CMEP Bulletin: Bargaining for Negotiations, Housing and Building Crises, and More

CMEP Bulletin: Bargaining for Negotiations, Housing and Building Crises, and More

So close, yet so far

In an attempt to break the negotiating impasse before a September UN showdown, sources say Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is willing tonegotiate on the basis of the 1967 lines with land swaps, if Palestinians are willing to accept a Jewish state. 

With peace talks stalled for almost three years, this could have been a significant step forward, but the precondition of declaring Israel a Jewish state throws a major wrench in the wheel of progress. Palestinians believe that such recognition should be a product of negotiations, not a starting point. Palestinian recognition of a Jewish state before negotiations could prejudice the final status issue of refugees, and the rights of the Arab minority in Israel.

The Palestinian Authority dismissed the “concession.” Lead Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat responded by saying, “When I hear this from Netanyahu’s lips, that he will accept an Israeli state along 1967 borders, I will believe it…But what I have read so far is a masterpiece of PR and linguistics. [The Israelis] do this very well.”

The British newspaper, The Telegraph said of the proposal, “Indeed, for the Palestinians the entire offer seems to be proof that Mr. Netanyahu is adept at appearing to give them what they want while exacting so high a price that it becomes impossible to accept.”

It appears that Palestinian officials are continuing with their plans for September, setting a date for Palestinians to engage in popular demonstrations on September 20, the day before the UN vote on independence is to take place. The campaign is called “Palestine 194,” since the Palestinians aim to be the 194th member of the UN. 

The Palestinian Authority insists that the protests will be nonviolent, but that does not alleviate the concerns of Israeli military officials. Israeli daily Haaretz reported that Lt. Benny Gantz warned a parliamentary committee this week that he expects, “many thousands of people to conduct a quiet and nonviolent protest,” and warned, “The military will not be able to place the settlements at risk in such cases.” A Knesset report recommended calling up some reserves

Click here to continue reading this CMEP Bulletin, including the following items:

  • Israeli housing protests and settlements
  • Home demolitions and settlements linked
  • West Bank outpost to be demolished
  • Local elections for PA
  • J-Street story
  • Funding fight in Washington