For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
Dr. Aaron Lerner IMRA Weekly Commentary 07 September '10
There is a school of thought that argues that it is certain that the Palestinians will break off the talks in the wake of the resumption of settlement construction on the 27th and thus, with an eye towards pleasing President Obama, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu can indicate, in broad strokes during the talks in the coming weeks, a willingness to make tremendous concessions, without Israel ever actually being locked into those concessions - just as the offers proposed in past failed talks in no way obligate Israel today.
The beauty of broad strokes, some claim, is that it employs language that is subject to "constructive ambiguity". That is to say, Binyamin Netanyahu can say "X", with both the Palestinians and Americans interpreting "X" as meaning one thing while the prime minister can always later explain that "X" means something very different.
Now if the post talk scenario indeed turns out to be an indefinite stalemate in which the Palestinians are blamed for their short sightedness while Israel gains points as it implements a series of measures to improve the lot of the Palestinians (for example, improving the handling of Palestinian cargo moving through Israeli ports) then there might be some logic to an Israeli "striptease" before the music stops.
But that's a huge "if".
Because the Palestinians are gearing up for a very different post talk scenario.
They anticipate an internationally imposed "solution" in the wake of the breakdown in the talks. A "solution" that would take into account the Israeli and Palestinian positions at the failed talks.
If that's how things play out, the interpretation of Netanyahu's broad strokes that is most favorable to the Palestinians would end up being considered the Israeli position.
Instead of "constructive ambiguity" we would suffer the consequences of "destructive ambiguity".
Instead of getting a favorable standing in Washington after the failed talks with Netanyahu's stale proposals joining his predecessor's offers in the trash heap of history, we could just as easily find ourselves facing a nightmare imposed on us because of those very offers.
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I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"