Palestinians Don't Want Serious Talks

(Ynet News) Sever Plocker - The Palestinians engaged in talks with all Israeli governments since the Oslo Accords. Arafat conducted intensive negotiations with Netanyahu during his first term in office. However, since Netanyahu was sworn in as Israel's prime minister for the second time last April, the Palestinian leadership is coming up with constant excuses to avoid significant dialogue with Israel. Those who carefully read the full Obama interview with TIME realize that he has lost patience with the Palestinians' elusive conduct. Officials around Obama have spoken harshly: They charged that the Palestinians humiliated the president and screwed up his policy. The Palestinians do not wish to negotiate with Netanyahu because they perceive him as a practical politician seeking practical solutions. Palestinian leaders did not mind talks with former Prime Minister Olmert because they knew he had no mandate to finalize any deal, and certainly not a "final-status agreement" which the talks focused on. In fact, they liked the futile talks and arguments. Yet when the possibility of a practical agreement first came up and they had to respond to it, they left the talks and did not return. A very senior Palestinian figure says in closed-door sessions: "The current situation serves us well. Palestine is growing, the security situation is decent, Hamas is under siege in Gaza, and global public opinion endorses us and opposes the occupation. There is no rush for us....We have no incentive for entering talks with an Israeli prime minister who wants to get down to business."

2010-01-27 08:33:35

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