The Palestinian Error
Israeli Negotiation Strategies
New in the Website
In Netanyahu is not a Netanyahu I analyzed the differences between the Palestinian and Israeli speeches at the UN General Assembly of September 2011. Palestine asked for international recognition – and got a standing ovation from a crowded room - while Israel was oddly preoccupied with words carved in old seals. Mahmoud Abbas succinctly summarized the situation as: Enough, Enough, Enough!. Now I would like to concentrate on the similarities between the leaders’ speeches (Abbas, Netanyahu) and what can be concluded about the political situation in the Middle East.
Unsurprisingly, both leaders emphasized the need for further negotiations and a permanent peace agreement. Netanyahu was so anxious that practically he began conducting the negotiations in situ with himself in what is generally considered as a major error in Negotiations’ Theory. Yet, his initial position (a permanent peace treaty with Israeli military bases and settlements left in the West Bank) made clear the negotiation process proposed by him was nothing but a smoke curtain aimed at delaying Palestinian independence.
Yet, Netanyahu wasn’t the only one to make errors. Abbas made a larger one, though this was less obvious.
On State Terror
“State Terror” is identified as such a dangerous term by states, that these organizations seldom use it. For them, this strange sword has two edges and one of them invariably points at the state using the sword. The key term in the phrase is “terror;” if that is clarified, then “state terror” is simply an act of terror committed by a state. A “terror act” must include one or more of these characteristics: 1) the threat or use of violence, (2) a political objective, (3) the aim to spread fear by committing spectacular public acts, (4) the intentional targeting of civilians.
Examples of state terror are simple to find. Shortly after the overthrow of the French monarch in 1793, a revolutionary dictatorship was established; it decided to get rid of the monarchists; tens of thousands of civilians were then killed by guillotine. Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union under Stalin's rule are widely accepted as historical cases of state terrorism. No less clear examples are the United States and Israel. Israel has for many years perpetrated terrorism against the population of the territories it has occupied since 1967 and also towards parts of its own population. The United States is routinely accused of terrorism for backing the Israeli occupation and for its support of repressive regimes willing to terrorize their own citizens to maintain power. Of course American attacks in places like Grenada, Iraq and Afghanistan can be defines as forms of state terror; America never properly justified this American Led Apocalypse.
A related term is state-sponsored terrorism, which refers to a state supporting paramilitary organizations. A well-known example in this category happened during the Algerian War, when numerous French government officials partook in terrorism. Prominent in this category is Raoul Albin Louis Salan, a French Army general and the fourth French commanding general during the First Indochina War. Salan was one of four generals who organized the 1961 Algiers Putsch operation and then founded the Organisation de l'armée secrete. Israeli settlers’ bodies in the West Bank – see the atrocious behavior of Yosef Harnoi - can also defined as a state-sponsored terror organizations. The settlers are extraordinarily organized in a network of complex organizations and enjoy Israeli state support, to the extent of being supplied with weapons and training.
These are not just my claims; in October 16, 2009, the UN General Assembly defined Israel as a terror inflicting organization.
Yet, Israelis seldom listen to the UN. During the abovementioned speech, Netanyahu defined it as a “circus” and claimed there is “an automatic majority against Israel” there. The last is an Israeli euphemism for anti-Semitism.
Luckily, there is no need to trust my words or those of the UN General Assembly. There are plenty of Israeli sources emphasizing the terrorist characteristics of the Israeli government. The Beit Oranim Transcript is the most amazing one, but others are readily available.
The UN-accepted Goldstone report mentions that the 2009 Israeli attack on Gaza was of unprecedented violence. At the moment the Israeli society – through the IDF – detained or even killed civilians trying to surrender (Art. 1684 of the Goldstone Report) it displayed moral unfitness. Regardless its humanist education every single general and soldier proved being a moral moron, far from the Kingdom of God. At the moment the Israeli society – through the IDF – destroyed food supply installations, water sanitation systems, concrete factories and residential houses (Art. 1688) it moved morally back to times when people sacrificed babies to wood idols. The firing of white phosphorus shells over the UNRWA compound in Gaza City (Art. 1716) and similar events are not different in essence from the Nazi gas chambers. At the moment the Israeli society – through the IDF – vandalized the houses with graffiti on the walls, obscenities and racist slogans (Art. 1689); the Krystallnacht was repeated by the IDF soldiers and officers, under the blessing of the Israeli government and society. Without the quiet political-level acceptance of the offences, the soldiers would have faced justice immediately. Yet, these savage vandals are considered heroes by the Israeli society. The Beit Oranim Transcript proves not only the terrorist events (Art. 1690) described in the Goldstone Report, but it shows they were perpetrated intentionally in order to terrorize civilians.
Let me summarize this section by stating that the Palestinians have all the right to Consider Israel as a terrorist entity.
Back to Negotiations Theory
Thus, the basic question Abbas was to address was whether he should negotiate with the Israeli government. It is useful here to take a brief look at the academic foundations of Negotiations Theory. One of the leading researchers in the field is Dr. Kennedy. He likes to classify negotiators in two categories. “Blue-negotiators” are those aiming to reach a “win-win” situation, an agreement in which all sides involved in a negotiation end it winning something. Everybody is reasonably happy this way. “Red-negotiators” want to reach a “win-lose” situation: they win, the others lose.
One of the ways to identify red negotiators is their often use of violent tricks and lies during the negotiation process. I want describe here the full logic of Dr. Kennedy; I’ll just present his conclusions. Once a red-negotiator is identified (for example by falling prey to an attack by hum), Dr. Kennedy clearly recommends to avoid further negotiations with him (or her).
If remembering this, the Palestinian dilemma is solved. After breaching so many human rights and agreements, Israel has been identified as an especially vicious red-negotiator, in an odd tribute to its Communist forefathers. Nothing good can come out of that. Mr. Abbas should announce no further negotiations are possible with the Zionists, due to their violence and lack of honor.
“But, the peace!” some readers may exclaim now. “Do not worry,” I answer them. Those who negotiate through the tip of a sword will fall by their own sword’s double edge. Netanyahu’s inability to deal with inner violence of the Israeli civil population is just a reminder of that. Israel may keep oppressing others for a while, but justice would eventually be achieved. As the Hebrew saying goes: “…and better one hour early!”
My articles on the web are my main income these days; please donate or buy The Cross of Bethlehem or Back in Bethlehem.