Michael Shaik (Vic) responds to Rosner’s “The Break Up” The New Republic 20Nov09 November 23, 2009

The New Republic:  “The Break Up” by Shmuel Rosner 18 November 2009

Shmuel Rosner is being disingenuous when he asks “If Obama is willing to negotiate with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, how can Abbas get away with refusing to talk to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu?”

The United States and Iran are two states that recognise one another’s sovereignty and borders.  Israel is an occupying power that has historically used a succession of peace processes to buy time to colonise Palestinian land through settlement construction.  As the leader of the colonised population, Abbas has the option of either agreeing to another round of open-ended negotiations while Israel continues to expand its settlements or of maintaining a policy of principled opposition to settlement expansion based on international law and the international consensus that meaningful progress towards a two state solution is impossible while Israel is actively undermining the territorial basis of a Palestinian state.

Rather than ridiculing Abbas for his position, Rosner would do well to recall that Hamas has often cited the failure of previous peace processes to halt settlement expansion as proof that the international community is not serious about a two-state solution and that the only language that Israel understands is that of force.

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