The High Price of Kerry's Victory - Jonathan S. Tobin
Ahmed Majdalani, a PLO executive committee member, told AP that Kerry would endorse the 1967 lines as the starting point of negotiations and assured the Palestinians that Israel would free some 350 prisoners gradually in the coming months. Thus, the Palestinians have already made it abundantly clear that they won't actually negotiate in good faith but will only show up expecting the U.S. to deliver Israeli concessions to them on a silver platter.
The Palestinians had no interest in returning to negotiations they've been boycotting for four and a half years. But both Israel and the Palestinians didn't wish to obstruct Kerry's desire for talks. He might have left off once the Palestinians demonstrated their lack of interest, but since he persisted, they felt they had no choice but to show up.
Abbas and the PA are too weak to agree to any deal that would conclusively end a conflict that neither Hamas nor much of Fatah actually wants to end. Recognizing the legitimacy of a Jewish state, no matter where its borders might be drawn, is something that no Palestinian leader can afford to do at this point in history.
The culture of Palestinian politics that has revolved around the delegitimization of Israel and Jewish history makes it impossible. That's why they've already rejected three Israelis offers of a Palestinian state.
Europe's Stance on Settlements Is a Blunder - Yair Lapid
The campaign of delegitimizing the Jewish state - a campaign financed primarily by Arab oil - has gained momentum in recent years. The only thing that can stop it is the resumption of peace negotiations. In one fell swoop, the misguided folks in Brussels have emboldened the extremists, allowing them to triumphantly claim to Abbas: "You see, we were right all along. You must not negotiate. We don't have to do anything. The international community will do our job for us."
The world shouldn't make things easier for extremists. It's challenging enough to pursue peace in this problematic neighborhood of ours. We do not need our friends overseas to make it even more difficult. The EU would do well to revoke its decision.
The writer is Israel's Minister of Finance.
(New York Times)
"Occupied Territories": What about Cyprus, Kashmir, Tibet?
- Douglas Murray
Last week the EU issued a ban on funding of, or cooperation with, any Israeli institutions that operate in what it calls the "occupied territories." There are many countries in the world with border disputes, including Cyprus, China [Tibet], and Pakistan [Kashmir]. Yet the EU has full diplomatic and trade relations with all these countries.
The northern part of Cyprus has been illegally annexed for the last four decades by Turkey, even though Turkey does not have - as Israel has with the West Bank - any legitimate historical, political or other territorial claims on the island. Yet in 2013, many leading EU officials actually want to promote Turkey into a full member-state of the EU.
With nearly 100,000 dead in Syria and Egypt going through a counter-revolution, the issue of where Jews should or should not live inside their historical homeland is a matter of the lowest international import.
The writer is associate director of the Henry Jackson Society in the UK.
Palestinians, Israelis Play Down Chances of Imminent Talks
- Ali Sawafta and Allyn Fisher-Ilan
Palestinians said negotiations could not begin unless it was clear in advance that they would be about a future state based on the pre-1967 lines.
Did the EU Really Curb Hizbullah Funding? - Soeren Kern
As Israel's Ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, put it: "Calling Hizbullah a charity is like calling al-Qaeda an urban planning organization because of its desire to level tall buildings."