No optimism for peace talks

MK Shaked Welcomes Report of Pessimism Over Peace

MK Shaked welcomes a report which says that an advisor to Minister Livni is pessimistic about reaching a peace deal with the PA.

Elad Benari, May 24, 2013, Arutz Sheva

MK Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) welcomed on Thursday a report which indicated that an advisor to Justice Minister Tzipi Livni was pessimistic about the chances of reaching a peace deal with the Palestinian Authority.

According to Thursday morning’s report in the Ma’ariv daily newspaper, the advisor, Dr. Tal Becker, had expressed pessimism, in recent private conversations, that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to restart the peace process would yield any fruit. This, Becker reportedly said, was not because of lack of willingness to negotiate on Israel’s part – but because of reluctance by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to negotiate.

"I read in Ma’ariv that Livni’s political advisor says there is no chance for an agreement with the Palestinians and think to myself: Better late than never," Shaked wrote on her Facebook page.

"The left would have saved us all quite a bit of pain if it had come to that conclusion immediately after Oslo, or immediately after the desperate attempts of [former Prime Minister Ehud] Barak to sell the Promised Land at Camp David, or perhaps after the disengagement or after Abbas refused the offer by [former Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert to give the Palestinians everything, including giving up Israeli sovereignty over the Temple Mount, but I guess there are processes that take their time to ripen,” she added.

"Now that we have woken up from our illusions, one can begin to work and talk seriously about how to ensure security for the residents of Israel and a good life for the Palestinians, instead of obsessively planning the next building freeze, or the removal of the next hill in the land of Binyamin,” Shaked wrote. “And we have plans and if we will talk about them in the world, the world will listen. We may not eat hummus in Damascus, but the Kinneret will remain ours and it is nice and full. "

"So I’m glad you came along, Mr. Political Advisor to Minister Livni, and let’s hope more will follow you," she concluded.

The report in Ma’ariv came as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry headed back to Israel Thursday as he continues a push to reignite peace negotiations.

Making his fourth trip to Israel since he began his tenure as the U.S. chief diplomat in February, Kerry met with Livni, as well as with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, and Palestinian Authority leaders.

During Kerry’s meeting with Netanyahu, the Prime Minister said that Israel was very interested in reopening negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.

A spokesperson in the Prime Minister’s office said that the discussions were “positive,” and that Israel had urged Kerry to do what he could to convince the PA to return to the negotiating table.

Kerry then went straight into talks with Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas. He then returned to Jerusalem and met with President Shimon Peres. He will have breakfast Friday with Netanyahu.

Direct peace talks collapsed shortly after they were launched in September 2010 because Abbas refused to talk to Netanyahu, despite the fact that Israel imposed a ten-month construction freeze under U.S. pressure.

Instead, Abbas has imposed endless preconditions on talks, including calling on Israel to again freeze construction in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem and release terrorist prisoners, especially those arrested before the 1993 Oslo Accords.

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