Dealing a blow to the Obama administration’s efforts to restart Middle East peace talks, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton failed Saturday to persuade the Palestinian leader to accept an Israeli proposal that would slow but not stop the construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.The Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, insisted thatIsrael must halt all construction of housing units before broader negotiations could begin. He rebuffed an Israeli proposal — developed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and relayed by Mrs. Clinton — to complete about 3,000 units and temporarily freeze other construction, the chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, said after the meeting.
The Palestinians are hardly the only ethnic grievance mongers in the world who are wailing over "stolen land," yet they benefit from an inordinate amount of hand holding from the US, especially when Democrats are in charge of diplomacy. Rather than being hounded to the ends of the earth as would be the case if they were Tamil Tigers, Karen tribesmen, or Rwandan Hutus (just to name three), the Palestinians can engage in these sorts of diplomatic roundelays secure in the knowledge that their "blood" enemy is too compassionate to fight without one hand tied behind its back.
When people ask, "when will there be peace in the Middle East?" I always answer, "when the media and the western diplomats go home and don't return."