US: PLO Counter-Offer a ‘Move in the Right Direction’

State Dept Calls for More Direct Talks

Though a Palestinian Liberation Organization official’s offer to trade the recognition of Israel as any sort of state they want to call it, including a “Jewish State” in return for a commitment to negotiate along the pre-1967 borders has not provoked any official answer from Israel, US officials don’t seem outraged at the idea.

Rather State Department spokesman Philip Crowley termed it a “move in the right direction,” though he said the content proved the need for more direct talks. The peace talks stalled last month when Israel allowed a partial settlement freeze to expire.

But as with Israel’s “offer” to trade a 60 day partial extension for a recognition of Israel as a “Jewish State,” the PLO “counteroffer” is based around a condition that the other side has vowed never to accept, in this case the return of all territories occupied in 1967.

It seems that by and large both sides have acknowledged that the talks ended with the end of the last settlement freeze, and are instead making grandiose offers designed to be rejected, chiefly so they can blame the other side for the failure.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.