Daily Israel Report

Quartet Tries Resurrection of the Dead

The Quartet looks for a way to resurrect the long-dead “peace process,” which already has been buried by Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 7/11/2011, 9:36 AM / Last Update: 7/11/2011, 9:47 AM

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The Quartet (the United Nations, United States, Russia and European Union) is meeting in Washington on Monday to look for a way to resurrect the long-dead “peace process,” which already has been buried by Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Expectations are low to nil, and the most that the Quartet is expected to do is make an inconsequential demand that Israel stop Jews from living in Judea, Samaria and large parts of Jerusalem claimed by the Palestinian Authority, while calling on PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas to halt his campaign for PA recognition by the United Nations. The Quartet may also copy President Barack Obama's policy of establishing the PA as a state based on old borders.

Two years have passed since Israel and the PA have sat down for any substantial talks. Israel has surrendered on so many issues, including virtually erasing major PA commitments in the Oslo Accords, that there is nothing else it can compromise without losing its identity as a Jewish state.

Abbas, encouraged by previous Israeli concessions, has gone the traditional Arab route of demanding everything on the assumption he will not be left empty-handed.

Abbas has made it clear that the term “negotiations” with Israel means a pre-ordained acceptance of his conditions to establish the Palestinian Authority as an independent country. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has equally made it clear that there is nothing to talk about so long as Abbas refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

Abbas, going for broke, has chosen to depend on his international support and ask the United Nations to recognize the PA based on the Armistice Lines borders that disappeared in the Six-Day War in 1967. The international community has not accepted Israel’s post-1967 borders.

The chasm between Israel and the PA is so large that most mainstream media have declared the “peace process” to be dead, and they have blamed both Netanyahu and Abbas.

Even TIME magazine, which generally is relentless in its criticism of Israel, reported this week, “The outcome of Monday's [Quartet] meeting is likely to be another relatively bland statement backing a return to negotiations, on terms smudgy enough for their drafters to imagine they can be sold to both sides.

“But neither the U.S. nor the Europeans appear ready to reckon with what is blindingly obvious: The reason there are no negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian leadership, today, is that the two sides' bottom lines are simply too far apart to produce any agreement…  

“Any Palestinian belief that the U.S. might pressure Israel into offering more has, on Obama's watch, been shown to be nothing more than wishful thinking.

“The specter of a U.N. vote is, in fact, a symptom of a train wreck that's already happened.”