Thursday, September 30, 2010
So the ball is vollyed back into our court
PLO: Talks won't continue unless freeze decision reversed
JPOST.COM STAFF AND AP
Hanna Amireh says there is widespread opposition to resuming talks without a settlement curb; EU's Ashton calls for moratorium extension, due to arrive in Israel to meet with Netanyahu.
The PLO said on Wednesday that they cannot be expected to continue peace talks unless Israel reverses the decision to lift restrictions on settlement construction.
Hanna Amireh, a member of the PLO body, said there was widespread opposition to resuming talks without a settlement curb."The consensus is that since the entire world is in favor of a Palestinian state and against settlements, then let us throw this problem in the face of the world and see what they can do about it," Amireh said.
Also on Wednesday EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton said that the recently expired settlement construction moratorium must be extended if the peace talks are to have any hope of succeeding
Ashton made the comments after a Washington meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Earlier on Wednesday, Ashton announced an imminent trip to Israel, where she is expected to land on Thursday. Ashton said she was heading to the region "as a matter of priority" after talking to Mitchell and international Mideast envoy Tony Blair.
She reiterated in a statement that the European Union regrets Israel's decision not to extend a 10-month-old moratorium on West Bank housing starts that expired this week.
Starting Thursday, the EU foreign policy chief will meet with Netanyahu, Abbas and Mitchell over two days to try to prevent the collapse of negotiations. She reiterated in a statement that the European Union regrets Israel's decision not to extend a 10-month-old moratorium on West Bank housing starts that expired this week.
Comment: So much for Abbas saying he would wait until October meeting with the Arab League to help him make up his mind re: a way forward. After spending time with Israel's "friends" in the EU, after our American "friends"shifted their position, again, Abbas says he cannot continue the "talks". No one should be fooled by these power politics. Be reminded of the following: until Obama made the connection between settlement building and talks, historically the "settlement" building was NEVER a point to prevent the two sides from negotiating. Abbas,unelected "leader" of the "Palestinians" Arabs, his term expired nearly 2 years ago, knew and knows he has no authority to make any deal. All of us in the region know this and as long as the building issue resonates as a rationalization/justification or excuse, it will be played out for a variety of political reasons-all disingenuous!
It is shameful how certain"democratic" allies are playing dirty politics with this-they are complicit with any violence that occurs. Rather, they should all get some courage, stand up to this political extortion and say all together: "Abbas, you need our support, stop this nonsense and get back to the table-Israel has leadership ready to give you much, not all, of what you need to survive."
Arab perspective is the eradication of Israel-in the immediate future create a situation on the ground that at least gives the possibility of change in this mindset.