What is so secretive about the current Israeli -Palestinian talks? Why is everybody so mum about the contents of the negotiations? Isn't a beautiful thing to watch George Mitchell's smiling ,grinning face as he pronounces how wonderfully everything is going between the two parties? I don't know about you but I don't trust George Mitchell and I don't feel good about negotiating Israel's future in secrecy.
Weren't the Oslo negotiations conducted in secrecy, almost to the point that they were illegal according to Israeli law?The PLO was considered a terrorist organization that officials from the Israeli government were forbidding to have any contact with. We only learned about the results of the negotiations after everything was agreed upon.Most Israelis realized after the completion of the accords , that Israel was ready to give away large tracts of Judea and Samaria to a terrorist organization that was sworn to the elimination of the state of Israel. The agreements brought about the massacre and slaughter of many Israelis. Israel was unable to enter large cities in theses areas , where Arafat and his fellow terrorist brothers and sisters were planning more attacks on Israel in order to kill as many people as possible. The intelligence network that was developed by Israel over many years was no longer effective in battling the PLO and other terrorist groups that originated in these areas.
Should the future of the Jewish state be decided in secret meetings with the Palestinians , not even a unified Palestinian voice (Hamas has its own terrorist state in Gaza and is not involved in the talks) , that is still more concerned with the destruction of Israel rather than making peace? Secrecy allows them to say one thing to one group and completely different things to others.
Then of course we have President Obama and the American team, who constantly claim to be an honest broker, and continue to state that the two parties have to work out their differences between themselves.This is somewhat confusing even to the not so knowledgeable person, when the American team including Obama and Clinton keep encouraging a continuation of the building freeze even though it was agreed to be a one time 10 month freeze. so much for being an honest broker.Who knows what else they are pushing for secretly, 1967 borders, division of Jerusalem and even the right of return for millions of Arabs to the tiny state of Israel.
Shush... shush... shush... that remains a secret.
That leaves us with the Israeli negotiating team. Prime Minister Netanyahu and his mostly right wing coalition were voted into power on the platform of a safe and secure Israel with defensible borders and the right to exist as a Jewish nation. Netanyahu has called for a 2 state solution and is considering giving away large portions of Judea and Samaria and even some sort of division of Jerusalem , the eternal Jewish capital. This doesn't fall in line with his own Likud party and definitely not with the more right wing members of his coalition, and the public that democratically voted for him.
The Palestinians are the only ones who get to benefit from the secret negotiations.They really have nothing to worry about. They have conceded nothing since the dreadful Oslo accords up until the current secret negotiations and every agreement in between.
The people of Israel have a right to know what is being negotiated away by their elected officials especially when their mandate is for a safe and secure Israel. Caving in to pressures from The Americans and threats by the Palestinians to leave the talks when things are going their way is not inline with the majority of the citizens of Israel.
Secret Negotiations are appropriate at times, such as business negotiations and other agreements that are not so life threatening. In the case of the future if the state of Israel and the lives of its citizens, the more the public is aware of the more they can decide whether to support the talks or not. We all have seen in the past that these sorts of discussions in secrecy have not boded well for Israel and there is no reason to believe that this time the results will be any better. We are not talking about a business or a large real estate transaction. This future of the state of Israel and of the Jewish people are a stake here and the more that we are informed of the better.
A view from Jon's Place
37th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War