Opinion  Nahum Barnea
Painted into a corner
Nahum Barnea
Published: 26.09.10, 18:06
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21 Talkbacks for this article
1. Peace Talks
Ryan ,   Carlsbad, CA   (09.26.10)
In a dispute that has taken this long to settle, it's time that we stop with the "I'll give up this if you give me this in return". Obama doesn't need to make concessions; Israel and Palestine have had decades to work through this if they wanted to barter. It's time the grownups take charge and tell people the way it's going to be.
2. In some ways the freeze was a success. It proved to the
Bunnie Meyer ,   Los Angeles, CA USA   (09.26.10)
world that Bibi could use brute force to enforce a racist dictate that only arabs could build. It proved that the arabs will waste precious time when given an opportunity to sit down for peace talks. And it proved that obumma has used his last gasp rod to beat down Bibi with no progress and now the construction can go on for the next 3000 years and more.
3. errors....
tiki ,   belgium   (09.26.10)
OBAMA is the result of errors of US citizens who erred to elect this arrogant but inexperienced man as their President, but seeing the mistake they made, are (hopefully) steering him to his proper place. ABBAS erred in his assumption he can deliver something, while being a 'President without a country or a mandate, with a supporters quota of about 15%. NATANYAHU erred in playing along with the above errors, but can correct himself, because he has the "support and the mandate!
4. Land for peace
sam ,   PNG   (09.26.10)
Land for peace didn't so lets State hood for nothing in return
5. Barnea misses the main point
RayS ,   USA   (09.26.10)
The Arabs don't want (have never wanted) true peace with Israel. The only want peaces of Israel to follow their successul program to eliminate Israel by the "salami" tactic. Another Arab state in Judea and Gaza would be a deadly blow to all Israe.
6. Simplest explanation is the best
Israel Israeli ,   Tel Aviv   (09.26.10)
A good summary, but it avoids the simplest answers to the supposed riddles. Obama does not not want a peace treaty. Obama wants to isolate, delegitimize and destroy Israel, hopefully before he is booted out of office. Netanyahu is a good talker who doesn't have the guts to protect Israeli interests and stand up to Obama, Clinton and even low-level functionaries like Biden and Rahm. And Abbas goal is exactly what is written in the PLO charter, and he himself says over and over again: Israeli retreat to pre-1967 borders with ethnic cleansing of Jews, flooding of Israel with foreign Arabs, and the destruction of Israel which he views as an illegitimate foreign entity on Arab land.
7. Ryan, what makes you think Obama is the grownup?
Raymond in DC ,   Washington, USA   (09.26.10)
Ryan (#1) writes, "It's time the grownups take charge and tell the people the way it's going to be." And what makes you think Obama and his team are the grownups? Netanyahu had already served in the Special Forces as well as the UN before Obama graduated college, was a serving Prime Minister when Obama was a state senator, and already served as Finance Minister whereas Obama apparently thinks government programs are free. As one Israeli official suggested to one US "peace processor", when all was said and done, the US official would return to Chevy Chase (a ritzy suburb of Washington) while Israel would be dealing with the consequences.
8. Don't bite the hands that feed you...
Chaim ,   USA   (09.26.10)
Obama's not kidding when he said this may be the last chance for peace.He will drop you like a hot brick if you "push him to the corner" by dragging the peace process..Just watch...
9. #6 You could be more convincing
emc   (09.26.10)
if the settlements were not there. Now your simple explanations don't convince anyone.
10. #9, you mean like between 1948 and 1967?
Danny   (09.26.10)
and Israel was at peace with the whole arab world?
11. Bibi has already laid out the Israel/Pal he wants to see
Raymond in DC ,   Washington, USA   (09.26.10)
What kind of Israel does Netanyahu want, asks Barnea, and what kind of Palestine? He's not the only liberal that asks about Bibi's plans and vision. The only problem is he's already laid it out - and in Hebrew - but Israeli commentators just don't like the answer. Barnea is right about one thing - that Netanyahu erred when he endorsed a time-limited freeze - but not for the reasons he thinks. Rather, it was a gesture for nothing in return, and one that ignored Israeli rights and interests, implying that those didn't exist and Israel was simply being obstructionist. Israel can't afford to be setting such precedents. It was at Bar Ilan U last year when he spoke of two states for two nations, Palestinian recognition of Israel as the national expression of the Jewish people, a demilitarized Palestine, no Right of Return to Israel, a unified Jerusalem, etc. Barnea's whine amounts to a complaint that he has yet to hear a plan from Bibi that he likes.
