Word-game diplomacy

In a world that no longer understands the meaning of no-precondition negotiations, one must wonder if words mean more than what those who recraft them to their advantage want them to mean.

 In the UnitedStates citizens are befuddled about the meaning of the word illegal. Adictionary informs us it means "not according to or authorized by law."Which says to most people, if you commit an illegal act, lawenforcement will apprehend you or, as in the case of today's illegalimmigrants, deport you from the country.
However, in the lexiconof the politically correct, illegal doesn't necessarily mean "illegal."Finding a hole in a border fence or swimming the Rio Grande from Mexicowithout being caught may give one all the rights and privileges honestimmigrants have earned by slogging through the citizenship process tobecome bona fide Americans.
The same word game comes into playregarding the heralded “no preconditions” mantra that Westernpoliticians, Israeli negotiators and Palestinian counterparts quote asthey consider how to solve the thorny problems on the pathway to MiddleEast peace.
Whenever Washington, the Quartet (UN, US, EU andRussia), or others pressure the Israelis and Palestinians to show upfor pleasantries, photo-op grins, and handshakes, it is solely for thepurpose of etching the appearance of progress - whether such is thecase or not. And, more often than not, the participants alreadyanticipate the impending failure and insignificant movement onsubstantive issues. Whatever the reality, what counts is an imagecreating the impression of forward motion.
Why, you may ask, arewe so brash as to question the legitimacy of the banter regarding nopreconditions? Because the idea of no-precondition negotiations isfantasy. Here's evidence, as reported by IMRA (Independent Media ReviewAnalysis).
On August 22, Saeb Erekat, chief negotiator for thePalestine Liberation Organization, delivered a message from PalestinianAuthority President Mahmoud Abbas to the Quartet relating to meetingsplanned for September. In Erekat’s and Abbas’s dictionary, the words nopreconditions actually mean the following nonnegotiable conditions:
1. Peace with Israeli settlements is not an option. All settlement activity must stop.
2.The shortest way to peace is to end all “Israeli occupation” of allterritory Israel captured
3. The Golan Heights, Lebanese territories,and East Jerusalem must be surrendered.
4. Talks must be predicated on the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
5.Final-status issues must include the return of Arab “refugees” and therelease of all prisoners and bodies of the “martyrs” as an “entrypoint” to ending the conflict.
In a world that no longerunderstands the meaning of illegal and no-precondition negotiations,one must wonder if words any longer mean more than what those whorecraft them to their advantage want them to mean.
Two conclusions are appropriate. First, America’s illegals will somehowbe jury-rigged into permanent, legal status to benefit politiciansvying for new constituencies.
Second, no-precondition negotiations will never become a reality. Theterm seems rigged to regale the international movers and shakers whoseek acclaim as paragons of a Middle East peace, albeit one that willbe neither a true nor lasting solution for Israelis or Palestinians.
In the end, a two-state solution, although a much-fondled objective,has no means available with which to cobble it together. Truth is, thePalestinians, as well as radicals in the Arab world, have no interestin two states living side by side in peace. Their oft-stateddetermination to take everything remains on the table.
Radical Islam’s goal is Israel’s surrender; Israel’s determination isto survive. And for the foreseeable future, the twain is not about tomeet. But for the time being, the illusion of progress is anirresistible siren call, as are the photo ops.