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Dear Saeb Erekat


I see your interpretation that "Israel's settlement enterprise ... is nothing but a premeditated process to kill the possibility of an independent Palestinian state,".


I also read clearly that you support and wish the establishment of Palestinian state as soon as positionable. I think that Israel and Palestine has the shared interests to make Palestinian state a reality for the benefit of the Palestinians people and the whole region.

I think you are wrong in your interpretation and you miss the point as you fail to see that we have internal conflict within Israel, this declarations are coming from people who wish to stop the option of agreement within Israel and this elements has influence within the coalition government of Israel but they are no majority in the election. 

your statement play exactly to the hands of the people who wish to kill the possibility of an independent Palestinian state. you support their lie that they are the real Israel and you strengthen their power within Israel. you are weakening the wide practical elements within Israel that wish to see independent Palestine stage side of Israel and maybe a future of co-federation. 

You are no fool, as chief Palestinian negotiator you know many
things about the stage of the negotiation and aware of the internal conflict within israel is because Israel government declared its acceptance of Palestinian state that will lead to final border agreement. The interest of the Palestinians is to support the pragmatic element within the Israel government that work toward agreement and know that the borders we should have will force Israel to remove some or all of the settlements.

I know there is mirror inner conflict within Palestine, and it play its leadership as this inner conflict play the Israel leadership. this inner conflict drive this "negotiation" out of the possibility to manifest any agreement.

If we have agreement in 3 month how many houses will the Israeli build? I am sure that the ones who need to removed will be removed or given to the Palestinians.

I would advise you a different path where you declare that the Palestinians are expecting to have a state next year and that they know the territorial needs and this Settlers announcement is a waste of resources for the Israeli neighboring state. Please make all recognize that Palestinian are working with the Amerincan and the Israelis to have agreement THIS YEAR

Such a statment will unveil the bluff of the settlers and anti-agreement groups within Israel and show how wasteful such declarations are. It will strengthen the public understanding that the Palestinians , American and Israelis the are working together toward a goal.

sadly so far the inner conflicts in Israel and in Palestine are inflating the conflict and create disbelief in our ability to create major change.  Negotiation is a zero sum game and miss 
the point that we are all in the same boat and the future is build by us together.

Israeli citizen,
  Tel-Aviv

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I agree with you. I think once again, we (Israel) are acting like bullies, wasting time and resources on a false sense that we control. And once again, they (Palestinians) are falling into the trap and wasting time and energy on a few apartments and a few more dumans of land- they are missing the wider Palestine at the expense of a few dumans which damages their pride. Neither side is thinking about this that we are tied to one another for better or worse so how do we make the best situation for all.
Yes you are right that the Israeli side should work out its internal conflict and not let the radical flame the situation, but with that we need both side leaders to work anti the inflammatory actions of the other side and not being reactive and cooperate with the radicals.
Hi Neri,

My perspective is what Saed Erekat is saying is not very different to what is being said of late. At the latest UN meetings both the US and Australian leader talked about the real possibility of a new UN member state for next year, the state of Palestine.

The Quartet on 19 March 2010 said the current negotiations “should lead to a settlement, negotiated between the parties within 24 months [ie March 2012], that ends the occupation which began in 1967 and results in the emergence of an independent, democratic, and viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbors."
President Fayad had talked of a state in two years back in 2009.

There have been a number of previous deadlines for Palestinian Statehood. Seventeen years ago the Oslo Accords (I/II) called for a two state solution by 1999. Again this did not happen. Seven years ago the much fabled ‘Road Map’ of the Quartet called for a “final and comprehensive permanent status agreement that ends the Israel-Palestinian conflict in 2005. This did not happen.

Saeb Erekat mentions the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988. At this time Palestine was recognized by 104 countries in its 1988 declaration of independence . Palestine is a member of a range of international organizations that require statehood for membership,. For example Palestine is a member of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (2006) , the Olympic Games Committee , the Group of 77 , Non-Aligned Movement, Economic Commission for Western Asia (ECWA) , the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Arab League.

