Friday, September 03, 2010

Soccer Dad

Soccer Dad

If you keep on rejecting a deal it probably means ...

Posted: 03 Sep 2010 03:56 AM PDT

The New York Times features an analysis, Mideast expert fear peace talks are too ambitious. The headline is probably correct as Abbas has no real standing to make any deal. But this paragraph struck me:

But those urging a more modest approach argue that Mr. Netanyahu, the most conservative Israeli prime minister to have embarked on final status talks, is unlikely to offer more than his more centrist predecessor, Ehud Olmert. In late 2008, Mr. Olmert proposed an Israeli withdrawal from about 93 percent of the West Bank and compensatory land swaps. Mr. Abbas, who did not accept that offer, is unlikely to settle for less.

"[U]nilikely to settle for less?" So if having a state is so important why did Abbas reject the 93 percent? Or better yet, if Abbas rejected such a deal, why should he expect better?

Roger Simon:

Now here's the thought experiment part. I'm assuming most of the readers here -- in this case I'd wager 99% of you -- have been in negotiations themselves. When you got 98% or even 88% of what you wanted, did you walk away and start a war... okay, just walk away? And if you did, why did you do that ... when you were so close to making a deal? You could obviously hang around in negotiations and get most, if not all, of what you wanted.

Well, the answer is -- no fair peeking -- because you never wanted the deal in the first place.

Now Abbas didn't start a war. Arafat did that in 2000. But the idea's the same, given that he was so close how could he reject Olmert? The answer must be that Abbas didn't want a deal. Nothing's changed to make him want a deal now. After all, all those sophisticated peace processors have been telling him that Israel needs a deal more than he does, so the failure to reach a deal will never be his failure.

Crossposted on Yourish.

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