A wrinkle in the “peace negotiations”: Who speaks for the Palestinians?

Online Journal, December 21, 2007

by Dan Lieberman
Online Journal Contributing Writer

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It is obvious who will speak for Israel at the “peace negotiations.” Israel’s elected officials, despite some well-managed contrary rhetoric, will speak for Israel, and probably offer no significant concessions.

Israel’s Vice Premier Haim Ramon has already clarified the future of the negotiations by a statement that circulated in an Associated Press report, Dec, 9, 2007: “Israel intends to hold on to all Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem, a position that undercuts the Palestinians’ claim to the eastern part of the city for their future capital.”

Who can speak for Palestine? The West Bank Palestinians are economically and politically separated from their relatives in Gaza, and both operate separately from the Palestinian community in the Diaspora. Hamas is divided. Fatah is divided. The Palestinians have no cohesion to create a unified voice, no power to present a coherent voice, no means to manage a compromising voice. It seems that the Palestinians have no voice, but the appearance is deceiving; the Palestinians have potent voices of international law and international reason. A major problem is they lack active support from an international community that has been negligent in providing the necessary means to implement United Nations (UN) resolutions and mandating accepted international laws.

Continued . . .

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