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Palestinians should walk the talk
By Fadi Zanayed — If the Palestinians compromise their position on the settlement freeze, they will in effect, legitimize the settlement’s illegality. How can Palestinians embark on the process that should discuss the dismantling of the settlements and the ending of the occupation if they agree to the resumption of construction of new settlements? It just does not make sense.
If Israel lifts the settlement freeze, then Palestinians should immediately pull out of the peace talks—as they have threatened. The factor that the Netanyahu coalition government might collapse is really of no concern to the Palestinians as they should not base their policy on internal Israeli affairs.
(Fadi Zanayed is the former president of the Chicago Chapter of the Palestinian American Congress.)
Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Dan Menidor recently indicated that a Palestinian compromise on settlements would be an indication of good faith on broader issues. The onus is on Israel not the Palestinians on this issue. Israel cannot expect the Palestinians to allow the increase of that which they want decreased or removed. Palestinian spokesman Husam Zomlot said it right, “Flexibility and creativity do not apply on illegality.”
The settlements are illegal. The Palestinians cannot agree on allowing Israel to construct new illegal settlements for that will only legitimize the old and new illegal settlements.
Negotiations are to be conducted when the parties negotiating are on parity, i.e. each has something to gain from the ultimate agreement of the parties. The opposite is not always true, i.e. that each has something to lose should the negotiations collapse. Should the peace talks collapse, the only other solution to the conflict is a one state solution. This cannot be in Israel’s favor as the Jewish nature of its government would be eventually lost by sheer numbers of Arabs visa vie Israelis.
On the other hand, the Palestinians will be in the same state as they were in for generations should peace talks collapse. The birth rate factor is on the Palestinian side.
To stay on parity, if we can say that the Palestinians entered into the current peace talks on parity, the Palestinians must mean what they say by doing what they say. They said that they would walk out of the peace talks if Israel resumes settlement construction. They should keep their word and walk the talk
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political columnist and author. He covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and for TheArabDailyNews.com, and TheDailyHookah.com.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.
His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania
Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com
Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com ArabNews.com/taxonomy/term/10906
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