How do you sabotage a deal before it’s made?

It’s simple – set conditions in a advance that you know the other side cannot accept.

The good news is that Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netenyahu has said that he will back a Palestinian state. However, his conditions:

  • Recognition of the state of Israel
  • The Palestinian state must be completely demilitarised…
  • … with no control over its own borders…
  • … or its own airspace
  • No suggestion that there will be any halt in the building of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land
  • No right-of-return for the Palestinian families who were driven out of Israel
  • Of these, the first condition is almost certainly achievable, and the last probably would be with the removal of the settlements. How could any Palestinian authority agree to conditions 2-4, though, especially in light of the recent massacres carried out by the Israeli military?

    Still, the fact that he has said that he is willing to engage in direct talks with the Palestinians, without pre-conditions, is a major step forwards. It is to be hoped that this just represents his initial bargaining position.

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