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August 01, 2013

The Media Perpetuates Myth About Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Why does the media routinely perpetuate the myth that responsibility for the success or failure of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks lies with Israel and not the Palestinians?

A recent Reuters article describes the Israeli Prime Minister "returning" to negotiations once he realized he could not afford to "take the rap for cold shouldering U.S. efforts to revive the talks."

Pressured by Washington, worried about its international standing and perturbed by Middle East turmoil, Israel had many reasons to return to peace talks with the Palestinians this week after a three year hiatus.

But it wasn't the Israeli prime minister who needed convincing. He has repeatedly expressed his willingness to resume negotiations without any preconditions. And it was the Israeli prime minister who made all the concessions in advance of the last round of peace talks, risking domestic opposition by agreeing to a 10-month moratorium on building in the West Bank.

By contrast, it is the Palestinian president who continuously refuses to negotiate without preconditions, demanding concessions from Israel that are meant to be the result of talks. It is the Palestinian president who dismissed Israel's moratorium last time as inadequate. And it was the Palestinian president who after finally yielding to American pressure to join peace talks, immediately walked away from negotiations when the moratorium expired.

Yet all mention of Palestinian responsibility for the failure of peace talks is concealed from readers:

The last round of U.S.-brokered negotiations collapsed barely after they began in 2010 in a row over continued Jewish settlement building in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem on land the Palestinians want for their future state.

Posted by rh at August 1, 2013 05:00 PM


As long as we're pointing out the guilty party, let us not forget that it was President Obama, in his Cairo speech, that made it very difficult for the Palestinian side not to demand permanent construction halt as a precondition. It was the President who demanded that Israelis halt all construction, while the Palestinians "continue to combat incitement." Since the Palestinians had only been ratcheting up incitement to that point, they had no problem continuing that, and they could not demand less of the Israelis than the American President did.

Posted by: Jacob at August 2, 2013 01:06 PM

It seems that Zipi Livni also alluded to this line of thought when she praised Nethanayu for enabling the talks. One can understand from her choice of words that Israel was the stumbling block. See the press conference at

Posted by: ER at August 8, 2013 05:04 PM

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