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Friedman seeks to blame Palestinians for breakdown of talks

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When Camp David went down in 2000, Arafat was blamed, famously. Well the failure of the Obama peace talks are clearly in Israel’s lap this time. Tom Friedman is trying to change the optics by blaming both sides, over and over, in a form of rhetorical bludgeoning:

It demonstrates just how disconnected from reality both the Israeli and the Palestinian leaderships have become…

we have the Israelis and the Palestinians sitting over there with their arms folded…

Shame on them.. The people running Israel and Palestine have other priorities..

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators should take a minute…

Israeli and Palestinian leaders cannot end the conflict between each other without having a civil war within their respective communities…

America must get out of the way so Israelis and Palestinians can see clearly, without any obstructions, what reckless choices their leaders are making…

The absurdity of Friedman’s argument is twofold: 1, The two sides are clearly not equally to blame for the collapse of the talks, Israel has been the plainly-obstructionist party. 2, Friedman holds over the Palestinians the collapse of the two-state solution, and quotes Moshe Halbertal, a liberal Zionist. But if you’re Palestinian, why should you be negotiating for a two-state solution that would produce a demilitarized and walled aggregation of cantons under the thumb of an intolerant regime? Why do you care about Halbertal’s concerns? I mean this honestly, as a game theorist. If the Palestinians have agency, and I think they have some, I don’t see why they wouldn’t just hold out. Obviously a one-state future would be scary but it’s not like they’ve done well under any alleged partition solution over the last 60-odd years.

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