May 16, 2017: Hopeless stalemate

Most Israelis appear to accept that there is no ideal solution within reach in our time. Why can’t the Americans and Europeans get it?

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Hopeless stalemate
In response to “Trump enters Mideast cycle of hope and disappointment” (Analysis, May 14), Seth J. Frantzman focuses on a crucial feature of the post-Oslo era of politics, which he aptly characterizes as a “cycle of hope and disappointment.” He analyzes both the historical substrate and the structural reasons that all parties involved have oscillated between unrealistic, hopeful expectations and disappointment, antagonism and despair.
The only thing missing is an overt explanation of why US presidents are unable to resist the temptation to dive into a hopeless stalemate.
Most Israelis appear to accept that there is no ideal solution within reach in our time. Why can’t the Americans and Europeans get it?
Jordan’s reaction
The vicious and deceitful statement by the Jordanian government after the stabbing attack in Jerusalem by one of its citizens (“Visiting Jordanian killed after stabbing cop in J’lem’s Old City,” May 14) is unacceptable. A strong repost is required in forceful terms, perhaps calling in the Jordanian ambassador for an explanation.
With friends like Jordan, who needs enemies?
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is infuriated that Jordan did not condemn the stabbing of an Israeli police officer in Jerusalem.
It has been a Hashemite tradition since the founding of Jordan that every human life is sacred and that the Holy Land should be a potent source of inspiration rather than a hotbed of strife, hostility and ethnic and religious animosities among the children of Abraham. Throughout its history, Jordan has accumulated many wonderful things; among them is a rich wisdom about the need to build a comprehensive, just and honorable peace that guarantees sovereignty, independence, justice and self-determination for Palestinians and yields permanent peace and security for Israelis.
We are in the midst of testing times as we endure daunting challenges from climate change, ethnic conflicts, communicable diseases, environmental degradation, famine, droughts, water dearth, air pollution and irreligious terrorism, none of which is bothered by borders.
In order to effectively collaborate on tackling these problems, including bridging religious and cultural divides and resolving conflicts by peaceful means, Israel as an occupying power must cease its violations of the holiness of Islamic and Christian sites in Jerusalem, end its occupation and, in the words of Jordanian King Abdullah II, “embrace peace or eventually be engulfed in a sea of hatred in a region of turmoil.”
Among the many occurrences in Israel that should be included in a book about Chelm is the incident in which a policeman is attacked and stabbed several times with a knife by a Jordanian, and then has the audacity to defend himself. Then, the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back: The Jordanians having the temerity to accuse Israel! One doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry!
Abbas is ready?
Your headline “‘Abbas has decided to sign peace deal with Israel’” (May 12) is in quotation marks, as if it’s quoting someone. But I can’t find that statement in the body of Yaakov Katz’s frontpage article, nor in his column in the same issue (“Don’t lose the blame game,” Editor’s Notes), leading me to wonder who exactly said this.
Regardless of who said it, it’s a vacuous statement. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has decided to sign a peace deal? Does this mean that previously, he had not intended to sign one under any circumstances, or that now he has decided to sign one under any circumstance?
If Abbas’s willingness depends on circumstances – mainly the terms of the deal – then what has changed? Have Palestinian demands changed? All the article says is that he has dropped his preconditions for negotiations and declared a willingness to discuss land swaps. How does this differ from the situation that existed for years prior to former-president Barack Obama’s imposition of a settlement freeze on Israel? If it doesn’t, why are you wasting my time?
Then there’s the statement of what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s game plan is – sans attribution. So basically, it is no more than a guess. Likewise the statement that Abbas’s position has softened due to the intercession of Ronald Lauder. Here, too, no evidence of cause is offered other than the fact that the two met before the purported thaw. At best, Mr. Katz is employing the logical fallacy of post hoc, ergo propter hoc.
I can’t tell whether this is supposed to be news, an analysis or an editorial.
Alon Shvut
There is little doubt that Yaakov Katz and his “sources” – probably most prominently Ronald Lauder – are motivated by the sincere desire to chart a course under the aegis of the American president that leads, finally, to a peaceful resolution of the long-simmering Israel-Palestinian conflict. However, in their zeal, they provide no tangible evidence that the Palestinian leadership is ready to step back from its intransigent demands.
Among other lingering examples: Neither Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas nor his associates have expressed readiness to accept Israel as a Jewish state, agree to a demilitarized state, accept the settlement blocs, recognize Israel’s sovereignty in Jerusalem or forgo the demand for the resettlement of millions of Palestinian “refugees” in an Israel forced back to the pre-1967 lines – the “Auschwitz” lines, in Abba Eban’s memorable phrase. This is to say nothing of the continuing acts of terrorism and the hatred that is a staple of Palestinian propaganda perpetuated in the PA’s school textbooks.
One need not be a cynic to conclude that the wily Abbas, in his pose as a messenger of peace, is seeking to seduce the Trump administration in its commendable commitment to achieve a deal between Israel and the Palestinian leadership.
I was extremely disappointed with your article. It was mere conjecture, starting with the use of a quote from unnamed sources for the headline, and then building up the story from that base.
Yaakov Katz then attempts to imagine what is going through Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s mind – how he is thinking and what his response or non-response will be to US President Donald Trump’s imagined pressure.
It is outrageous that The Jerusalem Post tries to pass off opinion as news. I feel insulted that the editor in chief thinks he can get away with such an approach to his readers.
The Jerusalem Post
reports that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is ready to make peace. Few here believe him.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he wants no preconditions before talks. But he should insist on one post-condition for any deal that’s signed: Any infraction by either side – rockets, suicide bombers or whatever – will allow the side attacked to retaliate with full force, and the US will support such retaliations politically, militarily and financially. This should be in writing and made known publicly.
One-trick ponies
When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is no longer leader of the Likud, Jerusalem Post columnists Susan Hattis Rolef and Jeff Barak will be at a loss as to whom to vilify. That is all their columns consist of.
Tel Mond