Posted by: sean | February 1, 2009

What peace partner?

Israeli insistence that they have no peace partner on the Palestinian side has turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy with Palestine becoming a house divided that cannot possibly negotiate much of anything with anybody.

On the other hand, Netanyahu is following Hamas’s playbook by announcing that he will refuse to honor agreements that Olmert has made:

Likud Party Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday said he would not be bound by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s commitments to evacuate West Bank settlements and withdraw from the territories.

“I will not keep Olmert’s commitments to withdraw and I won’t evacuate settlements. Those understandings are invalid and unimportant,” Netanyahu said.

Together with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Olmert arrived at these understandings in final status talks with the Palestinians, which included settlement evacuation, dividing Jerusalem and returning to 1967 borders.



  1. Israel has never been a Peace Partner, Hamas are not either as they are not made to be Politicians, and Fatah are so corrupted and thieves, they are lost. So we gotta real problem here. We need to find new blood in Palestine and Israel

  2. As I have argued on the blog South Jerusalem (to no reponse at all), I do not think Israel can face the Palestinians until it faces its own Arab citizenry. So I ask, can anyone tell me what it is like for that citizenry? Have they made any advances as Israeli citizens? I know nothing, and hear only silence everywhere.

  3. Ya Ali: I agree. I’d like to see Mustapha Barghouti run again in the next elections…

    Gregory: Thanks for stopping by and commenting. If you’re interested in Palestinians with Israeli citizenship, David Grossman’s book, Sleeping on a wire, is a really good place to start.

  4. Gregory

    I totally agree.

    In adition, the palestinian citizens in Israel is even more complex question then the relationship between Israel and the Palestinians in the territories.

    Sleeping on a wire is indeed a good place to start, but things have changed sience it was written.
    I can answer come questions about it because I work in a dialog project between Jews and Palestinian citizens in israel, but it is better to ask them.

  5. Shalom,

    How can I ask them? Is there a web address?

    If I were in the Israeli government (I live in the American Southwest), I would see my Arab citizens as the only hope of building links outside of the ritualized confict. But that would mean allowing a kind of socio-political autonomy that could change the election dynamics in Israel itslef.

    My impression of the collapse of Oslo is that neither major party (and there are more than two parties, actually) wanted to risk their local, internal dominance. So Oslo began to bleed away, until that became a flood in 2000.

    Generally, then, to challenge Israeli policy one must challenge the internal electoral dynamic; that means enabling the Arab Israelis. They will have to fight for what they want and need, but that fight might cascade Israeli “foregin” policy as well. Easy for me to say; I don’t live there.

  6. Mustafe Bargouti is a good moderate candidate but he is surrounded by many Fatah corruption! Irsaeli Arabs (Palestinians) have been socialy active and even some serve in the IDF. They are also represented in the Kenesset. But Palestinians in the west bank is another situation as they are living under harsh conditions, occupation, blockades, aparthied wall, in other words they live in cantons and a large ghetto

  7. I ask you all to tell me something I would never otherwise know. I understand somewhat, from a trip to Israel over a decade ago, what the Israeli army means to that society as a mixing mechanism for Jewish Israelis. Knowing this, the statements I may read by Israelis on “war crime” responsibility take on a different color; not color of now right but previously wrong–I just understand the world from which these statements come better than I used to.

    Arabs, Believers or non-Believers, tell me something of how your world works, something before the end point of condemnation of Israel, tell me something of the social engines of your world, that help you be, that make you as you make them. Tell me something of how these social engines make your happiness, your frustration; tell me something of the world beyond my sight. Let me know something of what is behind some of your anger, and I try to see something of what is behind Israeli anger. Sometimes, that something is not about the “enemy without,” but rather of life unseen by such as me.

  8. The discussion on this blog, is on a high level. The comments seemed to have moved beyond this or that nationalism.

    I think socialist revolution in Egypt, is the Palestinians best hope.

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