Similarly Palestine has a unique status within the United Nations. Despite Palestine not being a dejure member of the United Nations in many ways I would argue it operates as a defacto member given its role as a permanent observer to the United Nations since 1974 . This role is not insignificant as Palestine has the right of reply in General Assembly debate and it is permitted to speak at the UN Security Council. Such rights formally are limited to UN state members. Palestine also has a unique status in for the Rome statute of the International Criminal Court. Palestine attended the Rome Conference as an observer . Palestine was the only observer listed as an organization. And curiously in the order of annexes Palestine was the first political unit that followed the list of states.

The benefits for Palestine by declaring dejure statehood far outweigh continued defacto statehood. As a dejure state Palestine is provided with international protections, clarity and legitimacy it lacks remaining as defacto state. One example is the International Criminal Court would have clear jurisdiction to hear war crimes and crimes against humanity trials (and likewise would be open to Israel referring crimes against humanity charges to the ICC).

Neri, I hope this presents a perspective on explaining why Saeb Erekat has presented the position he has.

Sources

Quartert, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2010/03/138583.htm
General Assembly Resolution 43/177 of 15 December 1988. 4 Pal. Y.B. Int'l L. 294 (1987-1988) http://books.google.com/books?id=DWhgIe3Hq98C&dq=isbn:9041103414
The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Directories: National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
http://www.ifrc.org/address/directory.asp (Accessed 28 May 2010). A negative response to this would be Michael Meyer, “Questions And Answers Concerning Issues Related to the 29th International Conference?” Standing Commission on the Red Cross and Red Crescent
http://www.rcstandcom.info/conference_qa.shtml (Accessed 28 May 2010).
National Olympic Committees: Palestine, Olympic.org
http://www.olympic.org/en/content/National-Olympic-Committees/pales...
Member States of the Group of 77, The Group of 77 at the United Nations
http://www.g77.org/doc/members.html (Accessed 26 May 2010).
Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, ESCWA Member Countries http://www.escwa.un.org/members/map.asp (Accessed 26 May 2010)
Member States, Organization of the Islamic Conference
http://www.oic-oci.org/member_states.asp (Accessed 26 May 2010).
General Assembly, A/RES/3237(XXIX), Observer status for the Palestine Liberation Organization, 22 Nov. 1974.
http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/512BAA69B5A32794852560DE0054B9B2
Voting summary: Yes: 95, No: 17, Abstentions: 19, Non-Voting: 7, Total voting membership: 138, UNBISNET.un.org
Examples of abstentions Australia, New Zealand; examples of those in favour USSR, China, African and Middle Eastern States
Annex III List Of Organizations And Other Entities Represented At The Conference By An Observer http://www.un.org/icc/iccfnact.htm
Other observer’s had the title of intergovernmental organization; other entity; UN agency or programme; or nongovernmental organization, cited Ibid
Member States of the Group of 77, The Group of 77 at the United Nations
http://www.g77.org/doc/members.html (Accessed 26 May 2010).
About the Group of 77
http://www.g77.org/doc/index.html
Member Countries, Non-Aligned Movement
http://www.cubanoal.cu/ingles/index.html (Accessed 26 May 2010).
Member States, Organization of the Islamic Conference
http://www.oic-oci.org/member_states.asp (Accessed 26 May 2010).

Modin - founded 1993 (the year of the Oslo Accords) Now is over 70,000 people. 50 people born every week in the Modi'in valley (150,000 people)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modi%27in
Today there is a meeting in DC's Woodrow Wilson Center on "Without The Peace Process, What Will Palestinians Do, and Why? ", with Khalil Shikaki and Marwan Muasher,

I guess you can learn what Dr. Shikaki going to say from this last report: http://www.pcpsr.org/survey/polls/2010/p37ejoint.html Marwan al-Muasher can bring fresh view as he has sense of "center".

