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Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Observation: Netanyahu Appoints An Elephant Pilot To Negotiate With The Palestinians

Observation: Netanyahu Appoints An Elephant Pilot To Negotiate With The
Palestinians

Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 19 February 2013

These are days that put the integrity of Likud MKs to the test.

After all, as they breathlessly wait and hope to get a ministerial portfolio
or at least the chairmanship of a high profile Knesset committee, the last
thing that they want to do is annoy Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

And why jeopardize one's prospects, however slim, over something that may
ultimately be of no consequence?

After all, if Ehud Olmert wasn't able to cut a deal with Mahmoud Abbas after
offering to divide Jerusalem, pull out of almost all of the West Bank,
compromise on the return of refugees to inside Israel, etc., then why expect
anything to actually develop from Livni's negotiations with the
Palestinians.

But it isn't so simple.

Livni did not agree to take responsibility for negotiations with the
Palestinians in order to show the world that the Palestinians are to blame
for the failure of the "peace process". She made this move expecting to
make history.

So while Binyamin Netanyahu may have set his standards and requirements for
a deal with the Palestinians that simply cannot be genuinely attained, thus
essentially conditioning agreement to a sovereign Palestinian state to
elephants being able to fly, Ms. Livni can be expected to put together a
team of first class Israeli elephant pilots with impressive credentials.

And it won't really matter so much what Mr. Netanyahu really thinks of the
house of cards arrangements these people come up with.

Whatever schemes Livni's elephant pilots cook up that Binyamin Netanyahu
may object to putting on the table will find their way to the White House,
10 Downing Street and no doubt the pages of Haaretz.

And the pressure will be tremendous.

And the erosion of Israel's ability to argue its case profoundly weakened.

And all this without considering the possibility that the Palestinians have
the sense to play this hand for everything its worth.

Until now Mahmoud Abbas has been adamantly opposed to an interim deal even
if that meant having sovereignty.

How much finessing would it take for the Palestinian leadership to recast an
interim deal as a gain rather than a concession?

After all, the Palestinians could argue that the UN General Assembly vote
already established that the sovereign Palestinian state includes every
square centimeter beyond the Green Line. An interim deal doesn't forfeit
Palestinian sovereignty, it just facilitates the first round of Israeli
withdrawals.

I cannot predict what will happen in the coming days.

But I can write this with considerable certainty: if the Netanyahu-Livni
team does indeed cut an elephants can fly deal with the Palestinians against
the background of obediently silent Likud MKs, the next elections could very
well find Likud following Kadima's election performance track.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730
INTERNET ADDRESS: imra@netvision.net.il
Website: http://www.imra.org.il

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