The Palestinian negotiating technique

we're making you an offer you can't refuse

“Speak softly- but carry a big stick (or AK 47)”

Whenever the prospect of a negotiated settlement appeared on the horizon, the Palestinians always insisted on the terms under which they were willing to talk.This was their way of negotiating and , until now, had proved relatively successful.

 Israel gave – the Palestinians took.

Cropped photo of Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas'...

Mahmood Abbas- watched too many "Godfather"movies

The Palestinians demanded a freeze on settlement building.  Israel suspended new construction for 10 months.

Still the Palestinians did not talk, simply searched for other excuses. All the world’s pressure was of no avail.

The main element of their negotiating technique was to always hint at the possible resurgence of terror attacks.

These they would not be able to suppress, since it was the will of the people ( i.e.  The Third Intifada.)

It is true that  President Abbas- ever conscious of the PR disaster that would occur should this policy be openly articulated now –  has called for calm and restraint, at least before the vote.

But 40% of his people are under the control of Hamas in Gaza.

They have no qualms when it comes to violence. And the Hamas leadership have openly declared their opposition to Abbas’s attempts to secure a positive vote for a Palestinian state at the UN.

The problems from Israel’s viewpoint,

whilst appearing complex, are relatively simple. They come down to 3 issues that the Palestinians demand as pre-conditions:

  1. A Palestinian state within the 1967 borders ( but sometimes not being clear if they mean the 1948 borders)
  2. The demand for the “right of return” of Arab refugees ( and their descendants) to Israel.
  3. The re-division of Jerusalem into two parts. with one part  becoming  the capital of Palestine.

In addition, the Palestinians refuse to recognise that Israel  has a right to exist as the Nation State of the Jewish PeopleOnly, grudgingly, acknowledging that it does exist as a matter of geographical fact.

Their intransigence thus far,  is now further bolstered by their expectation of a positive outcome to the UN vote on statehood.

In these last few days, as the decision timeclock ticks relentlessly onward, the media is awash with claims and counterclaims from both parties

I think the situation is beyond mere posturing.

Israel needs to face up to the reality that there will be no agreement,  and must decide how to proceed.

Israel has the capacity to survive, and even flourish, within the status quo.

The Palestinians do not.

And, if anyone ever quotes the settlement of the (apparently)  insoluble dispute between the IRA and the British government, as an example of what can be achieved , don’t believe it.

The situation in Northern Ireland has been creaking along for years, with both sides going through the pretense that it is working.

In fact, the terror attacks continue, sporadically,  to this day.

And the IRA were not seeking the complete destruction of the United Kingdom!


Since first posting this article earlier today, the following headline was just published in Ha’aretz:

  • Published 21:57 21.09.11
  • Latest update 21:57 21.09.11

Senior Palestinian official: UN bid is only alternative to violence

Nabil Shaath says Palestinians to give UN Security Council time to mull their statehood bid before turning to General Assembly.

Andyboy – Telling it as it is!

Shaath och Sahlin

Naabil Shaath - PA Spokesman


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