The Negotiation are not expected to work: Palestinian Public Opinion Poll No (37) http://www.pcpsr.org/survey/polls/2010/p37e.html

A confused and uncertain public:
While the Majority Opposes Return to Negotiations Under the Shadow of Settlement Construction, and While the Majority Opposes Alternatives to Negotiations Such as Violence, the Dissolution of the Palestinian Authority, or the Adoption of a One-State Solution, and While the Majority Supports Alternatives Such as Going to the UNSC, a Unilateral Declaration of Statehood, and Resort to Non-Violent Resistance, the Overwhelming Majority has no Confidence in the Efficacy of any of the Alternatives it Supports

This is why Saeb Erekat position is to kill the formal Negotiations and go with the public to the Unilateral Declaration of Statehood. I think they expect that to improve their Negotiation position with the empathy of the EU.

My guess is that it will lead to violence even if the majority is against it as the Hamas-Fatah inner conflict will flame the radical elements. this with the Israeli fear of Hizbula and Iran will lead to grater violence from the Israeli side.

This is sad outcome from the lack of courage change oriented people in the power position in Palestine and in Israel. they are missing a grate opportunity as their relationship should be of partnership and not of negotiation.

At the moment the grate obstacle is not just the Settlements that all are looking at, the other grate obstacle is in the Palestinian yard and is the inner fight for governance legitimacy between Hamas-Fatah and existence of a governance and territorial split that disable the Palestinian side to sign any agreement. Saeb Erekat should be aware of that as chief negotiator, but he do not speak of that.
Says does not harm others when making decisions for everyone…

Where there is currently no solution for the situation, make great effort not to harm others when deciding vote is yours. And if you don’t want to make an effort or are unable, for whatever reason, then the best correct solution of all to wait until you will see this effort for the correct intuition or the guidance to resolve the issue.
And here I see that the concept of “to make efforts not to harm" doesn't applied to everyone and it's sad.

There are very correct proverbs saying about our querying the ability of any person or creature

Can the leopard change his spots - for those who don’t want to learn or can not learn from their mistakes. This is for absurd and not for smart people, for those who are not identified and does not determine your path in the life and lives only for today.
Meaning - Proverbial question, querying the ability of any person or creature to change its innate being.

Once burned by milk you will blow on cold water (Russian).
Very similar in meaning to another proverb, "Once bitten, twice shy," today's proverb is an old one. It appeared in English literature as early as 1320, in "The Proverbs of Hendyng." Another proverb, which is similar, comes from the French: "A scalded dog fears cold water" carries an even stronger message; that those who have experienced a great deal of difficulty or pain will not only avoid it in the future, but will be afraid even where there is no cause.
Other languages also have like proverbs, such as, "One bitten by a serpent is afraid of a rope's end" (Jewish), "A man who has received a beating with a firebrand runs away at the sight of a firefly" (Singhalese), and "A dog which has been beaten with a stick fears its own shadow" (Italian).
All this - for those who quickly learns from mistakes and not repeat them, and growing up as a soul and mind.

I hope among us there are many more people who truly want peace to all and not only act as an egoist who wish just for themselves, and also for most of the native and not native people, because when you are what you want really, you really attract it by radiating it outward.
I understand this explanations, but I think we ought to expect from middle east leaders to be wiser and more open and flexible. they need to create reality and not to react on it and make it worst.
Neri, you, as always are implacable & irreconcilable with the majority that emphasizes your individuality, and here you are quite right ... although it should remind you, we cannot answer for everyone equally. We can only hope to believe that such wise, open, flexible leaders there exist and soon will make themselves felt.
I think this is your confidence keeps your faith in the manifestation of such a leader.
Bravo, I want to see you in the number of such leaders.
I think many people of the world of many races and religions including Jews are saying the same about Israel that it keeps seizing land because it is not really interested in a Palestinian state. I am referring to a certain percentage of the population and the leadership in the way it has acted. Israel has to take responsibility for the fact that Israelis voted for their politicians, and it's their politicians that seize more and more land while they go to the beaches of Israel as if nothing happens.

