There are times when the cynicism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defies understanding. He constantly tells the world that Israel seeks peace with its Arab neighbors and to demonstrate his desire to move forward with negotiations he announced a freeze on settlements. However, he told the Cabinet not to be upset at the freeze since it was only a temporary move. Even as he emphasized Israel wants negotiations, he told the Cabinet: “We want to renew negotiations without negotiations.” Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has made clear there can not be negotiations unless Israel institutes a complete freeze. Naturally, Netanyahu blames Palestinians for problems in negotiations.
How can any Palestinian leader enter into negotiations with a man who has publicly stated he is not interested in meaningful dialogue with anyone. He will not budge, but remains committed to maintaining the status quo.