Palestine: Tergiversation Nation

Benny Morris 

The Americans still don’t get it: the Palestinian leadership, Fatah and Hamas, are not interested in a two-state settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; they want all of Palestine, and are willing to shadowbox and dissemble and feint and bamboozle in order to defer the moment in which they must say "no,” for they will say "no,” to a realistic, historic compromise.

President Obama foolishly played into Palestinian hands when, early in his administration, he demanded that Israel freeze its settlement activity in order to shoe in a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations (in abeyance since 2008, when former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas a generous two-state package and he rejected it). Abbas jumped on the gift horse and fell into step—no talks until there was a complete settlement freeze.

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