Dr. Dore Gold, former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations and former advisor to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, said on Monday that Israel should set ‘red lines’ should it restart negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.
Dr. Gold, who currently serves as President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, spoke to Arutz Sheva ahead of a meeting between Netanyahu and the PA’s Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, on Tuesday. Last week it was reported that Netanyahu will seek direct talks with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas during the meeting.
According to his office, Netanyahu will propose "raising the level of talks" and holding face-to-face negotiations with Abbas.
Gold told Arutz Sheva that he believes Netanyahu has actually started drawing his ‘red lines’ when he stressed the importance of an Israeli security presence in the Jordan Valley as part of a future agreement with the PA.
He added that a demand that Abbas recognize the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people is another red line that should be set by Netanyahu.
Gold also addressed recent reports, according to which Fayyad intends to demand, during the meeting with Netanyahu, that Israel return to the indefensible pre-1967 borders, halt all construction in Judea and Samaria and release all PA prisoners. He described these demands as “a dream” of the PA leadership, noting that the question now is whether any negotiations will be held based on dreams or on red lines.
On Sunday, it was reported that during the meeting on Tuesday, Fayyad will present Netanyahu with a letter from Abbas, in which the PA Chairman writes that Israel’s actions have stripped the Palestinian Authority of its “raison d'etre”, creating a reality which cannot continue.
“As a result of actions taken by successive Israeli governments, the Palestinian National Authority no longer has any authority, and no meaningful jurisdiction in the political, economic, territorial and security spheres,” says the letter.
“In other words, the PA lost its raison d'etre which, if it continues, will make it unable to honor its commitments,” Abbas says, referring to the multiple agreements signed with Israel since the 1993 Oslo Accords, which brought about the creation of the Palestinian Authority a year later.
Jordan recently hosted a series of “exploratory meetings” between Israeli and PA representatives. However, the PA refused to continue to talk after those meetings and Abbas has continued to impose preconditions on negotiations, also threatening to cancel any agreements signed between the sides after 2000.
Abbas may be reacting to the fact that the world - and even the Israeli left and Israel's Arabs - has lost much of its interest in the Palestinian Arab cause, as can be seen by the failed flytilla and March on Jerusalem, one reason being that the Arab Spring has shown where the real problems are.