"Despite the refusal of Washington to release any information, the US press has been filled with accounts telling a very different story. Early on there were reports that the US had fully embraced Israeli concerns on most issues, including: Israeli security needs in the Jordan Valley, the insistence that there be no "right of return" for Palestinians and the demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a "Jewish State.""At this point one might throw in that the Palestinians refused to recognize Israel, but a balanced analysis cannot be expected from a James Zogby/Huffington Post article. Yeah, this is pretty good news for Israel, though it really shouldn't be because none of these are particularly unreasonable. But of course Zogby jumps in with his own two cents:
"If everything were going so swimmingly well for Israel, how are we to account for their behavior last week? When Kerry met with Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister attempted to turn their joint press event into a session bashing the Palestinian leadership, accusing Mahmoud Abbas of embracing terrorists and engaging in incitement, questioning whether Israel had a genuine "partner" in the search for peace. Kerry was apparently taken aback by this intemperate and un-called for display of vehemence."Sure he was. I like the loaded question in the first sentence. Who said "everything was going swimmingly?" Yes, America had endorsed basic Israeli demands, just as they ought to. Does that mean that Netanyahu was supposed to keep silent on the very real danger of Palestinian incitement? Ignoring Palestinian calls for war is what sunk the peace talks the last time around and it appears that Netanyahu doesn't want to make the same mistake. I don't see what is so unreasonable about that.
After this Zogby does through a laundry list of complaints about Israelis, such as that Netanyahu doesn't intend to concede about Jerusalem (not mentioning that neither will Abbas) and right-wing statements by Naftali Bennett and Avigdor Lieberman. And, of course, the eternal complaint that Israel wants to build more settlements.
But don't worry, because Zogby has an explanation for all of this. See, it isn't that Netanyahu wants to shore up his political base or because they expect the negotiations to fail (due to a Palestinian lack of desire for peace):
"A more plausible explanation is that Kerry is quite serious and is pushing hard to come up with a framework that advances peace and this has caused some real discomfort on the Israeli right."Um...that's it? Great, so what's the problem here? There is pressure for peace, the Israeli right isn't happy about it, there's no violence right now...Oh wait, the problem is that the Palestinians don't want peace and Zogby is behind them:
"I can't imagine that the Palestinian leadership will surrender and accept a framework agreement that signs away their basic rights. I also cannot believe that the US will offer a proposal that will be rejected outright by Palestinians and Arab public opinion, at large."I really would be curious to know what kind of framework Zogby considers to be "signing away basic rights." I have a feeling that he won't tell us because if he really did put Arab demands down in black and white he would let the cat out of the bag: it would become obvious to everyone that the Palestinians have no intention of peace between two states for two peoples. Until then, I guess we'll just have to deal with his misleading articles.