12. Borders to be set by end of year, only option to keep talks
Bloodyscot ,   Dallas, Texas   (09.26.10)
13. #9 trying to be more convincing
Israel Israeli ,   Tel Aviv   (09.26.10)
Further to what #10 said: Fatah was established in 1954, 14 years before there were what you call "settlements". Mahmoud Abbas joined Fatah in 1961, 7 years before "the settlements". Hamas declares their struggle to exterminate the Jews began in 1939, 9 years before the establishment of Israel. Both call for the extermination of the Jews, though Fatah uses the code word "zionist".
14. What are we going to negociate?
Israel ,   Texas, USA   (09.26.10)
Israel should not let the freeze continue, If it does, might as well give them everything they want including Israel, what is Israel going to negotiate if they already gave up the rights to every were they stop building. Plus the Palestinians waited the 10 months of the freeze to come at the end and say “we are going to talk about peace but you need to keep the freeze. I say if Israel can achieve peace and security, lets give the Palestinians the West bank minus the major Settlements 10,000 plus people, exchange this land for some other good land somewhere else if needed, give them West Jerusalem the other side of the wall, and no right of refugees to return to Israel, they can stay on their new country Palestine or Gaza. If they can accept this, let’s just keep the status quo. They are living very well in the West Bank, were in Ramallah apartments are as expensive as in Israel.
15. #8. Chaim: The pharaoh is dead
Thomas ,   Dixieland (US-South)   (09.26.10)
You Obamabots are believing that your Kenyan Hussein - 40% approval rating - singlehandedly can rule over Israel like Ramses II. All by himself, he will be the sole arbiter over the life and death of millions of Jews. Yeah, a wonder kid from Chicago's South side and the whole USA will obey the Muslim demigod. In your dream only.
16. Jews wasted their last chance to Partition
Steve Benassi ,   Silver Bay, MN USA   (09.27.10)
...the land. Now 8.5 million Arabs will demand their Voting Rights in Palestine Israel, and will get them, in time.
17. Peace Talks
Shame on anyone who wants land more than peace. Abbas, recognize Israel as the Jewish State and recognize its security needs. Cut out the nonsense already. If the talks fail because of the renewal of the building activity, shame on Abbas and shame on Netanyahu.
Arn. ,   Sweden.   (09.27.10)
Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Mahmoud Abbas – painted themselves into a corner and didn’t know how to get out of it. Who will go down now? The answer: None of them. Not immediately, THE CHARACTER OF THE ISRAELI PM- Netanyahu erred when he endorsed a time-limited freeze. The 10 months were a tough corner. From the first day of the freeze, it was clear that Netanyahu would have great trouble extracting himself from that corner. He also erred when he made binding statements about ending the freeze. By doing so, he turned the debate on extending the freeze from a policy dispute to a debate about character; his character. THUS - In his latest declarations, Obama greatly minimized the Israeli prime minister’s room for maneuver. The president let Netanyahu choose between two options: Either a humiliating capitulation to American dictates, or a head-on confrontation with the US. IF THE ISRAELI PM GIVES IN AND CAPITULATES TO OBAMAS DEMAND, I THINK HE WILLFALL, AS ABOVE. Arn.
19. Destructive Analysis
Yosef ,   Israel   (09.27.10)
Assuming that NB is correct in his analysis the principals involved in the current negotiations come across as Larry, Curly and Moe, the colloquial bunglers. Our only recourse seems to be to send as negotiators the omniscient columnists of our daily newspapers and the authors of talkbacks: otherwise,a peace agreement is out of our reach.
20. "Peace deal" with Abbas would be disaster for Israel.
Chaim ,   Israel   (09.27.10)
Who wants a "peace deal" with the P.A.? Most of Kadima, all of Labor and Meretz want it. However, very few Israelis want it. That is why Israel elected a Likud lead right wing coalition. Why doesn't Israel want it? Because it would be an utter disaster for Israel. It would cost us Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, defensible borders, freedom from constant rocket attacks, freedom from inundation by hostile Arabs... No wonder nobody wants it.
21. #8 To Chaim
Texan ,   U.S.A/ Israel   (10.22.10)
Chaim wait till November 2..Look like are you Obama fen , Good luck because obama and his cronis finished pretty soon.... Shalom to you
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