The editorial in The Jewish Week on the Israel-Palestine negotiations applauds the willingness to compromise of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and warns against the seeming intransigence on the part of Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas (“Contrasting Approaches To Talks,” Sept. 17).
However, the immediate issue threatening to block the negotiations is the “thorny” one of the moratorium on settlements. But why should we regard this question as “thorny?” Is it not clear that from Abbas’ point of view that any continuation of settlement expansion would change the so-called facts on the ground even as they are supposedly being negotiated? Israel has much to gain by continuing a “moratorium” that is temporary by the very definition of the term and will allow negotiations to go forward. If the moratorium does continue and the negotiations succeed, all will applaud Netanyahu’s statesmanship. If the negotiations fail, Israel can — and we know, will — resume building.
The moratorium is a “win-win” situation for Israel if it is continued, while if it is not, Israel will bear much of the blame for the negotiations’ failure.
That is why we at J Street are mobilizing every ounce of persuasion we can bring to bear in an effort to show Netanyahu that he has the support among Jews in America to take the courageous steps he needs to take to overcome those in his government who oppose negotiations and believe the present situation preferable for an agreement.