After several years of shilly shallying (otherwise known as beating around the Bush), the final boundaries have been announced. Ynetnews.com explains.
It is so refreshing to see that another graduate of the Yasser Arafat School of Political Negotiation hard at work in Ramallah. I think, however, that Qureia would have been far more effective pounding the table with his shoe screaming "We will bury you." He could also have spat on the ground and walked out.
PA negotiators furious over Israeli proposal
Worrying strife breaks out between top Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qureia and Israeli counterpart after latter presents proposal of regional division in which Israel maintains claim to large settlement blocs, Jordan River Valley and Jerusalem
Roni Sofer and Ali Waked
Published: 04.29.08, 18:04 / Israel News
Those in Washington pushing for an Israeli-Palestinian deal by the end of President Bush's term may have to scale down their expectation as the gaps between the two sides only seem to be growing larger.
A new bout of discord arose after a blowout between the Palestinian Authority's head negotiator, Ahmed Qureia, and Foreign Affairs Minister Tzipi Livni. Qureia angrily rejected a proposed map presented by Livni in which any future agreement would see Israel retaining control of the larger settlement blocs in the West Bank as well as the Jordan River Valley and Jerusalem.
Qureia grabbed the map spread out on the table and pushed it away with both hands. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3537537,00.html
There is no surprise here at all, except that Qureia stuck around. On what planet or historical epoch does this guy live? It is simply the way the PA and Israel has been doing business for the last forty years. It is a straight forward statement of reality. A simple flyby of the land in question will show anyone not color blind where the border really is--those parts that are green are Israeli and those that are dirt color are Palestinian. In the last forty years, Israelis have invested in their land, its cultivation, and its ecological restoration. In the same forty years, the Palestinians have extorted money from their citizenry investing in weapons and war.
Most Israelis believe that this is what Sharon intended with the disengagement in 2005—return Gaza and pull back to the real borders between Palestinians and Israelis. Given the level of good faith that characterizes the authorities in Hamas and the PA, I would say this is the take it or leave it deal of the final round. This is the Two State Solution already in place.
For most Israelis, past and present, Israel is not about real estate. It is about The Land, written in title case. The Festival of Passover is intimately tied into this concept as is the entire ediface of the Jewish Faith. The miracles associated with The Land, to say nothing of the manifest reality of the miracle of return, in our historical age, is tied up into the period of time and praxis of the Festival of Passover.
Secular or Religious, Jewish or Christian or Muslim, Israelis know what the Passover means and most Israelis find some way to observe it. In the Western Galilee, Israelis of Morrocan descent celebrate the end of Passover by going to see their Muslim neighbors to buy flour to bake leavened cakes and party the night away--everyone is invited. Mimuna, as it is called, emerged in the Jewish communities of North Africa, where Jews have lived for over 2000 years, and is widely practiced throughout Israel. Like most folks who live in farm counties the world around, Galileans of all stripes know that fences good neighbors make but a cup of flour across that fence means more than any property rights.
So the image of another member of Arafat's cabal, refusing to end this killing nonsense, simply adds to the Passover drama. Last week, Jimmy The Redeemer was in town telling us that "they" were willing to talk. Everyone here talks--but do they listen?
So, Tzipi simply stated what already is. Here's the deal. Take it and we can end the occupation tomorrow, shake hands, and get down to the business of making the rest of The Land green.
It is the fitting conclusion to this year’s Passover. Perhaps this is the year where the Seder dinner’s concluding prayer will be answered—Next Year in Jerusalem.
Hey, Qureia! Are you listening?