Sunday is going to be one of those days about which people will say in the future: "Too bad we didn't act differently." But millions of Israelis will get up in the morning as if it's an ordinary day. And they call Time Magazine is anti-Israeli because it said Israelis don't care about peace with their neighbors.
The Palestinians are being told that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not have the political strength to continue the moratorium on construction in the settlements, and they have to be considerate. The occupier expects understanding from the occupied.
The Palestinian Authority might wonder: If Netanyahu cannot extend the freeze for three months, how will he be able to decide on borders and Jerusalem? But no doubt, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas heard persuasive and encouraging things from President Shimon Peres and Defense Minister Ehud Barak in New York.
Furthermore, the Palestinians are being told that we agreed on no preconditions, so what is this thing you call a construction freeze?
As if the occupation itself, which the settlements are intended to make as permanent as headless nails, is not the greatest precondition of them all. Either agree to our demands, or 43 years of occupation will become 1,000 more. And let's say Abbas bows to the heavy pressure and does not immediately bolt the talks if the freeze is lifted. They will continue for appearance's sake, but the Palestinian negotiator will sit on an even lower chair, weakened and humiliated. His rivals already are accusing him of surrender, and this will be the proof.
This is the last call for the freeze, a moment before terror returns. IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi says he does not expect a wave of violence if the talks fail because expectations are low; the Palestinians are pessimistic. But pessimism is the mother of all desperation, and the desperate have nothing to lose.
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