporters could be making an invaluable contribution to the cause of world peace instead of yawning their way in and out of Israel and the West Bank penning reports on negotiations completely lacking in good faith or substance on the part of the PA.