If the world boycotts more and more, they could say "Well, we are boycotting, but we have an internal disagreement over Israel amongst us Europeans and Asians". I am saying that to counter Neri's point which is as if to say Israel's government has little connection to the people. Many do support the Right wing and don't make waves about the settlements and land grabs. Look, if it weren't European guilt over the holocaust, Israel would face extremely heated opposition from Europeans and liberal Jews would abandon Israel in droves. What Israel is doing is not good for the region, its own people, the Palestinians or anyone. It encourages more conflict down the road. They can't keep blaming the "barbaric, violent" Arabs for everything going wrong like Arabs blaming the West for everything.
Basil but then the Palestinians leaders are not that great either should we punish the Palestinians that vote for them ?
Israelis voted right BC in Israelis mind only the right and likud can bring peace. which used to be true.
I think that we are making progress lately as you mentioned there is a huge pressure on Israelis. what bring Israel to talk about the real issue and it is the refuges issue. and as I see it the occupation will end only when there will be a solution to the refugees issue that does not risk Israel
Ohad, the Palestinians don't have democracy or real sovereignty. Is the PA violating international law by building settlements? Israel is doing so. Every state is required to respect certain laws. I mean it is natural to put pressure on a state that is grossly violating international law. At any rate, we cannot continue forever with this situation. If Israel is not responsible for the settlers, then who is? The Palestinians have had bad leaders, but Palestinians can't really vote. They are controlled and the PA has basically acted as Israel's police man, like a pseudo-Vichy state in the eyes of so many Palestinians. In Gaza, Hamas has been
overlording itself over the Palestinians. They refuse elections. It's different to compare. If countries financially punish Israel, they have already done that to Gaza. They did so when the Palestinians elected Hamas, but they never did so to Israel when it did worse or the same as Hamas in terms of
harmful actions towards the Palestinians. This won't last forever. Who is responsible for Israel's behavior?
No one in Israel?
Basil,

I see your view as many Palestinians view Israel as Evil and seek punishment of the state ... and you ask who is responsible within Israel.

I suggest a different view, where I see the Palestinians and Israelis as one system within the socio-economic system of the whole humanity.

With many elements this is not the fault of the "Palestinians" nor I think it is a fault of the "israelis". This is an outcome of a change that happed in our world, a change where the culture and social order of the West go through 400 year crisis. This crisis drive a change in the Jewish subsystem that influence the Arab sub system. There are no one to blame, there is a ill situation we need to resolve.

In the discussion, I started above, my criticit is that the leaders do not see us as a system, they see us as two nations fighting a zero sum game. this is what fuel the conflict and contributed from both sides and this what enable the inner radical entities to succeed and continue to play the leadership into endless rounds of aggression, leaving million of people with no citizenship and no hope.

There are element in israel, and israel could have stop the building many years ago. my opinion that this is what should have happen, but we know "Israel" is not Ohad and Palestine is not Basil. the reality is that the other world views play our politics they are in Israel and in Palestine.

my claim here is that we can see that the leadership can stop the cycle and maybe the American effort to buy Israel halt of settlement can work (here again we see that the Palestinian try to raise the price in negotiation and Israel pick up the prize). It is responsibility of us palestinians and up Israelis to work within our society in an effort never succeed before to change that route and create new relationship, our leaders did not get that yet.
Neri,
Thanks for presenting your point of view. I am very much agree with you. Especially the point of the "responsibility of both of us - Israelis and Palestinians to work within our societies".
People must remember that there should be two for a tango....it is not a one-side act for solution. Nothing good would becoming if the two sides are not working side by side.

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