The peace talks going on between Israel and the so-called Palestinians have been hailed by the world as a major breakthrough. After months of making unconditional demands and refusing face to face negotiations while simultaneously blaming Israel for a lack of progress, Mahmood Abbas finally agreed to meet his perceived arch-enemy to the delight of the American and European governments.
For a peace optimist with a short memory, this is an incredibly important event, possible a last chance to prevent a regional war and to influence the Americans and Europeans to get serious with Iran before it develops a nuclear weapon.
For the intelligent person whose recollection of events reaches back beyond last week's breakfast selections, this event is a yawn, a boring repetition of countless previous meetings that were similarily fruitless. Remember Annapolis? Remember the Road Map? Heck, remember Madrid?
The meetings all follow an inevitable pattern: months of intense negotiations to convince the Arab side to attend face to face negotiations while simultaneously claiming Israel is the obstable to such talks. The Arab side then arrives, presents its demands along with the insistence that they must be met 100% before any actual talks can begin. The Israeli leadership, realizing that these demands amount to a request to commit national suicide, insist that there must be open negotiations without exception. The Arabs announce that Israel isn't serious about peace, walk away from the table and everyone blames Israel.
Indeed, the euphoria of the current negotiations has already started to evaporate, as the latest news reports note. Foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman has expressed his pessimism publicly and he will not be alone. Although it's not what the media and the left want to hear, it is what's happening.
It's easy to cry "anti-Semitism" and "Jew hatred" when trying to explain why this occurs time and time again but the answer is far more devious. The truth is that it is not in the interests of the Arabs in Yehuda and Shomron to conduct successful negotiations.
As absurd as that sounds, consider the alternatives. Currently the Arabs live under the Israeli security blanket while controlling much of their local and municipal security. Although Fatah runs an incompetent kleptocracy, the natural ingenuity of the locals, no doubt bolstered by their proximity to and observation of Israeli entrepeneurship, has created a mini-economic boom. As opposed to the situation in 'Aza where most of the inhabitants are kept in a deliberate state of misery as part of the propaganda war against Israel the Arabs in Yehuda and Shomron are building an economy that exists in cooperation with the Israeli one. Slowly, slowly their lives are improving as they move up the economic scale.
The only catch is that no one can actually broadcast this. Remember that the Arab position is that non-Jewish inhabitants of Yehuda and Shomron live in a state of constant misery and poverty. They are supposedly suffering under the boot of Israeli oppression and only the release of that boot, along with an influx of 4-5 million Arabs who claim ancestry to the land of Israel (no verifiable proof required!) into the Jewish side of the border, will allow their lives to flourish.
Yet if one looks at history, this claim is completely untrue. In the euphoria that surrounded the signing of the Oslo Discord, Yassir Arafat, y"sh, was given near total control over Yehuda, Shomron and 'Aza. He and his thugs promptly stole all the money that the international community (including Israel) donated to build the local economy and instead prepared for a terrorist war that he ultimately unleashed in 2000.
For negotiations to be successful, Israel would have to agree to give up the most important parts of Yerushalayim as well as absorb 4-5 million Arabs under the so-called "right of return". If Abbas were to instead demand what Ehud Barak had offered at Camp David or Ehud Olmert at Annapolis, Israel would likely accede. But signing such an agreement and giving up on the right of return would result in Abbas' receiving a bullet between the eyes as a welcome gift when he came home. Arab leaders have promised their people for decades that there will be no deal without such conditions. Now they are trapped.
The track record of Arab control over Arab citizens is abyssmal. The contrasting track record of Israeli control with limited Arab autonomy is optimistic but not what is considered to be the politically correct solution. The world doesn't want happy, prosperous Arabs. They want a 23rd Arab state no matter how terrible it will make the lives of its citizens.
As a result, there is the constant push for peace talks that go nowhere, which is exactly where they should go. This is why Abbas shows up with maximalist demands and then walks away from the table when they are not 110%. The worst thing that could happen to him is a workable peace deal. It would either mean his death or his having to start to actually run a country without the Israelis doing all the heavy lifting for him. Neither is a preferable option for a terrorist thug with a PhD in Holocaust denial.
And that is why, after all the hoopla dies down, we will once again be told that negotiations have failed, that it's Israel's fault and that more negotiations need to be started to give peace yet another one last change.