Monday, July 05, 2010

Life Imitating Comic Strips

Comic strips, from June 6 and June 7, respectively:

Pearls Before Swine



Pearls Before Swine


And real life, as seen by Charles Krauthammer:

Under Obama, Netanyahu agreed to commit his center-right coalition to acceptance of a Palestinian state; took down dozens of anti-terror roadblocks and checkpoints to ease life for the Palestinians; assisted West Bank economic development to the point where its gross domestic product is growing at an astounding 7 percent a year; and agreed to the West Bank construction moratorium, a concession that Secretary Clinton herself called "unprecedented."

What reciprocal gesture, let alone concession, has Abbas made during the Obama presidency? Not one.


Now?

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday endorsed a U.S. call for direct peace talks with the Palestinians, seeking to set a positive tone as he heads to the White House for talks with President Obama.

After a rocky meeting between the two leaders in March, Israel and the United States are taking great pains to sound upbeat this time. But despite a year and a half of U.S. diplomacy, Israelis and Palestinians cannot even agree on whether to hold direct talks.

Netanyahu has long been calling for them, but Palestinians have been wary of giving legitimacy to a hard-line Israeli government they view with suspicion.

"I have been willing to meet Abu Mazen from the first day of this government," Netanyahu said Sunday at a session of the Israeli cabinet, referring to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas by his nickname....

The Palestinians have demanded that Israel first freeze construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem - captured areas they claim as part of a future state. They also want Netanyahu to resume talks from where they broke off in December 2008 under his more dovish predecessor, Ehud Olmert.


It's really very simple. Team X demands that Team Y accepts its rules before the game can begin. First make the concessions that would be among the subjects of the peace talks; then we'll let you know if we're willing to talk. Moving the goalposts- a time-tested tactic (alliteration-wise).

It's a good deal if you can make it, as the Palestinian Authority has been able to do so far. Maybe this time zeeba neighba will politely decline.




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