Saturday, September 11, 2010

Is/Pal Negotiations Hit Snag Over Whose Turn to Bring Hummus

Netanyahu wants to start the next round of talks, in Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh, talking about security and Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state (see my substantial previous post on the topic here) while Abbas wants to talk about the borders of the future Palestinian state.

In other words, each is asking for something that the other can inherently not give. Abbas can and will not recognize Israel as a Jewish state because that undermines the 1.2 million Palestinians living within Israel's recognized borders (seriously, see my previous post here). Israel can certainly not start talks by setting borders for the future Palestinian state because that means telling a potentially massive amount of Israelis that their homes are not secure, without having anything real to show in return for their sacrifices. 

While all of these issues will have to be dealt with eventually, the talks should probably start with something simpler, like quantum physics or the two sides enduring mutual anger over the Crusades.

In the meantime, Clinton should probably bring the hummus and pita, Mitchell the falafel and Netanyahu and Abbas should both simply agree to come to the meeting without pre-conditions and with open minds. Happy Holidays to all.

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