When it comes to spin games, Maen Rashid Areikat, the PLO’s top US envoy is pretty creative. He once claimed that Canaanites were occupiers, and tried sugarcoating the idea of a judenrein Palestinian state.
Now, Areikat’s back with a disingenuous LA Times op-ed. All we have to do, he maintains, is turn the clock back to the Taba talks of 2001.
The potential for an agreement is there; we just need to create the conditions for it to succeed. The two sides can capitalize on progress made since the Taba talks of 2001. Everybody knows the parameters: a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders with mutually agreed-upon land swaps similar in size and quality, a shared capital in Jerusalem, acceptable and legitimate security arrangements and an agreed-upon and just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem based on the 1948 United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194. The success of any political process depends on clear terms of reference, a clear time frame and a clear endgame.
Good grief: Everything Areikat’s asking for now was on the table at Taba 2001.
And what’s the progress Areikat refers to? The Palestinians broke off the Taba talks, the second intifada raged on, Yasser Arafat was replaced by Mahmoud Abbas and his do-nothing doctrine. Israel withdrew from Gaza and Hamas simply took over and continued firing rockets. The PLO all but bailed out of Oslo with its unilateral statehood bid.
Progess? What progress?
If Taba is good enough for the Palestinians now, why wasn’t it good enough then?
(Image of Areikat via YouTube/Tiffany Ondracek)