- Former Israeli position -- Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, May 24, 2006:
On behalf of the state of Israel, we are willing to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority. This authority must renounce terrorism, dismantle the terrorist infrastructure, accept previous agreements and commitments, and recognize the right of Israel to exist.
- Reaction -- Associated Press, March 18, 2007 (emphasis added):
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Sunday that peace talks with the Palestinian coalition government would be impossible as long as it refuses to renounce violence and recognize Israel's right to exist.
In a break from the Israelis, the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem said the U.S. wouldn't rule out contact with non-Hamas members of the new government.
The Israeli Cabinet endorsed Olmert's hard line, urging the West to maintain harsh economic sanctions imposed with last year's election of the militant Islamic Hamas.
- New Israeli position -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, June 14, 2009:
I appeal tonight to the leaders of the Arab countries and say: Let us meet. Let us talk about peace. Let us make peace. I am willing to meet at any time, at any place, in Damascus, in Riyadh, in Beirut, and in Jerusalem as well. . .Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, July 7, 2010:
I appeal to you, our Palestinian neighbors, and to the leadership of the Palestinian Authority. Let us begin peace negotiations immediately without prior conditions.
There are all sorts of impediments in negotiations that have been put up; all sorts of preconditions; all sorts of excuses. I suggest we do away with them. You either put up excuses or you lead. I proposed to lead. I want to enter direct talks with the Palestinian leadership now. I call on President Mahmoud Abbas to meet me in the coming days to begin peace talks so that we can have and fashion a final peace between Israel and its Palestinian neighbors.
- Reaction -- Associated Press, August 15, 2010 (emphasis added):
Israel will not accept conditions for resuming direct negotiations with the Palestinians, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and top Cabinet ministers affirmed in a meeting late Sunday, reflecting a hard line just as invitations to the talks appeared to be near.
Talks between the two sides begin next month. Expect Israel to be blamed for any hiccup.
It's part of a wrong-headed myth of the poor, poor, Palestinians. Which elides their terrorist targeting of civilians.
This is neither logical nor objective. But the media seldom is when the topic is the Middle East (kudos to the normally biased BBC for getting it right for once). Lefty blogs and NGOs are no better; in contrast, former British PM Tony Blair is spot-on.
Is this humorous look-back-from-2016 the inevitable result?
(via reader Warren, Norm Geras, The Corner)